Mike’s Bidding Quiz


1. What do I do with a good hand when partner makes a takeout double?

2. How do I make the most descriptive bid?

When your partner makes a takeout double, one of the things that you must do is make a descriptive response. I have seen nightmare auctions like the following. Here are three deals from actual play. Judge who made correct bids and who made bad bids. You may laugh at one or more of these hands, but I promise they came from actual play, and some of the players had more than 100 masterpoints.


West North East South
Dbl Pass 1♠ Pass
2♠ All Pass
♠ A Q 6
K Q 10 8
A 10 6 3
♣ 6 3
♠ K 9 8 7 3
A 4
J 8
♣ Q 9 8 2

The defense was poor and East made 11 tricks. But 10 tricks were cold. Both East and West complained that their partner should have bid more. Who was right?

See Mike's Advice

There were a lot of errors made on this sequence. East should have bid 2♠, not 1♠. He has five nice spades and around 10 support points. A jump to 2♠ would show this hand. West then made a bad bid of 2♠. He had a little bit extra in high-card points, but he was missing a fourth trump. West should have passed 1♠. Then East, given a second chance, failed to go to game. West’s double and then raise to 2♠ should have shown four trumps with at least 16 support points. He did not have them, but that is not the point. If West had what he was supposed to have, East should have bid a game. Bad bidding all around.


West North East South
Dbl Pass 2♠ All Pass
♠ K J 7
K J 8 3
♣ A 10 6 5 3
♠ A Q 8 4
Q 10 4 2
10 8 6
♣ K 9

East made 10 tricks. East said West should have raised spades. West had a few choice words, too. Who was right?

See Mike's Advice

East used the wrong bid to show his hand. He was right not to make a one-level bid, but he was wrong to bid 2♠. He should have bid 2, nominally showing both majors with at least 10 points. West was right to pass 2♠. If East had bid 2, the heart suit would have been found and game might have been reached.


West North East South
Dbl Pass 2♠ Pass
4♠ All Pass
♠ Q 9 8 3
A J 3 2
A Q 8 2
♣ 9
♠ A K 10 7 6 2
K 6
K 3
♣ 6 5 2

This one made six. West said he had bid enough when he bid game, but East complained that he had no way to know if there were two club losers. Who was right?

See Mike's Advice

East thought that 2♠ showed this hand. It does not. A jump to two of a major shows 10 support points, give or take, and East had almost twice that. Bad bidding by East and acceptable bidding by West. East should have bid 2♣ and then bid his spades, which would have promised game points or more. A 2♣ response might or might not lead to a slam, but it has a better chance than the 2♠ bid, which was not even forcing.