Mike's Bidding Quiz


1. What do I do when partner makes a takeout double and I have two suits I could bid?

2. Does the strength of my hand make a difference in my response?

Your partner doubles an opening bid for takeout and you have an invitational hand with two suits. The recommended action will apply any time partner doubles a minor-suit opening for takeout and you have 10 or more support points with both major suits.

The way to show this important type of hand is to make a cuebid. As you will see in a later article, you also make a cuebid when you have a game-forcing hand with both majors. This article will show a few hands where responder has the invitational hand.

West North East South
1♣ Dbl Pass ?

How does South approach the bidding with this hand?

1. ♠ 10 7 6 4   A Q 10 3   A   ♣ 7 6 4 2

See Mike's Advice

South has what bridge columnists like to refer to as a complex hand. Complex is a buzz word that means the bidder is not sure what to do and wishes to cater to as many possibilities as possible. Here are some facts.

You have an invitational hand. You cannot insist on game, but you sure want to invite one. You have two major suits. Either could be trump. With this many high-card points, you can explore. The way to do this is to bid 2♣, opener’s suit.

How will your partner respond to your cuebid?

He will know that you have a hand with at least invitational values. He does not know at this moment if you have one or two suits, and he does not know if you have an invitational hand or a game-forcing hand. He will assume you have both majors and invitational values because that is the hand you will have more often than not.

What will your partner do over your cuebid?

He will bid a four-card major if he has one, and he almost always will. With both majors, he will bid hearts regardless of which major is better. Note also that even with extra strength for the takeout double, partner should bid just 2 with both majors. Your cuebid promises that you will bid again, and after that, partner can show extra values if he has them.

What do you bid if your partner bids two of a major? The answer is that you should raise to the three level. You are not strong enough to ensure a game facing a minimum takeout double, but if partner has a little extra, you do not want to miss a game.

2. ♠ K 8 7 3   A 5   K J 9 8   ♣ 8 7 3

See Mike's Advice

When you have two suits with invitational values and one of them is a minor suit, it is usually best to just bid two of your major. On this hand, a 2♠ bid does the trick. If you make a cuebid, you may run into some sticky moments in the bidding. Consider this: When your partner makes a takeout double, you will almost never reach five of the unbid minor. It just does not happen. Best is to bid 2♠ and keep the bidding simple.

Here are two more hands with which you might cuebid. I will show these hands now but will hold up on discussing them in depth until another time. This is to give you something to look forward to.

3. ♠ A K J 3   K J 8 4   Q 8  ♣ 8 7 3

See Mike's Advice

You would cuebid with this hand, too. If your partner bids a major, you raise to game. Be careful about a single raise with this hand. Partner could pass, and you would miss game.

4. ♠ A K 9 8   Q 7 3   A Q 6   ♣ 6 5 3
See Mike's Advice

You would cuebid with this hand, too. If your partner bids 2, you will bid 2♠.

Rule: If you make a cuebid and raise partner, your bid is invitational. If you make a cuebid and bid a new suit, your bid is forcing to game. If your partner bids 2♠, you would just raise to game.