Mike’s Bidding Quiz


1. If partner doubles for takeout and the next player bids 1NT, do I need more to bid freely?

2. Should I be concerned about the 1NT bid?

When your partner doubles an opening bid of one of a suit, and opener’s partner bids 1NT, that player usually has 8 to 10 high-card points. You should have the attitude that you are still going to bid, but you are entitled to exercise just a little caution.

Here is a sample auction (you are South):

West North East South
1 Dbl 1NT ?

What is your call with the following hands?

1. ♠ 9 7 6 5 3   7 6 3 2   A 8  ♣ J 10

See Mike's Advice

Bid 2♠. You have five of them, and if you think of them as support for partner’s spades you will appreciate how good they are. If your partner overcalled with 1♠ and you somehow knew that he had just four of them, you would definitely raise. When partner doubles, he implies four spades, so that suit is a fine home. Even if partner has three of them, it will be okay. Your good shape also adds something to the combined hands. Note also your ♣J 10. If partner has something in clubs, such as the K-Q-5-4, you will be able to work on that suit and get as many as three club tricks. Your hand has plenty of values to justify a 2♠ bid.

2. ♠ Q J 6 3   8 7 6   K J 2   ♣ 8 7 2

See Mike's Advice

You have 7 HCP points, whereas on the previous hand you had only 5. Still, the first hand had more going for it than this one. I would bid 2♠ with this hand but in the back of my mind, I would be hoping for four-card support. My fear that partner might have only three is measurable, but it is not enough to deter me from bidding. Note that the bad shape of your hand can become a minus factor. There is no doubt there are uncertainties with this hand.

3. ♠ A 6 3   4 3 2   9 8   ♣ Q 10 9 8 4

See Mike's Advice

Bid 2♣. Do not spend time worrying that partner won’t have a good fit for clubs. He may not have much in clubs, but the chances are that he does, and passing 1NT is tantamount to giving up. If you pass and LHO bids 2 or 2, you will not be able to bid clubs later unless you do so at the three level. It is much safer to bid now.

4. ♠ Q 7 6 2   A 8 7   J 6 2  ♣ J 8 5

See Mike's Advice

This hand has 8 HCP, but it has a poor spade suit and it has bad shape and the HCP are scattered instead of concentrated. Bid 2♠ if you wish, but recognize that there are many minus factors here.

5. ♠ 6 5 2   8 7 2   K Q J 4 2   ♣ K 8

See Mike's Advice

Bid 2. This is a good hand. If RHO had passed, bidding 3
would be best. East has made a bid, so you can bid 2. That is a conservative bid, but probably enough.

6. ♠ J 10 8 7 6 3   A 6 5 3   3   ♣ Q 8

See Mike's Advice

Bid 3♠. You know you have a spade fit and you have strong playing values. Counting your high cards, your shape and your extra spades, you have close to 12 playing points. What you do not want to bid with this hand is 2♠ — a big underbid. 3♠ is invitational, and it allows partner to make the final decision.