♠A Q 10 6 3 ♥6 ♦A 5 ♣A K 10 7 5
What’s your call?
The hand is too strong to pass. Doubling or overcalling 1NT, however, rates to hear partner bid or transfer to hearts. Most panelists chose, therefore, to bid 2♣.
“2♣,” said Mike Lawrence. “If you have a fit, you might have a slam. If you pass because some silly book warns you against bidding when you have their suit bottled up, you may find yourself defending against 1*S* undoubled.”
Brad Theurer agreed. “Yes, there are some who believe in not overcalling on hands with a strong holding in the opponent’s suit, but I need to get my club suit in now because it may be awkward or dangerous to bid later.”
“Wrong shape for double or 1NT, and Pass is not in me,” said Larry Cohen. “I want to start exploring for our spot, instead of guessing later.”
“Too much to pass,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “Too few hearts to double and too bizarre to overcall 1NT. That leaves 2♣.”
Others make similar comments:
Kany and Randy Joyce: “Too strong for a pass.”
Allan Falk: “Bidding later is much more dangerous.”
Barry Rigal: “Passing may lead to worse problems than bidding now.”
August Boehm: “Trying to avoid the eccentric and keep the board in play.”
Karen Walker: “The Hog bid is 1NT, but that is too eccentric for me.”
Kerri Sanborn: “I like to get in early. We might have a game.”
Jill Meyers: “This hand is so good, I have no choice.”
Others weren’t worried about being labeled eccentric.
“1NT,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “Crystal clear to me.”
“1NT shows my strength and avoids getting stolen from,” said Steve Robinson. “Bidding 2♣ could land us in the wrong strain. Passing could leave us frozen out of the auction.”
Three experts weren’t worried about being frozen out.
“Pass,” said Linda and Robb Gordon. “We realize that a trap pass is not the modern style, but we don’t want to overcall a broken five-card suit. If partner can’t balance, game is unlikely.”
“It’s close between pass and 2♣,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “Bidding 2*C* will likely end the auction. 1NT is the value bid, but partner will surely put us in hearts. So, we pass and await further developments.”
Even players who don’t like to overcall at the two level with a five-card suit will likely do so with this hand. South may only have five, but he has some side tricks, and passing may lead to guessing later.