♠A Q 9 8 ♥A 6 4 ♦J ♣K Q J 10 7
What’s your call?
After a cuebid by a takeout doubler’s partner, the doubler is generally expected to bid his lower four-card major. This hand is an exception, however, because it contains extra values.
“3♣,” said Barry Rigal. “For slam purposes, clubs might be much better than spades. The 2♦ call is forcing to a suit agreement, so we are effectively in a game force. If partner bids 3♠, I’ll cuebid. If he rebids 3♥, I’ll bid 3*♠.”
“My partner’s 2♦ promised another bid,” said Jill Meyers. “If partner bids 3♥ after my 3♣ bid, I’ll try 3♠ next.”
“We are going places, but we don’t know where yet,” said Linda and Robb Gordon. “We’ll bide our time with 3♣. The 2♦ bid promises another bid below game.”
“I choose 3♣ and will bid spades next,” said August Boehm. “Partner’s cuebid promises another bid.”
“3♣,” agreed Larry Cohen. “There’s no rush to do anything unusual. This is forcing to notrump or a suit agreement — otherwise it’s impossible to bid intelligently.”
“3♣,” said Karen Walker. “No reason to jump or make a vague ‘return cuebid,’ as partner absolutely promises another bid. A 2♠ bid would be best for sorting out major-suit fits, but 3♣ rates to get us to the best slam, if it’s there.”
Even though it takes up bidding room, six experts bid 3♦. They don’t want to risk an accident.
Kerri Sanborn: “I have a very good hand, so let’s get the force established. These sequences are not well-defined in standard bridge.”
Kitty and Steve Cooper: “Let’s set a game force with this hand and proceed from there. Slam is a serious possibility, although a 3NT rebid by North would slow us down.”
Don Stack: “A jump to 3♠ does not do justice to this hand. The cuebid followed by a spade bid will show the strength. We could have slam if North has as little as:
♠K 7 4 3 ♥K 9 4 2 ♦7 5 2 ♣A 6.”
Kay and Randy Joyce: “We will work with partner to find the best strain after making a cuebid to show extra values.”
Peggy and John Sutherlin: “3♦ creates a game force. When we continue with 3♠ in response to partner’s expected 3♥bid, we will be suggesting that slam is possible. Partner may hold: ♠K J 4 2 ♥K 8 7 3 ♦8 7 3 ♣A 5, which makes 6♠, even if trumps divide 4–1.”
Four experts bid their lower four-card major.
“2♠,” said Steve Robinson. “Partner promises another bid, and his cuebid asks me to bid my lower four-card major.”
“Partner must bid again over my 2♠,” agreed Jeff Meckstroth.
“North is usually looking for a four-card major,” said Mike Lawrence, “and I have one. I could bid 3♣, but that turns a simple auction into a complex one.”
“I don’t like 3♣ because that would deny four spades,” said Mel Colchamiro. “2♠ is forcing because partner promises another bid.”
There was one outlier.
“4♦,” said Allan Falk. “I want to splinter. After that, I can correct partner’s 4♥to 4♠, and North will know I also have clubs and a slammish hand. I could bid 3♦, but I want to send a definite slam signal, yet give partner leeway if 2♦ was a pushy bid.”
When partner promises another bid, keep the bidding low.