Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Randy Thompson
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You can play the 3-card limit at the one level – bid 1N semi-forcing. If opener passes, he has a minimum balanced hand and you will be unlikely to go minus in 1N if you were making 2M. If he bids over 1N, he either has a distributional hand or more than a balanced min, in either case a hand likely to accept the limit raise, or at least enough to be safe in 3M. You are focusing on the real problem of Drury addiction – non-silent opponents. If you respond 1N with a 3-card limit and they bid, then they have given you a way to play at the two level – responder can usually bid 2M over their two-level competition.
June 2
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Easiest solution of all: Have an opening bid when you open the bidding 1M in 3rd seat. Then all bids are natural and have their usual meanings. With less than an opening bid? Open 2M (Immediate Non-drury). This holds up in competition, is easy to remember and is more obstructive to the opponents. If you are vul or your suit isn't a good one? Use one of the handy little green cards that are in every bidding box. Assuming your opening bids are sufficiently modern that they don't promise the moon and sky, even in first or second seat, then there is no need to rob any bids of their usual meaning or to require heroic feats of memory. Of course, nothing is forcing by a passed hand, so responder's jumps should show fit and limit raise + values.
June 2
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I abstained because neither penalty nor take-out make any sense to me. If doubler has the red suits, he usually would have doubled 1. If he has clubs, it is almost inconceivable that he has 5 tricks vs. clubs without fear that several of them could vanish in a heart beat when someone flushes to 3 or 3/3. To double a part score for penalties at IMPs opposite a passing partner, you better have the setting tricks staring you in the face and you better be sure enough of them will also be tricks against other contracts that you aren't turning a small plus into a small minus. That parlay seems impossible to me in the context of a 1N overcall. I would have guessed take-out at the table and hope it was pard's way of trying to show 4=4=4=1 shape where equal level conversion to a 4-card diamond suit might prove more embarrassing than watching the first 7 club tricks cash against 1N. I have overcalled NT with a stiff club before (employing one of my favorite slogans: “a good partner can stop clubs”) and would play “as if opened” over 3 so double by advancer would have been negative. I would guess a 4-4-4-1 17 count (or a 4-ace 16 count) that could stand a penalty pass by partner. At least that picture of his hand isn't insulting to him – that's the only type of holding I can think of where this double isn't profoundly stupid.
May 29
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If you don't open 2 with this hand at all vulnerabilities and all forms of scoring, you shouldn't play weak 2's. Having opened it, this is certainly a fantastic suit (that's why you opened 2 with 7 losers outside your suit) and it is inconceivable to me that pard should be denied that information when he bothers to ask.
May 27
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Only pull this double if you expect to make. I have no expectation of making 5 so I lead a diamond. I might have a defensive trick if pard has a pointed ace.
May 27
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No one seems to have mentioned that this is a price to be paid for playing double shows exactly 4-4 in the majors. I prefer to play that if partner has 5-4 or 4-5 in the majors in this auction he doubles with limited hands and bids the 5 card major if strong enough to bid the other one later. That style makes 3 stand out as a choice, as we won't miss a spade fit if we have one and 2 can show a better hand than this one. One thing is clear – we should not pass here with a stiff diamond unless we enjoy torturing partner. If he is 3-4-3-3 with some random 8 or 9 count he won't find selling to 2 amusing.
May 26
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I see that as exactly backwards. If we have diamonds, partner is short in them and will never let this auction die in 2. It is when we are short in diamonds that we must act aggressively – either 2 or 3, depending on partnership expectations for 2. I see pass with this hand fetching us -90 when +110 or +130 would be easy.
May 26
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When their responder passes over our overcall, I play that the 2 raise is very constructive, showing 8-11 support points. If the opponent bids, I play that the 2 raise shows 13 cards (or a good 12) and 3+ hearts. I differentiate the weaker raise by passing 1 first. Even playing the simple raise that way, this would be an aggressive 2N bid. If partner can have less than that, as apparently is the case in the OP, then 2 is self-destructive, as advancer will be proud of hands where even 3 isn't safe. If we must cue bid with say 9 HCP, 3 hearts and a singleton, that devalues that bid so much that it also is too ambiguous. Partner could have doubled first if less than 8 support points will fetch us a game and if we have support, this auction certainly won't end in 1 when we have a game. The simple raise on a weak hand will preempt someone – about half the time them and half the time partner.
May 26
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Beware the Jabberwok, my friend; and shun the frubious Bandersnatch.
May 25
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My rules in my longest-standing partnership in constructive auctions:

Cheapest bid of new suit is natural and forcing (by UPH).

Jump shift when bid of new suit was natural and forcing is a splinter.

One more than a splinter is Exclusion RKC.

Kickback (4 of pard's suit +1) overrules any of those “rules.”

You cannot splinter or use Exclusion RKC in pard's first bid suit.

None of this is on in comp.

In comp, jump shifts are fit-showing (4 and lower).

In comp, jumps to game are to play (even if cheapest is natural).

In comp, exclusion RKC is possible ONLY in a suit they have opened or overcalled or unambiguously shown (by doubling our transfer or Stayman, by Michaels, etc.).

Most of those “rules” and exceptions were adopted in the wake of a disaster we really really really wanted to avoid in the future. These are high-stakes auctions with game and slam bonuses on the line. It almost doesn't matter what you decide to play or if that is theoretically best, so long as you both play the same thing.
May 24
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If you won't be comfortable passing when partner signs off in game over your splinter, then don't splinter. If partner will think his heart stiff is a bad thing, then 2 is a bad start. With support, I prefer to bid a second suit first only if that suit is a source of winners, not losers. This looks to me like a perfect hand to bid 2N. Picture partner with KQxxx x Axx Kxxx. We are gin for a slam and yet he would hate his hand over either a 2 or a 4 response.
May 23
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Rusinow makes count better here, doesn't it?
All who play A from AK SAY they never lead an unsupported A, but at the table, they sometimes do. In that situation, attitude may be better, but probably not.
May 22
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Hasn't worked for me. :)
May 21
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So much of what we play online is speedball and there just isn't enough time to introduce any more hesitations. The one thing that has improved online is that the director has clear evidence he can review of who was taking how much time and when. People can invent cats and kids more easily than they can come up with reasons at the table. Back in the days of dial-up connections there was sometimes some extraneous reasons that can be believed. But, when the cat distracts you just as you take 15 seconds at speedball to pass a weak NT with 13 HCP, well . . . .
May 20
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Hero bridge that treats partner like a mushroom (keeps him in the dark and feeds him ****) doesn't appeal to me. Bridgetta dealt us a good hand with spades. Just overcall 1 (or double if our methods demand it). The auction will not die there and if if does, we are probably in our best contract. 1, btw, is the last contract that we can be relatively sure we can make w/o help from the left and right.
May 19
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Odd-even discards are the worst.
I played them for a while with one pard who insisted, but found it impossible to play in tempo when I didn't have a card that fit the scheme. I tried getting my pard to take a long time with EVERY first discard, but one or both of us would forget and play in tempo when it was obvious. I refused to keep playing them for that reason – I don't think it is humanly possible to play that method ethically (or at least not for me).
May 19
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Back in the day, one of the Philadelphia pair of Jordan-Robinson said that the reason they had gotten so good at declaring was all the horrible contracts their bidding handed them.
May 18
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If East is South, who's on first?
May 18
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I take it you went down?
May 18
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I answered other.
Absent specific agreement, there is only one thing it can be – a mistake.

Mission impossible is to determine what partner might think is “standard,” when nothing is, absent specific agreement. It is either long diamonds or short diamonds and either has clubs or doesn't. Flip a coin and move on to the partnership desk. If I have long diamonds, I'd guess shortness; if I had short diamonds, I'd guess length. How dysfunctional is that!
May 18
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