Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Rosalind Hengeveld
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In this situation, ‘penalty’ means ‘cards’, i.e., probably more high-card strength than opener. The call suggests defending, but partner is not ‘expected’ to pass.

I play penalty doubles in this sense against weak notrump openings only, where ‘weak’ means: could nominally contain 13 high-card points or less. And not by a passed hand.
May 13
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I might gamble a pass at matchpoints, but would not risk a disaster at imps.
May 11
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I'd be more than prepared to apologize for tabling this hand in 1. (And I routinely respond with 5 HCP or an ace.)
May 11
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Depends largely on the exact meaning and style of 2: constructive, weakish, wide-range? And how often do we have four versus three spades?
May 11
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I can live with 3 and I'm now bidding 5. No ‘Other’, hence Abstain.
May 11
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Same for me. But then, why would one suddenly want to break for hearts over 3.
May 10
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I play that an advance cue-bid – if on at all – is always for the last bid suit, so in this case spades. With a superaccept in hearts opener may have bid 4 last time.
May 9
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Whatever shows a limit raise or better, 2NT as I play.
May 7
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Over all natural strong 2NTs, including – less obviously – over a natural 2NT overcall, such as over an opponent’s weak two.
May 7
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4: sort of Stayman for majors. Our 4 next would show both. I know that partner can have long clubs plus a stopper, but most often they are balanced.
May 6
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2 has a wide range from a ‘pathetic’ 5 to about 10 points. Important to set our fit, especially at matchpoints with neither side vulnerable. Partner – mine at least – knows not to bash four on most hands.
May 6
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I would have bid 3NT instead of 3. This must have been the only chance to get to 3NT if that is where we belong. And 3NT may be best even if partner four spades.

We have discussed this ‘guarantees at least four cards in any unbid major’ before. I don’t buy it. Partner will have four spades unless he has neither four spades nor any satisfactory call, including pass. I do, however, agree that double should be forcing to game.
May 6
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As I pointed out above, something has to be ambiguous (unless 3 is played artificially). Of course, you surely want to bid 3NT with both stoppers. And you will have to also bid it with either stopper missing, preferably known which stopper may be missing.
May 5
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Typically ‘The Diamond Problem’: assuming 3 natural, we only have 3 and 3NT to show (1) just a Spade stopper; (2) just a Club stopper; (3) both stoppers. That is irrespective of how we play 3: as showing stopper or as asking for one. I play all such bids as showing stoppers.
May 5
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I play 1NT as 9–13, albeit usually with a stopper.
May 5
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Taking a round of bidding space has a way of creating a problem for opponents, even when you do not expect it to.
May 3
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3 (in opponents' suit over Raptor) would ask for a stopper as I play.
May 2
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4: we play this to show six spades and five(+) of an unknown minor, four or five losers. Note that the K alone is enough for game (and that is the objection to 1). Three out of four of the red aces and AK makes slam. And unanimous bidding polls are rare these days.
May 2
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I once had a partner who had a way of responding to 1 with 1 on three (with enough points but ‘no good bid’). They got it back with a 4 splinter. And a bad result. Not my cup of tea.
May 2
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2NT is Good-Bad (Lebensohl-ish) only if right-hand opponent of 2NT bidder bid something.
April 30
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