Join Bridge Winners
Balanced 17+-19 hcp hands in competition

I really don't know how to do this.  I have been thinking about if and how to address this topic for a long time.  Writing/ expressing myself verbally or on paper can sometimes be difficult for me, so I hope I have expressed myself sufficiently in what follows.

I am interested in somehow opening a thread or discussion about how to handle different types of balanced 17+-19 hcp hands (perhaps even stronger) in various bidding situations as well as what various bids (mostly Double and NT) mean in a variety of situations, but I'm not sure how best to do this.  It would take 1,000,001 bidding or other OP polls to do this and they tend to be so hand-specific, so I don't believe that's a viable option. 

I am writing this for a couple of reasons.   I, personally, have had difficulties (it seems forever) in certain situations in terms of knowing how to handle very strong, balanced hands in a variety of competitive bidding situations after the opponent have preempted either before or after an opening bid has been made.  Some of these situations have been more difficult when playing 2/1 as opposed to precision.  I have seen these problems so often in actual play.  I have also noticed over the years that I've been watching or posting on BW that many bidding problem polls have included hands of this nature and that the votes have usually been rather split.

Two simplistic examples.  Consider the following bidding:  1m - 2 - P - P - and you have balanced 18-19.  What is the meaning of Double here?  Is it takeout or penalty.  What is the meaning of 2NT?  Strong, balanced, or maybe minors good hand?  6-4, 5-5, - 6-5?  (How many times have I wished I had been playing Precision with these hands?)   Or consider the following:  1m -1S - P - 2S - ? again with a strong balanced hand. 

Yes, I understand that the most recommended actions to take on any one hand may depend on the actual hand including the number of and nature of the cards I hold in the opponents' suits.  I acknowledge that such simplistic sample auctions can not be answered in a vacuum, that so much depends of the actual cards as well as the bidding methods or systems in use at the time (by both partnerships).

There have been many times when my partner(s) and I have disagreed what various doubles and notrump bids mean as well as whether to double or make some notrump bid after the opponents have preempted or interfered including those in the examples given.  I could give so many other examples of problem bidding sequences.  These have occurred so many times in a natural bidding system (2/1) that I am actually considering the value of using/ implementing a specific opening bid such as 2C to show a balanced 18-19 hcp hand.  (Yes, I know that some use this method, I have seen described, and have printed out a write-up that's on BBF on just this method with 2D being strong GF - thank you LL.  But there's a lot of memory/ brain drain and commitment involved).  But absent such a specialized bid and the accommodations needed to implement it.........  

And it's not just me.  I see disasters all the time when holding these strong balanced hands after the opponents have had the audacity to interfere, especially with some type of preempt, and partner didn't have a hand that could act at that point.  Gaps in my knowledge base might be a factor: I am not an expert, never have and do not profess to be, ever.  However, from my observations over time both playing and watching, as well as from numerous BW bidding/ OP polls, I do not believe that I am alone here.  

I accept that a lot of this is a matter of partnership agreement, but there are many situations where I do not know what are the usual more expert, more commonly accepted without prior agreements, or, for lack of a better term, best practices for handling these situations.

This is why I, after a lot hesitation and consideration, I am reaching out to you people.  Perhaps the topic is just too wide or general:  I don't know.  I know what is it I am trying to get help with but, absent posting an infinite number of various problems hands/ OPs, I am not sure how else to proceed.  I sincerely welcome and thank everyone for any and all input on this. 

 DHL

22 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top