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Competitive Response with 4-4 majors


Standard treatment for responder in an uncompetitive auction is to respond in majors up-the-line after 1m-p-? Regardless of strength or suit quality.

Conversely, if partner has doubled a minor (1m-X-p-?) it is more common to respond in spades, to be able to bid hearts competitively and comfortably at next turn. For reference check my problem from last October 8, with J1063 J1096 A96 83 where the votes for 1S outnumbered 1H by 66:20!

One of my partners asked me what is best when partner has opened 1m and your RHO has doubled, creating a competitive auction. I thought this an excellent question. Surely the "reflex" action and likely standard is to "bid through the double" and just respond 1H, but I try to think outside the box and not take reflexive dogma for granted. Surely bidding spades first then potentially hearts later sounds like 5-4, but missing a spade fit if they bid actively might be a big price to pay. If you are willing to bid 1S with 4-4 in response to partners double, perhaps also for 1S over RHOs double.

In the following poll please assume Standard American (or maybe include Precision over 1D) and you are holding a modest but not worthless hand.


Always respond 1S after the double
Tend to prefer 1S after double, based on strength, suit quality and other factors(please clarify)
Neutral opinion
Tend to prefer 1H after double, based on strength, suit quality and other factors (please clarify)
Always respond 1H after double
Always Pass or bid 1NT after double without a 5 card major
Other---there is always an other!

Sorry, to answer polls. Registered users can vote in polls, and can also browse other users' public votes! and participate in the discussion.

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