Worst Bid? For Bidding Theory Geeks Only

North
Qx
Kxx
Qxxx
K9xx
South
AK10x
Qx
AKJxxx
x
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
6
P
P
P
I am going to start by showing you our bidding of this deal from a practice session on BBO. We play a form of precision (Meckwell Lite) but it isn't really the precision aspects of the auction in which I am interested. I am really looking for advice as to how our slam bidding sequence can be improved so as to maximize our chances of reaching the optimum contract.

Let me take you through the the first part of the auction.

1C: 16+HCP, artificial and forcing.

1H: 8-11HCP, denies 5+ spades, any other distribution, GF.

2D: natural, 5+D's. may have 4+M (if 5M then 6+D).

2N: "best raise", promising 4+trump and either max balanced or outside shortness (While 2N does not deny a four card major, it cannot later be shown. Responder could have rebid 2H as an artificial ask to find out if opener had a 4+ card major suit.)

3D: balanced, hence 10-11HCP.

3S: concentration of values.

3N: natural.

Playing standard you might have arrived at a similar spot with the auction 1D-1N-2S-3D-3S-3N.  Lets stop at this point and consider ten possible hands for Responder and whether you want to be in 6D. The percentage estimates are crude approximations but I think are close enough to indicate whether slam is a contract worth bidding.

A.  Qxx (or xx), Kxx, Qxxx, Axx(x). 6D is close to 100%.

B.  xx, Kxx, xxxx, Axxx is an 80+% slam but that is only 7HCP and responder promised more.

C.  xx, Axx, xxxx, Kxxx is about a 20% slam double dummy (Yes, Michael, I know.) You need West to have both the HK and the CA.

D. Qxx, AKx, xxxx, xxx is also 80+%.

E.  xxx, AKx, xxxx, Kxx is around 50% but they have to lead a club.

F.  Jxx, AKx, xxxx, Kxx is closer to 70%.

G.  xxx, AJT, xxxx, AQx is also close to 70%.

H.  xxx, Axx, Qxxx, Axx in spite of two aces and the trump Q is 25%.

I.  Qx, JTxx, Qxxx, KQx can't get past 4N.

J.  And any hand without an ace is 0%.

We are now at our approach to finding 6D.

4C: cheapest control bid, may be A, K or shortness.  Bypassing 4C (other than bidding Keycard, 4H) would deny a club control.

4D: waiting, partner thought it was "non-serious".  4H would have shown a heart control because Responder's previous bid was 3N, after which 4S by opener would be Keycard and 4N would have been a spade replacement.  4N by Responder would have been to play and "regressive" after which 5C by Opener would have been last train.

4S: spade control.  4H by opener would have been Keycard.

4N: heart replacement control.

6D: 5C would have been "last train", asking whether Responder likes their hand in context.

So now you get to play, "What was the worst bid after 3N?" But when you are done, try your own favorite methods and consider which of the ten possible hands (A-J) your auction is able to identify.

No one did anything wrong.
4C. Opener should have passed 3N.
4C. Opener should have bid 4H Keycard to avoid being off two aces.
4C. Other.
4D. Responder should have bid 4H, forward going and showing a heart control.
4D. Responder should have bid 4N, natural with stoppers in both hearts and clubs.
4D. Other.
4S. Opener should have bid 4H, Keycard.
4S. Opener should have signed off in 5D.
4S. Other.
4N. Responder should have bid 5C, denying a heart control.
4N. Other.
6D. Opener should have bid 5C, last train.
6D. Opener should have signed off in 5D.
6D. Other.

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