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For me it depends on which combination of cards there are in the hand. I normally don't really think about it, doing it automatically, but when I feel the need to double-check myself I tend to look for “sets”, e.g. sets of ten (AAQ, AKK, AKQJ, KQKQ) which potentially makes it easier given our base-ten number system.

Just try different ways and see what works for you though, brains are strange!
June 23
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As Danny says, I wouldn't term it that. From what Kit's described, it's an artificial 3-card spade raise that happens to also have 4 hearts. No risk of forcing things too high because R can always just bid 2 if weak without a better fit, and you're in no worse a position than those who raise to 2 as opener initially - with the added bonus that R knows rather more about O's hand and the 2 raise is more tightly defined (being 4+). If you have no need for a natural 2 reverse, and in Precision you really don't, then it seems a reasonable use for the bid.

I wonder as Danny, because I would want to bid the same way with that shape personally. Showing a proper diamond suit with the bid is useful, so I wouldn't extend it to just any 3-card spade raise with 4 cards, but including 3=4=6=0 seems sensible.
June 23
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A 2NT opening being weak OR strong with both minors, with the strong balanced left in the Multi, works very well and is slightly better than the inverse in my opinion.

Irrespective, putting single suited strong minor hands into the Multi is a simple way of doing it.
May 26
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It depends how light you respond John, many people now will bid 1M on a 4-count. A “full” responsive hand of 6+ ought to raise to 3N. 24 HCP games get lucky sometimes.
May 14
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This is an interesting question, given an immediate 3 is undiscussed. I thought I would type out my thought process – I would appreciate comments/constructive criticism as to whether people consider that I'm thinking about this in the right way.

An immediate 2 is stated as natural, I would guess a delayed 2 here to be natural but weaker, and 4 would undoubtedly be natural. Are there any meta-agreements about how undefined bids should be treated (e.g. typically natural unless otherwise defined)?

So what is 3? I'm not sure what sort of hand would prefer to bid a delayed 3 naturally, rather than an immediate 2 or an immediate/delayed 4, particularly when that bid is undiscussed – it seems like a narrow window. But if it's not natural, where are all the spades? Responder likely has max 5 spades, opener has max 3 (max 2 if the opps freely raise with 3-card support). With us having 1, partner has at least 4 spades. Asking for a stop? Possible, but would that hand either a) have clubs that could be bid, or b) be so strong as to want to double initially? The only reason I can think that a very strong hand would want to avoid doubling first is lack of hearts, but while that's possible here (opener has 4 hearts, responder is a weak 5=4=3=1 or similar) it seems unlikely.

So, for the purposes of this auction (not suggesting an agreement), natural it is… in which case, how many/how strong? 6 good spades seems likely. Strong enough to be worried about missing game after a 2 overcall, but not so distributional as to want to bid 4 themselves or so strong as to double and cuebid/bid 4 over an unwanted heart bid.

That being my conclusion, I pass. Give me slightly more and I raise to 4. I'd want a 7th club to remove to clubs at a higher level, given the assumption that 3 is natural.
May 10
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That's an option I hadn't considered. I like it. Is that meaning for 5N ‘standard’ enough to bid without prior discussion?
May 6
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Trying to answer despite knowledge of the hand. Absent discussion I would be worried that either diamond bid would be interpreted as showing a 5-card suit, hence I accept with 6N. Ideally one of 5 and 6 would show a 4-card suit and one a 5-card suit; if that were the case I pick whichever shows four.

In any event I accept the invite. AK tight isn't great, but all four aces and no other problematic values.
May 6
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The latter. 2 does not promise 6 and would be bid by any hand like that where partner cannot reverse and does not want to rebid NT.

Edit: 1NT typo corrected to NT as intended.
April 30
Anthony Pettengell edited this comment April 30
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My main partnership currently plays it as 5+/4 either way around (2 of opener's suit by partner asks for the five card suit), so also a variant of option four.

Much like others have said, the lighter the bidding, the more a natural NT overcall is of use. I'd therefore expect a natural 1NT to become more and more popular, not the opposite.
April 26
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Oh I'm sure that teaching would suggest 4-card support for both, but that's because among the complexities of bridge it's MUCH easier to simply say you need an 8-card fit to support. Perfectly sound teaching practice. I'm sure many club players therefore would play equivalently, having originally learnt to have 4-card support and not changed.

In any event I certainly think that raising to 2M with 3 is a much better treatment, and a very common for stronger players in EBU-land, enough that I would consider it ‘standard’; on that latter point of frequency of course, my experience is entirely anecdotal and YMMV.
April 13
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I agree with Richard here. There's very little risk of being in a 7-card fit, as balanced hands will be 15+ so would typically continue with 2N. A Moysian fit opposite 4441 hands will be infrequent and not terrible at the two level. On the other hand there is much to gain by raising with 3-card support.
April 13
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Assuming as usual that 1NT denies 4 spades and (almost) denies 3 hearts (freely raising to 2 with 3), then I take the low road at MPs, fully in the knowledge that occasionally I'll miss a 3NT that other people are in. I would NOT pass at IMPs, or if your response structure is non-standard.
April 12
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Quite. I think I'd take the conservative 2 route at MPs, with the Multi as described (4–9 is still constructive but on the weak side for Vul), but it's a clear 2N invitational enquiry Vul at IMPs.
April 9
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I am bidding 4N as two(+) places to play - would that be how it is taken as, or do you play 4!N as natural here?
March 31
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I definitely prefer 4N to 5 for this reason. Partner should expect this or the equivalent with diamonds for that bid, and can take out to 5m if appropriate.

Whether I would bid at all is a different matter, I don't think I would. Pass or double might be the right approach. I think this is a really interesting problem. I think I pass at IMPs but double at MPs, but I'm not sure.
March 26
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Having just woken up, I *literally* looked at this and saw a balanced hand on first glance… on proper consideration, it’s not so clear to me. I have no issue with opening 1NT with a singleton where appropriate, but I much prefer to have two cards in each major, otherwise the most likely result may well be playing 2 in a 5-1 fit…

So I might open 1. What I do next depends. With a 1 response I’m definitely reversing into diamonds. With a 1 response I’m not so sure. Rebidding with a singleton is a different matter (subject to partnership agreement, like anything), but a 1N rebid here is definitely taking the low road. I think I would take that low road at MP. Another relevant question is how strong your reverses are… partnership treatments obviously vary here, but I’m not sure this hand should be reversing opposite a 1 response.
March 25
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I think this is a very fair point. Any argument for which bid should be which?

Absent such an agreement I'm not surprised at the large majority for double, and it's what I did at the table. I'm confident that it was the best of the options available, but the fact that this hand is a problem does indeed advocate for a change such as you are suggesting.
March 23
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I understand the second thoughts at the table. Before I'd read the agreements, having seen the hand and auction, my first thought was “I hope 4 is a fit-jump…”; much easier if you can fit-jump to game level.

If 5 came back round to me after 3, I would be uncomfortable, I agree, but I want to introduce my hearts and show my spade fit. 3 is the only way I can do that with these agreements. I can understand those who prefer to splinter.

That continuation might be quite an interesting bidding poll actually, mind if I post it?
March 22
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I have quite some sympathy for a 3 bid, and would be perfectly happy if partner chose that with this hand, despite choosing 2 myself.
March 21
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3 immediately over 2 would potentially be fit-showing depending on agreements. I would have bid 3 instead of 3 though.

Given where we are, I’m passing, without any concern.
March 17
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