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All comments by Bill Hall
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In this pre-balance position, it reasonably likely that partner holds a chunky 5-4 in the minors, while opener is bidding on hope. 5 could be an expensive phantom, even if opener has his bid. You hold close to two tricks on defense.

In the juniors, it may be true that a snappy 5 will draw a knee-jerk 5 from responder, as these auctions make for better stories. If that is your judgement, bid on!
Sept. 2
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3N is the only call that might escape disaster. When it is doubled, running to 4 should warn partner to beware. Whereas a direct 4 will often end in 5X.
Aug. 4
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I can see several possibilities stemming from the answer to that question.

If forcing, the pass might be used to suggest that either a) I have no defensive trick or b) I am inviting 7 with first-round club control or c) I am inviting 7 with substantial extras, but without club control.

If pass is not forcing, it must be weak. Then what does pass or double by partner say? Could double be Lightner, asking for a heart lead? Or just barring a diamond lead? Or penalty? Or does it throw the ball back into your court??


Food for some serious thought, I think…
July 11
Bill Hall edited this comment July 11
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Long ago, 2 was played as takeout and double was penalty. Alas, no more!
May 25
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Wrong again.

While the club continuation works on the existing lie of the cards, it gives up to 4-3 spades where both the K and A are offside. That's about 1/4 of the 4-3s. However, by picking up half of the 5-2s, I think it comes out ahead.
April 1
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I agree. But it is also not high: There are 9 diamonds outstanding, and only 7 spades.
March 31
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Oops, my analysis was incomplete: If LHO returns a high spade spot, I have to repeat the throw-in before ruffing in dummy. That still preserves the make on 4-3 spades, if RHO can win the second spade.
March 30
Bill Hall edited this comment March 30
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Somebody doesn't know how to count expected tricks. No way does opener expect to make a three-level contract over a 1 response, but that is exactly what he has committed the partnership to.
March 24
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I guess people have forgotten that the jump-rebid promises a one-loser suit, at least AQJ9xx. And that a 2 rebid has a wide range, up to 16 HCP. No wonder they reach so many silly games.
March 6
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3. Partner holds the black suits, I the reds. I hope to cut communications by removing a diamond from dummy and maybe a high card from declarer.

A lead would leave all entries intact. But it could be right.
Dec. 25, 2017
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When responder holds scattered values and opener has extras, balanced or with a stiff, it is probably best for responder to retain captaincy. When responder's values are concentrated, I think he should show them, rather than relaying. A decent 5-card suit should be bid directly over 1M, but if the concentration is in a shorter suit, he can bid that suit over 1M-2N-3C (extras).

There is real advantage to avoiding playing on the 5 level, so I have tried to provide safety valves for those cases where we are missing two aces, or two fast losers in a side suit, but have the material for slam.
Dec. 6, 2017
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Then we won't tell you.

One can always forego assigning meanings to any responses beyond naming a short suit, if opener should have one, or rebidding the suit otherwise. Which would be hard to get wrong. That might even be best in a Big Club - weak major opening system.

In a Standard or 2/1 context, it pays to allow more of an exchange of information about size, shape, and controls. As Dale noted above, there are myriad ways that people have devised to do so. Almost all of them involve coded meanings in some form. Even this one.
Dec. 4, 2017
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Indeed. But we welcome suggestions for improvement and criticisms of its weaknesses. Not to mention the occasional dollop of praise.

Like Karen Allison's method, it does not reveal singletons (or even the fact that opener has one) unnecessarily. But the big plus (for us) is that there is NO coding of the relay responses that show a singleton: we bid what we're looking at.
Dec. 4, 2017
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That was not our objective. If you will notice, all of opener's responses above 3D and rebids in new suits and notrump are natural feature-showing. Even the immediate bid of 3 of the other major.
Dec. 3, 2017
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PB: That would be a good adjunct, but the opener still can't show his own spade control below 4, should he have one.

MK: He can't show the club control unless a ‘last train’ opportunity comes up, e.g. responder cues 4D and opener bids 4H, indicating a club control (since responder denied one), but not yet a heart control.
Nov. 23, 2017
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MK: How? I have just bid 3S in your method, neither affirming nor denying a spade control. How does responder discover whether I have one below 4?
Nov. 22, 2017
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If opener has spade control AND the requirements for your switch, then he will have to cue spades later at the four level, having bid the serious/non-serious 3S (whichever) first. His 3N cue for spades would have to be used only on the non-serious/serious hands.

As a matter of frequency, I believe it would be best to play 3N here as both non-serious and denying a spade control.
Nov. 22, 2017
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Playing 3 as a simple cue bid allows responder to bid a non-serious or serious 3N, whichever your partnership prefers. Surely that is the most efficient approach.
Nov. 22, 2017
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Maybe we can approach this problem in a different, less confrontational way. Suppose we exchange the K for the 2: Would you still transfer and bid 3? I would not, as it exposes a major vulnerability without establishing a game alternative more likely to make than 3N on a blind lead. And this sequence IS game forcing in all my partnerships. No wimping out at 4.

With the actual hand, I feel confident in offering a choice of games. With better diamond spots (or switching the J for the J), I would bid again over 3N.
Nov. 20, 2017
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If this sequence shows 6 and a stiff in a hand big enough to make 5, I am done. These diamonds are nothing to write home about. I can well envision even 3N failing, when partner holds KQx KQxx xx KQxx.

To bid these values again implies that partner didn't hear me the first time.
Nov. 17, 2017
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