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This happened to me last night!

As dealer, I held ♠5 ♥763 ♦AKQ10 ♣K10765 - and I didn't know what to do. The Clubs did not look rebidable, and I decided to pass as someone was bound to open a major, and I could join in later. In the event, partner opened 1NT, and I raised to 3NT to much amusement around the table. Our oponents cashed the first 5 Spade tricks and conceded the rest: 1 down for an unassailable bottom.

I have a “Next Time” notebook. It contains a new entry, open 1♦ on weak 1-3-4-5 hands with the points concentrated in the minors.

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The other David B.'s numbers are spot on, of course, but what can be calculated at the table?

Let's assume that North has 10 red cards as David says, but that the absence of a Lightner Double precludes a Spade void. Therefore North holds either a Singleton J or Doubleton Club.

After allocating the 1 Club to North and the 3 Clubs to South that they must hold for the possible 1=4 and 2=3 splits, the probability ratio of these holdings is calculated as:

Remaining Vacant Places/Cards Held when the last one is allocated to each hand in turn.

In this case, North and South started with 3 and 6 Vacant places. After allocating 1 Club to North and 3 Clubs to South, North will have 2 Remaining Vacant Places and South will have 3 Remaining Vacant Places for the final Club, and North will hold 2 Clubs for 2=3; and South will hold 4 Clubs for 1=4.

So the ratio of the probabilities of 2=3 to 1=4 is 2/2 to 3/4 or 4 to 3 in favour of North starting with a Doubleton.

If you wish to check, the ratio of 9.52% to 7.14%, given by David above, are prescisely in the ratio 4 to 3.

Following David's logic in halving the probability of the Doubleton (but ignoring the 3=2 split as improbable), the odds switch to 3 to 2 in favour of the second round finesse.

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Thinking of the Comparable Call as the Yoke in the Egg of the Withdrawn Call, both a 6-9 1NT response and a 2-level limit raise are clearly Comparable Calls to a Withdrawn Pass.

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In Ron Klinger's “100 Winning Bridge Tips” he presents three criteria required for a penalty double below game level: a) 20+ points on your side b) Length in the trump suit: Rule of 10 (Level of contract + expected trump winners >=10) c) Strength in the trump suit: Rule of 12 (Level of contract + trump winners >=12)

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“3♠: Invitational. If partner just wanted to compete to 3♠, he would double. That would not be a responsive double. It would be a puppet to 3♥, after which he would bid 3♠ to show that he was just competing as opposed to having game interest.”

Dare I say this? I play this the other way round: direct 3♠ is competitive, double followed by a bid shows invitational values. How wrong am I, and why?

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I always enjoy reading Kit's Korner with the step by step analysis and insight into correct ways of thinking. It must be quite an effort to put it together.

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I play weak 2s in all four suits. So, no problem - a standard weak 2♣ opener for me.

When I play outside events, our opponent's often ask “What's your strong bid?” to which I normally reply, “We don't hold strong hands.” - which is true 99% of the time. The other 1%, we just open at the 1-level and catch-up. And, anyway, a very strong hand doesn't seem to play well opposite a very weak one - especially when I am declarer.

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LHO has on average 16 HCP (accurately it's 15.79, so 16 is a good enough approximation). You have 7 HCP, leaving 17 for partner and RHO. Assuming RHO would bid with 9-17, partner has 8-17. This will be weighted to the lower end, so I would guess partner has 10-11 and RHO has 6-7 … on average.

David Burch

David Burch

David Burch

David Burch

David Burch

David Burch

As dealer, I held ♠5 ♥763 ♦AKQ10 ♣K10765 - and I didn't know what to do. The Clubs did not look rebidable, and I decided to pass as someone was bound to open a major, and I could join in later. In the event, partner opened 1NT, and I raised to 3NT to much amusement around the table. Our oponents cashed the first 5 Spade tricks and conceded the rest: 1 down for an unassailable bottom.

I have a “Next Time” notebook. It contains a new entry, open 1♦ on weak 1-3-4-5 hands with the points concentrated in the minors.

David Burch

Let's assume that North has 10 red cards as David says, but that the absence of a Lightner Double precludes a Spade void. Therefore North holds either a Singleton J or Doubleton Club.

After allocating the 1 Club to North and the 3 Clubs to South that they must hold for the possible 1=4 and 2=3 splits, the probability ratio of these holdings is calculated as:

Remaining Vacant Places/Cards Held when the last one is allocated to each hand in turn.

In this case, North and South started with 3 and 6 Vacant places.

After allocating 1 Club to North and 3 Clubs to South, North will have 2 Remaining Vacant Places and South will have 3 Remaining Vacant Places for the final Club, and North will hold 2 Clubs for 2=3; and South will hold 4 Clubs for 1=4.

So the ratio of the probabilities of 2=3 to 1=4 is 2/2 to 3/4 or 4 to 3 in favour of North starting with a Doubleton.

If you wish to check, the ratio of 9.52% to 7.14%, given by David above, are prescisely in the ratio 4 to 3.

Following David's logic in halving the probability of the Doubleton (but ignoring the 3=2 split as improbable), the odds switch to 3 to 2 in favour of the second round finesse.

David Burch

David Burch

David Burch

Unfortunately I seem to unable to edit and corrected the original.

With apologies to all, especially Ron Klinger.

David Burch

Should I edit the original?

David Burch

David Burch

a) 20+ points on your side

b) Length in the trump suit: Rule of 10 (Level of contract + expected trump winners >=10)

c) Strength in the trump suit: Rule of 12 (Level of contract + trump winners >=12)

- with all three needed to be present.

David Burch

David Burch

Dare I say this? I play this the other way round: direct 3♠ is competitive, double followed by a bid shows invitational values. How wrong am I, and why?

David Burch

David Burch

Thank you, Kit.

David Burch

David Burch

When I play outside events, our opponent's often ask “What's your strong bid?” to which I normally reply, “We don't hold strong hands.” - which is true 99% of the time. The other 1%, we just open at the 1-level and catch-up. And, anyway, a very strong hand doesn't seem to play well opposite a very weak one - especially when I am declarer.

David Burch