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All comments by Randy Thompson
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As a passed hand, and with the opponents claiming half the deck, shouldn't 2N be for the minors? If they are unequal, clubs should be the longer as with these suits reversed you might try 2D hoping to get to bid 3C later. I'd like to play in the minor partner fits and he should fit one of them. I'd like to consume some room and make that redoubler show his fit (and he surely has one) at the three level. I plan to double 4S if they get there.
Nov. 10, 2013
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Bidding 2N on this hand MIGHT work, but more likely it will have partner inquiring about the location of the partnership desk. Doesn't partner get to be involved in the decision making and play? Is there something we weren't told – like that partner is a weak client or that 2N was somehow forcing?
Nov. 8, 2013
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Was all set to mock the pass of 1C, but then I read that the passer was Steve Weinstein and I decided to see what he had to say for himself. There was indeed a method to his madness and I'll even concede that (considering the source) it was probably right, but nah, I'd never find pass at the table.
Nov. 8, 2013
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I don't believe in “walking the dog” or “giving them two bites at the apple.” Edgar Kaplan's books taught me decades ago that you should bid immediately as high as you are willing to go and then shut up and watch them guess. 4 seems automatic with this hand to me, but if you are willing to pass later then 3 could be enough.
Nov. 8, 2013
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The dreaded re-cue gets top score? That's SOLELY a blame-transfer bid. Man up and just bid a slam (my pick is 6H). Pretending that we can have a scientific way to find a grand after a 4S bid here is just fanciful. No chance at any RKC bids now. Missing 4 keycards and the Q of hearts, what do you expect partner to bid that might help us find the grand? In the history of bridge, I doubt if a re-cue has led to a good result more than 5% of time. The re-cue followed by 6H means whatever partner thinks it means – and that will be “whew! partner has finally stopped sticking needles in my eyes!”
Nov. 8, 2013
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AKQJxx or AKQxxxx or KQJTxx(x) or better. Fixes trumps. Whatever else you might have been dealt on the outside. Up to partner whether to cuebid, but normally should unless he has a dreadful hand in the way of controls.

As Chris Miller pointed out, the 2M rebid doesn't get 'er done for those of for whom that bid is the default min rebid (for lack of some stopper in NT or extra values to bid 3X). So, this
Nov. 3, 2013
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This is a normal bid. If you double, you just give partner the bidding problem. This shows your shape and your point count and is off only by not having a full stopper. With no raise, it isn't so crazy to hope that pard has Jxx for you.
Nov. 3, 2013
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The only two logical choices are pass and 1N. As my stiff is an honor and not a major, I think 1N stands out. You are asking a lot for partner to protect you when you pass 15. Partner will love you hand if he has a five-card major and if they lead clubs against 1N, how bad can that be?
Oct. 22, 2013
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I prefer any number of spades to pass, but IMO 1S is clear. 1S has all the defense partner can expect from a one-bid (2 QT) and it is where he will expect it to be. With only 6 LT, we have extras over the offense he should expect from a one-bid. We have full opening values in support of hearts and easy rebids over anything that partner or the opponents bid. Starting with a pass and hoping to catch up later will work only if the opponents and partner bid very gently after this pass.
Oct. 22, 2013
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What SHOULD it be? I think Henry is spot on that the debate here should be between Lebensohl and scrambling. But, undiscussed, unless you have some default agreement to the contrary, I think a new partnership should treat it as natural. Given that partner could leave in the double with many “natuarl” 2N hands, that probably isn't best at any form of scoring. This could be the hand that leads to a better choice of methods and perhaps ones that vary with scoring (e.g. lebensohl at IMPs but scrambling at MPs)! :) At matchpoints strain is critical (scrambling best?), but at IMPs game-or-not is more important (lebensohl best?). Guessing which superior method pard thinks is right leads to more disasters than playing it as natural until further notice.
Oct. 21, 2013
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It's a four-card raise that fits in between your requirements for a preemptive raise and a limit raise. What that strength is varies a lot from partnership to partnership. With my KS and 2/1 partners, where our opening bids are sound and limit raises show 10-11 support points, its range is 6+ to 9 support points; with my Precision partner, where our opening bids can sometimes be on toxic waste and limit raises show 11-12, it shows about 8-10 support points. We don't promise any particular amount of defense with a mixed raise in any of those cases and the support points might be counting 3 for a stiff or 5 for a void.
Oct. 21, 2013
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I assume 2H would say, “I'd have passed a natural 2H,” and 3H would say “I'd have raised a natural 2H to 3H.” If not vul at imps, 2H might be enough. Pard can still make a move over 2H with a super hand for his bidding. Vul at IMPs, you gotta bid more than that, so it's 3H vs 4H and why not let partner participate in this decision? With 10+ major suit cards, most of my pards will open pretty light. One of our minor suit cards is worthless – It's most likely the KC,as pard's most common distribution will be 5-4-3-1. If I could trade my minor honors (Kx and Qxx) I'd probably bid the game as pard rates to have 2 or 3 in my shorter minor. Most of the time when we have a good game (40% or better), I think pard will carry on to 4H over 3H. 3H also works as a “Blame Transfer,” as now pard will have the last guess.
Oct. 18, 2013
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Pass would never occur to me, but some partners accuse me of bidding like an illegal alien (no green card). :) You have to be extremely pessimistic to pass and I have no words to describe double on a hand with not even one sure trick and 11 cards in two suits for which partner might have a fit. This is the sort of hand where double-game swings abound. With only a 5-loser hand and a void in their primary suit, this hand has a lot of offense but if partner's opening bid contains much if any waste in hearts, slam is out of the question.

BTW, I ran some simulations and there were more slams than I would have guessed. There were a LOT of hands where 5S would or could go down but 4S make. Interestingly many would fail from partner's side but make from our side. The culprit was that Kx of diamonds. There was often somewhere to park a diamond loser if they didn't take the first two tricks by leading through it. I think the imps and the frequency favored bidding 4S, but the auctions got too complicated to be certain where they would wind up or what might be the lead or play choices.

To resolve a dilemma that I raised before, I assumed partner would bid 5N over 5H to find your other suit when he had a minor he might prefer to spades and a hand worth accepting. He might do that on many hands that had diamonds or both minors and not much waste in hearts. So, 5H might well be a better choice than 4N.
Oct. 17, 2013
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The biggest issue I see in this problem is whether you ever want to play with this partner or these teammates again. If you do, bid 4S, along with 96% of those responding here. If it's wrong, then your teammates are 96% to understand. Try something else and it better be right, as they are 96-4 to not be very understanding. Anyone can envision a magic-card slam that can be made if you guess to drop offsides honors in the premptor's hand, etc. Over 5H, will partner ever know to bid his Jxxx of clubs instead of 5S or 6S with AK or AQ? The issue isn't only whether you can make a slam in your best strain it's also whether, if you can, is it possible to find the strain that makes? 5H gives an illusion of putting clubs in the picture, but does it? IF you are going to pick something other than 4S, I think 4N is best – planning to correct 5D to 5S or to raise 5C to 6C. Of course, if partner bids 6D, with something like AQ Axx AQxxx Jxx you will want to go back and re-visit 4S. He would also likely bid 6D over 5H with that hand. They have made you guess here and if you are really favored in this match (96% might disagree) then why make a bid you (should) KNOW won't be made at the other table?
Oct. 17, 2013
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“Gets us to slam?” Really? You look for slam with 8 HCP opposite 15-17 flat? 4S is the only bid that passes even the most rudimentary of sanity tests. We don't look for slams in this type of auction, just the safest port in a storm.
Oct. 16, 2013
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3S is reasonable because of the JS.
We show specific kings over a 5N ask or when we hold the Queen of trumps and pard does a queen ask. I would be reluctant to bid 6H lest pard think his QH was a magic card instead of toxic waste and go wrong. But, in THIS auction, where partner has shown diamonds and I have denied the A or K, I'd try 6D to see if hearing that I had Qxx of diamonds was enough to let him place the contract. If I'm claiming a KD that I've denied, I must have SOMETHING in diamonds and I can't have the KC or KH as part of my “extras.”
I think 5N should show the QS abut some non-king extras on the side, while 6S shows the QS and otherwise nothing not already shown.
Oct. 16, 2013
Randy Thompson edited this comment Oct. 16, 2013
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After 1M-2M:
New Suit…short-suit try (accept if have bid w/o counting soft values in opener's short suit –cuebid if have a max that is all working)
2N……5-3-3-2 17-18 HCP no stiff/void (accept if have max raise and accept to 3N if not counting shortness to get to the max.
3M…….6-3-2-2 or 5-4-2-2 hand (accept if have the raise counting only aces and kings or if have max HCP (bid 3N if have max of 8-9 HCP but with <6 HCP in aces/kings Pt range for 3M varies w quality of the suits/points.

After 1m-1M, 2M-?? (context: weak no trump system where the raise promises 4 cd suppt and 15-17 in suppt of M)
2N….GF slam try asking further description
3M….Min/max however you come to it
3m….Shortness in m – go if have raise w/o counting soft values in m (cuebid 4m if counting ace of m in accepting).
New Suit….Cuebid of soft values (accept if have the values promised by the raise w/o counting shortness in that suit).
Oct. 2, 2013
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As a result of having committed a negative double with this hand, I now know that partner has support for my diamonds and that I have approximately -1/2 of a trick on defense. I hope 5DX goes for less than the -790 awaiting us if I pull a green card. Had I never bid, I would sit for the double and hope to score my KH. I read partner for 2-2-3-6 or maybe 3-1-3-6 and extra values. He might think a Kx or Kxx of spades has a friend or two over here – WRONG!
Sept. 27, 2013
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When I took my wife (then my girlfriend) to her first duplicate game, on the very first board she opened 1N (15-17) and I had 17 HCP. Not wanting to have her first experience be going down in a slam, I bid 3N. She had a min hand and had to play it very carefully to take 12 tricks – but she took them. I promised her I would NEVER do anything like that again. Whoever your partner is, you should make any bid that is obviously right (in this case 3C). Trying to be cute and psych is no way to play in a regular partnership or with a newbie. Passing the hand you gave is a very gentle way to play bridge and I sure hope that everyone at my table passes it when I hold the cards the other way. Taking away the one and two levels is worth a lot and given what a nonvul 3C bid might look like these days, bidding 3C doesn't give away much at all.
Sept. 26, 2013
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I have been playing Defense (1) for some time and it is as simple as can be. It also lets us get back to even against the table(s) where our teammates (or the field) opened 2M. We can use lebensohl responses to the double or the 2H bid that functions as a take-out double. We can overcall with 2N or make a 2H/Dbl bid then bid NT to show the same sorts of hands that can be shown at the other table. You, like they, can bid 2S over a 2H opener but must bid 3H over a 2S opener. You have one LARGE edge – you can respond 2H to a take-out double of spades! What will happen with the flat 13-14 point hands at the other tables? They will pass. What will happen with the 15-16 point hands? They will stretch to bid 2N or else will pass. With Defense (1) we have all those options that they have. With the flat hands too weak for 2N, we can always pass and then reopen with a double –presumably showing such a hand, but only after having the auction confirm that it isn't wildly risky to do so.

On Defense (2), only after having SHOWN a flat 13+ will you find out if it was absolute insanity or useful. I like forcing my partner (and myself) to pass with those hands! I can't imagine wanting to exchange take-out doubles for bids that show a hand that much/most of the time should pass!

I'm willing to have a simple goal – just get back with the field on most hands and be content with that plus a slight edge on one type of hand (2H response to double of 2D). IMO, we don't need to try to cover all the hand types and flat-hand ranges known to man at the expense of efficiency and simplicity on the ones that most often matter.
Sept. 26, 2013
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