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At the table 3 was chosen (which I don't think is a bad bid):

My hand was perfect:

AKxxx
AQ9x
Jxx
x

However holding 3, playing MPs I couldn't see any reason to bid the cold 4. As a result we got a rather undeserved 8%. At other tables South presumably doubled with their 18 count and it will have gone something like 1 - (X) - 2 - (p) - 3 - (p) - 4.

This has led me to look into alternative methods of showing mixed (7-9HCP) raises in these situations. I like Jack's method above as it is easy to remember. However the fact that it doesn't work in several situations complicates rules.

Yuan Shen previously posted an excellent article on 2NT as a good or bad raise to 3. As he pointed out the main problem lay with 2NT not preempting opponents enough. Opponents now have a chance to double 2NT saying they definitely want to penalise. Bid a NS at the 3 level or pass and double with competitive values. Also on this hand it will go 3 by partner as a mixed raise and it is still not clear to raise to 4 particularly at pairs.

The best method probably lies somewhere between these two methods. 2NT should be a good raise in my opinion as it obeys the stronger hands bid lower principle. If I was playing Jack's method it is debatable whether you should reverse the meanings of the 3 and 3 bid to something along these lines:

2NT = 10+HCP 4+ card support
3cue = 7-9HCP 4+card support
3suit below major = 10+HCP 3 card support

This has the advantage that in auctions such as this it will go:
1 - (2) - 3 and now we have space for 3 as a general invite asking how good is you mixed raise. Therefore which is which depends on when you will need to invite more. I don't know for certain (my mind is leaning slightly towards the 3 card support with 10+ but it is marginal).

Sept. 2, 2014
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How would one bid then if it had gone 1H - (2D) or 1S - (2H)?
Sept. 1, 2014
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I did propose this line on August 5th :)
Aug. 7, 2014
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It is normal to play the hand who has shown length in one suit with shortage in the one we intend to play. However East chose to bid 2H vuln on a hand with QJ10xx Hearts…..They didn’t double or bid 2/3. They chose 2.

This makes me suspicious & think they may have a diamond holding.

After winning the K I am going to play a club towards the K. Assuming East rises with the A and puts a heart back I win and now cash the last spade and the K watching what East throws.

I risk losing trump control but I also get more information about the hands before having to commit to a diamond guess or possibly a heart throw in.
Aug. 5, 2014
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I cannot systematically not bid 3 here as 3NT is artificial. However I would then deny a 4CM and bid 3NT due to the fact as previously stated that QJ doubleton is half my values.
May 29, 2014
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The interesting bid here is 4. Obviously it shows 5+ but what does it say about diamonds. Depending on your agreements I would bid as follows:

If 4 shows a second round control (presumably shortage) I would bid 4 to set Clubs as trumps.

If 4 denies a 1st/2nd round control 5 seems sensible

May 27, 2014
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Its worth noting what 3 here would be. Even after a pass I would expect it to be just short of a game force. I.e 9-11 with 6+ with 2 of the top 3 honours. Granted these hands will mainly be opening immediately but when we rebid 3 partner should be able to work out in any event that our honour quality isn't great.
May 27, 2014
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ruff…..
May 27, 2014
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Yep you may be right although LHO with those cards would be opening something in my book. Whether 2 or 3 I don't think that is a first round pass hand.

If 5 makes I will be surprised however. And the more shape you add into the equation the more likely 5 is going to be defeated. Yes you can take out insurance….however your premium may be very high :)
May 27, 2014
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3 for me generally shows a hand willing to go past 3NT more often than not. I think partners priorities will be:

1. Set Spades with 4 (then let cuebidding etc take over)
2. Set Diamonds with 4/3 reasonable ones
3. Bid 3 with 5 - now bid 3NT. Misfitting hands should stop early
4. Bid 3NT this would imply 3, 4, and 6 cards in the minors. If partner has the perfect minimum:

AJx
Axxx
KJ
Q8xx

Grand is not cold here so I shouldn't be too pushy for 6 and would probably sigh a lot and pass. Sometimes we will miss something if I bid 4NT but sometimes we will end up in hopeless 31 point small slams….

Will
May 26, 2014
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Life has taught me the hard way with these hands. Any hand making 5 will usually be able to get 500/800+ out of the opps. However often it is just simply right to take the money instead of gambling on what could be a cold off game.

Give partner a max for their bid:

AJ10xx
AKJxx
x
Ax

And whilst 5 look good. 5 looks to be going for 800/1100

Give partner KJ10xx in spades instead and now you may have problems with 5 when there is still 500/800 on the table usually
May 26, 2014
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Pass in tempo. Partner knows what we have and we have nothing to add to this. This is simply a matter of partnership trust….
May 26, 2014
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A good rule to live by:

IF partner can have a perfect minimum where 7 is cold you should be looking for 6. Here partner could hold Ax,xxx,AQxxx,xx and not even an opening bid with 7 cold. The K is a crucial card.

Will

As a side note with a lot of partners who promise 5+ with that bid I am tempted to set diamonds as trumps. Also Fantunes discriminates nicely here as to partners range. 1 = 14+, 2 = 10-13….. I imagine that would make all decisions easier systematically
May 26, 2014
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Hi,
1. I have played this for several years now and personally prefer it that partner and I have rules in place which hopefully cover all situations. One rule we quite like which whilst slightly restricting clarifies a lot of the “problem” sequences is that if we have not agreed the suit by the 4 level then KB does not apply. An exception to this is if we have implied a fit (e.g 1NT - 2S/2NT we have promised a 6-2 fit therefore KB applies even if the suit isn't agreed by both parties). It is definitely worth discussing some sequences as well: 1D - 2C - 3C - 3D (i.e when you have both minor suits set), 4m opening (do you play it here or do you prefer having 4H/4D as natural) & 2NT - 4m for example. I am not sure how well it will fit in with the strong club as I do not play it. However having played certain relay systems we have had to take KB out of the ones that get us to the 3 level without setting a suit at times.

2. Here I usually play simple Blue club style cues. XX = first round control, Cue = second, pass = neither. I sometimes invert the cue/pass and as such cannot remember the original way round!

3. Having quite big system files I used to use Word before moving to Pages (its Mac equivalent when I switched operating system). Eventually however the layout and constant moving of text to the wrong places got to me such that I have now switched to Keynote (Powerpoint on Windows). This is quite nice as it allows us to link appendices to parts of the text easily (as well as contents pages which are less fiddly then sections and tables of contents on Word/Pages). When I get the time I am also slowly working on an interactive bidding box such that you click out a sequence and it gives you the meaning of each bid as you go.

Keynote requires more work on it since you need to format each page yourself (text doesn't just start a new page which is a blessing and a curse) however that is why I switched to it in the first place.

Hope this helps,

Will
May 23, 2014
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I bid 4 and partner corrected to 4 which was doubled.
partner held
10x,9xxxx,10xx,732

K was led to Norths Ace, he cashed the diamond ace before forcing me with the Q. I decided to play South for Kx Clubs which was thankfully correct and -500.

3NT made +2 at most tables allowed to play in it for 74% to N/S
4Sx-2 was 47% N/S

Other popular scores were:

4Sx-3/4 (E/W)
4Cx-3/4 (E/W)
5D= (N/S)
4H= (N/S)
4H-1/2 (N/S)
April 24, 2014
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Partners hand was:
KQxxxx,x,KQx,Kxx

April 23, 2014
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Interesting sub note is that in some partnerships I would make a 2 opening with this hand type showing at least 5/4 in diamonds and a major with 4-9HCP.

Over the double of 3 I would probably wouldn't XX as the vulnerability is wrong and my four hearts are small.
April 17, 2014
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Unfortunately did cost Steve as LHO has found this 2 bid on AKxxx and out. Other tables started much more sedately and in quite a few cases uncontested partner did hold the two black aces qx hearts and three trumps which made grand virtually laydown unfortunately. This score 42% of the mps vs 7S= which was worth 83%….
Jan. 5, 2014
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I am only Italian on Tuesdays.
Dec. 5, 2013
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Meckwell can have two options for the double: They play either both majors or a single suited minor I believe. I prefer the blue club style option that X is either both minors or both majors with partner usually assuming the former initially. Hence my X. Playing ML or other methods I would pass
Dec. 5, 2013
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