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Kath answers
  Kath Answers ... Thinking Outside The Square

Many players and defenders take their tricks quickly then have little idea as to what to do next. Because of the huge combinations of 52 cards, approximately 2.2 billion, dealt 13 cards to each player, Bridge is not a simple trick taking game. Consequently, as most of us have noticed, it guides us to think outside of the square, forcing us to use our logic as we fumble around in the dark. Hence, simple rules assist us to keep on the correct path.

The thought of giving tricks away to declarer goes against the card player’s grain. Examples of this include opening up new suits, ie playing a suit which has not been touched, or even leading away from an unsupported King, hoping partner has the Ace. However, we must consider this: declarer has a contract to make and they’re going to make some or all of the contracted tricks, therefore, when you don’t want to give too much of your hand away, and you think you can defeat the contract, give declarer a trick in the form of a harmless trump which you’re certainly not going to make, or some other known or exposed dummy honour card. This puts declarer in the position of doing the work of finding their way through the woods instead of you doing the job for them.

We must always be aware that there are exceptions to every rule, sometimes this is deeply hidden and occasionally declarer gets away with making an unmakeable contract. We can lessen this by carefully choosing our opening leads and our defence play by getting a reasonable picture of declarer’s hand on the bidding.
Example contract: 2H by West and dummy holds:
♠ Q106
♣ QJ104
Lead A  followed by the K and Q, ruffed by declarer.
Declarer now plays the A♣ and K♣  then switches to the Q  won by North’s K . North now thinks:
Declarer has SHOWN 5 hearts, 2 clubs, 2 diamonds and nothing about spades. If they held a 4 card spade suit, surely they would have attempted to set up the Q♠  as an entry to the clubs. This hasn’t happened, therefore, thinking outside the square, they may well hold 3 spades and 3 clubs, 5 hearts and 2 diamonds. If this is the case, South has no clubs left and a small club back will be trumped.
N/S made 6 tricks and a top board.
West held:
♠ AJ3
♣ AK2
This hand was opportunistic for the defenders because if declarer had begun drawing trumps after the diamond ruff it would have been difficult for the defence to get the picture. 8 tricks are there, North held the singleton K , south held A432.

Last updated : 13th Dec 2017 13:27 ESTA
  Strong Take Out Doubles

Q&A – Strong Take Out Doubles

♠  4



♣  AQ

Opponent opens 1♠ .  What do you bid?  Let’s look at the total points – 17 high card and 3 distribution, (2 for the singleton and 1 for the doubleton) a total of 20.  It would be a mistake to overcall 2  hoping partner will support, holding 6 total points they are highly unlikely to put you to the 3 level. As we say, Bridge is a game of skill, not hope.  Overcalls promise 9-15 total points and in this case to overcall you’ve undervalued your hand.  Your bid should be a takeout double –

1♠ : Dbl: Pass: ?.  Generally, when you make a takeout double you’re promising support for majors. Now you’re forcing partner to bid. 

Suppose they bid their best suit, ie clubs or diamonds.  Now you bid hearts:

1♠ : Dbl: Pass: 2♣ : Pass: 2 .  By not overcalling hearts and doubling first, you’ve told partner you have 16+ total points. With 7 total points and heart support they should raise you to the 3 level (23 total points should make 9 tricks), or with 9-10 total points, place you in game.


♠  Q63



♣  J5432

The bidding: 1♠ : DBL: Pass: 2♣ : Pass 2 : Pass: 3 : Pass: 4 

In the case where partner has 0-5 points they should pass 2 .  However, if partner holds some points but cannot support hearts, they will bid again, either 2NT showing a stopper in spades or 3♣ , you then bid your diamond suit.

1♠ : DBL: Pass: 2♣ : Pass: 2 : Pass: 2NT/3♣ : Pass: 3 .  You’ve now given a very good description of a strong 16+ two suited hand without spade stoppers.

Happy bridging

Last updated : 3rd Oct 2017 16:06 ESTA
  Kath Answers ... Minor Slam
North: South:
♠  AQ ♠  86
  K1092   A43
  KJ87   AQ6543
♣  K53 ♣  A8

North opens 1NT.  Ron Klinger (Sydney Morning Herald,) now recommends the following bidding sequence:

1NT: 3  (single suited hand, slam interest)

3 : (a control in diamonds – K or Q)

4♣  (cue bid, first round control denying first round control of spades)

4  (first round control of hearts)

4NT Ace ask or Roman Key Card, even better.

5  (2 key cards, A♠  and K )


1NT: 3 : 3 : 4♣ : 4 : 4NT: 5 : 6 

Try finding the slam through transferring:

1NT: 3♣ : 3 : ?  All you know is that you have a diamond fit and game/slam is possibly there.  If you don’t use Roman Key Card (RKC) it will become guesswork, otherwise RKC will tell you that North holds two key cards – A♠  and K .  The other way is much easier overall, thanks Ron.

Last updated : 5th Sep 2017 16:10 ESTA
  Kath Answers ...

Thought Processes of a Bridge Player:

This monster hand was dealt at Berry Bridge Club. As North you hold:

♠  AQJ732



♣  none

West (opponent) opens 1 . What are you going to bid with this curse of a two suited but potential slam hand? Maybe think about overcalling 1  planning to bid 4♠ , (note the reverse of the higher suit showing power). On the other hand, the easy way out is to overcall 1♠  then plan to bid 4 . On the other hand again, how about doubling 1 , what happens then? Let’s look at some scenario’s - (thinking):

1 : Dbl: 3 : Pass:   Obviously the opponents have the majority of points, partner has little or none; or

1 : 1 : 3 : Pass: 3♠ : (Partner may pass with no points); or

1 : 1 : 3 : Pass: 4♠ , choice of suit partner, big hand.  Partner passes, may have missed a slam here. How about:

1 : 1♠ : 3 : Pass: 5  – slam invitation, choice of suit, partner again may pass. What about this:

1 : 1♠ : 3 : 6  (are you game!?) – here we go, no problem. Partner held:

♠  8654



♣  K9862

And 6♠  makes. Happiness is….

Last updated : 27th Aug 2017 17:35 ESTA
  When to Play in NT Slams


Suppose you hold:

♠  KJ1096




And partner opens 2♣ . You bid 2♠  showing a 5 card suit and partner bids 3 .  We’re now looking at slam, but in hearts or no trumps? Ask for aces and kings and after partner shows 3 aces and 1 king we’ll land in 7NT rather than 7 hearts because we have heart length between us and decent cover in the other suits, ie three other kings to go with the aces.

Now let’s look at the other hand, you open 2♣  holding:

♠  AQ54



♣  AJ

And partner replies 2♠ .   With big hands you need to aim for the strong hand to stay hidden and bid to the highest level if you can.  Rather than support partner’s spades, bid your heart suit first.  Partner will bid again, if they don’t like your hearts you can then support spades.  In this case partner takes over as above and you land in the proper 7NT contract.  Note, if you support partner’s spades rather than showing your heart suit you may well not find the NT slam.

Last updated : 1st Aug 2017 15:15 ESTA
  Kath Answers ...

Reverse Bids

A Reverse Bid is a second bid by the opener which is of higher ranking than their opening bid, and bid at the two level.  For example: 1♣ : 1 : 2  (diamonds being higher ranking than clubs); or 1 : 1♠ : 2  (hearts being higher ranking than diamonds). Reverse bids are very important for finding easy games and slams and should be in everybody’s system.

You need 16+ HCPs and five cards in the original opening suit to make a reverse bid.  Why? Because:

a.  you’re giving partner a choice of suit;

b.  it’s forcing for one round;

c.  you’re showing at least 9 cards out of 13, therefore you have an unbalanced hand, and

d.  partner may only have 6 HCPs. A very good picture for partner.

A typical example:

♠  9                        ♠  K543

  AQ7                     K854

  KJ92                     87

♣  AK542                ♣  Q76

Bidding would go: 1♣ : 1 : 2 : ?

What does responder need? With a weak (6-8 points) hand, choose one of the suits, if it is clubs then bid 3♣ , if it is diamonds, then bid 3 .  Note – responder has  been forced to bid at the 3 level, therefore opener needs 16+ HCPs to be there. In the above case responder would bid 3♣. With 9+ and a balanced hand bid another suit if you can (if you don’t play 4th Suit Forcing) or 2NT. With opening points, find your best game or slam. Example:

♠  9                        ♠  AJ64

  AQ7                     KJ95

  KJ92                     AQ53

♣  AK542                ♣  10

1♣ : 1 : 2 : 4♣  (Gerber Ace ask): 4♠ : 5♣ : (K ask): 5♠ : 6  or Roman Key Card:

1♣ : 1 : 2 : 4♣ : 4  (last suit bid – showing none or 3 controls in diamonds): 5♣  (Kings): 5  (1 king outside first bid suit - diamonds): 6 . 

Note – 6NT would be dangerous as the strong hand is unbalanced and you don’t have a good 5 card suit to run.

Happy bridging, kk


Last updated : 20th Aug 2017 15:19 ESTA
  Cue Bidding

Cue Bidding

Cue bidding has its complications and is the subject to learn in a lesson situation.  It’s usually advised when either hand has a void because it can be important to know which specific controls partner holds. However, there is a simple but very nice cue bid which can be used when you hold a very big hand where you only need to know if partner has a specific ace. For example:

♠  AKQ76



♣  none

Using RKC, Gerber or Blackwood in the above hand would be useless.  You want to know if partner holds the A , example 2♣ : 2 : 2♠ : 3♠ : 4♣ : 4  (one ace, but which one?).  Using cue bidding in this case the bidding would go: 2♣ : 2 : 2♠ : 3♠ : 5♣  (first round control of clubs) asking partner to bid 5  if they hold the A , if not they will bid 5♠  (because they obviously don’t hold the A ).  Notice the bypassing of 4♣  which may well be understood as Gerber and you don’t need to know about the majors because you are in control of the contract.

Note – 3♠  by responder shows some strength along with spade support, giving partner room to bid on to slam if necessary, otherwise with a weak hand, responder will bid 4♠  shutout because the opener’s 2♣  bid is game force. 

Last updated : 20th Jul 2017 18:32 ESTA
  Specific King Ask

To use the Specific King ask you need to play the Roman Key Card Convention.  The specific king ask is a 5NT bid promising all key cards, the trump K and Q, and you’re going to play in 6, but if partner has the missing specific K, you’ll play in 7. 

North opens 1  and South asks for controls.  Showing 3 – the AKH and the AC, South knows that they have all the aces, the king of trumps and they hold the queen of trumps. South now bids 5NT asking for a specific king.  North bids 6  and the grand slam is now bid.  If North didn’t hold any specific king, they revert to bidding the agreed suit.



♠  32



♣  AJ2



♠  AKJ



♣  4



1 : 4♣ : 4 : 5NT specific K ask: 6 : 7 

Last updated : 9th Jul 2017 17:33 ESTA
  Donít be too hasty

You hold:

♠  K10987543



♣  Q865

And partner opens 2♣ .


Say you bid 2♠  and partner bids 3♣ , what do you bid now?

You’ve got an 8 card suit here, what if partner holds at least one spade? But bridge is not a game of ‘what if’s’.  You now have a known fit and partner has a power packed hand, with your support, likely to make slam in clubs. Would it make slam in spades? They’re a bit tram tickety. Setting clubs as trumps ask for aces. 


Partner held:

♠  None



♣  AKJ743

Too many pairs played this hand in 4 spades making 10 tricks.

Last updated : 9th Jul 2017 17:31 ESTA
  Kath answers ... When should we lead trumps in slams?

Q. When should we lead trumps in slams? 


A trump lead in slams is usually a good lead, especially if you hold picture cards in other suits. It normally doesn’t give anything away.  However, there are situations where attacking leads are better.  Here’s some very good advice from Ron Klinger: If neither opponent has shown a long suit OUTSIDE trumps, you do not need to make an attacking lead.  Example: 1S: 3S: 4C: 4S: 5C: 5NT: 6S – no obvious long suit outside trumps.  Lead a trump if you hold two or three small ones.

However, If opponents have shown a second long suit, an attacking lead is called for.  Example: 1S: 2H: 3D: 3S: 4C: 4NT: 5C: 5H: 6S. Opponents have three seemingly good suits between them, a club lead may well be called for.  Why?  If you lead a trump in this situation it gives declarer time by winning the trick, drawing trumps, then setting up their other suits to drop (in this case) club losers on. Like a trapeze artist, bridge play and defence is full of timing.

Ace leads in slams, ‘putting them on wood’ rarely works and is not normally recommended as a general slam lead.  As with every rule, there are exceptions, but they must be worked out by carefully listening to the bidding.

If you would like Kath to answer a question, please send an email to

Last updated : 10th Jun 2017 17:43 ESTA
  Bidding a strong minor

Q. From an intermediate player:
Sitting West, partner opener 1H and as East I held the following hand –
♠ AK76
♣ 8
Over partner’s 1H bid I bid 1S. We play supporting with 3, and partner bid 2S. I then bid 3D, showing diamonds and a 4 card spade suit and partner bid 3NT. I could see the possibility of a diamond slam and bid 6D. With partner’s holding it makes a slam in diamonds and a grand slam in no trumps. How should I have bid the hand from the word go?

Some players respond up the line when partner opens, ie 1C: 1D, however, most show a 4 card major in response (1C: 1H/S). For example if you hold a weakish 6 card diamond suit and a 4 card major, then bid the major first. However, the above hand is one of those exceptions to the rule. You must bid the diamonds first then bid the spades after partner’s response, eg: 1H: 2D: 2NT: 3S. This is called a reverse bid which shows 16+ HCPs and a 4 card spade suit. Therefore, by bidding a major at the 2 or 3 level, your first bid suit (diamonds) must be longer and stronger than the second bid suit (spades). With a normal opening hand, partner will either support diamonds or spades (if they have 4), otherwise they will bid 3NT and leave it up to you to go on, considering you are the captain of this contract. With such a powerful hand think about a slam in diamonds or no trumps and ask for aces and kings.
Partner held:
♠ Q52
♣ A109
Cautious players will land in 6NT making 13 tricks. Gamblers will bid 7NT trusting that the 7 card diamond suit will run and in this case it does. (South held 6 spades and north, none. On a spade lead it makes only 6D).

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:34 ESTA
  What is a gambit play?

Q. What is a "gambit play"?

A. A Gambit Play is a deliberate sacrifice of a trick in order to gain additional tricks.  The term is borrowed from Chess:
Contract: 6H by South, lead QC.  How do you make the contract? With Gambit play.  
For example:
South takes the KC, and at trick two MUST play one of his two small trumps and concede an otherwise unnecessary trick to the 8.  This forces a trump entry to the dummy, and permits South to discard his two spade losers on dummy’s diamond winners.  Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, 4th edition

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:34 ESTA
  What is Checkback Stayman?

Responding with a 5 card major - Checkback
As responder, what if you hold a 5 card major with partner’s strong NT response?
1D: 1H: 1NT: ? A 2C or 2D bid now becomes Checkback (NOT Stayman or transfer).

Checkback asks partner if they have 3 card support for your bid major. Note – if partner opens 1C, as responder bid 2D for Checkback, or partner opens 1D, 2C would be Checkback, eg you hold a 5 card major: 1C: 1S: 1NT: 2D (Checkback) or 1D: 1S: 1NT: 2C (Checkback)

Opener’s response to Checkback

  1. If you as opener hold 3 card support, then bid the major: 1D: 1S: 1NT: 2C: 2S
  2. If you as opener don’t hold 3 card support, over 2C Checkback, (1D: 1H: 1NT: 2C) bid 2D showing no support for partner’s bid suit and no 4 card major.
  3. If partner bids 2D Checkback, (1C: 1H: 1NT: 2D) bid 2NT showing no support for partner’s bid suit and no 4 card major.
  4. If you cannot support partner’s bid but do hold the other major, then bid the major: eg: 1C: 1S: 1NT: 2D: 2H (can’t support spades, but I hold 4 hearts), or 1D: 1H: 1NT: 2C: 2S (can’t support hearts, but I hold 4 spades).
Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:33 ESTA
  The weak NT

No doubt you’ve come across this annoying convention throughout your bridge playing career and wonder what the benefits are.
The advantages of the Weak NT:

  1. the most common hands are within this range, whereby
  2. it informs partner that your hand is limited,
  3. a large percentage of the time it works well, and
  4. it interferes with the opponent’s opening.

The disadvantages of the Weak NT:
If responder has a very weak hand, 1NT might go crashing down in a heap. When this happens the opponents are possibly missing a game. However, if the opponents double for penalties, then you must have an escape route. For example:
1NT: (DBL): Pass: (Pass) – this last ‘pass’ by the opponents has turned the possible takeout double into a penalty. Opener can now make a rescue redouble: 1NT: (DBL): Pass: (Pass): Redouble. Partner must now bid their best suit.

To use Stayman you will need to hold at least 10 HCPs. Transfers are also used. Over opponent’s bids, any bids at the 2 level are passable and any bids at the 3 level are invitational.

How do you show a strong NT opening?
Open a minor, and over partner’s response, bid 1NT, eg:
1C: 1H: 1NT – 15-17 or 15-18 whatever your normal NT opening is.

If you hold 4 cards in partner’s bid major, then of course you would jump to the 3 level:
1C: 1S: 3S
If you would like Kath to answer a question, please send an email to

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:33 ESTA
  Diamond slam?

Q. From an intermediate player
I held:
♣ KQJ7

Partner opened 15-18 1NT. I transferred to diamonds but worried about bidding 3NT or just staying in 3D. I chose 3NT making. Others made 12 tricks in diamonds. What should I have done?

Once again much thought should be pondered before bidding. Partner’s bid is strong, a probable 6 loser. You have a 5 loser hand (6+5=11.  24-11 = 13 tricks. This means you are in slam territory. By all means start the process by transferring to diamonds – you have a diamond fit (6 + 2) and ask for aces and kings. Partner held:
♠ AK106
♣ 82

If you have a question you would like Kath to answer, please email her at

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:32 ESTA
  Bidding with a big hand

From a beginner:
I held:
♠ KQ
♣ 105
... and opened 4H. Partner passed and I proceeded to make 13 tricks. How should we have bid this hand?

Bidding game on opening tells partner you have game in your own hand. But let’s step sideways for a moment and be a little more creative. This hand is extremely powerful, it has only 4 losers (the average opening hand has 7 losers). With hands such as this you don’t need 23 high card points to make a game force bid because you have a game in your own hand. Now let’s try opening 2C and see what happens.
An example:
2C: 2D: 2H: 3C: 4H

You got there anyway. Now if partner has some points, let’s try:
2C: 2D: 2H: 3C: 4H: 4NT (ace ask etc arriving in slam)

Partner held:
♣ AJ2
... and the bidding would go:
2C: 2S: 3H: 3S: 4H: 4NT: 5D: 5NT: 6H.
Now you can see partner’s position when you open 4H, holding 14 total points, of course partner will pass. By opening a game force 2C, partner is now free to guide you through to the slam.

For the intermediate/advanced players
Hands such as this can be opened with the Kabel convention which asks partner to answer their specific aces if they have any. Example:
3NT (do you have any aces and if so, which ones):

  • 4C no aces, 5C I hold the AC and the AD
  • 4D ace of diamonds only, 5D I hold the AD and the AH
  • 4H ace of hearts only, 5H I hold the AH and the AS
  • 4S ace of spades only, 5S I hold the AS and the AC
  • 4NT ace of clubs only, 5NT I hold two non touching aces

With the above hands grand slam can easily be bid. How? By answering two touching aces (clubs and diamonds – 3NT: 5C) and when partner bids 6H, holding the third ace, bid 7H or even better 7NT. Why, because partner has shown a long, strong heart suit on which you can park all your losers.
Happy bridging - kk

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:32 ESTA
  What to bid after a preempt

Q: What to bid after your RHO preempts
Your partner opens 1C (2+). Your RHO bids 2S (weak 6S). You hold:
♠ x
♣ Jx
What do you bid? Double, 3D, 3H, or 3S asking for stoppers in spades.

3H is the bid in this forcing situation – 1C: (2S): 3H.  You wouldn’t bid 3D with a 5 card major in your hand because this would deny a 5 card major.  Never worry about the xx’s, worry about the fit. Double shows good points and a 4 card heart suit.  Fit first then be prepared to bid diamonds if your suit is not supported.
Never be dazzled by aces/kings/queens😊

If you have a question you would like Kath to answer, please send an email to Kath.

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:32 ESTA
  The Two Suited Hand

Q – from an intermediate player:
How do you handle two suited hands?. I had a 5 card major and a six card minor and bid the major first, but I’ve since learned that I should have bid the longer suit first. Why is this so.
I held:
♠ 2
♣ 4

Let’s look at how the bidding would go when you open your 5 card major first:

==> 1H: 1NT: 2D: Pass (you’ve shown 5 hearts and 4+ diamonds and around 12+ points) or
==> 1H: 1S: 2D: 2NT: 4D: Pass or 5D (you’ve shown a 5 card heart suit and a 5 card diamond suit)

What if partner held those two aces (spades and clubs)? When you pick up a hand such as this you must tell your partner the truth. By opening your long suit (diamonds) first then bidding hearts twice, you have shown 11 cards out of the 13. Partner now knows that you have a two suited hand with 6 diamonds and 5 hearts and, either two singletons or a doubleton and a void. Such valuable information for game or slam bids.
==> 1D: 1S: 2H: 2NT: 3H
Yes 2H shows a reverse bid (16+ HCPs) but your next bid (3H) shows your distribution. Now partner can assess their hand for choice of suit, game or slam.

Partner held:
♣ A2

And the bidding went:
==> 1D: 1S: 2H: 3S: 4H (choice of suit): Pass

Take away the JH and put in a third diamond, then responder would bid 5D, knowing they have a diamond fit together.  As responder always listen to partner’s bids and get a picture of their hand, not necessarily aces, kings and queens, but their distribution. The above is a perfect example. Another example is when partner opens 1H or 1S and then changes suit. They are now showing at least 9 cards in two suits, ie 5H/S and at least four of another suit. This is important knowledge because if you can’t find a fit, then you can check those other suits in your hand to play no trumps, or if you’re weak, then choose one of partner’s suits.
If you have a question you would like Kath to answer, please send an email to Kath.

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:31 ESTA
  Bidding to slam

Q – from an intermediate player:
I held:

♠ 94
♣ AKQ106

And partner opened 1NT. I was worried about the majors, but bid 3NT because we had game points. Partner made 13 tricks. Should I be concerned about my weak suits when partner opens, and how should we have bid slam?

AGetting a picture of partner’s hand when they open is all important. In this case it’s easy. You’ve got the minors well covered, now ask yourself where are partner’s points for his 1NT opening? They must be in the majors. In that case let’s account for 15+ HCPs – he must have either two aces and two kings = 14 points, or one ace and three kings = 13 points plus queens/jacks. You hold 15 HCPs, 16 counting the fifth club, you are around the slam area. Over partner’s 1NT opening ask for aces. If you find there are not enough you can always stop at 4NT.
Partner held:
♣ J72

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Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:31 ESTA
  Slam Question

Q. Partner opened 1C, I bid 1H and partner then jumped to 2NT. I bid 4H and made 12 tricks. How should we have bid the slam?
I held:
♠ QJ3
♣ Q5

A: In the Standard system, 2NT normally means that partner has an unbalanced hand with 18-19 HCPs, implying that they hold a singleton in your bid suit and cover in everything else. Don’t be dazzled or hasty with your long suit at this stage, you should be calmly thinking about a Heart slam.

Look at your losers now, there are two spade losers (AK), one heart loser (A), one diamond loser (A) and two club losers (AK), a total of 6 losers. Partner’s bid is showing 5-6 losers, let’s call it 6. Adding the two together makes at total of 12 losers. Subtract this 12 from 24 and this now equals 12, this is how many tricks you should make, 12. With partner’s singleton heart you have a heart fit, now ask for aces and kings.

Partner held:
♠ AK104
♣ AKJ2
A 6 loser hand – two spades (104), three diamonds (1065 - 4th card in a 4 card suit is a winner) and one club (2). 33 total points can also be counted – 11 HCPs, 3 for the singleton and 1 for the doubleton., 19 + 15 = 34.
(The full Losing Trick Count (LTC) instructions available on request.)
If you have a bridge question you would like Kath to answer, click on this link and send an email.

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:30 ESTA

Q. Please explain how transfers work

A. There are two ways transfers work:

1. To rescue partner from a 1NT contract which is unlikely to make because you have no points or entries into your hand, example, partner opens 1NT and you hold:
Partner will hold at least two spades in their hand and should make 8 tricks with club ruffs and good holdings in the other suits. 1NT: 2H: 2S: Pass

2. To find a major fit when you do hold points, eg: 1NT: 2D: 2H: ?
♠ AJ10
♣ 976

Holding 11 HCPs you know you have game somewhere, maybe hearts. Partner will hold at least two hearts. The bidding would now go: 1NT: 2D: 2H: 3NT (NOT 3H, why? A 3H bid is showing a 6 card heart suit and around 7-9 total points).

Firstly, you are telling partner that you hold a 5 card heart suit and at least 10-14 HCPs. Secondly you are asking partner if they have 3 card support. Partner will pass 3NT with 2 card support or bid 4H with 3 or more card support. If you hold a 6 card major, then the bidding would proceed: 1NT: 2D: 2H: 4H.
If you have a bridge question you would like Kath to answer, click on this link and send an email.

Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:30 ESTA
  What do I bid?

Presenting answers to questions people have asked Kath during lessons.   A new one each week:

Q. What do I bid with the following hand when partner opens 1H?
♠ ---

A. There are many occasions in bridge where we must consider the exceptions which don’t fit into the normal bidding rules. Five high card points with a void, now becoming 10 total points. If you bid 3H partner would probably expect more high card points, however, this hand falls in between this and a weak freak 4H bid (weak freak contains very little points and at least 5 card support for partner’s bid suit). I would lean towards the latter and bid 4H.

Partner held:
and made 11 tricks on the diamond finesse.

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Last updated : 29th May 2017 17:27 ESTA