Dorking Bridge Club
Release 2.19n
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Registered charity number 1165095

24th September 2019
Small Lies and Great Resource

A couple of hands needed a small lie?

Hand 11 – shape for weak 2
Hand 12 – shape for 1NT

I will probably get in trouble with Sue for raising these ones, but with bridge sometimes there is no clear right answer and you have to make a judgement.

I refer to Larry Cohen’s site from time to time. Whilst some of the articles are based on Standard American, there are a lot of great articles and discussion of key points. Well worth looking at it from time to time.

Hand 5

After two passes, South in position 3 should try to do the maximum to bid to make it difficult for West. 

Here with 10 HCPs, 5/4 in the two longest suits, whilst this does not meet the rule of 20 for opening many will open 1♠ with this hand as there is an easy rebid of 2 though the vulnerbility is adverse. In this case it is a good decision.

West will probably overcall 2 and North with 4 cad support and a maximum for a pass will jump to 3♠  that will be passed out.

If South passes West will bid 1NT that is a great contract for E/W


Hand 8

After 2 passes East will bid 1♠ with an easy rebide of  2 .

West will bid 2♣ s and East will show shape 5/4 with 2 .

East has a choice between 2 and 3♠ s. With a maximum for a passed hand can bid 3♠  to invite 4♠ . East is relatively balanced and no extra values so is likely to pass.

Some Wests with 10HCPs and a six card suit may open 1♣  and rebid 2♣. 

Hand 10

After 2 passes East opens 1♣  then North overcalls 1♠ . 

East can do a forcing bid either double to show values and support for other suits. Alternatively bidding 2♠  to clarify the hand could be useful. West with a ♠ stop could bid 2 or 3NT to show values and a ♠ stop, though no  stop.

The alternatives are to for East to raise 1 to 3♣ s . 

Hand 11

This hand will cause a great debate.

Those who say you should not bid a weak 2 with 4 cards in the other major.

Here is a link to an interesting article and hands from Larry Cohen which is a great resource for lessons and suggestions. Though it is based on American bidding systems.

A poor 9 HCPs with the singleton K suggests it should be a weak 2 or a pass.

If West passes North will bid 1NT that will be passed out and is a great contract for N/S

Hand 12

The question is whether North should open 1NT or 1  with a safe 2♣ rebid.

The doubletons have stoppers and NTs will be a better contract, if they make, so many will open 1NT, but a good percentage will open 1 .

Here is a good article that discusses the 1NTbalanced hand shape from Larry Cohen again.



Hand 15

West opens with 1 , the top of 2 5 card suits.

Some Norths, opposite a passed hand may jump to 3 though 2 will be more often bid.

Over either 2 East will bid their 6 card ♠ suit and West will show support by bidding 3♠ .

North may want to risk 4 but with 4 good  s 8HCPs opposite an opening hand East will double for penalties or may bid 4♠ . Without North bidding East is likely to pass.


Hand 21

East will open with a weak 2 s.

South will probably bid 3 that will be passed out.


Hand 22

After East opens 1  south can bid 2 that is Michaels bid showing 5/5 in ♠  s.

West passes and North bids the lowest of the two equal suits - 2 s which will be passed out. Vulnerable East will probably pass as bidding 3♣ is risky, but less risky with N/S bidding the majors.

Hand 23

South has a poor 10 HCP hand with values in 6 card suit. The Q doubleton in  s is not worth 2 HCPs so many will bid 2♠ s.

If South bids 1♠ with the intent of bidding 2♠ s.

West may risk an overcall of 2 s.

Then North has a difficult bid, but bidding 2♠  showing support with a 3 card suit is probably the best answer and better than passing or doubling. This is likely then to be passed out.

Hand 25

Over North's 1♠ East has a risky 2 overcall.

West should raise to the level of the fit. Partner has 5+ cards for overcall, with west's own 5 card suit he should bid to make 10 tricks by bidding 4 . Some norths may bid 4  (converted to 4♠  by south) or 4♠ directly.