Fulbourn Bridge Club

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Bernard Magee's Weekly Bidding Quiz

The bidding questions on the web site have been provided by Bernard Magee and Mr Bridge for details of all of Bernard Magee’s DVD’s, Books and Mr Bridge holidays visit the Mr Bridge website by clicking here.

Bidding is based on "Standard ACOL" weak NT and 4 card majors

Pass. 4-4-4-1 hands with a singleton club are the least desirable hands to open with. In fact, with a full 12 points you might consider passing. The reason why they are so undesirable is because you have to open 1♥ and since you are unbalanced you will plan to rebid in another suit and thus imply that you have five cards in your heart suit. However, this hand is not worth a full twelve points: your ♣J should not be counted at full value, for it is likely to fall cheaply. I tend to count a singleton honour (excluding the ace) at half its value on the first round of the auction. Until you find a fit, you cannot add on any strength for your singleton, so your hand is worth 11½ points and you should therefore pass on the first round. 

East Hand ♠ 32  J54  Q86 ♣ AK765

The general rule opposite a pre-empt is that you need 16 HCP to go for game. However, that is slightly simplified because queens and jacks are not so valuable opposite a pre-emptive hand, whilst aces and kings are much more valuable. You are looking for about four quick tricks opposite a pre-empt to make game worthwhile. You have four obvious quick tricks in your hand and so should raise to 4♠, expecting your partner to come up with six tricks. 4♠ should be relatively straightforward: losing two clubs and perhaps one trump.

East Hand ♠ AK87652  92  87 ♣ 42

2  = 16-10pts, 6 spades


North has opened with a weak pre-emptive bid of 2♠. Over weak openings, your no-trump bids should be natural: 2NT would show 16-19 HCP and a spade stop. All natural no-trump bids which are the first bid of your side should be treated in the same way: using all the conventions that you would usually use. With plenty of strength for game, you should use Stayman to check for a 4-4 heart fit. Over your 3♣, partner responds 3♥ and you reach the right game contract.

East Hand ♠ AK2  A876  Q4 ♣ A974


Your partner has made a 1♠ overcall: it is important to remember that he can be quite weak for this kind of bid. Perhaps as few as 7 or 8 points. Bearing this in mind, the 1NT response is a reasonably positive bid, showing 9-12 points with a stop in the opponents’ suit. Any change of suit after an overcall should also be a relatively positive bid: constructive but non-forcing. Your hand does not suit any of these responses, so you should simply pass and leave the auction at the 1-level. The auction might not die here, as North might try to reopen, but that should not be a worry.

East Hand ♠ AK543  J82  9 ♣ 9852