Bridge Bulletin, July 2017

Bridge Bulletin July 2017

Our chapter for today — Bridge Bulletin July 2017 — tells how to bid and play for Newer, Intermediate, and Advanced players.

You may download this Word file as “BBul July 2017” from

Newer Players

  1. Phillip Alder, Card Play 101, July 2017, p. 44.
    1. Attitude from a Doubleton: If 3rd hand plays a Q on the lead of an Ace, 3rd hand guarantees the J. Do not echo Hi-Lo holding a Qx doubleton, as partner will lead to your bogus J.
    2. Attitude from an Unopened Suit: A discard says whether you like an unopened suit. A high card shows an entrée. A low card is simply a discard. Don’t bother with a high discard if your other option is surer: for example, ruff partner’s winner, gain the lead, and run your own winners to set the contract.
  2. Leslie Shafer, Bridge Player’s Survival Kit, “AAA slams,” July 2017, p. 45.
    1. AAA Slams: To bid more slams, show your Attitude, Addition, and Aces.
      1. Attitude: You are eager to support Partner’s slam attempts.
      2. Addition: You run the numbers for Partner’s bids to determine if your team has the Partnership Valuation Points (PVP1) for a slam. For instance, you recognize when Partner’s jump to game is really a strong show of points rather than a request for shutout.
      3. Aces: You recognize from your hand and the bidding that your partnership has 1st round control of 3 suits, and 2nd round control of the 4th suit.
    2. Describer/Decider: The Describer makes a limit bid. Immediately after a Describer’s limit bid, the other Partner becomes the captain and the Decider.
    3. 2NT Response: Over an opening of 1m, 2NT shows 13-15 HCP, no 4cM, and a balanced hand. [nb: Larry Cohen in the September and October 2017 BB would assign 11-12 HCP to a 2NT response over a 2m opening.]
    4. Jumps by Describer: Decider must do Addition. There are no shutout bids by the Describer, just point-count bids.
    5. Jumps by the Decider: A jump is a shutout. If Describer has made a limit bid, then a jump by Decider is for play (shutout).
  3. Pat Harrington, Play & Learn, “The power of an extra trump,” July 2017, p. 46.
    1. Distribution Points: ACBL values Dummy Points at 5/3/1. Pat does not like to count Dummy Points with less than 4 trumps, as the ruffing power may be imaginary.
    2. Responder’s Invitational Hands: Responder makes a limit bid with 10-12 PVP and 4cM support.
  4. Lynn Berg, Startup Bridge, “You gotta know the score,” July 2017, p. 47.
    1. Unfavorable Vulnerability: In competition, neither side may have sufficient points for a game, unless one side has extreme distribution points. The vulnerable team needs to be cautious to avoid a costly X.
    2. Rule of 1-2-3: Pairs can go down 1 if unfavorable vulnerability, 2 if equal, or 3 if favorable vulnerability.
  5. Jerry Helms, Ask Jerry, July 2017, p. 48.
    1. Not Bergen Raises: Jerry does not play Bergen Raises. He plays 2/1. To him, following an opening of 1M, Responder’s jump to 3m is natural, showing ~6cm and ~9-11 HCP.
    2. Bergen Raises: Bergen raises are based on the LoTT. The raises are for major suits when Responder has ≥ 4c support. A natural raise to 2M shows exactly 3c support. Original Bergen Raises had 3 weaker than 3, but today some teams play Reverse Bergen.
      1. Responder has 3c Support: Bid 2M. This is natural, not Bergen.
      2. Responder has 0-6 PVP: Bid 3M with ≥ 4c support.
      3. Responder has 7-10 PVP: Bid 3♣ with ≥ 4c support.
      4. Responder has 11-12 PVP: Bid 3♦ with ≥ 4c support.
      5. 4th Seat X of a Major: Bidding is 1M-P-3M-X. This is the equivalent of a non-Bergen player bidding 1M-P-2M-X. Responder is weak. Doubler makes a TOX, showing support for unbid suits and ≥ 12 PVP. Doubler does NOT promise a 4cM. However, Doubler does need sufficient strength for the partnership to survive if Advancer bids at the 4-Level.
      6. 4th Seat X of a Minor: Bidding is 1M-P-3m-X. If the minor is ♣, the opposition is almost as weak as with 3M; the X is a TOX. If the minor is ♦, the opposition is strong; the X is lead directing in ♦.
    3. Rule: A X of a preemptive or constructive bid is a TOX. A X of an artificial limit bid is lead directing.
  6. Larry Cohen, Bidding Basics, “A tour of the bidding box for newer players,” July 2017, pp. 49-50.
    1. 1m/M – 1NT Opening: Shows Opener w/ 12-14 HCP, balanced hand.
    2. 1m/M – 2NT Opening: Shows Opener w/ 18-19 HCP, balanced hand.
    3. 2NT Opening: Shows 20-21 HCP, balanced hand (4-3-3-3, 4-4-3-2, 5-3-3-2). Larry would also open one 6cm or two 4cm with 2NT. Don’t open 2NT with a 6cM, two low doubletons, or one low singleton. Do open 2NT if you have 19 HCP and very high intermediates.
    4. 2♣ – 2NT Opening: Shows Opener w/ 22-24 HCP, balanced hand.
    5. 2♣ – 3NT Opening: Shows Opener w/ 25-27 HCP, balanced hand.
    6. Gambling 3NT: Shows ≥ 7cm. This bid is disruptive and preemptive, with no side K or A (unless partner is a passed hand and slam is impossible). A Responder who is not looking for game or slam passes with 3 suits stopped. A stopped suit is ≥ Txxx. Otherwise, Responder relays with artificial 4 back to Opener, who makes a shutout bid if the desired contract is other than 4. If Responder is strong, they should figure out which minor Opener has strength, and bid 5m with 3c support. Larry illustrates a strong hand with ≥ 18 PVP.
    7. Larry’s Recommended Bids
      1. 1♦: Open 1 with hands such as (a) 18 PVP (14 HCP + 4LP), 8c, one void, one Ace doubleton, 150 Honors; or (b) 22 PVP (21 HCP + 1LP), 5c, one worthless doubleton, one good doubleton, 150 Honors.
      2. 1♥: Open 1 with a hand such as 21 PVP (20 HCP + 1LP), singleton, 100 Honors.
      3. 2♣: Open 2 with a hand such as 23 HCP, even distribution, 100 Honors in a minor.
      4. 2NT: Open 2NT with hands such as (a) 21 HCP, 3 solid suits; (b) 21 PVP (20 HCP + 1LP), 5cM; or (c) 22 PVP (20 HCP + 2LP), two solid doubletons, 6cm.
      5. 3NT Gambling: Open 3NT Gambling with a hand such as 16 PVP (13 HCP + 3LP), 7cm, 3 weak doubletons, 100 Honors.

Intermediate Players

  1. Mike Lawrence, Mike’s Bridge Lesson, “Partscore battles, continued,” July 2017, p. 51.
    1. Partner’s Doubles (Your Advances are Underlined)
      1. Sequence 1♥ – X – P – 1♠ – P- x♠: Advancer bids the other major (1♠), probably has at least 4c and 5-6 PVP but could have a worthless hand. Overcaller for their raise to 2 must have a maximum double of 4c support, probably 15-17 PVP (used to be 17-18, but Mike says modern bidding requires less), 3 good suits, and shortage in . If Overcaller were to raise to 3, this would show an even better hand with more PVP; Mike’s example has 19 PVP (16 HCP + 3DP).
      2. Sequence 1♥ – X – P – 1♠ – 2♥- 2♠: Overcaller need not have a maximum double in competition to raise to the 2-Level. Overcaller can raise with less, say excellent 4c support, 14-15 PVP.
    2. Opponent’s Double: Opponents are unlikely to double your 2M bid into game if you and your Partner show a 4-4 fit or better.
  2. Mark Horton, Misplay These Hands with Me, “Faulty combination,” July 2017, p. 52.
    1. Combination: Dummy holds a side suit of A986. Declarer holds Q52.
    2. Play: Declarer needs to take 3 tricks from the combination. Both hands have ≥ 1 honor card, but only one hand can be finessed. Lead low to the 1-honor hand, and play low if 2nd Hand rises. Win the return, play high from the 1-honor hand, and finesse the 2-honor hand.
  3. Eddie Kantar, Chalk Talk, “Limit bids,” July 2017, p. 53.
    1. Captain: If one partner makes a limit bid, then the other partner becomes a one-round Captain. [nb: See New Players II.B.] Most limit bids show a 3-point range. A 1NT response is an exception as it shows a 4-point range (6-10 HCP).
    2. Examples of Limit-Bids in Uncontested Sequences: 1♥ – 1 – 23 (Responder raises to 3, so is limited); 12 – 3 (Responder raises to 2, so is limited); 1 – 1 – 1♥ – 3NT (Responder bids NT, so is limited to 13-15 HCP); 1 – 1♥ – 2♥ – 2 (Opener raises to 2♥, so is limited); 11NT2NT (Opener’s 1 – 2NT is limited to 17-18 HCP, Responder’s 1NT to 6-10 HCP); 1 – 2 – 2♥ – 2NT (Responder bids NT, so is limited to 11-12 HCP).
  4. August Boehm, Boehm on Bridge, “Hand evaluation — part 19,” July 2017, p. 54.
    1. Double that is Worth ~2NT: If an Overcaller has a 5c+ suit and 18-20 PVP, perhaps even 19-21 PVP, they X, and then identify their suit on their next bid. August says this is a two-step overcall rather than a simple overcall. Overcaller’s 2nd bid is not forcing. [Contrast this sequence to Intermediate Paragraph I.A.1 where the strong Overcaller supports their Advancer’s suit rather than identifying their own suit.]
    2. Double that is Worth ~2♣: Same as a strong overcall in #A, but the rebid is different. Overcaller jumps or cuebids on their second bid. These rebids are forcing.
    3. Advancer: Say Overcaller is strong, as in #A or #B. An Advancer with just 4 HCP and 3c support might be strong enough to raise. August says the Advancer should revalue their hand, looking for features such as (1) a sure trick/entrée combination (say an Ace), (2) shortness (eg, doubleton) in a suit that can be ruffed, (3) or the ability to lead high intermediates through Opener’s strength to Overcaller’s hand.
  5. Larry Cohen, The Real Deal, “A modified Rodwell file,” July 2017, p. 55.
    1. Contract: East preempts a 6c suit. N/S have 3c each, so W has a singleton. If E had an outside Ace, it would have opened 1. South bids to small slam on a partnership effort with 9c♥ (7 in Declarer’s hand with 150 Honors), a void opposite Dummy’s KQJ, Declarer’s Axx, and Dummy’s AT9 opposite KQ8 (all the high intermediates). Declarer might lose the A or the xx. From the bidding, West must have the A, and from its lead, W has the singleton 6.
    2. Play: Declarer wins the lead in the Axx hand, pulls 4x trumps, overtakes the K with the A, leads the K. West wins with the A, but is now void in all suits except Dummy’s long suit and . N has the T9 while S has the Q8, either trapping E’s J or allowing N’s T to win. If South traps, then S leads the 8 to N’s 9 and runs the .
  6. Marty Bergen, Better Bridge with Bergen, “Bergen’s best bridge tips — part 12,” July 2017, p. 57.
    1. Auction w/o Interference: 1 – 1♥ – 1?. You are Responder.
    2. Opener’ Attributes
      1. Forcing: No! Opener can’t force with a single raise to 1. Opener could force with a jump-shift to 2, but didn’t.
      2. Strength: Opener did not jump, so Opener is showing ≤ 19 PVP.
      3. Long Suits: Opener’s bidding shows ≥ 4, ≤ 4 since were not raised, 4c.
      4. Balanced: No! An Opener who bids two suits is unbalanced.
      5. Fit: No! Opener’s rebid shows a probability of 48% for ≥ 5. The suit might be at best a 4-4 fit with weak cards. Opener could have 5c only if Opener also had 6c.

Advanced Players

  1. Karen Walker, Bidding Matters, “12 habits of highly effective bidders,” July 2017, p. 58.
    1. Emotion as a Deadly Sin: The world champion Dallas Aces practiced avoiding “deadly sins.” One of these sins was impulsive bidding.
    2. Advice of Mike Lawrence: “Any time you feel yourself succumbing to an emotion — whether sadness, depression, irritation, comfort, elation, or ecstasy — you should fight it off.”
  2. Mike Lawrence, Mike’s Advice, “A new double,” July 2017, p. 60.
    1. Name: Mike calls his new X the “Trump-Honor X.”
    2. X Sequence: 1♣ – P – 1♥ – 1♠ – 2♥ –? (Your bids are underlined.)
      1. Opponents: The Opponents have a fit in ♥. You will be on lead in a ♥ contract.
      2. Meaning of the Trump-Honor X: Your advance to 2♠ would show a high honor (AKQ). Your Double or XX shows the equivalent of a raise, but no high trump honor.
      3. Preempt: Jump to 3♠ with 4c♠ support; this bid says nothing about your ♠ honor cards.
    3. X Sequence: 1♣ – P – 1♥ – 2♦ – 2♥ –? (Your bids are underlined.)
      1. Meaning of the Trump-Honor X: Your advance to 3 shows a high honor (AKQ). Your Double or XX shows the equivalent of a raise, but no high trump honor. Mike doesn’t like his own Trump-Honor X of Overcaller’s 2-Level bid unless the Advancer is otherwise strong, as it reveals too much to Defenders about the placement of the trump honors (in this case, the honors).
      2. Preempt: Jump to 4 with 4c support. This bid says nothing about your honor cards. Don’t risk this preempt with unfavorable v.
    4. Defensive Strategy
      1. Ask for a Ruff: You are the Overcaller. In your suit, Advancer has shown a high honor (eg, AKQ) and you as Overcaller have two high honors. Say you also have a singleton and a high trump. Lead the singleton. When you get in with the high trump, lead to Advancer’s high honor. Advancer will give you a ruff.
      2. Unclear Lead: Again, you are Overcaller. In your suit, Advancer has shown a high honor (eg, AKQ) and you have one high honor. Declarer may have a higher honor than Advancer. In this case, your best opening lead is not obvious. You may have to pick something standard, like 4th best.
  3. Eddie Kantar, Test Your Play, July 2017, pp. 59, 61.
    1. Hand 1
      1. Concepts: Take all your chances. Avoid the danger hand (E, which bid 1♥). Play for the drop of key secondary honors (ie, QJT) in your long suits holding the AK. If none of these suits sets up, then take a finesse in your 3rd suit; play the winners in the 3rd suit’s short side, then finesse as many times as possible towards the long side.
      2. Contract: 3NT. West bid their 5c♥, now leads 4th best. Lead is up to Declarer’s ♥Kx doubleton.
      3. Cards: Partnership has AKJT in 3 suits (not ♥). Spades offer a 2-way finesse, with KJT8 opposite A9x.
      4. Declarer Play: Win the lead. Take the AK in the two minor suits that have 1-way finesses. If no Q, finesse in ♠. Lead Dummy’s J♠ to Declarer’s A♠, then run Declarer’s 9♠. If the 9♠ holds, the 3NT contract makes.
    2. Hand 2
      1. Concepts: Opener shows slam interest in Responder’s suit. Opener may have shown this interest by making a cuebid. If Responder has much stronger trumps than Opener would guess, Responder should accept the invitation and expect Opener to have trump support and the other 3 suits.
      2. Contract: 6. E & W bid ♥. W is weak (preemptive Advance). Lead is ♥x, through Dummy’s ♥A singleton. Dummy wins the lead.
      3. Cards: Declarer is missing the trump A, so must take the rest. Other potential losers are ♠Q, Kxx.
      4. Declarer Play: Win the lead. Win the ♠AK. Dump one of Declarer’s losers on Dummy’s ♠K (Declarer has a singleton ♠). If the ♠Q falls, the contract is likely because you avoid finessing for the K. If the ♠Q does not fall, try to promote the ♠J by ruffing the ♠2. Concede the A, win the return, pull trumps, finesse if necessary, and crossruff the remaining losers.
  4. Frank Stewart, My Bridge and Yours, July 2017, p. 62.
    1. Missing Values in 3NT: Frank was a Defender. Frank counted the points as Declarer played and determined that Declarer could not have the ♦K for his opening bid (Declarer opened with 1♣ rather than the stronger 1NT). Frank wanted his partner to win the ♦K and return the ♦ suit through Declarer’s strength. A low ♦ lead would tell Partner to win with the ♦K and return the same ♦ suit, while a high ♦ lead would ask Partner to win and switch to Frank’s opening ♥ lead. Frank led a low ♦ and got the ♦ return. With Declarer trapped in ♦, Stewart won 5 tricks.
    2. Suit or NT: Opener bids NT and Responder transfers. Opener accepts and Responder removes to 3NT game. Responder is warning Opener that Responder also has a balanced hand that cannot produce ruffs. If Opener has 4-3-3-3, Opener should pass, playing for 9 tricks rather than a major game of 10 tricks.

Bridge Theory for All Players and Directors

  1. Simon Cocheme, The Rules of Bridge, “An irreverent look at the ‘rules’ of the game,” July 2017, pp. 22-3.
    1. Rule of 1: Do not pull the last trump if it is ranking. The exception is if one hand has a long runnable suit with only one entrée.
    2. Rules of 2 & 3: Pre-empt only if the hand will go down less than 2 v, or 3 nv. Simon says this rule is outdated as opponents rarely penalty double a pre-empt.
    3. Rule of 7: Subtract from 7 the combined holdings of Dummy and Declarer in the lead suit to determine the rounds to holdup.
    4. Rule of 9: Partner has reopened with a TOX. Add your cards and your honors (AKQJT) in Opponent’s suit to the bid level, and pass for penalty if the total is ≥ 9.
    5. Rule of 11: On a 4th best lead in NT, subtract the lead from 11 to determine the number of cards outstanding that are higher than the lead.
    6. Rule of 14: Add your losers, runnable winners, and number of cards that one hand must hold in the threat suit. If the total is ≥ 14, a squeeze is possible.
    7. Rule of 15: Open in 4th seat if the sum of your HCP and spade length ≥ 15.
    8. Rules of 19 & 20: Open in 1st to 3rd seats if the sum of your HCP and the lengths of any two suits ≥ 20. The author says 20 is for beginners; use 19 if you are better. Do not apply these rules to hands with low intermediate cards: pass instead.
    9. Rule of 22: Open in 1st to 3rd seats if the sum of your HCP, Quick Tricks (QT), and the lengths of any two suits ≥ 22. There are 6 QT combinations: A=1, Kx=0.5, Qxx=0, AK=2, AQ=1.5, KQ=1. Note that AKQ=2 also as the Q will be ruffed.
    10. Trick 2: Declarer wins the lead and returns a low card to Dummy’s side-suit K. The low card is probably a singleton. Defenders should play their A, whether held by 2nd or 4th hand. [nb: See Larry Cohen, The Real Deal, Bridge Bulletin, August 2017, p. 55, where Zia Mahmood on Trick 2 led low from ♦J954 towards Dummy’s ♦K7, LHO rose with the ♦A, and Zia made an otherwise impossible contract if 2nd Hand had played low.]
  2. Mel Colchamiro, Civic Duty and the Use of the Stop Card, July 2017, pp. 28-29.
    1. Purpose: The former Stop Card alerted Opponents that an unexpected bid was coming. Using the card to get Partner’s attention rather than Opponents’ attention was unethical.
    2. Current Time-Out: The next bidder after a jump bid should pause for 10 seconds. Actual practice may be closer to 5-7 seconds. A quick pass or a slow pass of greater than 10 seconds remains an unauthorized “break in tempo.”
    3. Call for the Director: If either side calls for the Director, the other side should not take the call as a personal insult. As a movie Godfather might say, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.”
  3. Mike Giesler, Eliminate Half Tables from Your Game, “How to use BBO robots to fill in,” July 2017, p. 32.
    1. Problem: Duplicate matches often result in a ½ table that must sit out.
    2. Solution: Use robots as the opposing team for the ½ table. The author selects his deals from The Common Game, which is an app that evaluates play against the results from multiple DBCs. The robot team is rented from BBO. The only equipment required is a set of laptops or tablets.
    3. Details: Instructions may be downloaded at
  4. Matt Smith, Ruling the Game, July 2017, p. 36.
    1. Revision: In September, the ACBL’s 2017 rules will replace the 2008 rules.
    2. Touching Opponents’ Cards: A player may touch an Opponent’s cards if the player first receives permission from the Opponent.
    3. Dummy: A Dummy without knowledge may speak to prevent an irregularity. However, if Dummy has peeked at any other hand, Dummy has knowledge and must stay silent.
    4. Adjusted Score: With an infraction, the Director is to award the “probable outcome” as if the infraction had not occurred.
  5. Bruce Rogoff, The Bidding Box, July 2017, pp. 37-39.
    1. Problem 1 (5NT)
      1. Rebid of a Major: Opener’s sequence of 1M-2M promises a 6cM.
      2. Cuebid: After a Partner raises the other Partner’s suit, a new suit is a cuebid showing a primary honor (AK). Cuebids below 3NT show Aces, while above that level show either primary honor. A cuebid of Partner’s cuebid shows two low honors (QJ here).
    2. Problem 2 (6NT)
      1. Opener Re-Bids a Higher Suit: Opener’s sequence of 1m – 1M shows ≥ 4-4 in the two suits.
      2. Responder’s Rebid is a Jump: If Opener is a minimum and Responder jumps in one of Opener’s two suits, Responder has a maximum hand and slam interest. In the example, Responder had 4c support and 18 PVP (16 HCP + 2DP).
      3. NT is Best: If Responder has supported Opener’s major and now bids NT, Responder has solid values in the 2nd major. Opener should stay with NT if Opener’s 1st major is weak and Opener has tricks in the other suits. Opener should not remove to a weak major if Responder has shown a NT preference.
    3. Problem 3 (2♠)
      1. Limit Bids: Responder’s jump to 3M in Opener’s suit is a limit bid, showing 4c support. In the example, Responder had just 3c support and 14 PVP (11 HCP + 3 DP) but unfortunately 3 HCP and 3 DP were in the same K singleton.
      2. BB Suggestion: Don’t open light in 2nd seat vulnerable.
    4. Problem 4 (7♣)
      1. After Stayman: If Opener denies a 4cM and Responder bids 3m, the rebid is a game force.
      2. Pick-a-Slam: A bid of 5NT invites Partner to pick any slam. [nb: See Bridge Theory IX.A.]
      3. BB Suggestion: Cuebid a void as if it were an Ace.
    5. Problem 5 (5♦): All bids were artificial. [These artificial bids are out-of-scope (OoS).]
    6. Problem 6 (5♣ or 5♦)
      1. 1NT Overcall: A 1NT overcall should be as good or better than a 1NT Opening.
      2. Overcall of 2m: A minor overcall suggests a 5cm. In the example, W did not have a 5cm or 5cM, so overcalled 1NT despite a singleton K in one suit. BB says bidding NT with a singleton has a chance only if RHO holds the AQ.
    7. Problem 7 (6NT)
      1. BB Suggestion: A stiff K is better support than a worthless doubleton (xx).
    8. Problem 8 (6♥): All bids were artificial. [These artificial bids are OoS.]
  6. Sue Munday, It’s Your Call, July 2017, pp.40-43.
    1. Hand=♠AJ♥987532♦Q2♣J54; Bids=1♣-1♠-2♣-?; both v; 10 PVP (8 HCP + 2 LP).
      1. 2♥, Award=100: Pro— Jeff Meckstroth likes this bid by Advancer; 6cM, non-forcing (ie, new suit in competition at 2-Level); Con—Overstates PVP; Invites an undesired ♥ lead.
      2. X, Award=80: Pro—A Responsive Double; Keeps both ♠ & ♥ in play; ♠AJ is just as good of support as ♠xxx; tells Partner that ♥ are not good enough to bid; Con—May need to correct ♦ to ♥; in competition, the bidding may get too high.
    2. Hand=♠A876♥Q7653♦AK93♣-; Bids=P-1♥-P-1NT-P-2♦-P-2NT-P-?; N/S v; 14 PVP (13 HCP + 1 LP).
      1. Pass, Award=100: Pro — Misfit; 1NT Response is 1-Round forcing; Con — Responder may be strong in ♣; Responder shows ~3-2-3-5.
      2. 3, Award=60: Pro—Jeff Meckstroth likes this bid; Con—7cM misfit.
      3. Conventions: The Judges were expecting the panelists to criticize the bidding for not using Flannery. An Opening of 2♦ Flannery would show 4, 5-6, and 11-15 HCP.
    3. Hand=♠T43♥KJ3♦K5♣T9754; Bids=1♥-P-2♥-2♠-P-P-3♥-X-P-?; both v; 8 PVP (7 HCP + 1 DP).
      1. 4, Award=100: Pro — Responder is worth 3 tricks (♥K, ♦K; and ruff the ♦5); Opener’s X shows a strong hand, strong suit, and 6-1-3-3; Opponents may break 2-2 nicely in ♠; Con — KJ3 values would be more useful if located in the other suits.
      2. Penalty X, Award=90: Pro — Jeff Meckstroth likes this bid; Defender’s trumps lie after Opener’s trumps; Con — Terrence Reese advised, “Don’t double for penalty until you have bid to your own contract;” ♥KJ3 may be an inadequate trump stack on defense.
    4. Hand=♠KQJ2♥K54♦65♣AQT7; Bids=2♦ Weak-2♠-?; N/S v; 15 PVP (1 HCP + 0 LP).
      1. X, Award=100: Pro — Jeff Meckstroth likes this bid; Declarer has picked the wrong suit; Opener may have inadequate entrées for NT; Defense is missing 3 Aces, so making game themselves might be difficult; with Declarer making an overcall, Opener may be a minimum weak bid; Con — A bid of 3♦ might make, or force Opener to 3♠ that would be a safer X.
      2. 2NT, Award=60: Pro—Opener bid despite being vulnerable, so probably has a strong suit; West might lead ♠, setting up Declarer’s three ♠KQJ tricks; Con—West might lead ♥; a bid of 3♦ might make, or force Opener to 3♠ that can be doubled.
    5. Hand=♠J743♥AT852♦A4♣K2; Bids=1♣-1♠-2♥-2♠-3♣-3♠-?; N/S v; 13 PVP (12 HCP + 1 LP).
      1. 5, Award=100: Pro — Jeff Meckstroth likes this bid, as slam is possible; not a shutout bid; Opener shows only 1-2 distribution in majors, so is 4-6 or 4-7 in minors; Responder has 3 key cards and no wasted values; Con — A bid of 3NT would invite Opener to play with weak ♣ or to remove to 5♣ with strong ♣.
      2. 4, Award=70: Pro — Shows great control cards; shows slam interest; Opener can bid RKC and learn about Responder’s three key cards; Opener might hold an easy slam with ♠x♥Kx♦Kxx♣AQxxxxx; Con — Few hands would make slam after Opener rebids only 3♣.
  7. Billy Miller, Dear Billy, July 2017, p. 63.
    1. Transfers: After Opener bids 1NT, Responder might transfer. On the 2nd round, Opener accepts and Responder bids either a 4c side suit or returns to NT. If Responder bids 3NT, Opener should expect a flat 5-3-3-2 shape. On the 3rd round, Opener with 3cM support may return to the transfer suit, otherwise bids or passes in NT; Responder may raise the major to game or invite slam with a cuebid.
    2. Very Strong Minor: With a 2♣-type hand and ♣ as the presumptive trumps, you should open 1♣. If Responder passes, then X on the 2nd round. If Responder bids 1NT, then jump to 3NT game.
  8. David Bird, Bridge with the Abbot, “The Abbot’s young admirers,” July 2017, p. 64.
    1. Lead after a X: If Overcaller has doubled the opening bid, then Overcaller probably has the other suits. If Responder then bids a new suit, Overcaller probably is even stronger in the remaining two suits. A good lead by Advancer would be the stronger of the remaining two suits, not the longer. Advancer’s strength will probably complement Overcaller’s length.
    2. Uppercut: With a lead suit breaking 4-3-3-3 and a Defender with high trumps, the Defenders should lead the suit a 4th time to force Declarer to trump high. This promotes one or more of Defender’s high trumps.
    3. Entrées: A Declarer with inadequate entrées or with blockage can overtake their troublesome cards. David’s example is Declarer with a side suit of KQ7 and Dummy with AJ963. Declarer needs immediate access to Dummy for a finesse. Declarer needs the 7 for a future finesse in case the side suit breaks badly. Instead of the 7, Declarer leads the K and overtakes it with Dummy’s A.
  9. George Jacobs, George’s World, July 2017, p. 65.
    1. Strong Responder: Partner opened a minor with 15 PVP (14 HCP + 1LP). The minor could be as short as 2c. George as Responder bid a 6cM with 21 PVP (16 HCP + 5DP). The Opponent in 4th seat made a weak jump overcall in George’s void suit. If Opponents were bidding the void, George figured the Opener must have all values concentrated in 3 suits. George jumped to 5NT Pick a Slam. Opener picked 6♣. George figured his team had everything except possibly a finesse for the K♥. George raised to 7♣. Opener had the K♥. The contract made easily.
    2. Gadgets: Responder had a required gadget bid after Opener’s preempt. Responder forgot, so the pair got themselves in trouble with an awful contract. Charles Goren’s advice to such teams was not to use forgettable gadgets.

Hands to Play, from “Bound for Lyon,” pp. 12-15, 26.

You may bid these hands as you desire, but please play them as declared in BB. Please use the BB lead.


Hand Dealer Bid by Declarer Lead by LHO Hints
N ♠JT2♥AK75♦AT8642♣-

E ♠974♥T63♦3♣AK6542

S ♠65♥8♦QJ975♣QJT93

W ♠AKQ83♥QJ942♦K♣87

N all nv 5♥X,

by W

♥K A
N ♠AJ43♥KJT874♦AJ7♣-

E ♠96♥A96♦K6♣KT7432

S ♠Q♥53♦T9543♣AQJ86

W ♠KT8752♥Q2♦Q82♣95


E/W v,



by S

♥2 B
N ♠Q873♥T84♦8♣AJT72

E ♠J54♥J9♦AJT9754♣4

S ♠K962♥762♦K63♣Q96

W ♠AT♥AKQ53♦Q2♣K853


N/S v


By E

♦8 C
N ♠-♥AJT7♦T72♣AJT962

E ♠KT5♥Q53♦AKJ♣K753

S ♠AJ963♥98642♦86♣Q

W ♠Q8742♥K♦Q9543♣84


all v


by N

♦A D



  • A: W=15 PVP. E=10 PVP. North (N) opens 1 to show a 5cm (unless their hand is 4-4-4-1) South (S) jumps to 4, West (W) doubles, N bids 5 game, East (E) doubles, W bids 5 game, and N doubles. N peeks at Dummy with a lead of the K. The best defense is a forcing defense. N continues with the ♥A, ♦A, and ♥5. Declarer pulls the remaining trumps. Declarer plays 5 rounds of ♠ and then concedes a . S switches to , ruffed. Declarer continues in . Declarer is set by 2Xnv, for -300.
  • B: N=17 PVP. S=13 PVP. N opens 2 Flannery. S supports with just 2c, perhaps hoping N has 6c. N raises to 3 and S raises to 4. Defense may try to pull S’ trumps. W leads the 2, covered by the ♥K and ♥A. E leads trumps again, W wins, and switches to ♠, won by Declarer. Declarer finesses Dummy’s AJ, losing. E switches back to ♠, leads to Partner’s K, won by Dummy’s A. Declarer is trapped in Dummy. Declarer is set by 2nv, for -100.
  • C: W=19 PVP. E=11 PVP. E opens with 1. W jump shifts to 3. E bids game with J9 support. N leads the 8 won by S’ K, and returned for a ruff. N cashes the A since the suit is a singleton in Dummy. N plays the ♠3 since Dummy would ruff a , but this lead finesses S. Declarer ruffs two in Dummy and one ♠ in hand. Declarer draws 3 rounds of trumps and claims. Declarer makes, for +420.
  • D: N=12 PVP. S=8 PVP. E opens 1NT, W transfers to ♠ with a 2 bid, and N overcalls 3. AP. E leads the A, W signaling a bad attitude. E switches to a low , topped by the K and A. Declarer switches back to , won by W who leads trumps to E’s King. E cashes the K and Q, exiting with a low for partner to ruff. Declarer is set by 2v, for -200.

1PVP: Partnership Valuation Points = High Card Points + (Declarer Length Points or Dummy Shortage Points). Length Points are 1 for each card ≥5c in any suit. Shortage Points are 5/3/1 for each void/singleton/doubleton in a ≥ 4c-trump Dummy, or 3/2/1 in a ≤ 3c-trump Dummy. A Take-Out Double is valued with Dummy Points.

Student Notes: (nb: The latest version of BBul July 2017.docx may be downloaded at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s