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Bid, Pass or Double

by Di Brooks

In a contested auction, players need to decide whether to bid, pass or double, so that they convey to their partner information regarding their holding. Sitting for a while, (a few seconds may seem like minutes), then deciding to pass puts the onus on your partner to only bid on their own hand and not on the unauthorised information they have received by the long hesitation and then a pass. If you have a poor point count, then passing without any hesitation creates no problem.

Take this example: Both pairs playing Precision:

  Pass1 *
Pass1 Pass2 
3 ?  

*Alerted- 11-15

North had to make a difficult decision whether to bid, pass or double as the N/S pair were vulnerable. His holding was:-AK92, 754, J1096, K5 .With his holding of eleven points, passing was never in the equation, so now the decision was Bid or Double. The clue to making the right choice was in South's rebid. The single raise to 2S meant that he was in the lower end of his 11-15 point range. There was no game on for them so it was a mandatory double. The end result +500. If North had chosen to pass South would also have passed. In a Swiss pairs event E-W would be -150, with N/S able to make 3S for +140 resulting in a flat board. The double brought in +500 and 6 IMPs for the N/S.

(The 1D bid = 11-15 high card points, with no 5 card majors.)

The two hands were:

East Deals
None Vul
A K 9 2
7 5 4
J 10 9 6
K 5
6 4
A J 9
A 8 7 5 3 2
9 8
8 7 5
K Q 8
Q 4
J 6 4 3 2
Q J 10 3
10 6 3 2
A Q 10 7

As a responder, you will have a little time to decide on your options BEFORE the opponent makes his bid. Take the opportunity to assess your hand while both the opener and the opponent decide on their bids.

Happy bridging

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