Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Confused by this concept

Luis says that if you open a club and p bids a heart and you bid a spade you're promising 4 clubs.
Well, the good thing here is that if you as responder have three or four clubs (likely enough) and a poor hand you now have the option to play in 2clubs rather than 1nt. And that can be nice.

However if you also have 4 spades and you don't have clubs then you're sad. You wanted to be in spades.

Bob uses this example to make the point What if you held qxxx qxxxx Qx xx. (If you're playing 2way checkback can you bid 2h with this holding?) You'd really rather be in a spade fit here, wouldn't you? If p held xxxx xxx xxx xxx? And his 1nt makes you feel just a little tragic.

So, pros and cons on both sides. Luis points out it's a matter of style and benefits and losses either way. My question is how standard is this treatment? Which has the bigger benefit, and the greater drawback? Which method profits more often?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both methods have their pros and cons. I prefer to bid 1NT with 4333 hands. Those hands scream for notrump.

Other always bid 1S when they have 4, and yet other partnerships always bid 1NT with a balanced hand. As usual, most important is to agree so that partner knows what to expect.

BTW, Bergen in "points schmoints" also recommends bidding 1S unless 4333.


11:34 PM  
Blogger BadMonster said...

Very hard to argue with you and Marty. I do have a concern however about when responder's hand is heavy in the majors, unbalanced and low in points. Will you mind having given up the trump suit?

11:21 AM  
Blogger MickyB said...

Yup, there are indeed pros and cons. I think it simplifies things greatly to rebid 1NT on all balanced hands without 4 card support. For example -

1C:1H, 1S - what do you bid on Jxx AJxxx xxx Kx if partner hasn't promised 5 clubs? Or Jxx AJxxx xx Kxx if he hasn't promised 4 clubs?

You open 1C on KJxx Qxx Kx Axxx. The auction proceeds 1C:1H, 1S:2D, long until you tell partner that you were dealt a weak NT?

Of course, this has to be weighed up against missing fits. I don't see much problem with bypassing spades on a 4=3=3=3 - if responder is 4-4 in the majors then 1NT should be fine, if he is 4-5 in the majors you can cope with just playing in 2H even if you will occasionally lose out to those playing 2S in the 4-4 fit. The losses from rebidding 1NT on a 4=2=3=4 and playing in a 5-2 heart fit instead of a 4-4 spade fit will be much greater.

So, in conclusion, I think "bypass spades only on 4333" and "always bypass spades" are better than "always bid spades".

12:59 PM  

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