How to beat your rival off at the pass

BIDDING a hand that has been 'passed' in the first round of a bridge auction, and that partner has subsequently opened, has to done with care.

We want to inform partner of any values we might be holding so that the opportunity to bid on is possible.

On the other hand, we do not want to misinform partner by exaggerating the trick taking ability of our hand, and neither do we want to risk ending up in a contract that has little chance of success.

For example, say we held a hand such as:

  • Spades Q943; Hearts 85; Diamonds 4; Clubs KQT952

If the hand has been passed in the first round of bidding and partner opens 1 diamond, the best response would be 2 clubs.

The risk in bidding the 4 card spade suit is that we might be left to play in it and find that partner has little support for spades.

Remember, once we have passed, partner is entitled to pass any subsequent bid that we make.

It would be better to play in an unsupported six-card suit at the 2 level, than an unsupported 4 card suit at the 1 level.

If we were not a passed hand after partner had opened 1 diamond, the best bid would be 1 spade.

Our bid is forcing to partner for one round, so we still have a chance to show our clubs if partner is interested in continuing the bidding.

So in this way the same hand can receive different bidding treatments depending on what has happened previously.

Recent winners

CONGRATULATIONS to those members of the Bathurst Bridge Club who won both the outright and handicap competitions in recent events.

The members include Angela Douglas, Sheila Thompson, Val Irvine, Karolyn Graham, Alan Sims, Peter Horwood, Robin Pearce, Karin Le Roux, Bob Walkom, Pamela Stuart-Brown, Bob and Lyn Dillon, Diane Kajons, Graham Daniel, Craig and Irene Faulkner, John Shield, Graham Cox, Rosemary Hummelshoj, Chris Rosevear and Gillian Wainwright.

Well done, all.