Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Know the scoring table

Another wild hand at the same club game (we are vulnerable against not):
West opens a weak 2H.  Partner doubles and I get ready to bid 3S when East bids 2S!  Discomfited, I double. That's the wrong call, of course. I should bid 3C now, getting my other suit in.  Anyway, partner now bids 5D.

East doubles.  Your call.  What do you do?

At the table, I passed.  Partner should be able to make 5D and I do have a good card for him. Partner did make his contract ... with two overtricks!  But 5DX with 2 overtricks is still less points than the minor suit slam.  So, it was only an average-plus board.

Partner doubled because he has at least two places to play (with a strong single-suiter, he would have just bid 4D or 5D).  As long as East was not psyching, his two places to play are the minors. 4NT might have been more descriptive than the initial double, but partner was probably concerned about losing all that bidding space. I should bid 6C now. A doubled game with overtricks is still not worth as much as a slam.  Just because they double you in a game contract doesn't mean you stop trying for slam.

The full hand (no I don't know what east was thinking with his bids either), but he did keep us out of slam:


  1. Reminds me very much now of another hand from this blog ("make agreements ...").

    Similar comment applies: I can make it much easier for you by bidding 3H instead of 5D, to show a rock-crusher with serious slam interest. I don't know if that helps here, but there's absolutely no downside because I can always bid 5D on my own later if I feel like it.

    4NT right away I didn't like because I didn't want you to bid 5C with (say) 3-2 in clubs/diamonds. I also don't learn anything about your hand regarding our slam prospects this way.

    However, double also comes with a risk: you might pass for penalty, which is likely to be a big disaster, even if we do set them. (I didn't realize that at the table, of course.)

    Interesting hand for sure!

  2. 6H down 4 is actually an excellent sacrifice over 6D, holding us to +800 at most, plus, it's not impossible to mess up the defense (too many rounds of spades).