Play Bridge | 07 11 2017 | Hand 3 | ♠AK73 ♥T4 ♦K854 ♣KQ4
November 7, 2017
To Bid or Not to Bid?
November 10, 2017

The Art of Balancing

-

Even if your side can’t open the bidding, that doesn’t mean you should let the other side get away with a cheap contract. Make a balancing double or balancing overcall to get your side into the auction when they’ve signed off at a low level. In these situations, your side deserves to play the hand as much as they do!

40 Comments

  1. Don’t worry @graeme, I’m not recording.

    But, for everyone else, what do you do after West bids 2… pass, double, or bid a different suit?

  2. rosie196 says:

    Must be a variance depending on individual settings. East opened 1NT which everybody else passed and then they went one down. But this was a mediocre score.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  3. baygon2014 says:

    Really did not know what to do but was buggered if I let them play 2 clubs. So bid 2 spades, pushed them into three and they went down. You can tell from your hand and their bidding that the points must be evenly distributed so any contract of 2 or more is going to be tough.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P 2
    P P X P
    3 P P P

  4. bien says:

    Please explain why Rosie196 and I have a East PPP1NT PPP experience which we take down EW, while others have a East PPP 1C etc. Is it because we are playing weak NT while the others are strong NT settings. Which is considered the best option.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

    • janemart says:

      @bien Yep. It was because you I and @Rosie196 play weak NT, and other commentators play strong. As to which is the best option – that’s a discussion that has been going on for 50 odd years, and it all depends on the hand… On this hand I reckon the weak NT players saved themselves a lot of grief over what to bid, and generally did better in the results.
      There’ll be another hand soon which demonstrates why Strong NT is superior. It won’t change my mind though.
      Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – – – P
      P P 1N P
      P P

  5. jckspa says:

    Easy choice to pass when opponents open 1NT. They went down on a spade lead, I replayed as declarer and it makes when the opponents lead diamonds. It is a better suit but I prefer leading a major against NT if I have a choice – just a feeling that opponents are less likely to have much in the suit if neither mentioned it.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  6. kathryn says:

    But not on a diamond lead @jackspa!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  7. banksia9 says:

    I doubled 1C!
    As a passed hand, partner shouldn’t be expecting too much. He shouldn’t pass out 2C.
    “We” defended absymally and 2C duly made 9 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 X
    2 P P P

  8. vals says:

    You must be ecstatic about that score @janemart .Hard to get plus scores today
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  9. unixman says:

    Cant voye I take them 2 light in the NT contract
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  10. debdaniels says:

    Congrats to top%u2014 here’s the ticket 2NTX%u2014 makes 8.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P X
    P 2N X P
    P P

  11. kernokid says:

    Bid 2NTdirectly over 1NT, North raised to 3NT. West led a club and hey presto – 9 tricks.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N 2N
    P 3N P P
    P

  12. scobb says:

    I bid 2S over 2C, which was doubled by E, then taken out to 3C by W, which I doubled. Took them down by 2, 500 to us :-).
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P 2
    P P X P
    3 P P X
    P P P

  13. glenguest says:

    Doubled after 2C to see where partner was strongest in her weak hand. She bid 2NT, which we made.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P X
    P 2N X P
    P P

  14. anguss says:

    left them in 1 nt they made 6

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  15. holley says:

    Had to pass the 1NT as double is for penalty
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  16. maryanne40 says:

    Doubled 1c, partnered passed 2 clubs, I bid 2 spades and partner bids 4spades!!! Ridiculous….can’t understand partner’s bid at all.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 X
    2 P P 2
    P 4 X P
    P P

  17. joanbrookes says:

    Played the hand and East went 1NT. The rest of us passed. Got them down 1 trick. Feel satisfied with that.


    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  18. @graeme: Two questions:
    1) Where on earth did E get the opening C bid, with only 3? And (2) where in the world did W get his D bid?
    On the initial D lead from W, partner played the 9, which IMO was definitely wrong, and cost us a trick in defence as it could have beaten the D8 on a fourth lead of spades from S.
    Come to that, wasn’t E a little adventurous doubling 2S? At all events, set 3D (which I really should have doubled!) by two tricks but it should have been three.

    I know there are “settings”, but there are hands, like E, where a strong NT must be shaded, and I’d say this fits that category. In fact, it looks to me as if any (realistic) contract can only be allowed to make by sloppy defence.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 1
    2 2 X P
    3 P P P

    • pfredrix says:

      @steamboatbill Your setting is for 5 card majors. If you don’t have one, you have to bid a minor, right? And if you don’t have a 4 card minor, you’re going to have to bid a three-carder. The default is 1C, which leaves the most room for partner’s response. So, what if you are 4-4-3-2? Some players bid the 2 card Clubs anyway. I prefer to bid the 3 card Diamonds in that situation; that way if partner supports on 3 or 4 cards, we’re not in a ridiculous trump suit.
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – – – P
      P P 1 P
      2 P P X
      P 2N X P
      P P

      • pfredrix says:

        @pfredrix BTW, the narrow precision of the NT structure is the backbone of 5 Card Major Standard bidding. You don’t mess with or shade the point count; your partner is relying on you to have what you say you have. (And dropping it two full points, as you suggest here, is more like eclipsing than “shading”!) As to where W got the 3D bid, my answer is simple – no idea! Neverland, maybe?

        • @pfredrix Thank you for your explanation(s).
          However, I pass on R1, and (the way I have always played) this means all “settings” can be suspect. That failure to open must be taken into account by partner, who would have inferred this from my last paragraph above, but that’s really the problem when he’s a computer!
          In any event, according to your rigid interpretation, E, sitting fourth in hand, should have passed the hand out (I certainly would have done), since as I understzand a strong NT, you need at the very least 15 HCP, and as E is at adverse vulnerability, that is really a guideline to be followed here!
          Do please feel free to criticize, as my bridge may be rather old-fashioned, but all in all, it’s been effective. I take these settings as a valuable guideline, but as stated, they don’t always apply, excepz to opening bids or at your first opportunity to call, whether to support partner or to contest the auction.
          @raeme: BTW, why does N not play the D9 on the fourth lead of spades (to drive the DA off the table and give N-S an extra trick) instead of discarding a club? Is that just careless play, or a bug in the programming?

  19. ljpg says:

    I bid the same as Baygon2014 and scobb by overcalling 2s over opponents p-p-p-1c-p-p-2s-p but my robo partner bid 4s!! and I was cooked (and dbld) for -500
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 X
    2 P P 2
    P 4 X P
    P P

  20. amcleodnz says:

    Basic acol 4 card majors, easy to leave them in 1NT and setting the contract be 2 tricks.

    I would not double the 1NT contract as I don’t have the required HCP values. Bidding consistently according to the acol system will over time yield better results than one off top boards with unusual bidding. It is important to communicate correct information to your partner.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1N P
    P P

  21. @pfredrix Thank you for your explanation(s).
    However, I pass on R1, and (the way I have always played) this means all “settings” can be suspect. That failure to open must be taken into account by partner, who would have inferred this from my last paragraph above, but that’s really the problem when he’s a computer!
    In any event, according to your rigid interpretation, E, sitting fourth in hand, should have passed the hand out (I certainly would have done), since as I understzand a strong NT, you need at the very least 15 HCP, and as E is at adverse vulnerability, that is really a guideline to be followed here!
    Do please feel free to criticize, as my bridge may be rather old-fashioned, but all in all, it’s been effective. I take these settings as a valuable guideline, but as stated, they don’t always apply, excepz to opening bids or at your first opportunity to call, whether to support partner or to contest the auction.

    @Graeme: the reply function doesn’t seem to be working – is this my browser, or a program glitch?
    Also BTW, why does N not play the D9 on the fourth lead of spades (to drive the DA off the table and give N-S an extra trick) instead of discarding a club? Is that just an omission in the programming or a slip-up in the play?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 1
    2 2 X P
    3 P P X
    P P P

  22. jlmeyers says:

    Hi I decided to play it in 2NT and made it.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P X
    P 2N X P
    P P

  23. nevillet says:

    We went down one (1)….
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 1
    2 2 X P
    2 3 P P
    P

  24. amsadl says:

    Bid 2 which pushed them to 3, and took 6 tricks


    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P 2
    P P X P
    3 P P P

  25. simone says:

    I doubled 2C and made 200.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 X
    2 P P X
    P P P

  26. elizakaye says:

    If the opposition are in a minor suit and stop at the 2 level – is it worth it if you might get doubled and go down?

  27. chini says:

    They bid 2C and went down one.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P P

  28. I got a heart lead. Went down 1 in 2 heart contract.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  29. joy1 says:

    1st I bid 2D, and then in the next deal I bid 2S… wow great hand, enjoyed…
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P 2
    P P X XX
    3 P P P

  30. cacho says:

    one down after i put west in end play
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – – – P
    P P 1 P
    2 P P P

Leave a Reply