Top of a Sequence
November 18, 2017
A Fit With a Side of Shortness
November 28, 2017

Holy Moly, Are Those 9 Diamonds I See?

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Believe it or not, you’ve got a 9-card suit. With hands like these, high card points don’t matter so much. With this in mind, how do you respond to partner’s 1 heart opening? Well, we don’t want to undersell our hand. Let’s make a forcing bid and try as hard as we can to play in our suit.

Answer our poll and watch the video to see what @tina recommends!

94 Comments

  1. Wow, what a strange hand to bid…

  2. unixman says:

    I actually Bid 3 and I am so glad I did not return partner to Hearts which I seriously considered before say nope I really think we want to be in Diamonds here partner and with the A Partner gives me game … well done
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3
    X 3 P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  3. oddfellow says:

    I seriously considered following partner but so glad I didn’t. Made contract
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  4. rahamrick says:

    Yes. I think it is pretty clear we want to try for game. But likely that we have a couple of losers (since south hand has 0 aces). NT is not a good option. Even if the diamonds are good — there is likely limited entry to the south hand. I wouldn’t call it dilly dallying — I would call it going directly to the game contract in diamonds, when any other bid could easily miss out on game. If slam were in the works, that north would likely be able to figure that out.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  5. rosie196 says:

    I was mindful of @graeme’s advice to just bid the contract you want after the first bid because 80% of the time that is where you are going to end up. Thought about 3NT but 5 diamonds seems safer and makes.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  6. amafyram says:

    I prefer the 2D bid – it’s forcing so no need to jump and we get the best picture of partner’s strength.


    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

  7. lynng says:

    No guts no glory…Yee haw!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  8. Too much guts no glory! Boo hoo
    Down 1
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

    • bajir says:

      @alanintoronto Me too 🙁 Eh, no shame in swinging for the fences from time to time.
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – 1 P 6
      P P P

    • rmurray says:

      @alanintoronto Don’t use Blackwood unless you know what you are going to bid in the case of each of the replies. Here the 5H bid promised 2 aces but brought you past the 5D level.
      Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – 1 P 5
      P P P

  9. hagleyjazz says:

    THought I’d just see if partner had a great hand. But once the take out double came from W I just bid 5D. First time I payed I managed to lose 3 tricks. Having seen the hands I wonder how I did that!!!! Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

    • vickiadnams says:

      I agree with you hagleyjazz! Partner has opened 1H and promises a re-bid. So when W doubles and N go’s 2h you know with 12 pts with W there is likely not slam. If partner jumps in H or rebids 2 or 3 NT then it’s game on!

  10. bid 5diamonds made it
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 4
    X 4 P 5
    P P P

  11. danishmand says:

    Bid 6 diamonds & got 1down. East did not fall in my trap of trumping 4thspade to be overtrumped & so had to give a diamond queen trick thus going 1down.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 6
    P P P

  12. Took the leap and was rewarded. Freak hands can be the most rewarding or the most disappointing hands of all…
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  13. banksia9 says:

    Obviously, EW can take the first 3 tricks against 5D and should also get a diamond trick.
    So, 5D should not make.
    In my opinion, North has an easy pass over West’s double.
    Why on earth would he want to rebid 2H with a 5 carder headed by the 9?
    My 3D might have ended the auction. Simply rebidding my suit shows weakness. However, I can’t blame partner for expecting me to have a bit more in terms of high card points.
    Normally, removing the 3NT game to a partscore such as 4D is forcing showing a better hand than 5D.
    However, that double from West means this is no ordinary auction. Perhaps North can pass 4D.

    I would never bid 1H – 5D.
    I don’t believe in preempting against partner.
    Give opener another bid to tell his story.
    Preempting against a live partner is a good way to be looking for another partner 🙂

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

    • unixman says:

      Better look for a new Partner 🙂 I pre-empted against partner we go 1 P 3 promising 7 Diamond Card and NOTHING else. I think this particular hand is perfect to do that bid it show the low point value and the long suit value. It also leave the option open to allowing partner to pass…

      • graeme says:

        Nah, 3D is a jump shift showing a strong hand, @unixman. Some players use it as a weak bid but that’s not common and requires a special partnership agreement.

        • unixman says:

          OMG I have always played a double shift in a minor is weak…Better go back and hit the books again old habbits…Thanks graeme

        • unixman says:

          You sent me to the books it is two over one bidding(2/1) minimum of 6 cards longer is fine in suit and generally 5/6 points intent is to say I have nothing but this I can not help in any other suit…It has to be an immediate response to partner so not bids by opponents and no previous suit bid by myself.

          • dyfed says:

            @unixman my partner and I would play your bid as a “jump fit”: support for the first bid suit, over 12 points and a strong suit in D, game forcing, slam potential. But as always depends on partnership agreement.

          • graeme says:

            2/1 is a different system, @unixman. In the 2/1 system a new suit at the 2 level is game forcing. It’s not Standard. And 3D is a jump shift, not a 2/1 bid. There are some books and teachers who use a jump shift to show a weak hand but, really, there are more that don’t. Check around the internet a bit and type in either weak jump shift or strong jump shift and you’ll get an idea of the two schools of thought.

        • unixman says:

          I have actually been reading the various versions of Jump Shift 2/1 as you say there are more than just 2 uses of the bidding. Dyfed for example is another meaning for it…Funny thing is I have always played it as weak and long. I will have to be careful when using that now. Always interesting and go to show lots of thing we can all learn..well I can 😛

    • unixman says:

      Banksia9 do you play two over one as weak or strong ? I play it weak ?

    • sadiesue says:

      @banksia9 I agree
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – 1 P 1N
      P P P

  14. kathryn says:

    Good start for change!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 5
    P P P

  15. dyfed says:

    worth bidding 2D – it’s forcing so you won’t get left in it – as u may learn more about other hands. But ultimately the only way to make this, I think, is to finesse the S, regardless of other bids.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

  16. feltjen says:

    Straight to 5 D and made it! Joehoe!!! Nice day.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  17. heth4 says:

    Took this beginner 3 goes – but got it too!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  18. fionaa says:

    Me too @hagleyjazz- its a rare talent to be able to go down one on a hand like this! Got there in the end though thanks to @baygon’s useful tips 🙂
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  19. sockstevens says:

    Pre empts are for cutting through the cr&p and getting to game, although if, repeat if partner has a really strong hand they can possibly go for a slam. Too many losers however for me to bid. Partner must have some strength however to open the bidding, so Hs at least covered, for one round, as was the case
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  20. overtonmark says:

    Agrieved to make 5D when I chickened out in 4, but as you can see defense should cash both aces first as he/she is sitting on the kings.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 4
    P P P

  21. sockstevens says:

    correction. Hearts are not covered!!!! Goes down if AK of Hs led by West followed by A of Cs. W went the wrong for me though – Thank you .
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  22. vals says:

    Well that debate made interesting reading and showed me once again how little I know !
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P P
    X 1 P 1N
    P P P

    • baygon2014 says:

      Do you want to know the bad news? No matter how long you have been playing bridge has a way of reminding you that you know very little. The good news is that everytime there is something new that you know nothing about so it is always a fresh adventure.

  23. biggboy says:

    Bid & made 4D as short in blak suits so could ruff
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 4
    P P P

  24. johng says:

    One off for being too greedy but nothing lost nothing gained
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  25. romey78 says:

    Well it seemed to me with such a freak hand that either 5 D makes or it doesn’t- it would be difficult to convey the shape any other way!
    Bid and made 5D but of course if W had led A K H and A C but H was a bid suit still it might have been worth trying!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  26. johna says:

    Ignored the advice and bid 5D hoping partner had at least one. Made it for a top board.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  27. binayakch says:

    Called and made 5 Diamond.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  28. ladygaga says:

    Fun to play 5D but wouldn’t normally bid that way 😊
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P P
    X 1 P 5
    P P P

  29. suzicoo says:

    1down played the wrong lead.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  30. glsamuelson says:

    Made it on 4th try.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  31. fishy says:

    Loved this first top for ages!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  32. bala1954 says:

    Took the slow route to 5D – but played a heart by mistake and went down. Played the way I meant to the 2nd time and made it.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  33. says:

    Did not expect hearts to be bid twice by partner with just 5 and no honours.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 4
    P P P

  34. rmurray says:

    I noticed many players repeating diamonds at every turn to bid . Why let your partner decribe his hand to the opposition giving them more information as how to lead if you are going to ignore him and end in 5D, better to bid the 5 and spare him giving the opponents that information.
    Also i seem to remember advice given by a writer that you should rescue your partner once from a bad contract but not twice. if he’s that determined he might be right and if hes wrong all you done is dig a deeper hole for him.
    PS Of course west after winning the first club should see that there is a strong possibilty of his heart winners dissappearing because declarer can discard heart losers under the spades and cash his heart winners.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  35. fionaa says:

    Ooooh Thank you very much @graeme Happy dancing in my kitchen today then!

  36. nelle says:

    WOW! My 3H made 6 tricks. My 5D made 11 tricks. Didn’t know what to bid.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  37. debdaniels says:

    Congrats to the top!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

  38. jb4400 says:

    I bid the same as everyone else
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 5
    P P P

  39. All this is very interesting, but we still went down!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 4
    X 4 P 5
    P P P

  40. Okay, gave myself a wee shake, rebid & of course it made…
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  41. wadkin37 says:

    wadkin37 Very interesting discussion re the bidding of this hand. Initially thought of going to 5 D…but decided that
    discretion is the better part of valor. I want my partner to trust my bidding…so I bid 1NT,…partner passed…
    I sank down many to the bottom of the Bad Result Sea.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1N
    P P P

  42. robienv says:

    5D Made.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  43. wandad says:

    Just had to take a chance on getting rid of losers before pulling trump
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  44. with a nine card suit; I NT or just a 2 Dimond answer would have given partner the wrong indication and might of got us into hearts which we did not want to be in. With no aces and two singletons not a lot of point asking for aces; again partner would have shown two and we do not know which two. We definately wanted to be in diamonds; so agree jump to 5 diamonds or try a shift jump and let partner ask for aces if he is strong enough. Made 5 and that all there was.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3
    X 3 P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  45. blondie58 says:

    Nice fun hand. 5D making! Have a great day all!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  46. jeffs says:

    Wonderful hand. To my mind the only response is 5D straightaway. You have 5 possible losers, but north must have something. If west leads AK clubs you are fine. If he leads A clubs then 2 hearts you are down.

    First time I tried blackwood, but that was really stupid. Missing so many Aces and kings it was very likely to go horribly wrong, and it does. If north shows one, or four aces you are OK. Three aces probably OK. Two aces (as in this case) means you are in 6 diamonds with no chance of making it.

    If north had a really good hand (like 3 or 4 aces) he could possibly raise the 5 diamond response to 6 or even 7 by guessing that south hand loads of diamonds and not a lot else.


    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  47. sadiesue says:

    I agree
    5D should never make. West should take first two aces then gamble on the KC or KH. If west chooses the KH south is down two.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 1N
    P P P

  48. denniseb says:

    finally got there, but hit the wrong key and didnt make it first time went and played it again and got the correct tricks 11
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

  49. collar says:

    I bid 5 diamonds and made it . 1st go.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  50. triciacallow says:

    @sadiesue and @Tina No one seems to have commented on this: It’s HOW
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  51. triciacallow says:

    @Tina – No one seems to have commented on this: It’s HOW YOU BID that determines the leads you get that determines whether you make 5D. @sadiesue is right about the contract which should go down – and when I bid 2D first, Partner rebid Hs and we got the ‘correct’ leads and went off. When I bid 3D, Partner bid Ss and we got different ‘correct’ leads and went off. When I went straight to 5D, we got a second C lead and bingo, it made. So is that a justification for the jump straight to 5D, or is it just bad/good luck?
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

    • tina says:

      @triciacallow As you can see from the comments, there are many approaches to this hand. i didn’t want to bid 5D straight away as I thought we might miss out on 6. Re your question – I think it is a question of luck. You can’t second guess that the lead might be different depending on whether you bid 2D or 3D. Sadly,, this game is not a science!!

  52. buffygr says:

    I went straight to 5 diamonds. I think it described my hand and I didn’t have to worry about going higher an not making the bid
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  53. huntert says:

    responded with forcing 2 diamond bid–was thinking–5 or 6 diamond bid? when partner came back with 2 hearts–my boldness waned and i went to 5 diamonds–easily made but saw no path to 6
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 5
    P P P

  54. Assuming you are playing 1NT forcing, it is the only bid. Partner must be given a chance to bd hearts again or show strength. Suppose pard bids 2NT over 1NT, now 4C (Gerber) then 4, 5 or 6 diamonds, depending on number of Aces. Suppose partner bids 3H, now just raise to 4H. The problem with 5D is that it is just too damn easy to lose 3+ tricks unless parner has the KEY cards.
    Over 2C, I try 4D, though I guess 3D could be correct. Over 2D, I bid 5D. the problem with 2D game force is I just don’t see 11 tricks Partner needs black aces, A or K or hearts, and an A or Q of diamonds. He needs THREE of these> With KQx AJxxx x Axxx, which i s a pretty nice hand, 5D has play, but change the small diamond to a heart or make the black cards less ideal, and its really tough to take more than 9 tricks and hearts the better place I think I only raise 2H to 3H (and hide my suit totally) though 4H has merit. Jumping directly to 4D or (vomit) 5D over 1H ruins any chance of exchanging information with partner. I half expect my LHO to bid 4S here anyhow, but if he does, I will at pass if partner doubles for penalty and otherwise try 5D, since partners failure to double and my LHOs bid make it MUCH more likely that partner has something in diamonds. If we are off 3 aces, they might make 4S.

    If playing 4CM, I guess 2D is the ticket, but over 2H what now? 3D is not even forcing. Better yet, quit playing 4CM.

  55. davstevens says:

    I disagree. When partner opens I want to play in game or slam. So I bid 2D, forcing, to see what partner has. When partner rebids hearts, I think partner has a minimal opener with six hearts. While slam is now off the table I still want game, so I show more diamonds, with 3D. This is still forcing, but when partner goes to 3NT I think we may have to settle for 4D, which I bid. Partner takes me to 5D, which I pass with regret. When West misdefends by leading a second club instead of cashing a heart, I make it. There is just no way to set up a trump coup to pick up the diamond queen, so if West shifts to a heart winner (which he or she should, hopefully reading East’s even-number signal correctly) there is no way to make it. Jumping to 5D at any point forecloses the very real possibility of a slam, and the original 2D bid is forcing to game in my system, unless there is a proven misfit.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 2
    X 2 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  56. pradevin says:

    Bid 3 diamonds, partner bid 3 spades and I jumped to game with 5 diamonds. Made it easily.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3
    X 3 P 5
    P P P

  57. browngirl says:

    Made it very easily.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3
    X 3 P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  58. joy1 says:

    Wow, nice hand, made 5D in one chance… great… enjoyed…
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 5
    P P P

  59. lizzys says:

    what a lot of comments on this hand! I replied 3D to my partners opening heart bid, she showed her spades, I went to 4D and she went to 5D which we made

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 P 3
    X 3 P 4
    P 5 P P
    P

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