Opener’s Second Bid
December 7, 2017
Hey, That’s My Suit!
December 17, 2017

Should I defend 1NT or bid my best suit?

12 15, 2017 - Hand 1
J65_T98764_6_A64

Should I defend 1NT or bid my best suit?

This is a question we hear from players all the time: “I have a weak hand and think I’m supposed to pass, but I don’t want to defend 1NT. Can I bid?”

With only 5 HCPs, will you pass twice?

Or, if you do bid and win the auction, is there anything you might want to do before you start drawing trumps?

Watch as Tina guides us through this hand then play (or replay) the hand to see how you fair.

55 Comments

  1. tina says:

    Be patient. You often get a second chance to bid and you haven’t misled partner but promising too much too soon.

    Any questions? I’d love to hear your reasoning.


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

  2. banksia9 says:

    Partner correctly diagnosed my hand.
    Not only did I not have enough to bid 2H immediately, I didn’t even have enough to make a negative double.
    I must be very long and very weak.
    We scrambled to make 10 tricks but EW have 4 winners to cash.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  3. danishmand says:

    bid 4 hearts & made 11 tricks.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  4. gypssy says:

    I doubled first round to show I had the other major and I had good shape. Not quite 6 points but added extra one for length. Partner bid 2H and I passed….. made 10 tricks
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  5. ennasarp says:

    Responded 1H and eventually ended up at 4H. Though it was always one down, managed to keep when opponents inexplicably allowed my Spade J to score. West shifted to clubs after starting by scoring Spade ace. Took the club with ace, ruffed small club in dummy scored ace of hearts and a led a Spade from dummy which was inexplicably not taken by E allowing Jack from hand to score. Led the last club from hand to ruff from dummy, scored heart king, and then only other losers were the last Spade and single turn diamond.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  6. collar says:

    @tina I bid 2 hearts and was left in it. Made 11 tricks. Cross trumped…
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P P
    P

  7. mr-timair says:

    Although my hand didn’t have ‘good’ HCP, I felt the need to initially reply with 2. When partner upped it to 3, I knew it was unlikely we’d have enough TP to make it game. Considering partner and I weren’t vulnerable, I thought to myself “why the hell not”, and bumped it up to 4.

    I ended up making 11 tricks in 4, and topping the boards. I guess sometimes it pays to be flexible when taking on invitational bids.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  8. mr-timair says:

    Although my hand didn’t have %u2018good’ HCP, I felt the need to initially reply with 2H. When partner upped it to 3H, I knew it was unlikely we’d have enough TP to make it game. Considering partner and I weren’t vulnerable, I thought to myself “why the hell not”, and bumped it up to 4H.

    I ended up making 11 tricks in 4H, and topping the boards. I guess sometimes it pays to be flexible when taking on invitational bids.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  9. mr-timair says:

    Although my hand didn’t have ‘good’ HCP, I felt the need to initially reply with 2H. When partner upped it to 3H, I knew it was unlikely we’d have enough TP to make it game. Considering partner and I weren’t vulnerable, I thought to myself “why the hell not”, and bumped it up to 4H.

    I ended up making 11 tricks in 4H, and topping the boards. I guess sometimes it pays to be flexible when taking on invitational bids.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  10. mariagee says:

    @tina seems I was the coward on this and stuck to the 1NT – score 7-6 so not as good as your play.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P P

  11. mariagee says:

    @tina second try and yes, played hearts and made 10 good video thanks Tina
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P P
    P

  12. romey78 says:

    I bid 1 NT as a waiting bid to see if and what partner rebid – unfortunately I was left there and made it but a poor score – the point is when do you break the rules on bidding at the 2 level ? Overall I feel it better to keep faith with partner – I do not bid at the 2 level with only 5 points – unless exceptional distribution –
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 1N
    P P P

    • bmsc says:

      @romey78 I think the double is a more honest bid. Negative double shows the unbid suits with a preference for the major. Should be 6 points but the length is worth something. Once yiou have fit and cound tricks it makes yiou think about game too…in similar logic to a weak freak.
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – 1 1 X
      1N 2 P 4
      P P P

  13. dyfed says:

    nice of the opposition to keep leading C, allowing me to ruff in dummy and discard in hand
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  14. johng says:

    Passed first time the bid hearts made 9 tricks. Cannot see ten as E W have 4 winners?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  15. johng says:

    Played again and made ten – terrible defence?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P P
    P

  16. fionaa says:

    I followed the rules and didn’t bid my Hs because of the low point count. Made 7 defending against their 1NT. Happy enough with the outcome, but would love to develop the skill of knowing when to bend the rules to gain a points advantage and when to respect them and avoid crashing my daily results.


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

  17. says:

    Defended 1N and they went down 1. Didn’t have the guts to bid 2 H with what I had.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P P

  18. benjiman says:

    I did risk the negative double. Passed 2 hearts from Partner. Scored plus 170.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  19. chess says:

    Defend the 1nt. Did ok but it was only a little bit better than average. 2h was the ticket
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P P

  20. wadkin37 says:

    wadkin37 @ Tina Thank you for the informative video. I risked a negative double with my sparse pointed hand. Problem
    with my play was drawing trump before leading toward the KD. Squeaked by making 2 H. Also, I trumped
    a club beforehand.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  21. wadkin37 says:

    wadkin37 @ Tina How strong a hand must one have to bid a negative X?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  22. davstevens says:

    I bid 2H and found partner with four to the AK. I made four when the East robot misdefended; three should be par, losing three spades and one diamond. When in the passout seat at the one level and not vulnerable, I will take almost any opportunity to bid. Here I have a six card suit and five HCP. My general style is rather aggressive, but even more timid players should pull up their socks and make this bid.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  23. mwright says:

    I thought the hand justified 2H response because of shape and bearing in mind losing trick count (fingers crossed that partner doesn’t rebid diamonds). No justification for raising 3H though – such poor defence is irritating with 4 tricks very obvious off the top. Not sure what ‘%u2018good’ and other similar means; perhaps mr-timair or Tina could explain
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P P
    P

  24. judyjunkin says:

    First time I bid 2H to N D bid and we ended up in 3 H ! Went down 1. Second time, I dbl and N bid 2 H. WE made 5 H. ! Played hand entirely different.. I bid a dbl since my hand had all the hearts and felt we had a bid. WE made 11 tricks. This is when we should have gone to game.! All in th eply of the cards.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  25. llnpet says:

    I bid 3h onthe first round – week jump shift – promising 2 – 7 points and 6 h.
    Partner can pass or raise, depending on his strength and h support. He raised to 4h, and we made 11tricks
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  26. horace says:

    Great, thanks Tina. You showed me a way out of a quandary without promising partner too much.

    Like the new hair.

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

  27. mcfluff says:

    Partner raised my 2Hs to 3, probably has 4 and I have 6 so he must have some honours in hearts as I don’t… definitely worth a punt to game with a singleton! Made
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  28. squarepeg61 says:

    Played this hand twice. The first time, I passed on the bidding throughout and the contract ended up in 1NT for E/W, which they made. In the second game, I responded to West’s 1NT bid with two hearts and that’s what the contract ended up being. Made nine tricks, but I know I could have made more because there was at least one trick where I accidentally played a card other than the one I intended.


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

  29. lolli9 says:

    I bid 2h and ended with 3 but made 4h
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P P
    P

  30. debdaniels says:

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

  31. janetru says:

    Video helped me to make 11 tricks — I played it a few times making only 10 — watched video again and I guess the trick was to give up a spade trick near the end and to make sure I led low to the diamond in the dummy. Thanks Tina.

  32. bateyes says:

    I went to 3 hearts and misplayed, I could have made 4. Would have been nice to make 11 though….

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

  33. ladygaga says:

    I bid 2H and when partner went 3H I thought we had 10 so opposition only had 3 so decided to go 4H and got 5!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 2
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  34. jwwwh says:

    Bid 2H and was surprised partner did not bid 3H
    Made 4H
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  35. Playing south, contract 2 hearts made 3, playing north, contract 4 hearts, making.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N 2 P 4
    P P P

  36. simone says:

    Bid 2 H and made 4 ! Lucky me 🙂
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 X
    1N 2 P P
    P

  37. portab says:

    I ended up in 2Hearts via a double and then passed my partners 2 H response. I made 10 tricks but the defense was appalling, Is that a problem with the computer system. I am sure real players with any ability would have done better. Arthur

  38. joy1 says:

    Wow, very good partner’s hand…enjoyed!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – 1 1 P
    1N P P 2
    P P P

  39. katerina says:

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

  40. delta says:

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

  41. hujar says:

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

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