Partner, where do you want to go – McDonalds or KFC?
February 17, 2018
Greed is Good (Sometimes)!
February 24, 2018

Shape Makes All the Difference

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Too often we rely on high card points to gauge the best level for our contract. However, shape is much more important. If you have extreme shape, you can be confident about bidding to a high level, even if you don’t have pockets full of points. On this deal, Tina finds herself with a whopping 6-1-0-6 hand. She gets the chance to show both of her suits and lands in a good slam contract. She only has 14 high card points, you might object. How can she bid to six, without even asking for aces? The answer is that she has so few losers. She needs very little from partner to have a great shot at twelve tricks.

52 Comments

  1. tina says:

    Oh, the wonderful power of shape. Who needs points!

    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P 6
    P P P

  2. geo46 says:

    With a free response of 2S over West’s 2D overcall, a hand with solid spade and club suits, plus a singleton and a void, I jumped to 6S. After ruffing the AD lead, I held my breath going to dummy’s KC to discard my singleton heart on the KD, but when it held, I only lost the KS. Sweet!

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 6
    P P P

  3. rahamrick says:

    Well — good for @Tina! I went to blackwood — and chose to leave it at 5. If West chooses to lead the singleton club, instead of the A of diamonds — she would be crowing less!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4N
    P 5 P 5
    P P P

    • tina says:

      You’re absolutely right @rahamrick. I was lucky. But with a hand like that you have to ride your luck. I only needed the spade finesse to work. The real point of the hand was that Blackwood is not really helpful. It was the heart ace we wanted not the diamond ace.

  4. pheonix says:

    I chickened out as well
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4N
    P 5 P 5
    P P P

  5. baygon2014 says:

    Yep bid 6 spades but played it badly and as a result went down 1.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 6
    P P P

  6. under bid went 4spades made 12
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P P P

  7. hagleyjazz says:

    slam seemed like a good idea but I went one down. Was fun tho
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 6
    P P P

  8. cresswell says:

    I went to 4 trumps which my partner pssaed!!!!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 4N
    P P P

  9. loughderg123 says:

    Went to 5 spades. Made 12
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P 5
    P P P

  10. osmaston says:

    Opened the bidding with a 2C forcing bid having only 3 losers being concerned that partner could pass and leave me in 1S. Chickened out of the slam bid but made 12.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 3
    P 4 P P
    P

    • dyfed says:

      @osmaston Are u allowed, under competition rules, to open 2C with so few points? You can’t claim 8 tricks off the top either…..never quite sure of the rules but think that might b the case
      Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – P P 1
      2 2 3 4
      P 4 P P
      P

      • tina says:

        @dyfed. 2C simply means that you want to be in game. You don’t have to have 23 or more points. But, with a hand like that, I’d rather start at the one level and then jump in my second suit so partner knew my shape was extreme.

    • @osmaston I also opened 2C on the basis of only 3 losers. When Partner bit a non forcing NT I jumped straight to 4S and partner put me into 6 🙂
      Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – P P 2
      2 2N 3 4
      P 6 P P
      P

  11. sabbatical says:

    Yes, if west had lead the HA instead of the DA, a different story indeed. Pleased computer cant see my hand!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 6
    P P P

  12. dyfed says:

    If S was in slam and I was W think I’d lead AH first as high risk AD will be ruffed. Then it goes 1 off as KS a winner.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 6
    P P P

  13. katerina53 says:

    I bid the slam but l didn’t make it because of a misclick. How annoying!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  14. snowwhite says:

    How did someone make 13 tricks in clubs?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 5
    P P P

  15. trump says:

    With this shape I was definitely not going to let W/E play this hand but I only bid up to 4S, made 12.
    Tried it in clubs and makes 13 because W doesn’t play his KS even though he can see it would be a winner! So my AS takes it in third round of spades. Still spades is the best contract as more points.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 5
    P P P

  16. lindagaddum says:

    I opened 2 clubs – strong and distributional – was that silly? Made 11 tricks. So many options.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  17. stevewehrle says:

    I bid 4 and made a small slam. I know the small slam makes against the computer, but against human opposition, I think that there are too many risks. As @dyfed (Good name from God’s Country!) says, W should think that with a strong fit in D’s, that NS are very likely to be short of them. I would also prefer the singleton club lead, which doesn’t do you any favours, as you lose communication and can’t ditch your losing H on the KD. No, I’m quite happy at 4S plus 2.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P P P

  18. ennasarp says:

    Had to bid 6 spades with partner’s support bid as only probable one heart loser. When West led diamond ace, it immediately opened an opportunity to discard the losing heart on the diamond king as a Spade loser was probable. After ruffing the first trick, entered dummy through club king and played diamond king to discard losing heart. Thereafter, gave away only the Spade king. With long holding of clubs, there was some risk of a club ruff in trying to enter the dummy through club king. Didn’t happen though and all went according to plan.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 6
    P P P

  19. danishmand says:

    bid 6 spades & played exactly as geo46 & made.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  20. banksia9 says:

    FAQ: If you decide to cash an ace on the opening lead, which one should you put on the table?
    ANS: The one in the suit in which you have the least cards.
    So, bang down A and NS will be held to 11 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P P P

  21. mariagee says:

    Made 11 pleased with second attempt. All those clubs
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 5
    P P P

  22. bala1954 says:

    Opened 1C per the hint, ended up in 5C, made 12 tricks. Took the hint, after pondering opening 1S and then showing clubs later. Thought perhaps the hint was setting me up for a reverse (counting points for void and singleton). Oh well…will try again opening S.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 5
    P P P

  23. alicemary says:

    I bid 4nt and thought I was asking for aces and partner left me in it?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 4N
    P P P

  24. alicemary says:

    Will have to try again!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 4N
    P P P

  25. belindat says:

    With a heart lead it goes 1 down in 6S
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 5
    P P P

  26. kbalagopal says:

    played from W to try @banksia9 play to set 6S and N/S slept through the bidding lol
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 P 3 P
    P P

  27. I didn’t get any hints. Why? I was too chicken to try for slam. It was there though.


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

    • bajir says:

      @elizabethjane During any auction, you can ask for a hint. Just click that “Hint?” in the auction panel. FYI – we’re about to move it’s location, but if you look for “Hint?” and tap that, you should be good to go.
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      – P P 4
      P P P

  28. ivam says:

    Fun
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  29. wadkin37 says:

    wadkin37 Well, well…I opened this hand with a game forcing bid of 2C, intending to show my Spade suit later with a reverse in spades. I stopped at
    4 Spades but my wonderful partner (North, programed by my astute Bridge guru) went to six Spades. In valuing my hand I counted the
    distribution points of the short suits, the singleton and void. I should have made the contract with better play as the opponents led the A of
    Diamonds rather than the A of Hearts.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 4
    P 6 P P
    P

  30. 32dwemce says:

    second time around I made 6spades, just needed to take time and work it out logically.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  31. judyjunkin says:

    Beautiful hand. First time, we ended up bidding 6 S. Goofed and did not get rid of the single Heart on the King of Diamonds. So went down 1. Second time I knew what to do. Get that single Heart out of my hand on the KIng of Diamonds and the rest his history.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    1 2 3 3
    P 3N 4 6
    P P P

  32. delta says:

    Bid and made 6
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 2
    2 2N 3 3
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 5N
    P 6 P P
    P

  33. frankkegley says:

    If West puts his hand on Ace of Hearts you are going down, down, down! I don’t think it is a good idea to bid a slam off two aces and possibly the King of trumps.

  34. blondie58 says:

    Thanks for this hand and video. It was great! Have a lovely day!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P P
    P

  35. valjef says:

    @tina played 6 spades (doubled) 2604 points. Very chuffed!!!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 3
    P P 4 5
    X P P 6
    X P P P

  36. zeke10077 says:

    Maybe robot plays different conventions than me but, I would think that 4 clubs shows 5 clubs 16 points, coming back to spades seemed short sighted. I feel that basically guarantees the king of trumps. A weak 5 club game bid on robots parts seems like a better option or even a 6 club bid if he thinks that makes scene under both of those circumstances I would have left it at 6 clubs. I thought on the other hand partner definitely had the king of spades and likely the king of diamonds and clubs too.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    2 2 3 4
    P 4 P 4N
    P 5 P 5N
    P 6 P 7
    P P P

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