Will You Risk the 2-Level?

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We’ve all had this dreaded hand before–we’ve got five hearts as responder and RHO has overcalled. We don’t have quite enough points to bid our hearts directly, so what do we do?

Our options are simple: either exaggerate our points by bidding our heart suit, or make a negative double and not show all of our length. Each time this hand comes up, it’s a judgment call. Generally, we want to opt for the negative double, since we can usually show our length on the next round. But sometimes, we won’t get the opportunity to do so. Check out how Graeme and Bajir do on this tricky deal.

23 Comments

  1. Partner opens 1. East overcalls 1. You have 10 HCP and a five card suit. How do you respond?

  2. baygon2014 says:

    either I am playing too conservatively or the opposition is off their game – they have yet to make a contract. Here too it seems that we could have made 3nt but instead had to settle for 3 down in 3 spades.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 X
    2 3 3 P
    P P

    • janemart says:

      I think E/W would have been well happy if you’d bid 3nt @baygon2014. True, you had 1 stopper in , but then they had stoppers in and . – 5 spade tricks to them.
      Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
      Auction
      W N E S
      P 1 1 X
      2 3 3 P
      P P

    • wince says:

      @baygon2014 Hello there… My double means that I have 5 Hearts !!!! After the 1 club opening the overcall of spades hasn’t allowed me to bid my Hearts …. Is this a bid that others make???
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      P 1 1 X
      2 3 3 3N
      P P P

    • wince says:

      @baygon2014 Hello there… My double means that I have 5 Hearts !!!! After the 1 club opening the overcall of spades hasn’t allowed me to bid my Hearts …. Is this a bid that others make???
      Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
      Auction
      W N E S
      P 1 1 X
      2 3 3 3N
      P P P

  3. magadam says:

    I did bid 3NT and it was a disaster.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 3N
    P P P

  4. vals says:

    To be honest @graeme it was very interesting to see you puzzled as to how to play this hand . It gave me a weird comfort !
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 X
    2 3 3 P
    P P

  5. Replayed after the wrong choice first time round. Bid the negative double, which I’m inclined to forget about, & it paid off getting the contract 2 down.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, strong notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 X
    2 3 3 P
    P P

  6. debdaniels says:

    Need to follow the hint on this one.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 X
    2 3 3 P
    P P

  7. debdaniels says:

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

  8. paulinejc says:

    As south I bid 2H over the 1S and passed thereafter (which is what I would normally do in a club situation). Even though partner opened and I had 10pts it seemed to me between us we had maybe 22-23 pts, not enough for game even in NT. Plus I had S stopped only once with the K so NT seemed risky so P seemed the best option. E/W finished up in 3S, partner X and E/W went off two. 500 to N/W. A good result to us. 3S making is only worth 140. Sometimes P is the best possible bid!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 P
    P X P P
    P

  9. lizzys says:

    I agree with all the above comments! A very tricky hand, tried NT, partner raised to 5D and it seemed all along the right option was to pass! My partner doubled and we took them down!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 P
    P X P P
    P

  10. triciacallow says:

    Do tell your brother, @graeme: 5D makes – but probably only because I’ve seen all the cards. And because W ducked with the AH. Still, a good feeling.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 4
    P 5 P P
    P

  11. johnkib says:

    Penalty double after East’s 3Spades bid. Down 2 giving 500 points.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 X
    P P P

  12. zippy says:

    N opens way too light! IMHO, that’s the problem with this hand: The HQ is worthless. Counting distributional & high card points in the same suit is maybe ok with an ace, never ok with Qx.
    As a fan of DOPI, I would support a negative double here. The reason it doesn’t work on this hand is because N grossly over bid, not because a negative double is a bad choice in response.

  13. zippy says:

    Thanks for the support.
    We all struggle with the point of the video, at some point.
    Using DOPI: over interference, a pass indicates you don’t think we have enough to bid again. A double says I think we do.
    N’s open makes S infer their team has the at least 22 in high card points.
    My personal preference, when points are equally split, is to defend when they are vulnerable, not when they’re not.

  14. pasanaa says:

    I let them play in 3s , partener doubled and them went 3 down. I bid 2h because I had 10 points and 5-card suit and thought that North has at least 12. But how did North open the bidding with only 10 HCP?

  15. delta says:

    Prefer to double NT Misfits NT 800
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 X
    2 3 3 X
    P P P

  16. missamoi says:

    I wonder why opener opens w only 10 high c p

  17. birdlady says:

    I didn’t share the feeling that this was such a good hand. If partner hadn’t I would have doubled for real. we took them down 2. No as pretty but points are points.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    P 1 1 2
    2 3 3 P
    P X P P
    P

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