By Peter Rhead
Possible second bids by one-of-a-suit opener after partner bids a new suit
You are the opener. In the past weeks we looked at situations where partner has responded with a single or double raise to your one-of-a-suit opening. What were your possible second bids? Now we look at your choices if partner instead responds with a new suit to your one-of-a-suit opener (for example One Club – One Spade).
Remember, if your partnership ends up agreeing on a minor suit (Clubs or Diamonds), the partnership needs 28 points and a five-level bid to try for the minor suit game. Otherwise, 25 points for the partnership are good enough to try for a game in Four Spades, Four Hearts and Three No-Trump.
Partner’s bid of a new suit again changes the dynamics dramatically. His bid is unlimited. He could have just six points but he also could have 20 points or more! With your opening, your hand also is unlimited with 13-21 points. So now you must choose a second bid that will limit your hand or give partner a chance to limit his hand. The partner of the first player to limit his hand becomes the captain because he now knows the combined strength of the partnership. So here are your suggested choices!
Choice One: With 13-14 points you must limit your hand with your second bid to show a minimum opening hand. One way is to rebid your suit at the minimum level. Or you could rebid partner’s suit at the minimum level. Or you could bid 1NT. In each case, partner now knows you have a minimum hand and he becomes the captain.
Choice Two: With 15-18 points you again must limit your hand with your second bid to show a medium strength hand. 2NT is one possible bid. 2NT tells partner your strength. He now knows you have 1NT opening points but you do not have the 1NT distribution. Or you can lie with a minimum bid in a four-card minor suit if you have a five-four hand. Note: If you must lie, lie in a minor suit because you are showing five cards!
Choice Three: With 19-21 points, you now know you have game but you also might have slam if partner has the right hand (19+14=33). You must limit your hand so that partner can decide where to place the contract. Your second bid of 3NT limits your hand to 19-21 points and you have a game-going contract knowing partner has at least 6 points (19+6=25). Partner becomes captain and now he must decide how to proceed if he has a strong hand himself. Otherwise he will PASS and you will play 3NT.
Next Week: Examples of one-of-a-suit opener’s second bid after partner’s bid of a new suit.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to email@example.com and I will try to include it in this column.
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