Duplicate bridge results and tip: A reader asks about insufficient bid


By Val Rhead

One of our readers asks the following: “The bidding proceeded until I bid Four Spades. After two passes, my right hand opponent (RHO) bid an insufficient Four Diamonds. What are my options?”

Following are six options that you have in response to the insufficient bid. The rules are the same whether you are playing Social Bridge, Social Duplicate or Sanctioned Duplicate Bridge although the rules usually are enforced strictly only in Sanctioned Duplicate.

Option 1: You alone (not your partner) may accept the bid of Four Diamonds and everyone continues bidding from there at the four level with no restrictions.  You could then bid anything, including Four Spades again, or double the Four Diamonds to put them down for penalty points if you think you might get a better score than your Four Spades.  If you accept the Four Diamonds bid, the opponents also may continue bidding with no restrictions.

Option 2: You may require RHO to make his bid sufficient which also gives RHO the right to make any other legal bid.  Sufficient would be Five Diamonds.  If Five Diamonds is chosen, bidding continues.  There are no restrictions to either pair.  You can double for penalty or you can continue with your own bidding.

Option 3:  Any other legal bid would be PASS or another suit at a sufficient level – yes these are all legal bids open to the offender after the insufficient bid – i.e. any valid bid but there are restrictions, as follows, for these additional options.  (NOTE: a bid by RHO of DOUBLE or RE-DOUBLE is not allowed.)

Option 4: If any valid bid other than Five Diamonds is made by RHO, bidding continues but your left hand opponent (LHO) is barred from any additional bidding (i.e. must PASS at each opportunity to bid) and lead restrictions (outlined below) apply.

Option 5: If PASS is chosen by RHO, you are playing Four Spades.  However, you have lead direction control because LHO on lead has unauthorized information from the Four Diamond bid by RHO.  You may require the lead of a Diamond from LHO if you found that favourable (e.g. a lead into your Ace-Queen).  You may forbid the lead of a Diamond from your LHO who may now lead anything else.  LHO cannot lead Diamonds until after he loses the lead to you or to his partner.

Option 6:  If the bidding continues and you end up with the contract, your LHO is on lead and the lead restrictions of Option 5 apply.

Many thanks to my husband and retired Bridge Director, Peter Rhead, who did most of the research and writing of today’s column.  It’s been a busy week.

If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will include it in this column.


Games for the Huntsville Club are Tuesday evening 7:00, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes early.  Contact Jan Roberts 705-635-2522 or [email protected] for information and partnerships.

The following winners are for Tuesday, Aug 7 with 26 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon; 2. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 3. Sharon King and Peter O’Connor; 4. Marilyn Waltho and John Waltho; 5. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 6. Pat Pelletier and Nancy Mulhall; 7. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; East-West 1. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 2. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 3. Ann Cassie and Bruce Cassie; 4. Mary Whitehead and Helen Pearson; 5. Carol Sullivan and Barb Green; 6. Liz Graham and Sandy Graham; 7. Jennifer Thompson and Gordon Duncan


Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road.  Please arrive 15 minutes before game time.  For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]

The following winners are from Monday, Aug 6 with 20 pairs playing a Mitchell movement.  First of all, congratulations to Helen Pearson and Mary Whitehead for their notable 72% game.  North-South 1. Mary Whitehead and Helen Pearson; 2. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 3. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; 4/5. Betty Rintoul and Hazel Bowes; 4/5. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Joan Joel and Peter Joel; 3. Val Rhead and Nancy Barber 4 Pat Paterson and Tony Liming; 5. Art Insley and Don Evans

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