Consistency by Justin Lall

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The point of all this is that you must bid your hand in a consistent manner. If you do not, intelligent partnership bidding will simply be impossible.

By Justin Lall
On 24 June, 2015 At 11:58

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Constructive bidding is all about describing your hand until somebody can place the contract. You start with a very general description, like a 1spade suit opener showing 5+ spades, 11-21 HCP, and then refine that description with each bid. Since you are refining your hand based on previous bids, you are stuck with your prior judgment of the hand. You cannot change your mind.

How often do you see people feeling guilty about having an exceptionally strong or weak hand for their bidding and trying to compensate? Often if someone has opened a 5-5 9 count they will refuse to cuebid later, even if the auction makes it mandatory. If you are guilty of this, you shouldn’t be opening these hands. Once you have decided your hand is an opening bid, you cannot later change your mind. It must be bid exactly as all minimum openers would be.

Similarly, if someone has a very good hand for their prior bidding he may feel compelled to bid again even if he was not invited to the party. There was an example of this on vugraph last night. A player who will remain anonymous held: spade suitK87 heart suitAJT93 diamond suit4 club suit9732 (spots approximated). His partner opened 1spade suit, and he chose to give a simple raise to 2spade suit. Not my choice, I think the hand is too good, but 2spade suit was the bid he chose. His LHO competed to 3club suit and partner bid 3spade suit. This bid is not invitational at all, it is purely competitive. It is anyone’s best guess what he has, but it doesn’t matter as you should always pass. Having bid 2spade suit, you must simply consider this hand a maximum. It will forever be considered a 2spade suit bid (well, for this hand anyways). If partner wanted to be in game opposite a maximum hand, he could invite. When he doesn’t then a pass is in order.

You also see this when a player preempts an exceptionally good hand. Sure, if you are 6-6 and started with a preempt planning to bid again, that is different. Your plan all along was to operate (and if there is ever a time to do it, freak distribution is the best). But let’s say you have chosen a 2spade suit opener with spade suitKQT942 heart suit2 diamond suitAT83 club suit54 with nobody vulnerable. Maybe not your choice, certainly not mine. Partner raises to 3spade suit and RHO bids 4heart suit. Are you tempted to bid on? You should resist that temptation. Having opened with a preempt, you must simply consider this a maximum preempt. Partner is in control and you can not bid again (unless that was your plan the whole time with a wildly distributional hand). He may have a doubleton spade and good defense, hoping to push them too high. He may have 4 small spades and out, hoping to keep them out of slam. He may have anything. You have shown a preempt and are stuck with that evaluation.

The point of all this is that you must bid your hand in a consistent manner. If you do not, intelligent partnership bidding will simply be impossible.

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