Conventions: Continuations after partner makes a onelevel takeout double, and RHO bids 1NT by Mike Lawrence
On 5 February, 2014 At 13:40
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Bulletin, October 2006
When your partner makes a takeout double, it is common for there to be some competitive bidding.
You can bid a suit you can bid notrump, you can make a penalty double of 1, and you can make a cuebid of 2. if you have a hand that qualifies.
You can bid a suit or make a responsive double on some hands. It is fairly easy for you to describe your hand if you wish.
It’s less easy here. If you have one suit to bid, you can do that if the hand is strong enough. But what if you have a hand like one of these?
Q873 KJ72 Q83 83
You have enough to compete to two of a major. How can you do that and at the same time find the right major suit?
74 J763 AK109 762
You want to play in two of a red suit, but only in the right red suit. At the same time, you don’t want partner to bid spades.
Q874 84 KJ109 762
You would like partner to choose between spades and diamonds. Can you do all the things you want to do with these hands? The answer is that there is a sane way to do some of them.
Say LHO opens 1 and partner doubles. RHO bids 1NT showing around 7- 9 high-card points. When is the last time you doubled 1NT? When is the last time you cuebid 2? I can’t remember this happening at my table lately, and I suspect
that the reason is that there are not many hands that meet the “standard” requirements for these bids.
So here’s a suggestion. If partner doubles 1, 1 or 1, and your RHO bids a natural 1NT, play the following: A cuebid shows the two higher unbid suits and a double shows the two lower unbid suits.
• Double shows the lower suits, diamonds and hearts.
• 2, a cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and hearts.
If you have spades and diamonds, pick a suit and bid it.
Double shows the lower suits, clubs and hearts. Cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and hearts. If you have spades and clubs, pick a suit and bid it.
Double shows the lower suits, clubs and diamonds. 2, a cuebid, shows the higher suits, spades and diamonds. Use this one with care. You need a nice enough hand to protect partner if he chooses diamonds, which will be on the three level.
If you have hearts and clubs, pick a suit and bid it.
For the record, a cuebid does not show a good hand. It says you have the two suits you are showing but are not sure which suit you should bid.
A few examples:
63 A763 QJ83 J104
Double. This says you have enough to bid one of the lower suits but are not sure which one you should bid. If you bid hearts, partner might have three hearts and four diamonds, where diamonds will probably play better. If you had five hearts you should just bid them since you do no need more than three-card support. If you have enough points to continue bidding, double and then bid again. If you have a hand with competitive values only (you will almost never
have a really good hand), you will pass partner’s bid.
AK53 10873 3 7653
Bid 2 , a cuebid. You promise the two higher unbid suits, in this ease the majors. Even though your spades are far better than your hearts, a 4-4 heart fit rates to be better for you than a 4-3 spade fit. 2 will get you to the right major suit all of the time.
A873 87 8763 A62
You do not have a way to show spades and diamonds, so you have to guess whether to bid and then which suit to bid. Since this is the same problem you would have without this convention it’s fair to say that you are not worse off in any way.
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