You are planning to bid game. However, you know that your side has only a minor-suit fit. How should you continue the auction?

Dealer South Vulnerable =East/West

Opening lead: 8

Before you answer, assume that you (South) are in three no-trump. West leads the spade eight: two, 10, king. How would you continue?

With a minor-suit fit, you should be thinking about three no-trump, not five of the minor (unless you have a very distributional hand). It’s usually easier to win nine tricks than 11. But what do you do if you do not have stoppers in all of the unbid suits?

Once partner has raised your minor-suit opening, if you bid a new suit, you are showing at least game interest, promising a stopper in that suit, and asking partner to show his side-suit stoppers.

 

After South opens one club, North makes a limit raise to three clubs, promising 10-12 support points with five-card or longer club support (and no four-card or longer major). Now South rebids three diamonds, showing a stopper in that suit. And when North highlights his heart holding, South converts to three no- trump. (Note that with this layout South must guess the trumps to make five clubs.)

You have seven top tricks, one spade (trick one), two hearts, two diamonds and two clubs You can get the extra tricks from clubs, but must make sure East cannot gane the lead, otherwise, he will push a spade straight through you. So, play a club to dummy’s king. Here, you end with 10 tricks. But even it East is void in clubs, your contract is still safe.