Jeff Lehman

Auction of pride

What is your bidding plan with the following hand?:


Opening 1 is easy enough.  Partner responds the expected 1.  What next?

Especially with a big hand, I think the objective of showing nine of your cards by bidding 2 is a better plan than showing only six of your cards by bidding 3.

Over 2, pard preferences to 2.  Now what?

I have unshown extras, and I can share them with partner and let him know that I am short in hearts by patterning out with 2.  (Could be 3=1=5=4, too.)

What are the planned follow ups, leaping to the assumption that partner is on the same page?  I think the follow up plans depend upon how much heart wastage partner shows and how much strength partner shows.

Over 2NT (minimum, with heart wastage), I am bidding 3.  Yes, notrump might pay more, but even if partner has two heart honors (if not the AK), I am not going to choose to play a notrump partial when a diamond partial should be safer.

Over 3NT (maximum, with heart wastage), I am passing.  Ah, the lure of the game bonus.

Over 3 (minimum, little heart wastage), I am passing.  Enough is enough; just because partner has little wastage in hearts does not mean that he is dealt a few black kings.

Over 4 (maximum, little heart wastage), I am raising to 5, lured by the game bonus and hoping for something opposite like Kxx, Jxxx, Qxx, Kxx, with a club ruff constituting my eleventh trick.

At the table, pard bid 2NT and I took out to 3.  How did that result fare?


Not so well as could be.  Not only did partner have even better hearts that he might have, but also clubs split 3-3.  The club split meant that I made an overtrick (the opponents later led spades, looking for a set) for +130 but it also meant that the souls in 3NT (with both heart honors with South) made their contract!

Ah, well, it was still an auction of pride.

1 Comment

Jack CaponeOctober 30th, 2012 at 10:15 pm

As a Monday morning quarterback, once pard announces NT, claiming Heart coverage I’m in for 3NT. Let’s look at the tricks: Most likely 6 Diamonds and two side aces means you’ll only need one trick from parnter, whether it is a heart or spade. Finding pard with the QD is a bonus. The fact that clubs split is to your advantage. Worth a shot!

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