Question 45b.

You chose that there are 8 winning tricks. You are correct. You might have been tempted to count the King in the doubleton as a winner too, but it might well not be one.

Spades        A,K,Q,J,10,8
Hearts         K,6
Diamonds    A,K,8
Clubs          10,7

You have the right qualifications for opening this hand as 2 Spades. It has 8 winning tricks, at least, and 22 points. If you had more points than that, you would have made another bid, which will come in the next lesson.

Now the partner of the person who opens with 2 in a suit, is FORCED to bid. This means, that even if he had not a single point in his hand, he must bid in order to give his partner a chance to bid again. But because of the forcing nature of his reply, there is a convention by which he can tell his partner that he has a very poor hand, if indeed he does. If he wants to make a NEGATIVE bid, and say he has less than 6 points, he bids 2 No Trump. This is not telling your partner anything at all about your hand, except that it does not contain enough points for an encouraging bid. However, if you do have 6 or more points, you should bid in your suit, or support your partner, and he then will decide if he wants to take the contract to game.

46. With the following hand, what will you bid as response bidder when your partner has opened 2 Spades?

Spades          9,7
Hearts          Q,5,4,2
Diamonds     Q,6,3
Clubs           A,J,9,6

a. 3 Clubs
b. 3 Hearts
c. 3 Spades