Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fixed – by partner

If there's one thing a dislike in bridge it's when I get fixed by the opponents.  But there's something even worse – being fixed by partner!

I've mentioned the principle of "one bid" here before (see Fall Foliage Sectional).  If you take two bids to get to the same place you could have bid in one turn, you are showing a better hand, particularly with more defensive strength.  Here's a prime example of not heeding the rule that came up online.

You hold: ♠J84 Q6 743 ♣KQT92.  Nobody is vulnerable and partner deals and opens 2♠.  Your RHO bids 3 and it's up to you.  What do you fancy?  Pass?  3♠ or a rather cheeky 4♠?  Personally, I think pass is about right but let's say that your bidding box has no pass cards and you have to come up with something.  Let's say you bid 3♠.  It now goes 4 on your left and there are two passes back to you.  Is there any amount of money I could pay you to get you to bid 4♠ now?  No, of course not.  Because when they compete to 5, partner will be within his rights to double for penalties, assuming a suitable hand.  Having four small trumps, partner did double and the opponents made the unusual non-vulnerable score of 850, i.e. they made all 13 tricks!


  1. Why would the 2S bidder ever be within his right to double the opponents' game, especially when his partner has shown nothing but a willingness to raise the pre-empt, twice?

  2. Glad you asked :) Bidding 3S then 4S says "We are definitely making 3S and might even be making 4S, partner - if they take the push to 5H they are probably going down if you have the right hand." Conversely, bidding 4S right away says we may or may not make 4S but if not it will be a good save - the board likely has plenty total tricks (unless of course 4S bidder doubles 5H). Bidding 3S and then passing says we may not be able to make 3S but we might just push them up into something unmakeable (we don't want to help them bid game if they can make it).