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Support with Support

#1 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2012-April-04, 09:50

While kibitzing some tables recently I have noticed players bidding their own suits and ignoring their partners opening bid.
For example, on this hand south forgot partner had opened 1 and bid 1;





Partner has opened 1 promising 5+ hearts, you have 3 card support and have found a fit, show it! 2
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#2 User is offline   S2000magic 

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Posted 2012-April-04, 11:01

I think that the key to this hand is that it is worth only one response, so a raise to 2 is perfect.

Strengthen it a bit, to, say,

A J 9 8 7
Q 6 5
5 4
A 7 6

and it's worth two responses (without forcing to game); 1 followed by 3 (or, perhaps, 2NT, if opener rebids 2) would be appropriate.
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#3 User is offline   HighLow21 

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Posted 2012-April-04, 16:39

I agree that 2H is better, but also agree that that's only the case with a weak hand and a fit. Plus, some scientific bidders insist on describing everything. Which is horrible in many cases because we need to get across the most important things first.

With a hand worth only one bid, the most important thing to show is support for partner if he has a major.

Add so much as an outside A or K or even the spade Q (same shape) and I think 1S followed by 3H is best.
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#4 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2012-April-04, 17:00

To any beginners reading this thread, I thought I'd explain briefly the concept of a "hand worth one bid". This is a hand which is not going to invite to game. In terms of HCP this is usually around 6-9. The idea with such a hand is that you simply want to tell your partner with one bid the most important things you know--in the case presented that is the 8+ heart fit and the 6-9 HCP. Sadly the spades are forgotten.

If you have more points as in the hand presented by S2000magic, then you are willing to make more than one bid (either inviting or if you're even stronger a slam searching hand). In this case you can bring your spades into the picture so that in future rounds your partner knows more about your hand and can make informed decisions.

One nice rule of thumb, if you know what trump are going to be, bring your partner in on the secret too.
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#5 User is offline   kuhchung 

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Posted 2012-April-05, 12:56

I think the more fundamental point is to plan ahead.

If the auction goes
1 2
then this shows 3+ hearts with 6-10 hcp.

If the auction goes
1 1
2 2
then this doesn't show very much at all! Partner has announced two suits, and all that our second bid says is, "Partner, I have a minimum hand and prefer hearts to clubs." The most typical hand for responder is a hand with 2 hearts and fewer than 4 clubs, like AJxx xx Kxxx xxx. (Because with 4 or more clubs, we would prefer to play in our 4-4 club fit. Otherwise, avoid the 4-3 club fit and retreat to the known 5-2 heart fit.)

This is why we should raise immediately.
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#6 User is offline   kenrexford 

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Posted 2012-April-05, 13:09

FWIW, I have been cringing at the suggestions to bid 1 with the limit raise hands. I would not show the spades myself unless I had no option. If partner shows spades, my approach will change to a spade focus. This principle should be generally applied to all auctions, IMO.

Consider a few possible auctions, though, involving the simple raise scenario.


1. I bid spades and partner raises them. E.g., 1-P-1-P-2. Are we in a better fit? Sure. This is the goal auction when you introduce spades.

2. I bid spades but partner does not raise them. E..g., 1-P-1-P-1NT. Now, we go back to hearts, and partner has a better idea what to do for game consideration. This is good. But, the opponents now know more about your hand, which could be bad. They will not end up in a bad 2 contract now. Their overcalls and doubles are more focused on the minors. They can defend better.

3. I raise hearts and that end the auction. We probably do not have a better fit in spades anyway. If we do, the opponents have a large minor fit, or both minor fits, and will likely be bidding anyway, and, oif not, this is a good thing. They will have trouble competing because their double will include spades, and they will be short there, so they might not compete.

4. I raise hearts and partner keeps bidding, seeking game. He can bid 2. A possible auction might be 1-P-2-P-2-P-3-P-4.


When you consider all of this, the general idea to support with support seems to win in the long run. The reasons for that conclusion play out consistently even with stronger hands, so why change?
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