Nancy Evins: Sorry partner, I have no clue

Nancy Evins • Updated Dec 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM

This is one of those hands that I doubt was ever bid correctly and has no particular rules for how to do it.

I contacted a couple of friends who usually do pull the right bid out of their bidding box, but though they agreed, I still had questions.

There was no answer from any of the bridge experts that I could find so maybe some of you will figure it out.

You are East, North is dealer and passes and so do you.

South bids one heart and West, your partner, doubles.

You are holding (S) A 8 4 2, (H) 7 (D) J 7 and (C) K 9 8 7 6 5. North passes again and you must bid.

Both of my friends say to bid two spades. Why, I ask them and they say West implies he is holding four.

This is not a negative double, but a takeout so why couldn’t West hold 3/3/3/4 in distribution.

So far, there’s no response. Maybe they are getting tired of my picking their brains when mine is just pickled.

I think I would have bid two clubs, and now I am remembering they have jumped in their responses.

I write again, why did you jump…don’t you have to have 10 points to do so? I realize, however, that since I, East, must bid, there must be a way to show more than an “I had to bid something, even with no points” reply. So I correct to three clubs. Still no reply.

One sent a short response to my original question saying, “bid two spades, West should invite with a three-spade response, and they should get to game in spades.”

The other friend had a longer response, first agreeing that two spades was the call, but if East bids three clubs, West should bid Western cue to find out if partner has a heart stopper.

Western Q, as it is written, simply bids the opponent’s suit to ask that question. I have played with those who insist, no, it means they have a stop themselves.

If they had one they would have just bid three no-trump themselves with after the three-club response.

West is holding (S) K Q J 3, (H) 6 5 4 (D) K Q 6 4 and (C) A J, not a perfect take-out double but the best he can manage.

Now I write back and say had West gone to Western Q, how should partner, South, respond?

Still no response. I guess they just started addressing Christmas cards.

Anyway, the hand record says East-West can make either five clubs or five spades. But I still don’t know how they got there.

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

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