a. Your partner has opened one heart, and you have four hearts and 11 points. What do you bid?
b. Your partner has opened one heart, and opponent has overcalled one spade or any suit. You have the same hand with hearts and 11 points. What do you bid?
c. Same bid from partner. This time, you have five hearts but less than 10 points plus a singleton or void in another suit. What’s your bid?
d. Partner’s stuck on hearts. Opponent overcalls anything. You have four or five hearts but no void or singleton and less than 10 points. What’s your bid?
e. If partner again opens one heart or one spade, in one case you have six to nine points and three hearts, and in another you have about the same number of points but four hearts. How do you give partner the right count?
a. Three hearts. Feel free to write in and debate. In olden days, it meant an opening hand with heart support, forcing to game. All of these questions could have other one opening bids, but if diamonds or clubs, it is better to bid up the line, trying to find a four-four major suit fit.
b. Cue bid opponent’s suit. In this case you would bid two spades. Of course, partner will understand and not think you have gone berserk and that you really hold spades yourself. He must not pass.
c. Four hearts, meaning you hold five supporting hearts and a singleton or void in another suit and with less than 10 points.
d. Three hearts. Partner knows if you had points you would cue bid opponent’s suit but that you do have length in hearts.
e. Some partners, like mine, would really like to know the combined number of trumps, so we use the one no-trump force system. I would bid one no-trump, which is not like the old one no-trump, which denied support for partner and indicated six to nine points, a balanced hand and is not forcing. Partner must make another call.
After he does and I support his suit, he knows that had I had four, I would have bid his suit immediately with a jump to show 10-12 or a simple raise with six to nine and so on. He said he would forgive me if I only had three, of course, if they were the ace, king and queen.
He has learned a lot about forgiveness these past 23 years.
Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]