To bid or not to bid?

Preview

Look at the auction and hand below. You know that you have no defence, so wouldn’t it be better to sacrifice and bid 5♥?

Whose hand is it? Knowing how to bid in a competitive auction is an important skill. What are the factors that should influence your decision?

Mistake: Bidding twice with your pre-emptive hand.

The whole point of a pre-empt is to make life awkward for your opponents. The bid itself is quite specific. You promise a 7-card suit and less than an opening hand. Interestingly, the higher you open, the longer your suit will be and the fewer points you promise. You don’t necessarily expect to make your contract but, with luck, it should be a good sacrifice.

It would be disastrous for you to bid 5♥ on the hand above. Remember that partner knows exactly what your hand is. It is therefore up to partner to decide whether to sacrifice, double or pass. Your aim is to make your opponents guess what their best contract is and you should not assume that they have guessed correctly.

Partner will probably pass here rather than double as it is by no means certain that the contract will go down. But, partner has enough defence to suspect that it might – and it should!

On a rare occasion partner will have a strong hand with a good suit of their own. In this case partner will change suit and, if this happens, you must bid again. You can support partner if you have three cards in the new suit, otherwise, rebid your own suit or bid 3NT if your suit is headed by AKQ.

Principle: Don’t bid again after a pre-empt unless partner changes suit.

Back to: Common Mistakes – Free