Online bridge lessons with Tina McVeigh:…

Is it always partners’ fault when they make the wrong opening lead? How can you help?

Your right-hand opponent opens 1♦. What is your bid?

It is always a good idea to enter the auction after an opponent has bid. Giving your opponents an easy uninterrupted ride is often the key to a bad result.

You have nearly an opening hand here. Is there any way that you can tell your partner this?

Mistake: Overcalling with a bad suit.

If you bid 1♥, you promise a 5-card suit. You don’t promise a bad suit however. Your high card points should be in the heart suit. A good rule of thumb is to have two of the top four honours in the suit. If you are undecided as to whether to overcall, ask yourself if you want partner to lead your suit.

If you bid 1♥, partner will lead hearts instead of the natural lead of a club. The heart lead is disastrous for the defence. Declarer can knock out the ♦A while still having control of all the other suits. Declarer will make eleven tricks on a heart lead but only eight on a club lead. Worse still, partner will be very unhappy with your overcall and you won’t win the postmortem. This is not a good hand to double with either. Your major suits are too weak. Just bide your time. Partner may yet surprise you with a bid which you can raise.

Principle: An overcall promises a good suit, not a good hand



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