Partner opens 1D -- I respond 1H -- Partner responds with 2D -- (I have 3 spades, 5 hearts, 1 clubs, 4 diamonds, 13 hcp) --> I'm tempted to bid 3NT now. Should I always get to game with me and partner both having opening strength even if we don't have 8-card fit? In essence, what do I bid here?
- Bidding 2H shows 5 hearts, but not game values.
- Bidding 3NT - we and partner might not have both together NT distribution.

  • 1
    Do you mean that you have 1 diamond and 4 clubs? If you have 4 diamonds and partner has bid them twice, you certainly have an 8-card fit. – ruds Jun 19 '13 at 18:23
  • This hand has great potential, depending on the exact cards held. What is your full hand? – Forget I was ever here Jun 19 '13 at 22:26

A good general principle is that when you have an opening hand and partner opens, you should get to a game.

Partner has advertised a 6+-card diamond suit (some people may rebid 2D with 2353 shape on this auction, but I prefer 2H) and has limited their values (with a good 17-count or better, partner would have a different bid). So you can see that you (probably) don't have an 8-card fit. You don't describe your hand completely, but if you have half a spade stopper or better, 3NT seems like the right place to play. If partner rebids 4D, this is game forcing and suggests some slam interest; it cannot be passed.

If your spades are bad, probably your best rebid is your 4-card club suit; if partner has a spade holding they can rebid 3NT. Rebidding your hearts is not very attractive because you only have 5 of them.

  • The partnership appears to have a 10-card diamond fit and 26-28 points; enough for 5D, surely? – Tim Lymington Jun 19 '13 at 20:13
  • Note that it was stated that clubs were stiff in responder's hand, not a 4 card suit. – user3264 Jun 19 '13 at 21:43
  • It was also stated that the pair didn't (or probably didn't) have an 8-card fit and the suits were given out of the standard order, so my assumption was that the asker mislabeled the suits in the hand given. – ruds Jun 20 '13 at 0:42

The appropriate decision, ranging from (just possibly a) pass to investigating slam is critically dependent on the high cards in your hand. For instance, with these hands:

 Axx        xx
 AQxxx      Kx
 Kxxx       AQxxxx
 x          Axx

a grand slam is likely. Alternatively, with these two:

 KJx        xx
 AJxxx      Kx
 KJxx       AQxxxx
 x          Axx

3NT looks like the best contract, and if your 13 points includes distribution then this pair:

KJx        xx
QJxxx      Kx
KJxx       AQxxxx
x          Axx

should be in 5D.

In all three examples partner has the same hand, better than minimum for his bid. I can easily seeing many partners bidding the same way without the QD, in which case all actions have to be a bit more restrained. Give us your complete hand, and you will get better advice.

  • On hand number 2 as you show it, I'd not feel at all bad to get to 6D, NOT 3NT. That contract is pretty much a 50% slam even if they lead spades, so not at all bad, at least at matchpoint scoring. And if they do not lead spades, the contract is a very good one. – user3264 Jun 19 '13 at 22:05
  • @woodchips: I'm leading spades on that auction, in a nice even tempo holding either AS or QS, and sitting as demurely as I can while studying dummy. However you are right, 6D is probably good at matchponts, or vulnerable at IMPS. Replace SJx with ST9 and it is a closer call. – Forget I was ever here Jun 19 '13 at 22:11
  • @woodchips: Of course in all three cases partner might not have the DQ or equivalent, or CAxx might instead be CAJx – Forget I was ever here Jun 19 '13 at 22:15

I'd head for game in diamonds. You have 13 high card points, but your singleton club is worth 2-3 more provided that you play in a sut contract.

Your partner probably has at least 13 high card points and 5-6 diamonds. You should have 26 high card points or more between you, plus 9-10 diamonds and the club singleton. Unless your opponents have A of clubs, plus A-K of another suit where you and partner both have at least a doubleton, you'll make five diamonds.

The main question is whether you have a good enough fit for slam. That would occur if your opponents had A, K, Q, J of clubs, and scattered values elseshere, say J, J, Q of the three other suits. On the other hand, slam is "off" if partner (or you) have wasted honors in clubs, meaning that your opponents may have useful honors elsewhere.

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