Holding the A♠ is a sure trick which means you can't win a nil bid. Holding the K♠ is too risky since you can only play it when someone else (hopefully your partner) plays the A♠.

Assuming you don't otherwise have any weaknesses in your nil hand (like too many spades or a singleton face card), is it reasonable to bid nil with the Q♠?

Specifically, let's say your hand is: ♠Q32, ♥432, ♣5432, ♦432. In what conditions is this hand a nil bid, and in what conditions it is a 1 bid?

  • 1
    That is going to depend on the rest of your hand.
    – Joe W
    Apr 4 '19 at 11:43
  • As Joe W says. And see boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/18849/… for general bidding tips. Apr 4 '19 at 11:57
  • @JoeW Assume all other suits are safe
    – Cohensius
    Apr 4 '19 at 13:27
  • @L.ScottJohnson, nice general tips, but does not answer this question. Qxx in a side suit is probably safe, Qxx in the spades suit is more dangerous.
    – Cohensius
    Apr 4 '19 at 13:34
  • That isn't really what I meant. I would consider it different if you had 3 spades (2, 3, Q) versus 5 spades (those 3 plus 2 random spades between those 3 in value). In your example I could see it easily as having 3 spade tricks played before you can dump it on another suit where the queen could easily take the trick because the king or ace is not played.
    – Joe W
    Apr 4 '19 at 14:04

Your proposed hand is an excellent hand to bid nil. Because literally the only issue is with the Q♠ I'd try for it whenever partner bids does not also bid nil and your team doesn't have a huge lead or is about to win the game.

Remember that your opponents have no particular idea of where the weaknesses in your nil hand are, so they won't necessarily be able to set you up for failure without possibly missing their own bid. Realistically, the only risk you face is your Left-Hand Opponent holding both overcards. Then they could play the A♠ and K♠ if you don't use your Q♠. But that's an unlikely distribution (1/9 chance), especially if your partner bids high.

As for bidding nil with the Q♠ in general, it's certainly worse than a side suit queen, but high bids from your partner will mitigate this weakness. You need a more perfect suit holding since you can't protect the Q♠ with length because it's the trump suit. But I don't think that single card makes it too risky to avoid bidding nil outright.

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