Question of the Week - 4

 Hi All,

I received the below bidding sequence and the writer (South) was puzzled with East's 3§ rebid. Was that a cue bid? What did it mean?

North  East   South  West
           1♥️      2§         2NT 
   p       3§        p        4♥️
  p        p       p

I don't have the hands and I don't know what East really meant, but, if I were South, I'd review the types of cue bids. 

Cue bids have been the name for a bundle of different bidding conventions for at least a hundred years. They've been simplified a little bit by separating out the "Control Bid" and the "Michaels Cue Bid", but that still leaves at least three common usages called merely "Cue Bids". 

The first occurs when partner opens, RHO overcalls and you bid the opponents suit. This means that you have support for partner's suit and either invites or forces game, whichever you have agreed.

The second occurs when LHO opens, partner doubles, RHO either bids or passes and you bid opponent's suit to force to game. You are saying that you have enough for game, but aren't sure where. You want partner to bid his best suit and continue until someone is sure of the best contract and bids game.

The third occurs at any other time in the bidding. You have enough for game, but aren't sure where. If the opponent's have bid, you bid their suit to force partner to keep bidding until someone is sure of the best contract and bids game.

In the example given, 1 Heart is a normal 5-card major opening and 2 Clubs is a simple overcall, promising at least 6 Clubs and 13-16 points. West's 2 No Trump response promises at least one Club stopper and 11 HCPs. East's 3 Clubs promises enough for game, but isn't sure where. He probably would have raised to 3 No Trump if he had the other suits stopped. They should keep bidding until one of them sees the right contract and bids game. West apparently thinks that he has adequate Heart support and bids that game. If that wasn't right, they need to talk.

Stay well, Dave

Question of the Week - 3

Hi All,

I got a question this week, but I'm still waiting to see if my answer was helpful. In the meantime, I'll go to my file of golden oldies.

North           South 
♠️ AK95         7
♥️ 8              A953
♦️ AQ10        J85
§ 96532      AKQJ5

North opens 1 Club and South responds 1 Heart. North rebids 1 Spade and South stops to think. He wants to be in game and doesn't know anything about Diamonds, so 3 No Trump is out. He has no forcing bid, so may just bid 5 Clubs with his support and 17 points opposite 13-16. 

Desperately Seeking Slam (DSS) may want to make a try for slam. If he jumps to 4 No Trump, partner won't know what he wants for trump, so would just answer with Aces whatever form of Blackwood they play. South figures if partner responds 5 Clubs, he'll pass and if he bids 5 Diamonds or 5 Hearts he'll go to slam.
I think most would settle for 5 Clubs. To try for the slam, South has to accept that partner may respond 5 Diamonds with the Ace of Spades and two Diamond losers. DSS is undeterred, of course, and gets it right this time.