PASSED HAND BIDDING
By Larry Matheny
You passed at your first opportunity to bid and now you must respond to your partnerís opening bid.† The most important thing to remember is that without special agreements, your partner may now pass any natural bid you make.† This means you must change your action with many hands.† For example, holding:††† 9765† K32† Q87 †K732,† is it safe to respond 1 when it may be passed by a partner who has opened light?† To answer this and other similar questions, letís first take a look at opening light in third or fourth seats.† Then we will set some rules for responder and opener.
WHY OPEN LIGHT?
Experience has shown that active players get better results than passive players.† An effective tactic is to open in third seat with hands not strong enough to open in first or second seat.† You may benefit from this by (1) obstructing the opponents, (2) making an effective lead-directing bid, or (3) buying the contract for a plus score.† Your objective when opening light in fourth chair is to make a plus score for otherwise you could simply pass and go to the next hand.† Letís set some rules for these light openers.
RESPONDING TO A THIRD SEAT OPENER.
Opener will not open bad hands in fourth seat.† When you open in fourth seat, you should expect a plus score.† Itís also good to hold the spade suit to reduce the chances of being outbid.† Weak twoís in fourth seat are more constructive than in any other seat.† Responder can count on opener having a good hand in the ten to thirteen range.
RESPONDING TO A FOURTH SEAT OPENER
Responderís bids show the same values as when responding to a third seat opening bid.† The one change is that responder can bid more aggressively because opener should have decent values.
Openerís rebids are about
the same as after having opened in third seat.†
One important distinction is that when opener passes a one over one or
two over one response, he still has a fair hand.†
1.† JUMP SHIFT
The jump shift in response to a third or fourth seat opener may be used in at least four different ways.† Pick the one your partner agrees to and stick with it.†
When partner opens one of a major in third or fourth seat, a new suit bid by you may be passed so you must raise with support for openerís major.† The simple raise to the two-level remains the same but a difficulty emerges when you have a hand with 10-12 points in support of the major.† Without a helpful convention or other agreement, the answer is that you must jump to the three-level.† This means you may be often be too high if partner has opened light and the two hands donít fit well.† Here is an easy convention to solve this problem:
DRURY Ė This convention is used after a third or fourth seat major-suit opening bid.† An artificial response of 2 shows 10-12 support points and asks partner if he opened light.† In the most commonly used version, opener will rebid two of his major to show a light opener.† I highly recommend using this convention.† The only downsides are the loss of a natural 2 response along with the need to remember the convention.† Take a look at these hands:
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1032†† AQ103†† KQ54†† 98
††††††††††††††††† OPENER A†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† OPENER B
†††††† AK987†† KJ2†† J7† KQ3††††††††††††††††††† †††† KQ876†† 87†† J9†† AJ76
As responder you pass with the above hand and your partner opens 1 in third seat.† If you must jump to 3 to show your strength you better hope your partner holds hand A rather than hand B.† Using Drury, you respond 2 and opener will jump to game with A and sign off in 2 with B.† As with many conventions, the 2 bid and responses must be Alerted.†
Now letís look at some examples of the material weíve covered:
††† P††††††† P†††††† ??††††
1.† AKQ87†† 1094†† 764†† J10†††† Open 1 and pass any natural response by partner.† Some partnerships allow a weak 2 bid with this hand.
2.† Q1063†† KJ4†† J98†† A109†††† Open 1 and pass any natural response by partner.
3.† Q6† KJ†† J982†† KJ876† ††††††† Pass.† You have no good rebid over one of a major plus itís likely the opponents will outbid you.
†† P†††††† P†††††† 1††††††† P
1.† KJ3†† KJ†† K10986†† 876†††† Bid 3.† Remember partner can pass a two- level response.† This is a good hand for the Drury convention.
2.† K4†† A98†† Q8743†† J76†††††† Bid 1NT.† Your partner may pass a two-level bid and your diamond suit is not good enough to play opposite a weak holding.
3.† Q943†† 82†† 9†† AQJ872††††† Bid 3 if you use fit-showing jumps.† Otherwise bid 3 or use Drury.† Remember you canít bid a natural 2 because partner can pass.†
†† P†††††††† P††††††††† P†††††† ??
1.† AKJ1082†† 1093†† KJ6†† 2†† Open 2.† You hope to buy the contract and go plus.
2.† J8†† QJ86†† KQ32†† K65††††††††† ††††† Pass.† The opponents may outbid you or you may go minus.