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Weekly updates from Kit Jackson offering hints and tips for the modern Bridge player. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Everyone Loves Big Ones – 5 Jan 2011

However much you may want to, you won’t hold one of these very often. So it’s crucial you know what to do when you get a handful…

A Big One is defined as hand of 20+ HCP. As there are 40 points in the pack you hold half or more of the total, so game can be on opposite less than 6HCP. So. How do you tell partner about your wonderful holding?

Balanced Big Ones
  • 20 - 22 HCP BALANCED = 2NT

Ok. So that’s all the big balanced hands taken care of. In all the above cases you want partner to bid when they hold LESS than the normal responding hand of 6+ HCP.

Shapely Big Ones

But what about the UNbalanced hands where Game is on opposite less than normal responding hands? These will be hands of 20+ HCP where a NT bid or re-bid is not suitable:

A Q 5 4 2
A K Q 8 6

21 HCP. You need almost nothing from partner to make game and with a a couple of Kings over there, slam could on. The point count is right for 2NT but the shape is NOT. If you open 1H you will be VERY cross when partner passes with nothing but the King of Hearts and 4H rolls in.

The solution is to open such hands with the BIG BID - 2 CLUBS! This bid does mean you have 23+ with a BALANCED hand but it also means 20+ with an UNBALANCED hand.

2C followed by a suit re-bid is unconditionally forcing to game. It cannot be passed by a shy responder! Note that the hand above has only 3 losers, but that 2C can be bid on hands of 4 losers. Also if you add in the Length Points for the 5th cards in each red suit you do have 23 points.

See you all soon

Talking of Big Ones, how about Squeezes! For those of you with an enquiring mind about the finer intricacies of declarer play, you might like to glance at books about the Squeeze: a slightly esoteric but nonetheless important part of declarer’s armoury. Here’s a few to look at:
  • A Bridge to Simple Squeezes - Julian Laderman
  • Squeezes Made Simple - David Bird, Marc Smith
  • Squeeze Play Made Easy - by Terence Reese and Patrick Jourdain

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