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The Adventures of BridgeGoth and GIB S XII

Posted by BridgeGoth on July 19, 2012 at 5:00 AM Comments comments (9)

Welcome to the 12th edition of The Adventures of BridgeGoth and GIB S!

We had a few adventures tonight, so enjoy!


Hand 1

I open 1NT and GIB S bids 3NT.

With a flat 15 he should not invite to slam. Even if I have 17, we fall short of 33 points. With 2 balanced hands, you can rarely make slam on less than 32 or 33 points, so 3NT is the proper bid.

On the spade lead I play the jack figuring it was likely away from the queen, which it was, so I gain a free trick.

Next I take the heart finesse, which is also free since the only suit I cannot stand lead is diamonds, and if west wins the QH, he cannot profitably attack diamonds from his side of the table. In fact, if he won the heart queen and switched to a diamond, that would actually help me!

Next I play a diamond to the 9 which drives out the queen, he can switch to a heart to hold me to 10 tricks, but fails to do so. Now I can drive out his other diamond and claim 11 tricks for +460.

With careful play and good management of entries I was able to find that extra trick. Fairly meaningless in imp scoring, but had this been matchpoints, I would have gone from a 7.5/15 to a 13/15. That is a BIG difference!

Score: +4.00 Total Score +4.00



Hand 2

Their auction starts out 1D 1H 1S and West bids 2C. Normally this would be game forcing, so I'm not a big fan of this call. I would prefer a natural 2NT bid showing 11-12 points. His partner would bid 3NT over that, so nothing was lost or gained except they played it from the other side. I have a natural JS lead which finesses GIB S, but declarer could always do that himself.

Declarer has 9 top tricks, however there is no way to escape one of us getting endplayed or thrown in. I cannot keep spades and pitch diamonds otherwise the diamonds will run, and GIB S can't escape a heart endplay.

He finds 10 tricks and I get a score of -430, the field result.

Score: -.73 Total Score: +3.26



Hand 3

This was a great hand for the Law of Total Tricks and using the theory of Green, Yellow, and Red Contracts.

After 2 passes I would normally open almost anything in 3rd seat at these colors, but I chose not to for 2 reasons.

1: If i open, I'll have to open 1C, which does not rate to either help us compete, or interfere with the opponents.

2: With exactly 10 points, there is a decent chance this will get passed out.


GIB S gets the expected spade lead, and once both red suits behave, he can score 9 tricks. 4D, 2H, 1C, 1S.

How does 1NT by W do? I would have lead a heart, and we can take 2S, 2H, 1C, 1D. MAYBE with a diamond misguess we can set it 1 trick, but 2D making 3 for +110 is a standout result in any form of scoring.

-90 would have been a 3 imp loss, so 6 were gained by keeping them out of their Green contract and playing one ourself.

Score: +2.73 Total Score: +5.99



Hand 4

I got very lucky here, I have to admit.

I open 1S with a 15 count. You should never open 1NT with a 5 card major and a 5 card minor. If I was 5332 I would have opened this 1NT.

East make a light takeout double, but it's not too bad. I have a problem with GIB S's bid here. I think his hand is too good to just bid 2S, I would have preferred he bid Jordan 2NT to invite game.

I pass, hoping to buy it for 2S but they double again! Now GIB S bids 3S, which now shows a 4th spade, and probably not a joke hand. With a joke hand with 4 spades he would have bid 3S immediately as a preemptive raise.

Now knowing that he has a good 2S bid, I bid 4S! Always nice of the opponents to throw you a life raft when you fall off the boat.

I must lose 1H and 1C and after East switchs to a low diamond, I must guess to put up the king or duck to my jack. I put up the king, which was right and score +620.

Score: +3.13 Total Score: +9.12



Hand 5

This is another hand where The Law of Total Tricks applies.

The auction starts 1H 1S 2H 2S followed by 2 passes back to me. I will now post a trivia question.

When we are the heart bidders and they are the spade bidders, when is ok to pass out 2S in this auction?

A: When opener has only 5 hearts

B: When responder has only 3 hearts

C: When we are vulnerable

D: If all of the above are true

E: When the planets align, man walks on pluto, the sun goes supernova, BridgeGoth marries Tarja Turunen, and they all happen at the exact same nanosecond that first contact is made with aliens from another galaxy.


If you answered E, you would be correct.

Also accepted would been the write in answer of "Right after Larry Cohen does it"

If all those things happen, I'll pass out 2S, but until then, you will not play 2S at my table when you have 8 of them. To quote Larry Cohen. "I don't do 1S Pass 2S all pass". He would probably select answer E, but with a few additional comical stipulations before he would let them play 2S as well. This auction it is even MORE demanding that we bid again, because we KNOW we have a fit! In very very rare cases they can have 8 spades, and we have the other 5 spades and 7 of each of the other 3 suits. This however is impossible here because we know we have 8 hearts and we know they have 8 spades.


The Law states that with 16 total trumps (their 8 spades, our 8 hearts) 16 tricks should be in this deck. So if we can set 2S, we can make 3H. It is also likely that we both make our 2 level contracts. If we go down in 3H, they are almost certainly making 2S, so nothing is lost.


West has a 6th spade so he follows the Law and competes to 3S and buys it there. Why would I bid again? We already did our job and got them a level higher. It may not have mattered on this deal (they have an easy 9 tricks once the spade finesse wins), but in the long run, this is going to win a TON of matchpoints and a good amount of imps as well.

A few pairs violated the Law and paid for it with -200 for 4H down 2.


If you'd like to learn more about The Law of Total Tricks, please read To Bid or Not To Bid by Larry Cohen. This is one of the top 3 bridge books I've read (and I've read a LOT!)

Score: +1.07 Total Score: +10.19



Hand 6

This was a very difficult hand to bid.

After 1D P 1H 1S I have no good rebid to describe this hand. I'll list the choices.

2C: This is an underbid, especially if that King of hearts is a fitting card.

2N: This shows the right range, and shows the spade stopper, but the singleton heart could be a problem.

3C: This is a bit of an overbid. The suits aren't that good and we might even miss 3NT if partner raises clubs.


2NT also has the added advantage of letting GIB S pass if he responded on a 4 or 5 point hand.

I decided 2NT was the least of evils, and GIB S bid 3H. Normally this would show 6+H and a stronger hand, but I'm not sure GIB plays that this way. I bid 3NT but he removes to 4H, and I can't say I blame him.

With the bad heart break he's down 1 for -50.

Score: 0 Total Score: +10.19



Hand 7

Here was another difficult hand to bid in my opinion. Again, several options each with flaws, and i'll go over them.

After 1S, my forcing 1NT is clear cut and GIB S bids 2C, which leaves me in a lousy position, I have a choice of 4 bids.

2H: This shows 6-9 points and 5+ hearts. I am a bit heavy for this and GIB S will pass with 16-17 points and we miss game.

2S: This would steer us to a parital fit, but we might miss game.

2NT: This likely loses the heart suit, and i'm a point light.

3H: This shows 10-11 points and 6 hearts. Right range, wrong shape.


Normally I would just bid 2S and try to stop low on what seems like a misfit auction, but vulnerable at imps, I decided to take the high road and bid 2NT. GIB S bids 3C, which some play as non forcing, however I have decided I prefer to play that as forcing and patterning out.

I could have 3-4 clubs and bid this way, GIB S could be 6/5 and want to show his shape, switch his red suits and we belong in 4H. So I feel it's a much stronger treatment to play this as forcing giving responder 1 last chance to either raise spade, clubs, or name his own suit.

In this case I am thrilled to bid 3H and look for a 5-3 heart fit, but there is none so we play in 3NT.


As you can see from Double Dummy analysis, the 6C is the best lead for me because I can duck it to my 8 and set up 2 club stoppers. I won't talk about all the things the defense screwed up here, basically to sum it up, everything. They did everything in the book wrong. That's how I get +600 on a board i should be down 2.


Score: +12.80 Total Score: +22.99



Hand 8

Guess what's back! It's The Law of Total Tricks!

I used the same ideas as before, bid at a level we are comfortable at based on the total trumps, and try to get them where they are not.

My sacrafice in 5C paid off as it pushed them to 5H, which was a Law violation.

There are 21 total trumps, but there are not 21 total tricks. QJx of diamonds, and the Qx of spades are minor honors, which reduce the number of tricks in a Law situation. Because of those, we can except 20 or even just 19 tricks in this deal.

If played/defended properly on both ends, I can make 10 tricks in clubs, and they can make 9 in hearts. However, with the losing spade finesse, they only score 8, so I am +150. I did not double this because I had no idea who was making what. I did not suspect I was making 5C so I had no score to protect, and I was just happy to get them 1 level higher.

Had I known how favorable the cards were for my side, i of course would have doubled.

Score +1.60 Total Score: +24.59



Hand 9

 I open 1C and GIB S responds 1S. They bid 2D and i am happy to rebid my 6 card club suit at the 3 level. This should show a little extra, or in this case a very nice suit.

I buy it for 3 clubs and am thrilled by this. There are 19 trumps and we bought it for 3C! This is almost always going to be a good board.

Unfortunately minor honor problem struck again, East Qxx of clubs is a trick on defense but useless on offense, and the same can be said for GIB S's Kxxx of spades, which reduces the number of tricks by 2. 

I'm down 1 for -50, which didn't get as good as score as I hoped because several pairs got too high, which was to be expected, and could'nt handle the bad breaks.

Score: -0.27 Total Score: +24.32


Hand 10

Amazing... another Law of Total Tricks hand!

They open 1C and I preempt with 2D. Do not allow the side 4 card spade suit to scare you off, partner is a passed hand so we do not have game. Also this will make the opponent's lives more difficult, get our partner off to the right lead, and give us the best chance to compete in the bidding.

East makes a creative 2H bid, this is a gross overbid.

GIB S then makes a good bid of 3D. When your partner bids a weak 2, you raise the preempt to the level of your trumps. Since he knows we have 9 diamonds, my 6 plus his 3, he should raise to 3 diamond immediately. This is almost always the case and will almost always help your side compete to the right level and put maximum pressure on the opponents.

West only bids 3H which surprises me, I would have bid 4H. However, maybe he has seen his partner's bidding and play before, because the play of this hand was a total joke. You can watch the movie to see why, but let's just say, it was sad. He goes down 3 in a cold contract for -300.

Score: +9.67 Total Score: +33.99


Hand 11

This had to be the worst declarer play of all time, and I did it!

The auction was interesting, but we got to the normal 4H contract and now it's time to play it!

Always nice when you start out with a misclick, I meant to play the 9C but accidently played the 2. I usually do not allow undos during play unless they are obvious misclicks, so I didn't ask for one here. Plus it gave me a challenege!

I'm afraid a club will get ruffed, so I try a spade hoping that East will win and be unable to reach his partner, but when West hops and plays a club, I need to win in my hand, which I fail to do again! Wow i'm really on fire here. I play the other spade, which endplays East, now he HAS to let me to my hand, or lead trumps for me which I won't mind either.

I take the ruff in my hand, lead a heart to my queen, knock off the last trump and can run the clubs to pitch the diamonds.

Ugly, but i'll take +420.

Score: +2.47 Total Score: +36.46


Hand 12

This hand was quite strange, RHO opens 1S, but do not even think of bidding 2S with my hand. That is terribly misleading, especially at these colors.

They bid up to 4S and GIB S makes a Diner Double . It was alerted as takeout, I don't see how, but whatever.

Normally I'd leave in a high level double like this ,but with this shape I thought maybe I could salvage the board in 5H. If GIB S is 2443, then they have 10 spades and we have 10 hearts, so if we can set 4S, we can make 5H.

Without the ruff, I can survive for down 2, which actually would be an improvement over the -590 4Sx was going to be, but they find the ruff and i'm down 3 for -800.

Score: -8.73 Final Score: +27.73


Bonus Hand

This hand was really awesome, because GIB S made a great decision.

GIB S opens 1C and I have Qxx Kxxx KQJ9xx void. My RHO bids 1D! I pass hoping GIB S will double back in, which I intend to pass for penalty.

GIB S comes through for me with a double and RHO decides to get out the blue card! What is redouble here? I don't know, but I do know 1 thing, I will love 1Dxx twice as much as 1Dx!

I pass, hoping that GIB S will know that I want him to leave in the redouble and after LHO passed, GIB S's pass card hit the table in about .01 seconds!

Unlike an auction of 1C X XX P where Pass says I have nothing useful to bid and PLEASE bid something, in THIS auction my pass tells GIB S that I was on a penalty pass of 1D and I do NOT want him to pull the redouble. If I want to pull, I must do it myself.

Here is an article by Karen Walker about a hand similar to this which occurred at a tournament, in which they did not pass the redouble, and missed their +1600. Thankfully, GIB S must have read that article, because we were on the same page and collect an awesome score of +1600 and 17.00 imps!


Adventures of BridgeGoth ja GIB S XI

Posted by BridgeGoth on July 15, 2012 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (5)

Tervetuloa takaisin kaikille!

Ok enough of the Finnish. Welcome to the 11th episode of The Adventures of BridgeGoth and GIB S. This was another special episode where I took on a well known Cayne match commentator. Would I be able to defeat my opponents again... or would this be the episode where I crash?

Find out!

Hand 1

We might as well get the most boring hand out of the way first.

GIB S opens 1S, I have 5 spades so I make a normal jump to 4S. GIB S finds Qxx of trump and makes 5 for +450.

Score: +1.40 Total Score +1.40


Hand 2

For those wondering why I have Finnish on my blog, it's because my favorite band Nightwish is from Finland, and their former singer, Tarja Turunen, also from Finland, is absoulutely gorgeous! I have messaged her in Finnish, but she has never replied =(

For the record, I  have had full length conversations in a total of 9 languages.

East opens 2S and West bids 2NT, which I assume was intended as some kind of forcing bid. I don't think this is correct, a 3S bid would work better. The chances of game are very slim, so it would be better to preempt the opponents. 

East passes, which is not good, passing forcing bids rarely is.

West cashes 9 tricks for +150 after the club lead.

Score +1.07 Total Score: +2.57


Hand 3

E/W bid up to a normal 4S contract. I lead a heart which didn't work, except West forgot to unblock the heart suit. West must win the first heart in hand in order to finesse later. After allowing a pointless defensive ruff, the contract was held to 4 for -620. Not a big deal in imps, but would have been a zero in matchpoints.

Score: +1.07 Total Score: +3.64


Hand 4

Here is the official BridgeGoth got fixed hand.

East opens 1C and West passes with 6 points. If partner opens 1 of a suit, you must bid with 6 points no matter what. 

The normal auction would be: 1C-1H-2N-3D(checkback)-3H-4H

West was bailed out by the bad heart break which dooms 4H, the normal contract here. 1C was still beaten 1 trick and I score +100, but many were getting more in 4H.

Score: -2.60 Total Score: +1.04


Hand 5

I open 1H and GIB S raises to 4H. I don't like this bid very much. At this vulnerability and with his holding of Axxx of spades, it is unlikely that this bid will work unless I can make 4H. They probably don't have game, and this could easily be a big penalty if I have the wrong hand.

I would have simply bid 2H with his hand and if I make another more action, bid 4H. 

I'm doubled and off 4 top tricks. However with the help of an elimination play I am able to force East to win the KH holding no exit cards. A spade away from the queen will do no good, and a minor suit return will surrender a ruff and a discard, also getting rid of my spade loser.

-200 is survivable, -500 would have been a total disaster.

Score: -4.80 Total Score: -3.76


Hand 6

For those wondering, this is the latest in the match that I've been behind in any of the 11 episodes! I'm starting to get nervous that I won't pull this one out!

GIB S opens 1D and I answer 1S. Even with a terrible 4 card major, always bid it. GIB S rebids 1NT showing 12-14 balanced and denies 4 spades, and I jump to 3NT and that ends the auction.

West underlead a jack, and if you've ever read my article on Opening Leads you'd probably know what I think of this lead. GIB S leads a spades towards the ace ten, and East splits, i'm not sure that's right, but we'll never know what GIB S was going to do if he played small.

He can now knock out the QJ of spades and cash 9 tricks for +400.

Score: +6.07 Total Score: +2.31


Hand 7

GIB S opens 1D and West doubles. I bid 1NT which shows 8-10 points over a double. West should play a heart to partner's hand for a spade through instead of playing a spade at trick 4. That gives me my 7th trick for a score of +90. I exepected +3 or +4 imps, but I never dreamed all the silliness at the other tables. How in the world are people getting to 3S and 4S with out cards? 

Sometimes it's best you don't ask about things like this.

Score: +7.60 Total Score: +9.91


Hand 8

West opens 1H and I make a pretty normal bid of 2H showing 5+S and 5+ in one of the minors. This is typically done with either weak hands or very strong hands.

With the weak hand you would simply pass partner's preference bid, and with strong hands bid more.

Over 2H East doubles which.... I dont know what that is.... it should know a good hand and something in spades, setting the table to double for penalty later. 

GIB S makes an aggressive jump to 4S and buys it there. He must lose 1H, 1C, and 1D. He must play for the KQ of diamonds to be split or onsides, a 75% chance to make 4S.

West leads the AC and shifts to a low diamond. This sets up all the diamonds on the board and the heart goes away after GIB S draws trumps and he scores +450.

Score: +7.87 Total Score: +17.78


Hand 9

East opens 1H and West bids 4H. West would be better to use Jacoby 2NT here in case they have slam.

As long as I shift to a club when in with my heart, we will score 3 tricks for -620.

Score -3.07 Total Score: +14.71


Hand 10

I know what you're all saying.... these were routine hands and we didn't get to see either BridgeGoth do something wild or the opponents do anything totally stupid.

Yeah I know, I hear ya... luckily we have THIS board!

Anyone who knows me or has played my bidding system knows I LOVE funny 1NTs. I'll open/overcall 1NT with 7 card suits, singletons, and not even think twice about it. However this time I did something I hadn't done before!

With my nice 16 point hand of AQTx AJxx void AJxxx it goes P P 1S and all red. What are my options?

A: 2C, but on this bad of a suit, it could easily go all pass and I play in a terrible spot.

B: Double, but if partner bids 2D, do I really want to correct this to 3C?

C: 2H. On a 4 card suit? No thanks.

D: Pass. We could easily have game and never find it if I pass here.

E: 2S(Michaels) I'm a heart short, but have a good hand.

So which of these 5 options did BridgeGoth choose?

He opted for....


Yes I overcalled 1NT with a void. As you can see, all 5 sensible calls are flawwed, there is no good bid here. At least 1NT shows my good spade holding, and point range correctly. I've probably played 5,000 hands of bridge this year, and I can't remember ever playing in diamonds after overcalling 1NT. I was willing to gamble this wouldn't be the first.

GIB S bids 2C (Stayman) and i'm thrilled to bid 2H, unfortunately GIB S was only inviting in 2NT, he didn't have a 4 card major. I raise to 3NT, I do have 16 anyway and off we go!

East leads the 9S which I put up the jacking, assuming it'll be covered. When it isn't, I get an extra trick as long as I have the entires to finesse 2 more times. I decide might as well do it again now. I lead a club to the queen in hopes of scoring an extra entry if the club is onsides, or maybe 4 clubs tricks if they break!

The club wins, so I complete the spade finessing and now I am up to 7 tricks. A heart to the queen pops the king and now I have 10!

4S, 3H, 2C, and the ace of diamonds.

That had to be one of the most creative bids I've ever made in bridge, but I honestly felt it was the least of evils, and felt like the best bid I could make at the time. It could have easily blown up in my face, but luckily it was the right action and I was rewarded greatly for it.

So next time you don't know what to do, just remember, it's ok to overcall 1NT with a void :):):):).

Score: +12.33 Total Score: +28.04


Hand 11

The auction begins 1D 1H and I make a negative double showing 4 spades.

GIB S jumps to 3D, which is invitational showing at least 6 diamonds and denies 4 spades. A club lead would have saved a couple tricks, but West's lead misdirector got partner off to the wrong lead.

Remember, if you're going to overcall you must think either that suit is the right lead or that it's your hand. 

I only must lose the ace of spades and score 12 tricks for +490

Score: +2.40 Total Score: +30.44


Hand 12

I open 2NT with my 2362 20 count. If partner answers 1 of a major, what am I going to rebid? 

3D can be passed, 2NT shows 18-19, and 3NT just shows a long running diamond suit. So it is much better to open this shape with 2NT (or 1NT with 15-17).

GIB S bids 3C and West bids 3H which I smash. I was rather angry with GIB S for pulling my double, we would have creamed 3H for 1100, and I was set to hit 3S as well, which would not have been as much fun. However I will forgive him after he drove to slam (though I'll admit I wanted to throw my computer against the wall after Gerber hit the table) and made it for +1390.

Score: +0.07 Final Score: +30.51


Bonus Hand

Normally I don't use the Bonus Hand to slam one of my opponents, but this was necessary. In fact, unlike normal when I use East/West to try not to embarrass anyone, this guy I will call by name.

The player in question goes by the login name inesg23 and what he said at the table needs to be put into print.

As you can see from the auction, he decided it was a good idea to overcall 3C vulnerable against not with a suit of Axxx.

I am happy to smash 3C and it goes all pass. Upon seeing the dummy he made a comment to his partner. That if he has that kind of heart suit and doesn't bid it over the double that he is wasting his time playing.

Ummm excuse me? You bid a lousy 4 card suit at the 3 level vulnerable and it's your partners' fault for not coming to your rescue? He leaves the table so I send him a private message.

"I agree, if you think that bidding 3C with Axxx vulnerable is a good bid and then blame your partner, then you are wasting your time playing."

He did not respond.

Normally I don't say things like that to the opponents, but this guy deserved it. To ensure he got to keep his terrible score (-1100) I had one of the GIBs sit in and play the hand, I didn't want to subject a sub to having to finish his mess, but I also wouldn't redeal, I wanted his score on the record.

Nothing is more annoying on BBO, or in bridge in general, then when someone makes a bad bid or play and blames their partner, and/or gives unsolicited lesson at the table. 

The lesson here: Don't blame your partner for your mistakes, and don't expect your partner to bail you out when you make a stupid bid.

The other lesson, if you see inesg23 on BBO, don't play with him.


Jumps to 5 of a Major mean....

Posted by BridgeGoth on July 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (5)

Here is a topic that I'm sure everyone who ever has played with GIB will be eager to read. 

I'm going to divide this into 3 sections, one for each type of bid and situation for jumping to 5 of a major. I will also note how GIB plays it an how an expert player's treatment will slightly differ. Overall I am quite pleased with how GIB handles a lot of these situations, although he does overuse this bid at times it's still better than just bombing out 4NT everytime you have a good hand.

Do note, these are NOT just GIB bids, I play all these treatments with all my regular live partners, and these are worth discussing for any established partnership.

Situation 1: They have never bid

This is a quite frequent occurance. We have forced game and shown good values and want to try for slam. In this situation they have not bid and we have bid every suit,  a jump to 5M asks partner to bid 6 with 2 of the top 3 trump honors. This would also hold true if we had bid no suits but our suit, or only 1 other suit.

Here is an example of this.

2C by me was 4th suit forcing to game. 

2NT by GIB S showed a club stopper and denied 3 hearts.

3S by me was natural showing a slam try in spades. In essence, a hand that was too good to just jump to 4S over 1S.

While I don't necessarily agree that 5S was the right bid (I prefer 4C), it specifically asks me to bid 6S if I have the AQ of trumps. He does make a good point, his trumps are weak, and if he bids Blackwood and I show 1, he will ask for the queen and if I have it, we might be in 6S with Kxxx opposite Qxxx, not good! It is generally a very very bad idea to bid Blackwood with such a lousy trump suit, so in this case, while not perfect, 5S will account for that problem.

Situation 2: They have bid a suit

This is an incredibly useful bid in the right hands, in fact, I'm so impressed that GIB plays this. He doesn't answer it quite right (more on that later), but the fact he can ask and answer the question makes me happy.

If they have bid a suit, a jump to 5 of our suit specifically asks partner if they have 1st or 2nd round control of their suit. If they have it, then they should bid 6, without it they should pass. The 5M bidder basically says, "I have everything we need for slam... but I have 2 dead ducks in their suit, can you help me out here?"

Here is an example of this.

With my very nice hand and GIB S's cuebid showing a strong raise to 4S, I knew we have slam as long as we can stop their suit. Blackwood is useless here, and cuebidding might force GIB S to make a tough 5 level decision without full information. Since I knew exactly what I needed, I simply asked for it by bidding 5S.

Now some of you might say there is no possible way that GIB actually took my bid that way, but i can assure with with 100% certainty that he did. He has used that bid himself to ask me for a control before, and alerted his bid as weakness in the suit they had bid. In the past I have also used this bid and he's declined with 2 fast losers in their suit. 

Need proof? Here is an example of this.

With great trumps he passed because he didn't have a club control.

The important thing to note is that this bids asks NOTHING of trumps, it ONLY asks about their suit. His trump holding was pathetic, but that wasn't what I asked him. As you can see, we are cold for slam and we were able to bid it very easily with that 5S bid.

My only gripe is that GIB S didn't answer correctly, here is the proper way to answer this question.

Pass: I have 2 fast losers in their suit, we cannot play slam.

5NT: I have a dry king (Kx/Kxx) and we might want to play 6NT (GIB knows this one, and had he bid 5NT, I would have bid 6NT to avoid a ruff)

6 our suit: I have a solid king (KQ/KQx) or singleton.

6 another suit: I have the Ace or void in their suit, and I also have the ace of this suit.

So with that said, GIB S's proper bid would have been 6D to show the void as well as the ace of diamonds. I still however would have not gone to 7S. GIB S would have made the same bid with Axx in hearts, and I would be in 7S and gotten to watch RHO ruff the opening lead.

Situation 3: We have bid 3 of the 4 suits

Here is the 3rd situation, and this one GIB does not play. I can live with this since in all the hands I've ever played bridge, I've only used it once. By comparison, GIB S and I used situations 1 and 2 a total of 4 times yesterday! Yes those 3 examples I posted ALL happened in the same day! There was another trump asking bid as well, which got us to a good slam. I played 130 boards yesterday, so you can see they come up very  frequently.

For this one I am going to use a hand from a tournament last year, the one time it came up.

Qx xx AKxx AKQxx

1S P 2C P

2S P 3D P


Now what? I haven't had a chance to name the trump suit, and it sounds like the only thing stopping us from 6S is those pesky hearts. I can't cuebid 4 of a minor since partner doesn't know what the trump suit is and that will sound like i'm still wanting to play a minor suit. If i raise to 4S, that will be a sign off, and Blackwood is just completely wrong. I could just bomb out 6S and hope, but there is a better answer.

A jump to 5S when we've bid 3 of the 4 suits asks for control of the 4th suit, just like situation 2 above when they have bid it.

Pretend this was the auction instead.

1S P 2C 2H

2S P 3D P

3S P

5S would have the exact same meaning and responses.

To summarize.

If they have not bid and we have bid every suit, or fewer than 3 suits, 5M asks for trump quality

If they have bid, 5M asks for control of their suit

If we have bid 3 of the 4 suits, 5M asks for control of the 4th suit.

Now maybe next time you play with GIB and he jumps to 5M on every other board, you will at least understand what he's doing =)