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When is a new suit forcing? Bidding on a passed hand

#1 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 03:18

I can't find anything that deals with whether a new suit bid by responder after his/her initial pass is forcing for one round.

We play ACOL and four card majors, weak no trump. I held C: AKxxx, D: xxxx, H: KJx, S: x. After some hesitation I passed with 11 HCP (12 including distrubution) and partner opened 1H. I thought game might just be on in hearts but was worried that 2H understated my strength and partner might pass, and bidding 3H would overstate my heart length and partner might bid 4H holding only four hearts. I reckoned on bidding 2C (thinking it was forcing) and then showing delayed support for hearts, but partner,holding 5 hearts and 3 clubs, and 14 HCP, passed my 2C response.
I reckoned that partner should either have 15+HCP or 5 good hearts, otherwise she would have bid 1NT, but there was always the risk that she might have a 13 HCP 4441 hand with a singleton club.
I suspect she should have rebid her hearts, as my bid suggested 10+ HCP, but the broader question is whether a new suit at the 1 or 2 level by a passed hand is generally considered forcing?
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#2 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 03:27

Edit: I changed this post after a realized the hand was 1-3-4-5 rather than 5-4-3-1.

A passed hand cannot force unless opener has show extra values - you are limited to 11 points by your failure to open, so if partner has 11-12 points he is allowed to pass any bid you make. Therefore, the "delayed game raise" is not a strategy you can use as a passed hand.

There is no simple solution to this problem. 2 is normal - partner usually won't pass that. I suppose in theory you could bid a 3 splinter bid and hope that partner will bid 3NT if he has only four hearts and spades well stopped. But I won't recommend, certainly not undiscussed.

This post has been edited by helene_t: 2014-July-30, 03:58

You might speculate on the psychopathology of some posters but hating them seems excessive --- Nige1
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#3 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 03:54

I would have said that in principle a new-suit response by a passed hand is still forcing, but partner might choose to pass with a (sub)minimum opener. Certainly I don't think your partner with a 14-count should pass your two-over-one response.

btw it's much better to show a hand in the usual SHDC order than reversing it, and using a hand diagram is even better!
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#4 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 03:56

I think Helene has misread your hand as it's normal to order the suits with spades first. Preferably use the hand viewer. (Helene has edited her post after I initially posted)



As Helene says, partner is entitled to pass any response as in 3rd seat he might have a sub-minimum opening bid, I'd consider opening 1 in 3rd seat and passing 2 with say J10xx, AQxxx, x, QJx (note that 4 will make opposite this).

Do you play the old style of Acol where a 2/1 can be an 8 count or the more modern style where you need 10 ? If you need 10, passing with a 14 count is insane, I have a little sympathy if it can be 8.

I think most Acol players would have opened your hand, 5 hearts, 4 diamonds + 11 points is rule of 20, and it's not got anything which says that it should be downgraded like points in the singleton.

If you had 5 clubs and 4 hearts, it would be normal in the UK for a 3 response by a passed hand to show this (in the US it might be a weak 2 type hand). If I thought partner might pass a 2 response, I'd borrow a heart and respond 3 anyway, 4 is the game that makes opposite say Jxx, AQ10x, KQx, QJx.
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#5 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 06:59

View PostCyberyeti, on 2014-July-30, 03:56, said:



With excellent honor quality, I would open this hand 1 in first seat without a second thought. But that's another story.
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#6 User is offline   Liversidge 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 07:45

View Postbillw55, on 2014-July-30, 06:59, said:

With excellent honor quality, I would open this hand 1 in first seat without a second thought. But that's another story.

We play that a response at the 2 level shows 10+ HCP. I suspected that I should have opened (rule of 20) but with another method, of counting HCP and adding for length, the total came to 12, just below the opening threshold. And I thought that partner should have responded to my 2C as I showed 10+ HCP, and partner agreed afterwards. What My question was really about whether there are any generally accepted guidelines as to whether a new suit by responder after passing first time is forcing, i.e. partner MUST bid. For example, if after my pass partner bids 1C and I respond 1D, is that forcing? And if partner opens 1S and I bid 2C is that forcing? More experienced players will be able to exercise judgment rather than stick to rules (such as the rule of 20, or the 12-14 rule for weak no trump etc)but for beginners like me it is quite useful to be able to say: "partner, if xxxxx then xxxxxx". I have found lots of stuff on forcing / not forcing for opener and for responder when there has not been a pass to start with, but nothing for this situation.
PS: sorry Helene about getting the suit order wrong. I will know better next time!
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#7 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 08:57

Drury (especially reverse) has a decently strong following precisely because it
does such a good job of handling these situations. The general rule is when you are
a passed hand you cannot make a forcing bid that is not conventional. This means you
have to really concentrate on the majors so with a hand like xx QJxx Kx Axxxx and the
bidding goes p p 1d p you have to bid 1h not 2c because p can pass both bids and it is
usually much more important to search for the major than worry about showing power right
away. This is because opener (especially in 3rd chair) may be choosing to open a lead
director with an otherwise passable hand.

Back to drury if opener has game interest they way wish to inquire about trump support
if you commonly raise with 3 card support opposite a common 4 card major opening. I would
suggest the 2d response to be used as trump length asking (ie 2h by responder shows 3) while
any other bid shows 4+ and a feature or side suit according to partnership principles (I go
with side suit myself and use nt to just show a more balanced raise since we are going to
play the major anyway).
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#8 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 09:06

View PostLiversidge, on 2014-July-30, 07:45, said:

What My question was really about whether there are any generally accepted guidelines as to whether a new suit by responder after passing first time is forcing,

In general there isn't much that is forcing in a new suit after a pass.

Consider also that third hand can be below the normal standards for an opening bid. There may be hands partner can hold where you would be happy for him to pass your 2 response. Although I don't know much about acol - perhaps these hands are not likely with the weak NT in play.

But in general, if you feel that you need to make a forcing non-raise over partner's third hand opening, I think it is a sign that you should have opened.

With the hand given, if stuck with an opening pass I would probably make do with a limit raise in hearts.
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#9 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 09:08

Unfortunately, you cannot play Drury when you play Acol. This is because if responder has 10-11 points with less than three hearts, and opener has a balanced 15-16 count with only four hearts, it would go:
pass-1
1NT-pass

I suppose you could agree to play a new suit by a passed responder as forcing, but it is convenient to be able to pass after
pass-1
2-?
holding something like Ax-Qxxxx-Kx-QJxx (and a 2NT rebid would show 15+ points, while a 2 rebid would be nonforcing).

Probably you don't have a meanig assigned to a jump shift by a passed hand, so you could use that for invitational hands with 3-card support.
You might speculate on the psychopathology of some posters but hating them seems excessive --- Nige1
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#10 User is offline   biggerclub 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 09:34

View Posthelene_t, on 2014-July-30, 09:08, said:

Probably you don't have a meanig assigned to a jump shift by a passed hand, so you could use that for invitational hands with 3-card support.


I was just going to suggest a fit-showing jump. (I believe that is what is programmed into GIB here) I think that takes OP too far afield from a natural system with a casual partner . . . so I just don't think there is a solution to the problem.

Opener definitely should not pass 2 with any 12 point hand.
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 10:18

A jump shift by a passed hand has by default shown a good suit with support for Opener's suit and a maximum pass in natural systems since at least the 1930s, and possibly even before this. I think this is enough time for it to be assumed. Of course, that call also promises 4 card support in Acol so this hand is hardly a textbook example.
(-: Zel :-)
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#12 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-July-30, 10:40

View PostZelandakh, on 2014-July-30, 10:18, said:

A jump shift by a passed hand has by default shown a good suit with support for Opener's suit and a maximum pass in natural systems since at least the 1930s, and possibly even before this. I think this is enough time for it to be assumed. Of course, that call also promises 4 card support in Acol so this hand is hardly a textbook example.

True. So with 3-card support you cannot use this without discussion. If discussed, however, it should be safe enough when playing weak NT, since opener will either have a 5-card suit and/or enough points to bid 3NT.
You might speculate on the psychopathology of some posters but hating them seems excessive --- Nige1
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