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What action to take with 4-5 majors

#1 User is offline   phoenix214 

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Posted 2017-March-20, 08:48

There are mutiple ways, how to bid a hand with 9 cards in majors over a 1 of a minor opening, you can overcall, dbl or try a light michaels.
So here is hand that came up, and the question is what would be you prefered action: Favorable in imps versus good opponents: RHO opens 1 which is 4+ and natural and you hold:
:AQ32
:A9743
:6
:J65

And as a follow up question: What is our plan if LHO raises diamonds to 2 and 3 and it gets passed around to us?
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#2 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2017-March-20, 09:02

1 followed by DBL.
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#3 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2017-March-20, 09:18

i double with minimums (less than 13 or 14ish) and bid the 5 then double with modest extras (13 or 14ish+)
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#4 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2017-March-23, 12:13

If you double an then bid later on, you're advertising a STRONG overcall. If you bid , you may lose a fit. But if it's passed around to you at fairly low level, you have the option to make a reopening double. If you double, you might lose a heart fit.

My gut reaction was to double, but the more I think about it, I think 1 is right. It allows partner more options depending on your bidding agreements over overcalls. If partner forces with a cue, you can bid 2 to show an opening hand. If partner somehow finds a bid, you really like your hand and will Take some raising action whether the new suit bid is NF, Constructive NF, or Forcing.

If 2 (weak) raise is passed back, I'll make the reopening double, but would probably pass 3 back to me.
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#5 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2017-March-23, 18:43

View Postrmnka447, on 2017-March-23, 12:13, said:

If you double an then bid later on, you're advertising a STRONG overcall.


Exactly why I prefer a 1 overcall so I can usually take further action. If I double I might as well fold my cards and put them in my pocket. That said, after 3 passed back to me I'm out if it's limit otherwise I'm doubling.
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#6 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2017-March-24, 03:58

View Postphoenix214, on 2017-March-20, 08:48, said:

There are mutiple ways, how to bid a hand with 9 cards in majors over a 1 of a minor opening, you can overcall, dbl or try a light michaels.
So here is hand that came up, and the question is what would be you prefered action: Favorable in imps versus good opponents: RHO opens 1 which is 4+ and natural and you hold:
:AQ32
:A9743
:6
:J65

Standard bidders sometimes lose a 4-4 S fit after

(1)-1-(P)-1N

because Advancer thinks/fears that a 1 advance would promise 5+ S; or a 5-3 H fit after

(1)-X-(P)-1N,

because a 2 rebid would not show a Flannery-type hand, but be strong.

I don't know what's best of X and 1 when playing with a pick-up partner, but in my regular partnerships I've always made sure that

(1m)-1R-(P)-1M = 4+ M, F1,

partly in order to solve problems like this. So with those partners: 1.

View Postphoenix214, on 2017-March-20, 08:48, said:

And as a follow up question: What is our plan if LHO raises diamonds to 2 and 3 and it gets passed around to us?

X (takeout)
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#7 User is offline   gszes 

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Posted 2017-March-24, 06:16

The heart suit is nothing to write home about. With this particular collection I prefer x. Change the HCP around some Axxx AQJxx x xxx and 1h suddenly looks a ton better since it provides not only a decent landing spot but a good lead director.
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#8 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2017-March-24, 10:07

View Postgszes, on 2017-March-24, 06:16, said:

The heart suit is nothing to write home about. With this particular collection I prefer x. Change the HCP around some Axxx AQJxx x xxx and 1h suddenly looks a ton better since it provides not only a decent landing spot but a good lead director.


I agree with you although the others make good arguments for 1.
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#9 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2017-March-27, 09:06

View Postneilkaz, on 2017-March-24, 10:07, said:

I agree with you although the others make good arguments for 1.

But do you really want partner to give a false preference to 3 when he has some junk with two hearts?

That is the reason why I would double:
- If we can make game because partner has three card heart support, he will be so strong that he will come to life and force me to suggest hearts.
- If we can make game because of our fit in the major, partner will be able to judge the situation immediately because I have shown both majors.
- But if we can't make game, I certainly don't want to force partner beyond the 1 level.

This hand is worth only one action, either double or overcall, and -to my taste- the double is more descriptive, for the reasons above. For an overcall, followed by a double, I need a slightly better hand and suit. (And for a double followed by an overcall, I need a lot more.)

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#10 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2017-March-27, 09:57

View Postggwhiz, on 2017-March-23, 18:43, said:

Exactly why I prefer a 1 overcall so I can usually take further action. If I double I might as well fold my cards and put them in my pocket.

I agree with all the above reasoning and come to the opposite conclusion. I don't have enough goods to take further action, even after a simple weak single raise comes back to me. So, I double and fold my cards, putting them into my pocket -- having shown somewhere around opening strength with support for the other 3 suits.

Trinidad was more eloquent in this view.
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#11 User is offline   cartruck 

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Posted 2017-June-20, 07:56

I think that hand is weak enough to use Michael's and bid 2. Best desrcibes your hand quickly and if partner bids clubs you do have 3 of them. I would definitely bid 2 showing both Majors there.

EDIT: My father (usually the only partner I ever play with) and I use Michael's and even Unusual 2NT with 4-4 distribution, rarely, but that is in play and we respond accordingly.
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#12 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2017-June-24, 15:24

Slightly prefer double. Weaken the hand and its 1!h. Strengthen it and its a clear x.
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#13 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-June-24, 15:30

With a minimum hand, surely double showing your 3 places to play is better than the unilateral 1H, especially with the weak heart suit? In my youth, I would overcall 1H and invariably the next bid I would hear was 3D or some number of NT when I really wasn't keen on a heart lead.
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#14 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-June-24, 16:21

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-June-24, 15:30, said:

With a minimum hand, surely double showing your 3 places to play is better than the unilateral 1H, especially with the weak heart suit? In my youth, I would overcall 1H and invariably the next bid I would hear was 3D or some number of NT when I really wasn't keen on a heart lead.


Equally you double and partner with KJ, KQx, xxx, xxxxx bids clubs and they cash 3 clubs and 3 diamonds when 3 was cold.

It's not an easy problem, to some extent it depends what you overcall on, for us this would be absolutely minimum for 1 over 1 which cuts nothing out, and partner responds to it like an opening bid so the spade suit doesn't get buried, but this is very much a fringe treatment.

I'd overcall 1 and x not necessarily showing extras if some number of diamonds comes back to me
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#15 User is offline   Kaitlyn S 

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Posted 2017-June-24, 17:27

View PostTrinidad, on 2017-March-27, 09:06, said:

That is the reason why I would double:
- If we can make game because partner has three card heart support, he will be so strong that he will come to life and force me to suggest hearts.

But you can't suggest five hearts.

By the way, I suspect rhm doubles here because I think his heart overcall denies four spades.
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#16 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2017-June-24, 17:51

View Postphoenix214, on 2017-March-20, 08:48, said:

There are mutiple ways, how to bid a hand with 9 cards in majors over a 1 of a minor opening, you can overcall, dbl or try a light michaels. So here is hand that came up, and the question is what would be you prefered action: Favorable in imps versus good opponents: RHO opens 1 which is 4+ and natural and you hold A Q 3 2 A 9 7 4 3 6 J 6 5
And as a follow up question: What is our plan if LHO raises diamonds to 2 and 3 and it gets passed around to us?

I rank
  • Double = T/O. You have a 3-suiter and it seems reasonable to treat your poor suit as 4 cards.
  • 2 = ART. Michaels. Exaggerates your major holdings.
  • 1 = NAT. IMO, bidding s and then doubling exaggerates the quality of the suit and the strength of the hand.

Over 1 (but not 1), some modern partnerships agree that the cue-bid (2) shows 5-4 in the majors.
I'm worried that cartruck describes as "Michaels" a cue-overcall that can show 4-4, by agreement.
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#17 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2017-June-25, 07:01

View PostCyberyeti, on 2017-June-24, 16:21, said:

Equally you double and partner with KJ, KQx, xxx, xxxxx bids clubs and they cash 3 clubs and 3 diamonds when 3 was cold.

It's not an easy problem, to some extent it depends what you overcall on, for us this would be absolutely minimum for 1 over 1 which cuts nothing out, and partner responds to it like an opening bid so the spade suit doesn't get buried, but this is very much a fringe treatment.

I'd overcall 1 and x not necessarily showing extras if some number of diamonds comes back to me


Winning bridge to a great extent is a matter of playing for the best odds - 1H has an advantage when partner holds exactly 3 hearts. Double has the flexibility for the other hand types that partner may hold that allows us to compete. It seems to me that double offers the best odds.
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#18 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2017-June-25, 08:32

View PostWinstonm, on 2017-June-25, 07:01, said:

Winning bridge to a great extent is a matter of playing for the best odds - 1H has an advantage when partner holds exactly 3 hearts. Double has the flexibility for the other hand types that partner may hold that allows us to compete. It seems to me that double offers the best odds.


No, 1 has the flexibility to make another call later such as DBL. Starting DBL does not. Posted Image
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#19 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-June-30, 02:23

View Postnige1, on 2017-June-24, 17:51, said:

I'm worried that cartruck describes as "Michaels" a cue-overcall that can show 4-4, by agreement.

I would hope that he does not give Michaels as an explanation to opponents as that would clearly be misinformation. It would also be problematic to use the term without further commentary in forums. Calling it Michaels between him and his father is just fine.
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#20 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2017-June-30, 04:07

View Postnullve, on 2017-March-24, 03:58, said:

Standard bidders sometimes lose a 4-4 S fit after

(1)-1-(P)-1N

because Advancer thinks/fears that a 1 advance would promise 5+ S; or a 5-3 H fit after

(1)-X-(P)-1N,

because a 2 rebid would not show a Flannery-type hand, but be strong.

I would not throw this sequence ((1)-X-(P)-1N-(P)-2) at partner without discussion, but I beg to differ.
Even playing standard I do not understand why so many insist bidding 2 here needs to be reserved for hands too strong to overcall immediately.
My guess is the reason is lazy thinking.
Playing equal level conversion anyway this is a clear flannery type sequence (could be 6-4).
What the matter is wrong with bidding 3 over 1N to show a powerhouse, assuming a 1N in response to a takeout dbl shows some values.
It is not like takeout doubler has any problem differentiating strong hands with a heart suit.
Are 3,4 or 2 followed by hearts not enough to differentiate between very strong heart hands, which occur every other leap year anyway while the flannery hand type is quite common?

The risk of missing a spade fit (or a club fit) by overcalling 1 (LHO might preempt next) is far more likely than missing a good heart fit by starting with a double.
Sometimes we will have a fit in both majors, in which case playing spades will often be preferable, due to ruffing diamonds with the "short" trump side can provide extra tricks.
When we overcall 1 partner will not look fro a spade fit when he has heart support, say 5-3s.

Rainer Herrmann
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