Better Basic Bridge: If you are saying blue and your partner is hearing orange...

Nancy Evins • Updated Oct 1, 2017 at 2:00 PM

This can lead to some hilarious situations…for your opponents, at least.

Take this little quiz. Your partner, North, has opened one no-trump and pesky opponent has overcalled two diamonds.

You are holding:

Spades: K 4 2

Hearts: J 10 9 7 3

Diamonds: 6

Clubs: 8 7 5 2 

As South, you bid two hearts.

Would that have been your bid or another?

There are more than one correct bids.

I gave this little quiz to four of the ones I had asked in another column, and here are their answers.

The first who answered said simply that he would not bid two hearts but would double since he plays “stolen bids.”

That would have been my answer also since I play that. It simply means that you had meant to transfer to hearts by bidding diamonds. It means, “That dirty rat stole my bid.” If you use that system, a bid of two hearts would mean a transfer to spades.

My own partner said it depended with whom he was playing. If with me, it would mean “stolen bid,” but with some, he played Lebensol, so two hearts would be to play.

Another gave this answer. “It depends on our agreement concerning interference over partner’s one no trump opening. If we play stolen bids, I would double opponent’s two diamonds.

“If the opponents play modified Hamilton over one no-trump, since the two-diamond bid would be showing both majors, I would pass. I would bid two hearts over opponent’s two diamonds, if natural.”

The last one wrote almost the same thing, adding that if opponent was bidding naturally, he would double, but if that bid meant opponent was showing at least five hearts and five spades or modified Hamilton, he would pass and then see how the auction goes, probably coming back in bidding hearts since we should have an eight-card fit.

The only problem I have with that is that opener could have only two hearts, making it a seven-card fit.

What would I, as South, have done in the old days? Probably pass since no one played transfers, and I would be afraid I might be raised. No one would stop, including me, and think that if partner opened one no trump, whether the 16-18 level or the nowadays 15-17, we have half the points in the hand and should compete.

If you play with a lot of different partners, this would be a good thing to ask…how would they interpret your bid. And how would you interpret theirs?

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]


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