None vulnerable

Play Bridge: Pick a slam partner wisely

Tips and tricks for bridge players

This is a hand that I played online. You may notice that East is a bold bidder. Some may say crazy not bold. The opponents took away room for us to bid a system to get to slam. However, the funny part was that since I had never played with this partner before, we never had a system to lose. Their bidding told us, incorrectly, I may add, that we were working on a 30 point deck and seven was probably there.

The bidding: I opened One Diamond. Six-four hands are very valuable especially since all the high card points were in these suits. East makes a bold unorthodox pre-empt with a five-card suit. This could lead to big problems if it gets doubled. They may get a very few number of tricks. If they escape being doubled twice, on the initial bid and when partner likely raises, there still could be disastrous lead implications, if his partner has Kx and leads the King.  At the very least, the opponents will probably never underbid when there are pre-empts afoot.

Partner makes a free bid of Three Hearts and I make a Four-Club call over opponent’s Three Spades. Partner bids 5NT telling me to pick a slam, any suit except Spades of course. I pick Six Diamonds. Partner raises to seven.

The Lead: A small Spade is led because there are no Aces to cash.

The play: Declarer wins the opening lead and draws trump. He then cashes the top Hearts, pitching a Club and ruffs the third Heart. He goes to the last spade and ruffs another Heart. He then goes to the Ace of Clubs, pitches his last two clubs on the good Hearts and claims.

Result: Seven Diamonds is cold for +1440.

Note: Typically a minimum opener opposite 20 points will usually make a small slam. South clearly has a hand that behaves like a very good opener.

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