Strong unusual no-trump

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for the bridge player, new to experienced.

The bidding: Unusual No-trump, a jump to 2NT or the cheapest no-trump by a passed hand, is a valuable bid telling partner one has five-five or better in two suits and weak points. This was shown in a column two weeks ago for a weak hand that was suitable for a sacrifice. However, it is also suitable for hands stronger than 16 points. South shows he has this by bidding again. With 11-15 points, one just makes overcalls.

East opens his thirteen point hand and South jumps to two no-trump with five-five or better in the two lower un-bid suits, namely clubs and hearts. Partner chooses clubs and South jumps to game in hearts. South would have to be very unlucky not to make game with his hand. North knows that South probably has six hearts and five clubs, so he leaves him in four hearts.

The contract: Four hearts by South

The opening lead: The three of diamonds

The minor suit openings are not the best lead directive bids, but here a diamond lead is the best. From the bidding, South does not have diamonds, so partner must have diamond strength for his bid.

The play: South wins the opening lead with the ace and cashes the ace of hearts. He plays two rounds of clubs and then ruffs a club with the eight of hearts. East cannot over-ruff. South ruffs a spade back to his hand, draws trump, concedes a diamond and claims.

The result: Four hearts making six for +680.

Although it is a lucky slam because East cannot over-ruff, the deal indicates how powerful a two-suited hand can be.Strong unusual no-trump