Both Vulnerable

Both Vulnerable

Play Bridge: ‘DONT’ over opponent’s no-trump

Warren Watson leads readers in an ongoing game of bridge.

You will hear of many defenses against an opponent’s notrump. This is because one tries to open the most descriptive bid of one notrump as much as possible. This includes any balanced distribution with the shortest suit an unstopped doubleton. A hand with two stopped doubletons and not five four in the majors can also be opened one notrump with 15 to 17 points.

Names such as DONT, Cappelletti, Landy, Hello and many others will add to the confusion of what to do against one notrump bid by the RHO.

Last week, I covered a simple transfer system. This week, I cover DONT which stands for “Disturbing Opponent’s NoTrump.” When one overcalls one notrump in direct seat, there is a danger of being doubled because LHO has an undisclosed number of points. The safest way to interfere with one notrump is to do so with a two suited hand.


Two clubs shows clubs and a higher suit, 5-4 or better.

Two diamonds shows diamonds and a higher suit.

Two hearts shows hearts and spades.

Two spades shows spades but less than opening.

A double shows a single-suited hand and if this suit is spades, the spade suit is stronger with 13 plus points.

The drawback to this system is there is no penalty double of one notrump but the need for this is not as much as a single-suited hand.

The bidding: East, in first seat, with 17 high card points opens one notrump. South has something useful to say because he has two long suits and wants to make his shortness in diamonds and hearts useful. He bids two clubs, his lower ranking suit and North bids two diamonds requesting the higher ranking suit. South obliges by bidding two spades. East and West have nothing to say, and South plays two spades.

The contract:  Two spades by South

The opening lead: The five of hearts.

West is weak so he must lead from an honour and leading trump is not good here so he leads a small heart.

The play: Declarer wins the ace of hearts and plays a club. He wants to set up his clubs before the opponents find a diamond switch. East wins the ace and South ruffs his heart return. West wins his king of spades and switches to a diamond. Declarer ducks in dummy and East wins the Queen. He cannot return a diamond into the ace and jack and exits a heart. Declarer drives out the ace and pitches a losing diamond on his clubs.

Declarer loses two spades, no hearts, one diamond and one club making his contract.

The result: Two spades by South making two for +110.

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