East West Vulnerable

Play Bridge: Weak two with five

Tips and tricks for bridge players new and experienced

This is the last column on lying. Next week will be the start of a series of columns on the Two-Over-One bidding system.

Weak two bids, in first or second seat, are made with hands holding a reasonable six-card suit, no four-card major and no void.

Also very important is that the weak-two bid will get partner off to the correct lead.

A weak-two bid will always give good lead direction and will categorically never have a four-card major nor a void, but the condition that may be relaxed is the suit length.

The weak two suit may only be five cards especially in third seat and infrequently in first or second seat. When the weak two is five cards, any outside major will be at most a doubleton.

The suit will likely be a one or two-loser suit if played with no dummy entries. Such examples are AQJ109, KQJ109,  KJ1098 and AQ1098, while QJ1098 does not qualify.

The bidding:

The Golden fit for a trump contract is eight cards. This, however is not true for high-level sacrifices. The golden fit for a sacrifice is nine cards or more. The law of total tricks is a useful guideline. With a nine-card fit, one can bid to the three-level and one can bid one-level higher for every additional card over nine.

South opens a five-card weak two because he has a really good suit and is extremely short in Spades. West has just enough to take direct action over a weak two. North sees only one defensive trick in his hand and further pre-empts to the five level, taking away any room for slam investigation and making opponents make their decisions at the five-level.

North may think he is using the law with what he believes to be an eleven-card fit, but a bid of Four Hearts is not much of a hindrance.

East is forced to double and resign himself to taking any positive score he can get.

Bidding Five Spades or Six of a minor will not, as it turns out, get a positive result. A stiff to the Spade Ace and a ruff will defeat any minor suit slam.

The Play:

Declarer needs four ruffs in dummy, but the opponents will likely play two rounds of trump before he can lose two Diamonds and one Club, and then declarer will need to set up the fifth Spade in dummy for a discard.

There are sufficient entries (including drawing the second round of trump with the Nine) to do this, but declarer must cash the Spade Ace and ruff a Spade as soon as he gets in. Declarer will lose one Heart, two Diamonds and a Club for down two and -300. This is better than -630 for 3NT or -600 for five of a minor.

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