A bust hand jumps to game in hearts

Texas Transfers Revisited: Texas transfers are four-level transfers made on values or on a pre-empt. Having a heart suit, it is best to push the auction to game. South needs six or more hearts to do this. It does not matter that North will go down especially if the opponents are prevented from finding their contract.

Texas Transfers Revisited: Texas transfers are four-level transfers made on values or on a pre-empt. Having a heart suit, it is best to push the auction to game. South needs six or more hearts to do this. It does not matter that North will go down especially if the opponents are prevented from finding their contract.

There is some urgency to pre-empt because South is so weak and East-West have the higher ranking major. Opponents have at least 23 high card points with shortness in hearts. It is unlikely they do not have a game.

1. A likely bidding sequence: North opens 1 NT with a balanced 17 points and East doubles showing a strong Notrump opening (15-17 or 18) as well.  

If South passes, systems are on for West as if East had opened 1 NT. The exception is that with nothing, West must find some escape.

With seven high cards points plus partner’s 15 for 22, West would be happy to try to set 1 NT doubled but South will never let that happen. South cannot risk the opponents finding their game, and 1 NT usually does not fare well opposite an empty dummy.

Does South transfer North to two hearts or four hearts? South does not care that four hearts probably will not make, as he must keep East and West from bidding further. He bids four diamonds as a transfer to hearts. The opponents cannot compete. West, knowing his partner has 15-17 should double the final contract to get what points he can.

Contract: Four hearts by North doubled.

The play: North will lose one spade, two hearts, one diamond and a club for down two.

Result: Four hearts down two for -300.

An aside: 1 NT makes by North only because he has four hearts opposite dummy’s long suit, but this is not a likely case. As the cards lie, North will set up his hearts for four tricks with two coming from spades and one from diamonds for 1 NT making. North only makes 1 NT on a small spade lead which is more often the best lead from KQ97.

1 NT is a rock solid contract by East; however, that bid was taken by North.

2. An alternate bidding sequence:

If South bids two diamonds over East’s double intending to pass two hearts, West could double the final two heart bid for takeout. East and West will then find game because West’s hand grows once East mentions spades.

If North super-accepts South’s hearts, as shown in the last column, East and West may not find spades. Had West wanted a diamond lead or a two-heart penalty double, he would have doubled two diamonds first.

The contract:     Four spades by East

Opening Lead: The ten of hearts

The Play: East has four losers, one spade, two diamonds and one club. He will pitch a diamond on the heart thus making the contract

Result: Four spades making +620

Clearly, North South would rather give East West 100 or 300 than 620.