What’s your call?
The luck factor
“Double,” Boehm decides. “Everything is hateful. I plan to correct 4♥ to 5♣, implying spades — two places to play. Maybe we’ll get lucky.”
Robinson calls double “better than directly bidding 5♣. Sometimes partner has spades.”
Hampson doubles, too: “I might get lucky and hear partner bid spades (or pass). If not, I can bid 5♣.”
Ditto Weinstein: “Passing is too big of a position when we hold strong notrump values, shortness in their suit and six solid clubs. Besides, it always works for the Europeans.”
Meyers, too: “Double. If partner bids 4♥, I will bid 4♠, which I like to play shows four spades and longer clubs. If I was single-suited with spades, I would bid 4♠ directly.”
Lawrence doubles, but plans to pass if partner bids 4♥. “Ugly! I have noted a trend towards bidding almost maniacally against preempts. This surely qualifies. East’s 4♦ typically suggests a weak hand, but does not promise a weak hand. In favor of doubling are:
- Partner may have good enough hearts to survive.
- Partner may bid spades.
- Partner may pass for penalty.
Against doubling is that it may get us into a bad 4–2 heart fit.”
The Coopers double, though not with any certainty. “Just a bit too good to pass, but I will hate it if partner passes.”
The Sutherlins tap the table. “Entering the auction now seems antipercentage. Partner does not rate to have four or five good spades. Our hand is probably not good enough to make 5♣.”
“What a vicious problem!” exclaims Rigal, who wimps out with a pass. “I hate for my answer to appear in print for all the world to see and laugh at, but really — it doesn’t have to be our hand for game. I’m going to go low and see how I like it.”
“We’ll stay fixed,” the Joyces say. “Anytime partner has what we need, he will bid too much.”
Walker passes. “I don’t see the need for heroics here, especially since this hand just isn’t that great.”
Isfeld and Henneberger bid 4♠. “It is impossible to find spades on this auction unless we bid it. Doubling will hear hearts from partner when he has both majors, and bidding 5♣ bypasses a 10-trick spade contract.”
4NT Blackwood by Sanborn, “trying to get to 7♠. If we have three aces (since there really is no key card suit), when I bid 5NT and then 6♠, partner can bid a grand with good trumps.”
Stack pulls out the 5♣ card. “The opponents are bidding like we canmake something, so I will bid this excellent suit and hope the opponents are correct.”