♠6 4 ♥A Q J 4 ♦J 10 7 5 4 ♣7 2
What’s your call?
Experts have what’s called a mixed raise in their bidding arsenal. What is it? After partner makes an overcall, a jump cuebid to the three level promises four or more trumps and 6 to 10 points. The jump has to be below the trump suit. It gets its name because it has both constructive and preemptive properties.
“3*♣ is the poster child for mixed raises,” said Kay and Randy Joyce.
“3♣ is a mixed raise,” said Jill Meyers. “Bidding 2♣ is a second choice.”
“3♣ is a good description,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “My hand is too good for a simple or preemptive raise.”
“3♣ is a mixed raise,” said Kerri Sanborn. “In my own partnerships, I would double to show hearts. That’s the lead I want if we defend.”
“The only special doubles I could find in Bridge Bulletin Standard are negative and SOS redoubles,” said Allan Falk. “Because I can’t double to show hearts, I choose 3♣.”
Responsive doubles and support doubles and redoubles are part of BBS.
A double by South in this bidding sequence is called a snapdragon double and promises the unbid suit. It is not part of BBS and, therefore, was given a reduced score.
Kitty and Steve Cooper: “Double — let’s not lose the heart suit. We will raise diamonds next.”
Mel Colchamiro: “I’m doubling and if partner bids hearts with only three of them, that’ll be just fine. I’ll compete as high as 4♦ if I have to.”
Larry Cohen: “If double shows hearts, then it jumps out as a great call. I can always raise diamonds later.”
The other panelists were divided.
Steve Robinson: “2♣ is a limit raise in diamonds. It would be nice to double to show hearts or 3♣ to show a mixed raise, but that’s not part of the system. Double is for penalty and 3♣ is a fit-showing response. I refuse to make bids that are not part of the system and anyone who does should be penalized.”
A fit-showing jump is defined as being in a new suit. In this case, West opened 1♣, so 3♣ takes the meaning of a mixed raise. BBS is a general guideline and doesn’t cover all situations. It was developed nearly 10 years ago, and there are plans to update it.
Jeff Meckstroth: “2♣ — I have a great hand for diamonds.”
Karen Walker: “A 2♣ cuebid raise is enough for now. Maybe partner can show a second suit.”
August Boehm: “2♣. Searching for a heart fit is a mirage. If we fit hearts, they rate to fit spades and can outbid us. I play that the cheaper cuebid (2♣) shows a limit raise, and the higher cuebid (2♠) shows an opening bid.”
Don Stack: “2♠ shows a limit raise in diamonds. This is too big of a diamond fit to make a snapdragon double to show hearts. I am happy to show my diamond fit and limit-raise values.”
Linda and Robb Gordon: “2♠. We don’t see snapdragon doubles on our BBS tool belt, so we will make the cuebid that expresses our diamond length.”
What the Gordons meant is that a cuebid in the opponents’ lower suit (2♣) shows a three-card limit raise while a cuebid in the higher suit (2♠) promises a four-card (or longer) limit raise.
Assuming South doesn’t feel his hand is strong enough for a cuebid, a mixed raise is an excellent depiction of his hand. It shows excellent support and moderate values. Besides being descriptive, it has the advantage of forcing the opponents to compete at the three level.
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