Partnerships 3: Misfits: To Bid or Not?


Here are the six hands for this week, to practise bidding with (or without) your partner. They are the same hands as I've given you to play, and which I've reviewed above.  If you’re working with your partner, print out one set by clicking on the button on the right (Person A Hands OR Person B Hands), and ask your partner to print out the other set. There’s nothing to enter into your computer, but  get together with your partner, in person or via phone, Skype, email, or even on a walk! to bid the hands.

It’s not essential to see all 52 cards. Just reach the best contract with the two hands you and partner have. On some, you're the dealer, and on others, partner is. Vulnerability is not important. After you’ve practised the bidding, you (and partner) could do the lesson, play these hands and then watch the reviews.


Misfits: To Bid or not?

As Marty Bergen says in his famous book “Points Schmoints”
”It would be nice if your side had a good fit on every hand, but life is not like that.
Here’s his suggested remedy:
”When you sense a misfit, stop bidding ASAP”

Good advice thanks Marty. There’s no point in constantly telling partner that you have six or seven cards in your suit, if he is telling you the same thing about his: where are you going? For sure, the WORST answer is no trumps.

We think that if we have two suits and partner has the other two, we’ll succeed in no trumps, but unless you have a lot of points, you usually won’t do well. Why not? It’s the lack of entries that is the problem, and just holding one stopper in an opponent’s suit doesn’t mean you’ll take nine tricks in 3NT. Succeeding in no trumps requires a plan for making tricks in your own suits, and reaching the hand that may have those tricks. If you hold a singleton in partner’s first suit, you won’t be able to reach their hand unless you have external entries.

So…even with a lot of points, remember Audrey Grant’s suggestion of “Sometimes, you bid a lot with a little, and sometimes, a little with a lot!” When it comes to misfits, the less you bid the better!