Improve Your Play


Know When to Stop

By Larry Matheny

Fort Collins, Colorado

We all enjoy holding strong hands, but it’s important to know when to stop bidding. After giving partner a good description of your hand, it’s up to him. That is, if you trust your partner.







West                               East

♠Q93                             ♠J52

AQ8                            9642

A85                             104

♣J732                            ♣A1054







South      West     North     East

Pass          1♣       Dbl        Pass

1            Pass     2NT       Pass

3            Pass     Pass       Pass


Contract: 3

Opening Lead: ♣2


The jump rebid by North of 2NT showed 21-22 high card points. South rebid his long diamonds to show a very weak hand and North reluctantly passed.


The lead by West of the ♣2 went to dummy’s king and East’s ace. East returned a trump to the West’s A and West led a second round of clubs to dummy’s ♣Q. Next, declarer cashed the Q followed by three rounds of spades, ruffing in his hand with the nine. Then he drew the last trump followed by a low heart. West won the A and declarer claimed the remaining tricks. Declarer lost only three aces for a score of +130.

Most of the North/South pairs were going down in spade or notrump contracts.


It was difficult to stop short of game with the North cards, but it was time to trust partner.

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