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1.     ♠xx ♥Ax ♦xxx ♣AQxxxx

Bid 3♣. You have 5+ clubs and 12 points (remember count distributional points when you have a fit and are likely going to play in a suit). This is a maximum invite in my view, as you have two aces and a sixth club. If partner accepts he will bid game or probe with three of a red suit, showing a stopper.

2NT is also possible, but not as descriptive. An important point to remember as opener on these auctions: When you DO NOT accept it is always better to play in the suit, EVEN at matchpoints.

However the opposite is true if accepting: If going on to game, 3NT is better at matchpoints as you only need 9 tricks and it scores higher than five of a minor.


2.     ♠xx ♥AJ10xx ♦xxx ♣KQx

2NT. Yes you have a 5th heart, but 2♥can be bid on a six count. You might be concerned of bidding 3NT without a diamond stopper, or missing a 5-3 heart fit. The key here is if partner is accepting your game invitation, he should bid out his pattern on the way to game. So if he is 6-3-0-4 or 5-3-1-4 shape he would bid 3♥over 2NT.


3.     ♠x ♥Q109xxx ♦Qx ♣KQxx

Bid 2♥. You are close to inviting but the questionable ♦Q indicates caution.


4.     ♠AK ♥xxxxx ♦xx ♣xxxx

2♠.  Your heart suit is too weak to bid. It is almost always better to play in a 5-2 fit that a 4-3 one. Partner may surprise you by bidding 3♥on the next round of bidding, and you would bid game. You can’t do that if you pass 2♣.


5.     ♠- ♥Q10xxx ♦Qxxxxxx ♣x

2♦.  If partner bids 2♥ pass! If he bids anything else I would pass. “No double, no trouble.” Pass of 1♠was right.


6.      ♠x ♥xxxx ♦Axxxxx ♣Kx

2♦. Easy. Pass all other bids by partner.


7.     ♠xx ♥Axxx ♦J10xxxx ♣x

2♦or 2♠. Close. 2♦is less likely to get partner excited as would 2♠. Here is another important lesson: When there is a misfit it is usually better to play in the suit of the weaker hand.


8.     ♠x ♥Ax ♦Qxxx ♣AQxxxx

Here 2♣was possible over 1♠, but 1NT was better. Now you need to catch up! This hand is too good for 3♣. 4♣or 5♣are acceptable. Many more experienced players use a jump in the other major to describe this holding. Here that would be 3♥.


9.     ♠x ♥Ax ♦KQJxxx ♣xxxx

3♦, natural, usually 6+ diamonds and 11-12 points.


10.♠x ♥AQx ♦xxx ♣xxxxxx


Too strong to pass 2♣. Bid 3♣. As we learned in intermediate lesson 1, a potential big fit can make up for missing high cards. Give partner ♠Axxxx ♥Kxx ♦x ♣AKxx and you can see what I mean. A minimum opener opposite a 6 count and 12 tricks are cold if clubs 2-




Opener’s 3rd bid.