LESSON 16.2: BALANCING BIDS

a)

Dealer: West

South

A J 7 5 2
K J 5
6 2
Q 10 6

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

1 (9-15 HCP   5+ ) inviting

With 9-15 HCP, declare any five-card or more major

b)

Dealer: West

South

A K 10 7 5 2
K J 5
6 2
A Q

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

Double then bid spades (16+ HCP   5/6 + ) 1 round

With 16+ HCP, double and declare a solid five to six-card suit at your next turn

see Lesson 18. Takeout doubles

c)

Dealer: West

South

A J 7 5
K J 5 2
6
Q 10 6 4

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

Take-out double (9+ HCP   support for unbid suits) 1 round

Even with a minimum 9+ HCP, double when holding both major suits; partner should give precedence to a major-suit response

see Lesson 18. Takeout doubles

d)

Dealer: West

South

5
Q 9 7 4
A 10 4 2
K Q 7 4

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

Pass (0+ HCP)

It is better not to balance over an opponent's major when short in the other major and with good trumps; a reopening double will often drive the opponents to a better fit in the other major

e)

Dealer: West

South

A K 10 7 5 2
K J 5
6 2
Q 3

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

jump to 2 (13-16 HCP   5/6 + ) 1 round

With 13-16 HCP, jump in a good five to six-card suit

f)

Dealer: West

South

A K 10 7
K J 5 3

A J 10 5 3

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

cuebid in 2 (13+ HCP   support for other suits) 1 round

With 13-16 HCP and a void in opener's suit, a cuebid is preferable to a balancing double to avoid a situation where partner will pass holding weak trumps and an intermediate hand

g)

Dealer: West

South

5 2
6
K J 9 8 5
A Q 10 6 4

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

2NT or 2 (9-12 HCP   5+   5+ ) 1 round

A 2NT overcall shows 5-5 or better in the two lower unbid suits; in the balancing seat, this sequence should be limited to 9-12 HCP hands; with stronger hands, it is better to first declare the higher-ranking suit and follow with the other suit at your next turn

see Unusual notrump convention

h)

Dealer: West

South

K Q 5
A J 7
Q 10 7
10 9 6 4

South

West

North

East

-
?

1
 

Pass
 

Pass
 

1NT (11-14 HCP   stopper in ) limiting

In the balancing seat, a 1NT bid shows a balanced 11-14 HCP with a stopper in the opponent's suit; with 15+ HCP, double and then bid notrump at your next turn

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