Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Trouble with Pre-Empts

Playing IMPS at our weekly game, you pick up the following hand that would go well in a Master Solver's problem. Vul vs Not at IMPS, you hold A75 QJT7 J53 A83 and hear it go 3D on your left, Double by partner, 5D on your right, so now what?

I would love to make some kind of invitational bid, but partner is not going to interpret 5H as forward going, I think this is all up to you. Are you going on to slam, or are you bidding 5H. I do not think too much else other than perhaps Double enter the picture.

 On the plus side for the 6 level, partner made a Vul Double at the 3 level, so should have a decent hand, and there is a good possibility that partner is void in Diamonds, the opps have shown a lot of them. On the minus side, any tenaces that you need to pick up through partners hand are not likely to be working, and partner may have stretched a little for the double, since he is short if not void in Diamonds.

I think it is around 50-50 whether you go on, and partnership style probably plays a lot to do with it, along with perhaps state of the match. In a grinding match, you want to take your probable plus and go for 5H or Double, in a swingy match, or if you feel you are down, lean a little more towards the 6 level.

At the table, I opted for 6H, which was not a success when partner put down the wrong good hand, KQxx Kxxx x KQJx. I like the TO double, but RHO put the pressure on when she bid 5D with a balanced hand and the KQ tight of Diamonds. But that is what Bridge is all about, pressure, and it worked this time. Have to see about next time :)


  1. Double seems very clear to me. As long as it's understood that it shows convertible values (your two aces), partner will bid on with the correct hand and pass with the hand he actually had.

  2. Now I know how you got to the slam. I only bid 4D at our table so there was less perhaps less pressure and temptation. 5D never entered my mind at all.