West opens the jack of hearts. How do you play for your contract?
BEST PLAYS, AND WHY
2 SPADES—5 PTS. 5 CLUBS—3 PTS. 3 CLUBS—2 PTS. 2 HEARTS—1 PT.
You have passed originally on a hand that is suddenly worth 16 points in support of clubs. Yet, because of that earlier pass, the only forcing bid available is a cue bid in the opponents' suit. What is more, this bid gives the truest picture of your hand. Five clubs has the virtue of insuring that game will be reached, and three clubs is stronger than two hearts, which gets a point for lagniappe.
5 CLUBS—5 PTS. 4 CLUBS—3 PTS. PASS—1 PT.
After partner's preemptive announcement of a no-defense hand, your singleton heart should cause a stab at the panic button. Anything less than five clubs may not shut out the heart suit, but four clubs is at least a step in the right direction. Pass deserves one point because it is better than three diamonds, which does not shut out anything.
4 SPADES—5 PTS. PASS—3 PTS. DOUBLE—1 PT.
We are far from sure of making game, but why should we tell the opponents that they do not need to take the save they are heading for? Pass gets a few points because it is not incorrect by the book, and double gets one point because it might be better than something else—though don't ask me what.
4 HEARTS—5 PTS. 4 CLUBS—3 PTS. PASS—1 PT.
A raise with a void suit seems heroic, but you have better than the four tricks that should give partner game, since partner's three bid says he expects to win six tricks with hearts as trumps. Four clubs is rewarded on the theory that some players insist that any response is forcing. Pass is better than three spades or four diamonds.