Doubles of low-level
contracts should be avoided on hands containing no strength outside
the opponent's bid suit. If West rescues and partner doubles a
two-heart bid, for example, you have nothing whatever to contribute
to the defense. The pass is not only safe—it may win everything if
partner can reopen with a double.
2 HEARTS-5 PTS.
3 HEARTS-3 PTS.
3 CLUBS-1 PT.
The free raise denotes a
fairly good hand. Had East passed, a two-club bid followed by a heart
raise would properly depict your strength, but you cannot now safely
force partner to rebid at the three level and then leave yourself
wondering whether or not to go on to game. Three hearts gets a
generous award because it is a safer kind of bravery, assuming you
are playing this bid as some do, to show limited strength
6 HEARTS-5 PTS.
5 HEARTS-3 PTS.
You can't play them safe when the odds are so heavily in
favor of making a slam or of pushing the opponents into a save at the
grand-slam level. Partner is marked with no more than one diamond.
The lesser awards are in recognition of the holiday season.
5 DIAMONDS-5 PTS.
4 DIAMONDS-3 PTS.
3 SPADES-1 PT.
Safe bidding does
not mean trying to let the cheapest bid do the job. Partner has
preempted and you have only one defensive trick. A lot of spades are
missing. If you pass, West will certainly take some action, and
East-West might even make six spades. The safest tactic is to use up
the most space by blasting into five diamonds. Four diamonds is at
least a step in the right direction. Three hearts, if partner has a
singleton, may help you on defense. Even a psychic spade bid is
better than a craven pass