Bidding Over One Spade

When Auction was in its infancy, the authorities advised the Second

Hand, regardless of the character of his cards, to pass a declaration

of one Spade. The reason given was that the Third Hand would have to

take his partner out, which might prove embarrassing, and that a bid by

the Second Hand would release his left-hand adversary from this,

possibly, trying position.

Modern Auction developments have proven the futility of this idea. The

Third Hand of to-day is not troubled by any obligation to take the

Dealer out of "one Spade," and will not do so without considerable

strength. Should the Second Hand pass, with winning cards, the Fourth

Hand may be the player who finds himself in the awkward position, and

if, adopting the conservative course, he allow the Spade declaration to

stand, a good chance to score game may be lost by the failure of the

Second Hand to avail himself of his opportunity.

Second Hand silence is not now regarded as golden, but there is still

some question as to the amount of strength required to make a

declaration advisable. Some authorities believe the Second Hand should

pass, unless his cards justify him in expecting to make game. This

theory was for a time very generally accepted, and even yet has a

considerable following. Experience, however, has convinced most of its

advocates that it is unsound, and it is being rapidly abandoned.

It is now conceded that the deal is quite an advantage, because of the

opportunity it gives the Dealer to strike the first blow. It follows

that when the Dealer has been obliged to relinquish his favorable

position, it is the height of folly for the Second Hand, when he has

the requisite strength, not to grasp it. Furthermore, the Dealer having

shown weakness, the adverse strength is probably in the Third Hand.

Should the Third Hand call No-trump, the Fourth Hand will be the

leader, and it will then be important for him to know which suit his

partner desires opened. On the first round of the declaration, this can

be indicated by a bid of one, but after the No-trump, it takes two,

which, with the strength over the bidder, may be dangerous.

The bid of the Second Hand, furthermore, makes the task of his

left-hand adversary more difficult and may prevent a No-trump. It

certainly aids the Fourth Hand--indeed, it may be just the information

he needs for a game declaration.

It seems clear, therefore, that the Second Hand should show his

strength when he has the chance. He should not, however, carry too far

the principles above outlined. It is just as fatal for the Second Hand

as for the Dealer, to deceive his partner.

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