Continuation Of The Bidding





After the completion of the first round, the situation of the bidder

becomes so complex that it is most difficult to apply general rules.

Some principles, however, should be borne in mind.



Bidding one Spade, or passing, places a player with two tricks in a

position to increase his partner's call; but when a bidder has already

shown the full strength, or practically the full strength, of his hand,

he should not, under any circumstances, advance either his own or his

partner's declaration. The temptation to disregard this rule is at

times exceedingly strong. For example, the dealer declares one Heart,

holding King, Queen, at the top of five Hearts, and the Ace of Spades.

The partner calls one No-trump, and the Fourth Hand, two Royals. In

such case, the original Heart bidder frequently advances the No-trump

to two, because he has the adverse suit stopped, without considering

that his partner, in bidding one No-trump, counted upon him for either

that Ace of Spades, or the equivalent strength, and, therefore, he

should leave the question of the continuance of the No-trump to the

player who knows its exact strength.



Another example of this proposition may be worthy of consideration. The

dealer holds



Spades X, X, X

Hearts Ace, X

Diamonds King, Knave, Ten, X, X

Clubs X, X, X



He bids one Diamond; Second Hand, pass; Third Hand, one Heart; Fourth

Hand, one Royal.



In this position a thoughtless player might call two Hearts, but such a

declaration would greatly exaggerate the value of the hand. The dealer

by his first bid has announced his ability to take at least three

tricks if Diamonds be Trump, and at least two tricks if the deal be

played without a Trump. His hand justifies such a call, but that is

all; having declared his full strength, his lips must thereafter be

sealed.



His partner is already counting upon him for two high-card tricks,

which is the maximum his hand can possibly produce; should he call two

Hearts on the basis of the Ace, the original Heart bidder would expect

assistance to the extent of at least three tricks. He might receive

only one.



If, however, the dealer's hand be



Spades X

Hearts X, X, X, X

Diamonds King, Knave, Ten, X, X

Clubs Ace, X, X



a very different proposition presents itself. While this combination,

had No-trump been called, would not be stronger than the other and

should not advance the bid, with Hearts Trump it is a most valuable

assistant, and being worth at least three tricks, is fully warranted in

calling at least two Hearts.



The fact that it contains four Hearts is one material element of

strength and the singleton Spade is another, neither of which has been

announced by the original call.



One of the most difficult tasks of the bidder is to accurately estimate

the number of tricks the combined hands of his partnership can

reasonably be expected to win. It sometimes occurs, especially in what

are known as "freak" hands, that one pair can take most of the tricks

with one suit declaration, while with another, their adversaries can be

equally successful. This is most apt to happen in two-suit hands, or

when length in Trumps is coupled with a cross-ruff. In the ordinary run

of evenly divided hands, there is not such great difference in the

trick-taking ability of two declarations. The player who, except with

an extraordinary hand, commits his side to ten or eleven tricks, after

the adversaries have shown that with another declaration they do not

expect to lose more than two or three, is extremely venturesome, and

apt to prove a dangerous partner. In normal deals, a change in the

Trump suit does not produce a shift of seven or eight tricks.





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