What Third Hand Should Bid When Second Hand Has Declared





This situation involves so many possibilities that it is hard to cover

it with fixed rules.



The Third Hand in this position should reason in very much the same

manner as the Second Hand, after the Dealer has made a declaration

showing strength.[11] There is this distinct difference, however: in the

case of the Second Hand, he only knows that the Dealer has sufficient

strength to declare, and is without any means, other than the doctrine

of chances, of estimating the strength of his partner's hand. The Third

Hand, however, in the situation under consideration, is not only

advised that one adversary has sufficient strength to declare, but also

knows whether his partner's cards justify an initial bid. When the

Dealer has shown strength, he can be counted upon for at least the

minimum that his bid has evidenced; when he has called "one Spade," it

would not be wise to expect him to win more than one trick.





The Third Hand should consider these features of the situation, and

satisfy himself, when his partner has not shown strength, that he is

taking a wise risk in bidding over an adverse declaration. To justify a

call of No-trump over a Trump, he should either have the declared suit

stopped twice or, if it be stopped but once, he should also have solid

Clubs or Diamonds. When the Dealer has declared Hearts or Royals, and

the Second Hand made a higher suit call, it is, as a rule, wiser for

the Third Hand to advance his partner's declaration than to venture a

No-trump unless he have the adverse suit stopped twice.



When the Dealer has bid No-trump and the Second Hand two of any suit,

the Third Hand should not bid two No-trump unless he have the declared

suit stopped and at least one other trick. Without the declared suit

stopped, he should not bid two No-trump unless his hand be so strong

that he can figure with almost positive certainty that the No-trump bid

of his partner could not have been made without the adverse suit being

stopped. When in doubt, under such conditions, as to the advisability

of either bidding two No-trumps or some suit, the latter policy is

generally the safer.



When the Dealer has called No-trump and the Second Hand two of a suit,

the Third Hand must realize that his partner has already been taken

out, and therefore, under no circumstances, should he bid in this

situation, except for the purpose of showing strength; or with the

conviction that, aided by his partner's No-trump, he can fulfil the

contract he is proposing. For example, Dealer bids one No-trump; Second

Hand, two Royals; Third Hand holds six Hearts, headed by the Knave,

without another trick. Under these conditions, a Heart bid would be

most misleading, and probably most damaging. The Dealer may not be able

to help the Heart declaration, and he may very properly be encouraged

by it to believe that the Third Hand has considerable strength,

especially in Hearts, but is very weak in Spades. If, in consequence of

this supposed information, he return to his No-trump declaration, or

double an adverse three Royals, the result is apt to be extremely

disastrous.



The Third Hand must distinguish this case carefully from the situation

in which the Dealer has bid one No-trump and the Second Hand passed.

With the combination mentioned, he should then, of course, most

unhesitatingly take out his partner by bidding two Hearts; that bid,

under such circumstances, not showing strength.



Another situation that arises more frequently than would be supposed,

and the advantage of which it is most important for the Third Hand to

grasp, is when the Dealer has bid No-trump; the Second Hand, two of a

suit; and the Third Hand, without the adverse suit stopped, holds great

strength in Clubs, with such a hand that he desires his partner to go

to two No-trumps; provided he have the adversaries' suit stopped. The

bid of three Clubs does not increase the No-trump commitment which the

partner is obliged to make, and is much safer than for the Third Hand

to bid two No-trumps without the adverse suit stopped. It is a

suggestion to the partner to bid two No-trumps, provided he can take

care of the suit which the Second Hand has declared.





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