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The Bid Of Two Spades

The bid of two Spades shows exactly four Spades and the same high-card
holding which justifies doubling one Spade.

The Second Hand, when he doubles one, or bids two Spades, says: "I have
not three suits stopped, so I cannot bid No-trumps. While I have
sufficient high-card strength to call one Royal, I have less than five
Spades, and, therefore, am without sufficient length. I can, however,
by this declaration, tell you the exact number of my Spades, and I
expect you to make the best possible use of the exceptionally accurate
information with which you are furnished."

As much care should be taken in selecting the correct declaration, when
in doubt whether to bid two Spades or double one, as when determining
whether to call a Royal or a Heart. Many a player doubles one Spade
with five or six, headed by Knave, Ten, apparently never realizing that
with such a hand he wishes the trump to be Royals, and yet, by his bid,
is inviting his partner to call No-trump; or he bids two Spades with
the Queen of Spades and a couple of Kings, and after his partner has
declared a Royal, or doubled an adverse No-trump, counting on the
announced Spade strength, says: "I realize I deceived you in the
Spades, but I had two Kings about which you did not know."

That sort of a declarer makes it impossible for his partner to take
full advantage of any sound bid he may make.

Every Second Hand bidder should remember that when he doubles one Spade
or bids two, he tells his partner he has short or exactly four Spades,
as the case may be; that he has not three suits stopped, and that his
minimum high-card holding is one of the following combinations:--


Ace, King, Queen No strength required
Ace, King Queen, Knave, and one other
Ace, Queen King, Knave

Ace, Knave Ace, or King and Queen, or King, Knave, Ten

Ace Ace and King; Ace, Queen, Knave; or King,
Queen, Knave

King, Queen Ace, or King and Queen, or King, Knave, Ten

King, Knave, Ten Ace, or King and Queen, or King, Knave, Ten

King, Knave Ace and King; Ace, Queen, Knave; or King,
Queen, Knave

Queen, Knave, Ten Ace and King; Ace, Queen, Knave; or King,
Queen, Knave

In order that the distinction between the various Second Hand Spade
declarations may be clearly marked, take such a holding as

Spades Ace, King
Hearts Three small
Diamonds Four small
Clubs Ace

Only ten cards are mentioned, and the remaining three are either Spades
or Clubs.

When Making the The Second
the missing number of Hand
cards are Spades in the Hand should

All Clubs Two Double
Two Clubs and one Spade Three Double
One Club and two Spades Four Bid two Spades
All Spades Five Bid one Royal

The method suggested above is not the only plan for distinguishing
between the double of one and the bid of two Spades.

Some players think the double should mean a No-trump invitation,
without any significance as to strength in the Spade suit, and two
Spades should show two honors in Spades. The same comment applies to
this as to a similar declaration by the Dealer; namely, that with the
light No-trumpers now conventional, the invitation without Spade
strength is unnecessary and possibly dangerous.

Those, however, who wish to have the privilege of issuing such an
invitation, are not obliged to deprive themselves of the undoubted and
material advantage of being able, when strong in Spades, to distinguish
between a holding of short Spades (two or three) and of exactly four.
They can convey to their partners that very important information by
using the following system:--


Double of one Spade A No-trump invitation. No information
as to Spade strength

Two Spades Short Spades with two high honors
and one other trick

Three Spades Four Spades with two high honors and
one other trick

Four Spades Same as bid of three Spades described
immediately below

This system is entirely new, is somewhat complicated, and is suggested
for what it is worth for those who wish, without Spade strength, to
invite a No-trump.

As the bid of four Spades can be taken out by the partner with one
Royal, the system is not subject to objection, on the ground that four
Spades forces the partner to an unduly high declaration. The scheme is,
as yet, merely an experiment, and of doubtful value except for the
purpose of enabling a poor player to place with an expert partner the
responsibility of the play.

It is not hereinafter referred to, but the suggestions made regarding
Third and Fourth Hand bidding can be readily adapted to comply with its
self-evident requirements.

Next: The Bid Of Three Spades

Previous: The Double Of One Spade

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