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6 English Bridge February 2016 www.ebu.co.uk

EVALUATING singletons is very tricky. Most people

are taught to add on three points for a singleton if a

fit is found. Does that mean that a singleton king is

worth six points - three for the king and three for

the singleton? - of course not!

A singleton king is an ugly holding, it does not

operate exactly like a singleton OR a doubleton but

in my view it operates much closer to a doubleton.

Are you going to open 1™ or

1t? What will you rebid

over a likely 1´ response

from partner? Solve that

problem immediately -

open 1NT, simply treating

the K, as K-x.

Another common situation, you pick up Hand A:

Partner opens 1™. Will you splinter with 3´?

Absolutely not, partner will expect that spade king

to be elsewhere, such as in Hand B, so will have a

very wrong picture of your hand.

Say partner opens 1™ on the hand opposite and

above. That will produce a playable slam despite

only holding 12 points

opposite Hand B. Opposite

Hand A, slam is almost

hopeless. The club king is

worth so much more than the

spade king and partner

expects you to have values outside your splinter.

With Hand A start with a Jacoby 2NT (game forcing

with heart support) or 2t as a delayed game raise.

With Hand B you have a perfect splinter.

I use this rule religiously, so whenever I have an

awkward bidding problem on a hand containing a

singleton king, I simply look at it as K-x and bid

accordingly - this may sound like you now have a 14

card hand but simply borrow the 'x' from where you

deem appropriate. I would look at Hand C as

though it were Hand D:

I'd open 1NT if playing 15-17 or 1™/1t if playing

Acol and over a 1´ response I would rebid 1NT.

This may not be perfect but nothing is. It works

for me. Hopefully you will never worry about how

to treat a stiff king again! r

´ K

™ K J 8 2

t K J 5 4

® Q 10 9 2

´ 9 8 7 5

™ K J 9 8 4

t A 2

® A 4

Hand A

´ K

™ A Q 10 3

t K 10 8 7 3

® 6 5 3

Hand B

´ 4

™ A Q 10 3

t K 10 8 7 3

® K 5 3

Evaluating a singleton king

by David Gold

Bridge TipsBridge Tips

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Hand D

´ K 3

™ A Q J 3

t K Q 6 4

® J 5 4

Hand C

´ K

™ A Q J 3

t K Q 6 4

® J 5 4 3

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