1 Natural, but may not be four cards (third suit forcing).
2 Minimum hand, usually a doubleton spade (nonforcing).
3 Forcing with a club fit.
4 Best possible spade holding.
´ K 4 ´ A Q J 3 2
™ A Q 9 2 ™ K J 10 3
t 4 t A 5 2
® A J 7 6 4 2 ® 3
1 Forcing, as partner may not have four hearts.
2 East has to cue-bid 4t to agree hearts. 3´ or 4® would
be natural, and suggest that he does not have four
3 West has a huge hand opposite a slam try in hearts
but doesn't know enough about the hand to take
4 Roman Key-card Blackwood. The spade cue-bid
(which must be the king) is extremely good news.
5 Two out of five 'aces' and the queen of trumps.
6 Five spade tricks, two-minor suit aces, four trumps and
two club ruffs in hand comes to thirteen (the singleton
diamond is not needed).
If 1® -1´ -2® -2™ is forcing, that leaves you free
to find a meaning for 1® -1´ -2® -3™. Don't try
this without discussion, as there are two sensible
meanings: either a singleton heart and a slam try in
clubs, or game forcing with at least 5-5 in the
majors. Both of these hands are not easy to show,
and they are both useful meanings; you just need to
agree which you will play.
A Step Further
The approach described here is to bid your better
red suit 'naturally' in the auction 1® -1´ -2® -?
´ K Q 10 7 2 ™ A K 3 t 7 2 ® A 8 4
you bid 2™; with:
´ K Q 10 7 2 ™ 7 2 t A K 3 ® A 8 4
August 2015 English Bridge
you bid 2t. This is the most descriptive way of
bidding the hand.
It is possible to take this approach a step further
and play the cheapest 'third suit forcing' as
completely artificial. Bidding 2t as responder after
1® -1´ -2® doesn't show diamonds at all, it is just
a forcing bid asking opener to describe his hand
further. 2™ retains its original meaning of natural
and non-forcing. This adds a lot of definition to
these auctions, but there is no point unless you and
your partner are prepared to discuss the method in
detail (for example: 1® -1´ -2® -2t -2™ -3t:
is this showing 5-5 in spades and diamonds, or is it
'fourth suit forcing' looking for a diamond stop?).
Other Third Suit Auctions
There are a number of similar auctions: after 1t -
1™ -2t, 2´ and 3® are both 'third suit' and
because of the higher level they are both usually
played as game forcing. Opener has denied four
spades, so responder is free to bid 2´ on, say, K-Q-x
without worrying about it being raised.
In fact, you will come to realise there are twentyfour
possible 'third suit' auctions and you can spend
many hours discussing each of them individually.
Good luck! r
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