Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Getting to slam with voids

Colin and I had a bidding problem yesterday and we weren’t the only ones.  When we played this hand no one had got to the best contract.


S void H KQ2 DKJ974 C Q10652



S J932 H A86 D A6 C AK73

This is our auction. 

Linda Colin
1D 1S
2C 2H* 4th suit
3C 4C
4H 5C

Colin didn’t feel that he could go forward without a spade control. 

Ray, Colin and I have been chatting about this hand a fair bit.  Here are my thoughts at this point:

I should have bid 4D over 4C.  Then when Colin bids 4H I should bid 4S and hope that Colin understands that since I am 5-5 I may be cuebidding shortness in his first bid suit.  (We don’t normally do this at our first opportunity to cuebid partner’s suit).  That is the easiest way to get there.  Our notes say that 4S is always an offer to play in spades but when you are known to be 5-5 I don’t think it should be.

This is a lot of bidding though on my hand with weak clubs, a void in partner’s suit and no aces.  Partner has shown some slam interest but when I think about it, it isn’t all that clear that he has strong slam interest.  When he bids fourth suit he may still be probing for the best game.  When I show 5-5 he might just be supporting clubs with three of them.  4C does show some extra but he may be leaving me room to look for slam.  The thing that makes this a good slam is my spade void opposite his Jxxx. 

These type of auctions are always a bit challenging because it isn’t clear how well the hands fit.  I know at the time I didn’t really like my spade void much.  I would have been much happier with a heart void.

There was some discussion about the fact that I almost had to have spade control.  Although I suppose I could have this hand and the auction still makes sense.

S QJ10 H void D KQJXX C QJ10xx or something like that.

Can I bid 4S on that hand to pattern out and offer an alternative contract or is that clearly a cuebid?  I think I would bid 4D ahead of 4H on this hand.

and with


I would just bid 5C.

So possibly Colin could have worked it out but I think the real problem was my decision to cuebid 4H.

We also talked about the idea of using 3H after 1D-1S-2C as slam interest in clubs but we do need that bid as invitational with 5-5 in the majors so we scrapped that idea.  I hate fourth suit forcing.

I think the blame is mostly mine but I think this is a tricky slam to get to for any partnership.

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