Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

A Bidding First for me

All of us have opened the bidding with all the bids at the one level, two level and suit bids at the three level.  I suspect that almost everyone has also opened the bidding 3NT, four of a suit and five of a minor.  After that it gets a bit dicey.  In your bridge career have you every opened the bidding 4NT, five hearts, five spades or 5NT.  In fact have you even discussed with your partner what all those bids mean?

I have opened 4NT but never five of a major or 5NT (although with serious partners those bids have been discussed!).  But how many of us have had the opportunity to open at the six level?  I had a first the other day when I opened this hand with six clubs in first chair at favourble vulnerable.  There was a bit of a discussion about whether or not it is a good bid.  Try to picture a hand where you would open six of a minor in a similar position.  Then look at my hand and decide.  Was it a good bid or not!

Here is my hand:





Ray who came over to look at my keyboard when I yelled at him to look loved the bid.  He called it a Goldilocks bid.  Not too cold, not too hot, just right. And since I think of Ray as my preempt guru I thought that was praise indeed.

By the way, if your partner opens six clubs can you ever bid the grand?  What would you need?   The ace of trump and another ace?   Three side aces?  It doesn’t matter you can’t bid seven no matter what?  Probably the latter!

Anyway partner Barbara Saltsman did actually have the perfect cards for me to make the grand but certainly not enough to bid on.  She held:


♠ AK62  

This was a bit unfortunate not because we didn’t bid the grand but because the opponents were going nowhere.  Had she held something without the ace and king of spades we would still have made six clubs and the opponents could have had at least a good save in that suit.  In fact she didn’t even need any of her high cards to make the grand. A doubleton diamond and three clubs was good enough when clubs split one-one.  And even a “bad” club split of 2-0 would have guaranteed the small slam opposite a shapely yarborough.

So the end result was a bit mundane winning only a four imps.  But still a Linda first (actually a Lee first since Ray has never made that bid either).

Let me know if you have opened a suit at the six level in your career and better yet made it!


Neil ThomasApril 19th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I was dealt a very similar hand a few months ago (minor suits reversed). 3rd in hand vulnerable after 2 passes:


I came to much the same conclusion and bid 6D. Partner (who’s one of those partners that can always be relied upon) looked aghast and put down


The AS was wrong but both minor suits behaved and the other table played in 5D. Happy days!

lindaApril 19th, 2012 at 10:50 pm

It is fun to get these hands some times. Congratulations on your wonderful 6 level opening.

John Portwood (UK)April 25th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

My partner once opened 5S – and I had quite a bit on the outside, but since no A or K of spades I passed – and yes they were both together.

Unfortunately this was at Cambridge University Bridge Club back in the early 1980s and it soon became clear that the hands that evening were fixed (every one of them!) in Spades so after four or five rounds everyone was opening 1 Spade or some other level of spades!

lindaMay 4th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

It sounds like fun. Ray was a member of the Cambridge Bridge Club a bit earlier than you. I never got to be part of our bridge club because (believe or not) it was not open to women! I did eventually manage to play there just before I finished school

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