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Passing with an opening handu

Playing duplicate my partner passed with 9 points. RHO passed. I passed with 2 Aces and nothing else. LHO then passed. The passed out score went into the bridgemate and partner and I scored badly. Everyone else's opponents had played a contract. LHO said "I only had 11 points." Partner and I looked again at our hands and confirmed 17 points between us. RHO blocked all attempts at discussion, put her hand firmly on the board and even afterwards refused to discuss her hand with her own partner. From the handout afterwards she had Qx spades, KQ9xx hearts, Jx diamonds and KJxx clubs - 12 points and an obvious 1H followed by 2C bid.

If someone fails to open with an opening hand and as a consequence the hand is passed out and the opponents are disadvantaged, should the Director be called - assuming that you can even get to look at the hand in question? In this case we couldn't as she placed her hand firmly onto the board and there would have been an unseemly struggle to look!!!

Comments

  • edited June 2015

    Some things to keep in mind

    1) I am NOT saying she bid badly by passing (in fact I would pass and so would every partner of mine. It does not meet the Rule of 15 with that bad spade holding), but bad bidding is not illegal. You have no right to insist that she bid. She may pass whenever she wishes to do so. Why is she required to bid -- surely the fact that someone else would have opened is of no consequence since she may bid however she wishes if she is attempting to bid well, but just unable to do so.

    2) Call the director? What LAW do you believe has been violated? You are permitted to get bad scores because of what the opponents have or have not done. If it is not well-received, then you may say you have been fixed. BUT THAT IS LIFE.

    3) You were out-of-line to try to look at that woman's hand once she says no. Check out the LAWS. You have no rights to see her hand after the contract and result have been agreed. She has the right to permit or not permit you to look at her hand IF YOU ASK. If she says no, then you can see it at the end of the game, no sooner.

    4) By insisting you want to see her hand, you were ACTING LIKE A BULLY. If you are unhappy, do not get into conflicts with people. Quietly go over and ask the director for the proper protocol, so she can tell you to sit down and continue play and that the woman was well within her rights and you have no further rights. Then you know and it is over, no conflict

    5) This is a GAME, so no matter what, just smile. My favorite quote is from Napoleon who said "Never ascribe to evil what can be ascribed to stupidity." Most things happen because people know no better. Live with it. Smile and tall them you wish they enjoy the rest of the game. Complain to your spouse, not to the opponents. Actually, not to your spouse either.




  • Oh dear, you seem to have assumed a few things here. It was MY PARTNER and HER PARTNER who asked AFTERWARDS and both of them are gentle, well-mannered people......
    Also, I was only wondering, being fairly new, if there were rules on passing. I would much rather ask anonymously on the Forum than make an unnecessary fuss at the club, so I was just watching it all......
  • When you say "Oh dear, you seem to have assumed a few things here. It was MY PARTNER and HER PARTNER who asked AFTERWARDS and both of them are gentle, well-mannered people......"

    I surely apologize for thinking that it was you who played the hand. I was misled by the word "I" when you wrote

    "Playing duplicate my partner passed with 9 points. RHO passed. I passed with 2 Aces and nothing else. LHO then passed. The passed out score went into the bridgemate and partner and I scored badly. Everyone else's opponents had played a contract. LHO said "I only had 11 points." Partner and I looked again at our hands and confirmed 17 points between us. RHO blocked all attempts at discussion, put her hand firmly on the board and even afterwards refused to discuss her hand with her own partner. . . . "

    I had not run across the meaning of the words "I" and "AFTERWARDS" that your comment in the first paragraph was meant to mean. I imagine it is because I am from across the pond and, as Chruchill said, we are two countries separated by a common language.


  • It is perfectly legal to pass with the hand shown, or any hand. Have you ever had the situation where you look at your hand and pass, then take a second look and realise that you had more points than you originally thought? Maybe you mis-counted, or an ace was tucked behind another card, or you was simply tired at the end of a long session? Most of the time you will get a poor score as a result of your carelessness. But sometimes the bridge gods are smiling and you avoid a contract that is destined to fail. You get lucky. You should smile at your opponents and maybe offer a small apology. They should smile back, knowing that bridge is a percentage game and that they will be the long-run winner if you keep making those types of mistakes.

    It is more interesting to consider whether your opponent did make a mistake, or whether she made a good judgement. The hand shown is superficially a 12 count. But the doubleton queen and doubleton jack are not pulling their weight. The hand is also an ace-less hand - another bad feature. On the plus side, the supporting honours and intermediates (the 9) in your long suit are a good feature. But overall, my judgement is that this hand is worth slightly less than a 12 count - maybe even a full point less.

    Now let's consider the effect of sitting 4th seat. With a marginal opening and passed hand, game must be unlikely. So you need to consider whether you can win the part-score battle. The side possessing the spade suit is often at an advantage in this area when the points are evenly split, or nearly so. A common situation is for both partnerships to have an eight-card fit and to be able to make eight tricks with their suit as trumps. Say that you hold hearts and your opponents hold spades, you will be best to bid three hearts as a save against their making two spade contract. You will go one-off for a minus score - but not as big a minus as defending two spades. Of course, it would be even better if the hand were passed out - no minus score.

    There are a lot of assumptions here. But as I said earlier bridge is a percentage game and it is generally good advice to look at your spade holding when deciding whether or not to bid in 4th seat. Some players judge this arithmetically using the "Rule of 15". But whether or not you use this tool, a poor doubleton in spades is another factor suggesting passing.

    I would pass with this hand. And in a strong field, I would expect that passing would be common (but not universal) action.

  • Thanks Tramtickets.

    I found your reply really helpful.  I'll look up the rule of 15. I don't know all the bridge laws and your thoughtful and measured advice was just what we less experienced players appreciate.

    On the above hand some people made 3NT, others made 2H and some went down in 3H and 4H. Lots of people must have found it tricky. As it's a friendly club, we usually have a bit of a post mortem on hands like that, time permitting.
  • By all means look up the Rule of 15, but do not apply it to 2nd seat openings as tramtickets is doing here.
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