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West ♠ A 10 8 6 ♥ A87 ♦ K 10 5 2 ♣ 10 7

WHAT ac­tion would you take on this hand after two passes — at Love All?

YOU have four pos­si­ble al­ter­na­tives, us­ing the Acol style of four-card ma­jors: to Pass or to bid 1nt, 1 ♠ or 1 ♦ .

the Pass is clear favourite if you are play­ing rub­ber bridge, but at du­pli­cate, you can be cer­tain some play­ers are go­ing to open with 11HCPs, plus three 10s.

the Pass is still a good op­tion, but if you do de­cide to bid, you must re­mem­ber that part­ner is a passed hand.

the ob­vi­ous choice of 1nt is fraught with dan­ger when lHO is strong enough to dou­ble and RHO has the val­ues to pass — there will be nowhere to hide. the safest and, there­fore, most sen­si­ble choice is 1 ♦ ; you are un­likely to face a penalty dou­ble and you plan to pass what­ever part­ner re­sponds.

At the ta­ble, West de­cided to take the worst op­tion of 1 , then passed east’s 2 re­sponse. ♠ ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ east’s hand is x Q J 10 x A 9 x x ♣ K 9 x x — and this con­tract was not suc­cess­ful!

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