Responder’s Second Bid

You are playing South and you hold the following hand:

S: K Q 8 7 6
H: 9 6
D: 8 5 3
C: K J 7

The bidding has gone like this:

North   East    South     West
1H         Pass     1S          Pass
2D         Pass     2?

There are some common mistakes that players can make in this situation.  Can you work out what they might be, and can you work out the correct second bid?

Common Mistakes
1. Rebidding your spades.  Rebidding spades would show that you hold 6+ cards, which you don’t.

2. Bidding 2NT.  Tempting though this might be it would show that you hold 11 -12 points.  Your hand only contains 9 points.

3. Passing.  You have a weak hand but passing would leave you playing in diamonds.  If you have a weak hand it is now up to you to tell partner which of his two suits you give preference to.

The Correct Bid

As partner has bid two suits it is safe to assume that he holds at least 5 cards in Hearts and 4 cards in Diamonds.  Add these to the number of cards in your own hand.  Between you, you have 7 cards in hearts and 7 cards in diamonds.  If the total number of cards held in opener’s first suit are greater than or equal to the number of cards held in their second suit, then you should give preference to their first suit.

So, in this hand, you should bid 2 hearts.