One Club Responses
One Diamond: 0-7 any hand – though responder should strive not to respond one diamond with both an Ace and a King. Those hands tend to have too much playing strength to be worth a negative response. It’s also possible for responder to have a really bad eight count – Qxx Jxx Qxxx QJx is definitely worth a one diamond bid.
Note that any response other than one diamond is a positive response and creates a game force.
As we move forward into the next set of responses we have a challenge between remembering esoteric responses and the advantages of showing more information in specific hand types.
One of the more interesting hand types is the eight to ten balanced hand with no five card suit. Opposite most one clubs openers – this is a simple game hand and this is just a matter of finding the right game. It’s also important to note that we don’t want this hand on play. As a general principle we want the one club opener on play – they have the better hand and it’s better that it’s concealed (and lead into instead of through). If we separate out the eight-10 balanced hand we have some problems – we also have the eleven+ balanced hand to bid.
Another thing we need to watch is the utility test – does the bid which the gadget replaces have a greater utility than the gadget itself?
One Heart, One Spade: eight + HCP; five+ hearts (spades)
One No Trump: eight+ HCP; five+ Clubs
Two Clubs: eight+ HCP; five+ Diamonds
These bids are transfers for obvious reasons – more likely to get opener on play and when we have no trump oriented hands – we aren’t bidding no trump first.
Two Diamonds: eight-twelve balanced – no five card suit
This allows us to separate out our minimum balanced hands – keep the strong hand on play and be able to distinguish between eight-10 and 11-12 later if we need to.
Two Hearts and Spades: good three to bad seven with 6 hearts (spades)
Two No Trump: Thirteen plus balanced hand (no five card suit)
Having dealt with all the 5 card suit hands and the balanced 4 card suit hands – we have all the 4441 hands yet to deal with. These hands are always a complete pain in the ass to bid and describe so we dedicate a large number of bids specifically to them. These bids should come up less frequently BUT they are very descriptive.
Three Clubs: 4441 with a stiff spade or club. Eight to Thirteen high.
Three Diamonds: 4441 with a stiff diamond or heart. Eight to Thirteen high.
For the remainder of the 4441s we bid 1 suit below the singleton. So Hearts shows a singleton spade, spade shows clubs, etc.
Three Hearts: 1-4-4-4 with Fourteen Plus (a Hand with 5 + Controls (say Axxx, ATxx, KJxx, x) – might just upgrade)
Three No Trumps, Four clubs, Four Diamonds: 4441s with stiffs above the suit bid – fourteen plus or a great hand
Three Spades: A solid 7/8 card suit with nothing outside – something like AKQxxxxx. Why bid spades? Cause you don’t want to bid No Trump and take it away from partner!