Here are some bidding questions you might find interesting:

Q1: Sitting North, with South dealing and no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ J 8
♥️ 9 6 4
♦️ A J 10 7 6
♣️ 9 6 2

South opens 1♠️ and East passes. What do you bid?

A: Don’t pass! Take this to the bank with you: Any time your partner opens one of a suit and you have at least six high-card or support points, you must bid something other than pass. If you don’t, your side may miss a game. In this case bid 1NT.

Q2: Sitting North, with South dealing and East-West vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ K 9 4 2
♥️ K
♦️ 9 7 6 5
♣️ 9 8 6 2

South bids a weak 2♠️, showing six spades and few points. East doubles. What do you bid?

A: 4♠️! Remember the Law of Total Tricks? In competition, bid to the same number of tricks as your total trump. North-South have 10 spades, so bid to the 10-trick level: 4♠️.

I know what you’re thinking: “This is a very weak partnership!” All the more reason to make an interference bid! When 4♠️ was passed out in a club game, North-South went down four for -200 — and a top score for declarer! The other six East-West pairs bid 4♥️ or 5♦️, making six or seven.

Q3: Sitting South, with North dealing and no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ Q J 10 6 5
♥️A 4 3
♦️ K 8 7
♣️ 4 2

The bidding has proceeded as follows:

North        East        South        West
1♦️        1♠️        1NT        Pass
Pass        2♠️        ?

What do you bid?

A: Double for penalties. The Rule of Nine is more than satisfied. It applies when partner has shown some strength and you’re deciding whether to double. Add the level of the contract (two), the number of spades (five) and the number of spade honors (three). The total is 10, one more than necessary. To look at it another way, you likely have one diamond, one heart and three spade tricks. Partner should add at least two more tricks.

The play is equally important. You probably have almost as many spades as East. To tap declarer’s trumps, make East ruff as often as possible. Once you’ve achieved parity, you’ll be in charge.