Last night I got a run of hands that gave me a few moments' head-scratching. First:
A K J 9
J 9 5 4
9 8 6 3
This one seems straightforward, and I had high hopes for it, until my partner opened 1C and opponent overcalled 1S. Suddenly my hand was revalued. What would you bid?
The very next deal, I received this one:
Q 8 5 4
A 10 6
K 9 7
A 6 2
Nice and balanced. My right-hand opponent opened 1S. A 1NT overcall would show 15 points, a double would show shortness in the opponent's suit, and a minor-suit overcall would promise five cards in that suit. What would you bid?
Then, a few hands later, I held 21 points and the opponents' preempt nicely stymied my bidding:
A Q 10 9 4
A 10 8
A 6 2
My double had forced my partner, so I didn't know if she held zero points or a decent number. Should we be in slam? A Blackwood sequence would be unhelpful, since I knew exactly where the aces were. 5H would have been a good invitational bid, but I didn't think my partner would understand what I meant by it -- even more so with 3S. So I settled in the safe 4H contract, and partner made two overtricks.