This is the ARCHIVE website for Mountnessing Bridge Club
2006 - 2015

For current news, results, etc please visit
Affiliated to the Essex Contract Bridge Association and to the English Bridge Union

More misinformation, but no adjustment

Hand played on:


Board number / section:





Both Vul

The Hands and the Bidding

8 4
A K 6 5 3
9 6
T 6 5 3
J 9 7 4 2
K Q 7 4
K 7 2
Q J 9 5
A J T 8 5
A 9 8

The Bidding
A K 7 6 3 2
Q T 8
3 2





  1. Before making the bid, West enquired of North about the strength of the 2 bid, to which the response was "Not sure - we do not normally play this, but I think it is strong."


At the end of the play of the hand, East / West felt that they had been 'damaged' by a misleading description of the South hand as 'strong', to which South responded that with opening values it was 'strong'. West felt that if North considered the hand opposite to be 'strong', then the hand should have bid on, and had North bid on, then North / South might have declared the hand in some hopeless contract, such as 3x.


This incident is a difficult one to evaluate. It is clear that the South hand does not fit the usual understanding of 'strong', but West had the opportunity to ask for clarification. There is no evidence that North / South had a different understanding of the meaning of the word 'strong'; quite frankly, I am not convinced that North should feel compelled to bid on with the North hand, if the expectation was that South held a hand with opening values and long spades. West ought to consider the full value of this hand, and recognise that a simple bid of 3 is something of an underbid; if able to, West would be better advised to make a competitive double (which East might well choose to pass for penalties), or otherwise bid 4. Though the hand "only" has 9 HCPs, technically it is a 7-loser hand opposite partner's 1 opening and it is therefore worth more than a simple, and possibly strained, raise to 3.

The Ruling:

No score adjustment is appropriate.

Lessons for everyone:

  • All players should note that if they use expressions such as 'strong' or 'weak' then they ought to be qualified by an expected High Card Point range.
  • The EBU suggest that a 'strong' hand is one with 16 + High Card Points, and a 'weak' hand could have up to 10 HCPs; ranges in between would be viewed as 'Intermediate'. these points are guidelines, rather than rules, which therefore emphasises the need to qualify such terms with the actual partnership agreement.
  • A Jump Overcall will be a feature of most bidding styles, and both members of a partnership should have a common understanding both of the bid itself, and of the way it should be described to opponents.
  • If the total High Card Points suggested by the bidding 'do not add up', then it is vital that you believe partner rather than the opponents, or else you run the risk of either being 'talked out' of your rightful contract OR of being acused of fielding a 'psyche' if it turned out to be your partner who is short of values.

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional