Here are some more bidding questions:

Q. 1—Sitting South, with East dealing and no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ 6
♥️ 10 7
♦️ A Q J 10 6
♣️ A K Q 3 2

East opens 4♠️. What do you bid?

A.—4NT. This is not an ace-asking bid but one that shows a two-suited hand. Partner should respond in the lowest suit that has at least three-card support. More often than not, 4NT will advertise both minors. Hearts and a minor are not beyond the realm of possibility.

Q. 2—Sitting South, with North dealing and East-West vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ 4
♥️ Q J 10 9 6 4
♦️ 10 7 5 4
♣️ 6 2

North and East pass. What do you bid?

A.—2♥️. This may look suicidal with your three-pointer, until you consider three points. First, when the players in front of you pass, assume they each have eight high-card points. Adding the three hands, we come up with 8+8+3 = 19. So the fourth-seat holds 21+ HCP, and East-West are headed to game at the very least. Second, game for the vulnerable East-West yields at least 600 points. You could go down three doubled and -500 would be a good score for you. Third, South’s values are in hearts; if they were in side suits, 2♥️ could be suicidal indeed. As it stands, 2♥️ is worth the risk.

Q. 3—Sitting South, with North dealing and no one vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ A Q 3
♥️ 10 9 8 5
♦️ 5 4 3
♣️ K Q 8

The bidding has proceeded as follows:

North          East         South      West
1♠️            Pass         1NT•        Pass
3♥️            Pass          ?

• Forcing

What do you bid?

A.—4♥️. Some might have you bid 4♠️ in case of a 4-1 break in hearts. My playing partner and column editor Paul Laliberte disagrees. He says, “On average, the 4-4 fit is superior. It provides greater ruffing power for side-suit shortness. Moreover, the long spades may provide a source for discards. It may seem as if hearts rate to split 4-1, but such is not the case. The normal split is 3-2. Bridge is a game of averages. Instead of taking a cynical approach, go with the odds. Don’t play against the odds. Raise to 4♥️.”

Q. 4—Sitting South, with East dealing and North-South vulnerable, you hold:

♠️ A K Q
♥️ A K Q J
♦️ 10 8 5 4 3
♣️ A

The bidding has proceeded as follows:

East           South           West         North
Pass           2♣️             Pass          2♦️•  
DBL••  ?
• Waiting bid, says nothing about diamonds
•• Asking for diamond lead

A.—2NT. Don’t sweat the singleton club. You have eight quick tricks and you’ll get a diamond trick after East gorges on the suit. As well, 2NT leaves open the possibility for a transfer sequence or Stayman.