Bridge article 21+1=21

A strong hand opposite a weak hand equals big communication problems. That you will have to anticipate …

Teams. Dealer East. None Vul.

Here is your hand as South:

Bridge article 21+1=21 : Your hand

When East opens 1♥ in front of you, your 21 points inspire you to double.

Your partner responds 1♠. What should you bid?

You are too strong for 1NT (which would show 19-20). So you jump to 2NT to describe a hand of 21-22 points, with a Heart stopper. North takes no time to think before passing, so his hand must be very weak…

Bridge article 21+1=21 : Bids

West leads the Ace of Hearts (the Jack appears on the right) and continues with the 2, East winning with the King and continuing with the 10. You can easily understand why North passed over 2NT without thought.

Count your certain and immediate winners

For the moment, they are not a plethora, since you have only four, the Ace-King of Spades, the Ace of Clubs and the promoted Queen of Hearts. That has been set up while establishing two Hearts for East.

First question: do you take 10 of Hearts or not?

Yes, because, you never know, your fourth Heart could be an exit card.


Simply because a quick count of points [21 (in hand) + 1 (in North) + 4 (with West) = 26] confirms that East has the missing high honours – notably the Ace of Diamonds alongside his Hearts and that he will inevitably regain the lead.

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