Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Even if you don't play exclusion, don't bid blackwood with a void

Last night was one of those sessions where the opponents could do no wrong. Well, let me rephrase that. They did lots of technically wrong things but they all turned out well for them. That sort of luck contributed to Emory and I having one of the worst scores we have had at the Warner Robins club – 52%.
I saw two instances of people bidding blackwood with a void. And the people actually thought it helped them decide to bid 6. In reality, they were still guessing about how high to bid even after the blackwood response. Why do we bid blackwood? After we have determined that we have adequate high cards to be in slam, we bid blackwood to check how many quick losers we have. When we aren't sure if we have adequate values or have every suit controlled, we cuebid on the way to slam. Bidding blackwood to reach a heart slam (after 1S-2H-3H-4H) when you hold AQJTxx QJxx - Axx really doesn't help you decide anything. 1 keycard could well be enough for slam to be cold, but even 2 keycards could still leave slam still on a finesse or 7 could well be cold if p has K and AK. The hand opposite held x AKTxx KJx QTxx.
That was a decent time to use Exclusion blackwood (1S-2H-5D-5NT-6C-6H-P) but the other blackwood with a void hand was a really good time to use exclusion. KQxx AKQxxx - Jxx opposite Ax Txx Jx AKQxxx. 1H-2C-2S-3H-5D-5NT-6C-7H-P looks like a very good auction to the nearly cold grand slam. Our opps stumbled into 6H and no one else reached slam on either of the two boards.
Then I saw someone neglect to finesse for the Q holding AKJT opposite xxx. My Qx dropped offside. He also did not finesse for the jack of trumps when it was clearly the percentage play. I saw a lady stop in only 2 after her partner opened and she had 13hcp and a heart fit. When hearts split 4-1, 3 was the most that could be made.
I guess that's about it. That's more than enough to drop us 10% from our typical 62%.


  1. There was also the hand where the bidding showed that I was the one with high cards, but the opponent played you for the king and me for the jack. It was right, of course.
    When I got home, I looked at the Bridge Bulletin which had come that afternoon. Jerry Helms' article was about why you should not bid blackwood when you have a void. :)

  2. If bridge were a game of pure skill, at least 50% of the people who play at clubs would get disillusioned and quit. It's the occasional random winning sessions that keep bad players coming back.

    Also: Other people's bad fix stories about bridge are about as enjoyable as other people's bad beat stories about poker. (I.e.: not at all.)

  3. Well, you must like boring things to be commenting on that rather than how you would bid those slam hands or on either of the previous 2 posts which I'll admit are far more interesting.

  4. Patrick, shall I blog about how I went out of s poker tournament last week cause a guy called my pre-flop all in with Q7 and flopped 2 more queens?

  5. I think you just did.