Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Rule of 15

We are West and the last person to bid in the opening round.  We hold the following hand:
Before reaching us the bidding has gone as follows:
North  East   South  West
Pass     Pass   Pass      ?
Our hand only 11 points.  As a general rule any player holding fewer than 12 points should pass.  Can we safely open the bidding or would it be better for us to pass to and for the cards to be redealt?

As no-one else has opened the bidding, it appears that the card points are evenly distributed between the sides.  We know that there is a total of 40 points distributed between the four hands.  We have 11 of them.  That tell us that there are 29 points distributed between the other three players.  We know that no-one has 12 or more points  because if they did they would have opened the bidding.

If we bid, the game might be played in our choice of contract, but it is also possible that the opponents could overcall us.  If that happens, it would have been better for us if we had just passed.

How do we decide if we should open or pass.  This is where the Rule of 15 comes in.  You can read all about it and take a quiz to test your knowledge by clicking here.

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