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Please note that this question pertains to a form of Social Bridge scoring, not our duplicate scoring methods: If a partner and I bid 4 spades we go set one trick do we claim honors as part of our score or not? Submitted on 09/28/2009
Response provided by Brent Manley, ACBL Editor of The Bridge Bulletin: If you are playing rubber or party bridge, you claim honors when you hold four or five of the top honors in the trump suit (as declarer or defender) or all four aces in a notrump contract. In your example, if you are playing party bridge and go down one non-vulnerable in 4S, your opponents get 50 points above the line. If you held AKQJ5 in spades, you get 100 points above the line. If you held AKQJ10, you would get 150 points above the line. Holding all four aces in the same hand in a notrump contract is 150 above the line. In duplicate bridge, honors are not counted.
East is dealer and opens 1 Club. I am South and hold 16 points with 4 clubs, 4 spades, 4 hearts and the singleton K of diamonds. What do I bid? The way I learned, to "double" means that I have two or fewer clubs and opening points. To bid a major means I have five in that suit. To cue bid "Michaels" means I have both 5 spades and 5 hearts. Help! Submitted on 09/18/2009
Response provided by Patty Tucker, National Bridge Champion: These types of hands are always tough. Without knowing the quality of your heart and spade suit the answer becomes even tougher. Your two choices would be to overcall 1NT even with a singleton K of Diamonds if you have a stopper in clubs, or to overcall one of your major suits even though you only have four. If you overcall a four card suit you would like it to be a very good suit. Something like A Q J x or A K T x. You always have the option of passing and hoping that you will be able to come in at your next opportunity, but with 16 HCP overcalling directly is very appealing.