Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Over partner’s opening bid of one diamond, if responder bids two clubs and opener now bids two of a major, does that reverse show extra values?

Second City, Rockford, Ill.

It is a personal choice, but I recommend that rebidding diamonds shows an unbalanced hand with five or more diamonds. A major suit shows reversing shape and some extras, while two no-trump and three clubs are natural, the latter guaranteeing four trump or a semi-balanced hand. You may have to fib if your hand is unsuitable for a rebid of two no-trump.

A recent Sunday column had one person ask after describing their hand, which included a singleton: “Would you open a strong no-trump since the ACBL has approved such actions”? What does this mean, and what did they approve?

Hall of Fame, Dallas, Texas

A partnership agreement to open one no-trump with a singleton high honor was previously not legal — and also not very sensible, in my mind. Now the first half of that statement is no longer the case. Opening one no-trump with 15-17 and a high singleton honor is no longer frowned on — except by me.

Do you and your wife play much together? If so, how do you preserve the rules of diplomacy and politeness?

Love and Marriage, Saint John, New Brunswick

Judy and I do play together in Las Vegas, but we try to save all discussions for the privacy of our home. It will keep you out of the divorce courts and lead to better results! Discussions in the heat of the moment lead to words that cannot easily be retracted.

If, after I open and my partner responds at the one-level, I then jump to two no-trump (showing 18-19 points and a balanced hand), can my partner then use Stayman or Jacoby transfers?

Asking Shark, Riverside, Calif.

Many people by agreement DO play transfers here after opener shows real extras with a rebid of two no-trump, when responder has bid a suit at the one-level or has bid one no-trump. Even though one major may already have been mentioned, you get to stop at the three-level, show support with or without extras and offer a choice of game efficiently. It is always good for responder to be able to do so facing a balanced hand. Playing a version of Wolff sign-off plus three diamonds as a checkback accomplishes almost everything; but see for more discussions.

How would you bid this hand: ♠ Q-J-9-6,  A-J-9-4-3-2,  K-4, ♣ 2, opposite a strong no-trump, assuming that Stayman, Jacoby, Texas Transfers and Smolen are all in your toolbox?

Handy Dandy, Miami, Fla.

This is a hand with slam interest where we need to consult partner. I would use Stayman, and if I found a fit, I would make a splinter raise to four clubs. If I did not find a major, I would bid three spades to show five-plus hearts and four spades, planning to show my sixth heart over three no-trump. After that start, partner will have to make the run for slam.

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact