Mark Blumenthal

Bridge Tip # 22

Look to balance when the opponents seem to have found a good fit. Be reluctant to do so when they do not seem to have one. When the opponents have bid one heart  which is raised to two hearts and passed around to you it is almost automatic to take some action unless you have less than three spades which may make balancing difficult. When the opponents have at least eight cards in a suit it is  likely you will have one also plus the they are going to be more inclined to take the push knowing they have some safety.  If your opponents are playing five card majors and the auction goes one heart  to your  right, pass by you, one spade  to your left, pass by you,   two diamonds to your right followed by two hearts  to your left which is  passed around to you the opponents probably have a five – two fit. If they don’t have a good fit the   the chances are likely you don’t have one  also. With a roughly equal balance of the high cards the opponents may  be reluctant to bid one more and may be inclined double you. Certainly in matchpoints if aggressive opponents  they know they don’t have a good fit they will be more apt to double than if they know they lack an eight card or more  fit.

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