This hand came from a BAND club game….At what point should East call it quits?

Here are the East/West hands:

East
♠ K 8 6 5 4
K 9 7 6 4
K 9
♣ A

West
♠ 2
3 2
A 6 2
♣ K 10 9 8 7 6 5

East South West North
1♠     Pass    1NT    Pass
2♥     Pass    3♣      Pass
3     Pass    4♣      AP

Misfits are snarly. First, when you hear a misfit in the bidding, the last contract you want to be in is notrump which is exactly where partner usually goes. Second, quit bidding as soon as possible. And finally, make arrangements for the weaker hand’s long suit to be trump.

On this hand, West bid of 1NT, followed by 3♣ was showing a 6-10 total point hands with at least six clubs. East had not finished telling their story so they bid 3 to complete the picture of at least five spades and five hearts. West is not interested in either major and holding seven clubs, bids one more time to finalize her story.

Hearing the 4♣ bid should set off fire alarms in East’s mind. Can you say MISFIT? As East, I would have my pass card out on the table as fast as possible to end the auction.

Now making the contact of four clubs takes careful play. West needs both major suit aces on side and trumps 3-2.  North is likely to lead the 4 (unbid suit). West should win the A in hand and lead a spade at trick two! You see on a good day, West has a loser in each suit for down one. However, if the ♠A is in North’s hand, by leading up to the ♠K at trick two, West can use the ♣A entry to discard the diamond loser on the ♠K.

Play would go as follows:

Trick 1: 4, 9, J, A
Trick 2: ♠2, A, 4, 3
Trick 3: 10, K, 3, 2
Trick 4: ♠K, Q, 2, ♠7
Trick 5: ♣A, 2, 5, 3
Trick 6: ♠4, 10, ♣6, ♠9
Trick 7: ♣K, 4, 4, ♣Q
Trick 8: 3, A, 6, 5
Eventually, North takes the ♣J which holds West to making just four clubs. An alternative spade play would be for North to duck the ♠A, in which case West would no longer have a spade loser and can now afford to loser a diamond. All roads lead to making the four club contract!

When looking over the BAND results, the successful E/W pairs played in three or four clubs. The rest went down playing in heart and notrump contracts. Follow the three tips above for misfit bidding and you will be routinely on the winning side!

Let me hear your questions!

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