As luck would have it, another hand popped up illustrating yet another meaning of the redouble when I was playing with Peter Shwartz the other day at the club:
As North, I held the following hand with Peter Shwartz being the dealer:
Peter opened 1♦, my right hand opponent (“RHO”) overcalled 1♠, and, with my decent hand and 5 hearts, I bid 2♥. (2/1 Learners please note: a 2/1 bid over an overcall is NOT game forcing, but is forcing for 1 round, and so should only be made with a 10+ point hand.) My LHO passed, and Peter bid 2♠!
What does Peter’s 2♠ mean?
Since our opponents bid spades naturally, it can not possibly be a natural bid. In this position, this 2♠ cue-bid sets up a general game force. It says nothing about Peter’s spade holding nor whether Peter has a spade control; it just commits us to game. We now can “go slow” and explore slam possibilities as they present themselves.
My response to Peter’s cuebid is pretty much automatic: most of the time I will bid 2NT as a “waiting bid”. This does NOT show a spade stopper, but rather gives Peter a chance to describe his hand. I don’t yet know WHY Peter wants to force to game and the 2NT waiting bid gives him a chance to tell me. For example, if he has a really good diamond suit, he can bid 3♦; if he had heart support, he can now bid 3♥, setting hearts as trumps and expressing slam interest (with no slam interest, he would have made a direct jump to 4♥). Peter would be confident that in either case, I could not and would not pass his bid. (He could also rebid 3♠ to ask for a spade stopper for no-trump). Occasionally, I might do something else instead of bidding 2NT: for instance, if I had really long, good hearts and nothing in diamonds, I might just rebid my hearts to get that point of across.
Before I could even settle on my best course of action, my RHO slapped his double card on the table. Here is the bidding so far:
If you were in my shoes, what would your next bid be? Would you have just made the default waiting of 2NT here, or is there some other, more informative bid you can now make in this situation? Click the link below to see the answer.