Louie’s health insurance had gone up again.
“I don’t know when it’ll ever end,” Louie told me grimly. “They raise premiums and cut benefits. My cellphone has a better insurance plan than I do.”
Louie could insure some of the contracts he declares in the club’s penny game. At today’s four spades, he ruffed West’s third high heart and took the three top trumps.
When East discarded, Louie couldn’t afford to concede the fourth trump to West, who would cash hearts. So Louie started the diamonds. West ruffed the third diamond and led another heart, and Louie lost a club to East at the end. Down one.
Louie could take out insurance against a sickly lie of the trump suit. At the fourth trick, he leads the ten of trumps.
West takes the jack but can’t beat the contract. If he leads a minor suit, Louie can win, draw trumps and run the diamonds to pitch his club loser. If West leads a fourth heart, Louie can ruff with dummy’s eight of trumps and take the rest.
You hold: S J 7 6 4 H A K Q J 2 D 10 7 C Q J. The dealer, at your right, opens one diamond. You overcall one heart, the next player raises to two diamonds and two passes follow. What do you say?
ANSWER: Your partner is marked with a few points, otherwise the opponents would have bid more. You shouldn’t sell out at the level of two. Double, which partner should treat as for takeout, or bid two hearts. Give yourself a better chance to earn a plus score.