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 "Fantastic Facts" by Marti Ronemus

Have we ever properly considered the humble shopping cart? That ubiquitous object of convenience that disappears from our radar the minute we put it back? (And we DO put them back, don't we?)

The first shopping cart appeared at the Humpty Dumpty markets in 1937. The designer, Sylvan Goldman, is an unsung hero to everyone who's ever used one. Just so you know, the average cart is rated to hold around 350 pounds, which means you can indeed put all those kids in it while you shop. In actuality, most can hold up to 1000 pounds, so go ahead and treat yourself to that industrial sized box of cereal also!

And how many bidding challenges can your brain hold? Let's see.

Question 1

  Your Hand
 A 5 4 3
 9 7 6 5 4
 A 10 3 2
Q: 1 - As South, what is your bid?
1 No-trumppass2pass

 Your choice:
A: 4: North has shown 5-4 in the majors. With our void, the decision to go to game isn't that hard. Without the two aces, with lesser honors, we'd be likely to invite. Yes, partner could be a little light, but there's no way to know. When the decision is a tight one, experts encourage bidding game. A well-placed queen can make the contract for you. (And so could a mistake on defense!) With luck, you'll be able to ruff any Spade losers Pard is holding. Live a little!

Your result so far:
Open Question

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Question 2

  Your Hand
 7 6 4 2
 A K J 9 8
 A Q 4
Q: 2 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: 3: The bidding (you have been listening, right?) has told you that Pard only has at most one Spade. He's only got 6-9 points, but what if they are in Diamonds? We can easily make game then, since he won't have wasted honors in Spades. By bidding 3, we're saying, "Pard, if you've got honors in Diamonds, put us in game. Otherwise, rebid Hearts at the three-level." We don't care that he has a minimum hand. We DO care where his honors are. Spades and Clubs are wasted. We want him to have a nice Diamond honor. We wouldn't even mind the J. Now, how can you be sure this isn't a slam try cue-bid? It doesn't force to game on the response. This is Help Suit Game Try. Naming a new suit after finding a trump fit that DOESN'T push to game is asking for help in that suit.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 3

  Your Hand
 K Q J
 K J 8 6
 Q J 9
 K 9 2
Q: 3 - As South, what is your bid?
1 No-trump2 *3**4

*2 is natural, showing long Spades
**3 is natural, not a transfer (we're playing "systems off" today). Shows 8-9 pts and five Hearts

 Your choice:
A: Pass: Our cards are beautifully defensive and although we have great Heart support, we have zero ruffing value, and as distributional as the opponents promise to be, we need ruffing ability. We are counting on Pard to double (that's his job!) and these opponents are going down big time. As nice as this hand is, it's real value is defense, especially when They can only lose three tricks. Pard has 8-9 pts., and we see doom for the opponents.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 4

  Your Hand
 A 4 3 2
 A 6 5 2
 A 8 7 5
Q: 4 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: Pass: This shaped hand, 4-4-4-1, is called "The Rattlesnake" and a surprising number of experts suggest you pass with it. You've got three winners, and 10 losers. This is not a hand to open with. Rather, wait until They get to game and double. Another option? They'll bid your short suit and you can double, showing either two or three suits. Be wary of opening, but don't be shy about taking a bite later.

Your result so far:
Open Question

Question 5

  Your Hand
 10 9 4 2
 Q 8 7 5 2
 Q J 10
Q: 5 - As South, what is your bid?

 Your choice:
A: 5: Here we need a partnership agreement. If you were to double, would that be Negative? Our agreement is that our original pass shows a small hand, and tosses the hot potato right back in the Big Hand's lap. HA! North's 4 bid shows he can manage game in Hearts with nothing from you. NOW our hand has value! You've got the singleton. You've got length in Diamonds, so Pard rates to be very short. Why not invite slam?

And we've managed to fill this cart with much knowledge. How about a hand?

Your result so far:
Open Question

Play this Hand

Now that you've bid five hands, let's see how your play goes.

Overall Results

Your results:   out of    Average: 

What next? You may enjoy playing our prepared hands series.
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