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               Closeout vs Constructive Part 1

        Dear Jerry,
        The other day, my partner and I had the following auction:


                 Partner                    Me
                   1♦                          1♥
                   4♥                        Pass

        Holding 13 points, as responder, I passed and we made six. I insisted
        that my partner, who held a very good hand, should have gone slower
        rather than making a close-out bid.  Thus far, the only thing we have
        done is to agree to disagree. Please help.
        Carol

        Hi, Carol,
               As you may be aware, I do many seminars each year. At the close of the
        formal program, I offer a 30-minute “Ask Jerry” session for questions not covered
        in the main lesson. Your auction, and an auction that sounds similar but which is,
        in fact, very different, are topics I’m frequently asked to address.
        Let’s start with this premise:

                                  You can never “close out”
                                 a hand whose values have
                                        yet to be limited.


                   The entire matter of “close-out bids” is frequently misunderstood. When
        your partner opens 1NT, showing a balanced 15-17 points, you can raise to 3NT
        holding balanced game-going values, secure in the knowledge that you’re not
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