5th Suit Forcing to Game or PLOB!

Author: Dawn Ligon
Date of publish: 08/10/2017
Level: Intermediate

Dear Readers,

In this column, we are showing some of the more intriguing email questions Larry has answered. Larry gets too many emails to answer them all, but even with his busy schedule, he tries the best he can. Note: Most questions can be answered with a simple search. Go to this site (LARRYCO.COM) and type in your question/topic in the SEARCH box. You are likely to get an article that answers your question.

Below is a recent question and answer that you might find helpful yourself. Please know that the letters may have been edited for clarification and/or to save space. 

5th Suit Forcing or PLOB (Petty Little Odious Bid)

Dear Larry,

This is hand 51 of a 52 board knockout in GNTs.  Your team was up by 13 VPs after 39 boards, but you and your partner have already had least one bad board in the final round.
Non-vul vs vul, you hold:

♠ 85  
♥ 4  
♦ AJ875  
♣ AK1074

And the following proceeded:

  1♠   Pass  1♠
Pass   2♠  Pass 2♠
Pass   3♠ Pass  3♠ 






 *4th suit forcing to game

What is my least bad bid after 3♠? Thanks for answering so many pesky questions, Larry.

-David, Santa Barbara, CA

Dear David,

The state of the match wouldn't effect my decision - since it sounds close.

I'd bid 3♠. This is sometimes referred to as "5th Suit Forcing" -- or PLOB (Petty Little Odious Bid). At the time it is bid, it means nothing. It is just a punt. Last try for 3NT for the time being. Says nothing about spades (just like 2♠ did).  -Larry