is weak with 6 cards, and a jump to 3´� is
invitational with a 6-card suit, wrong on both
counts. The second best bid is 3NT, but holding two
small hearts the bid is unattractive, you might
belong in clubs or spades - and you will invariably
get a heart lead having bypassed the major. The
solution is to bid 2t, to suggest a forward going
hand with five spades and four diamonds.
Although partner will expect a four card
diamond suit there is no danger. If he raises to 3t
you can bid 3™ (4th suit forcing) and try and angle
the partnership into no trumps. On the plus side,
partner might support spades or go to No Trumps,
and the right strain is reached from the right side crucial
if partner has a position stopper like K-x.
In all of the examples above you had responded 1´,
and a second suit you were considering bidding was
lower ranking than your first. What about situations
where you are considering a responder's reverse?
This time the auction starts in similar fashion:
1® - 1™ - 2® - ?
Hands 6 and 9 are invitational in nature and want to
explore game. On hand 6 a responder's reverse of 2´
would force to game, not explore it, so is best ruled
out. This is a relatively new shift in modern bidding,
but there is little point in bidding a suit in which
partner has denied four cards unless it sets up a
Any rebid of hearts would guarantee a 6-card suit
and suggests a weak hand, so that is out of the
question. The least bad bid is 2NT, which projects
your general strength and balanced nature. If
February 2016 English Bridge
Hand 8 Hand 9
´ K 7 6 2 ´ 6 5 3 2
™ Q 10 6 3 2 ™ A Q 10 7 3
t K 6 4 t 6 5
® 6 ® A 3
partner has 3-card support for hearts he can show it
now, or he can rebid clubs as weak (to play), or raise
to 3NT if he has enough general strength.
Hand 9 can't really bid 2NT with no stopper in
either of the unbid suits so should raise to 3®. It is
true that this could be a 5-2 fit (if partner has four
diamonds and five clubs) but it won't be a disaster
as your hand is composed of aces, which play well in
a suit contract.
Sadly hand 8 must simply pass - however
unappetising - since game is not on the agenda.
And finally hand 7. This is a perfect responder's
reverse, forcing to game and keeping every strain in
the picture. And if the final contract is 3NT then it
is partner, with the diamond stopper, who should
be playing it.
Let's review the dos and don'ts of responder's
rebid after partner makes a minimum rebid of
his opening suit:
• Get out of the auction when you know
game is not on and you sense a misfit.
• Raise 1M to 2M on minimum hands
that have three-card support and a
ruffing value, whether you are opener
• Feel free to introduce a three-card suit -
particularly a minor - in a forcing
auction if it includes strength and you
are trying to explore the hand as much
• Forget that a change of suit is forcing
after partner rebids his own suit, there
is no need to leap to the three level and
consume all the bidding space.
• Worry about raising partner on a
strong doubleton when he has rebid his
suit. The odds are with you that he will
have six and even when he doesn't it
won't be a disaster. r
Hand 6 Hand 7
´ A 10 8 4 ´ J 9 7 3
™ K Q 10 5 2 ™ A Q J 8 5
t J 4 t 3 2
® 3 2 ® A J