Holding Openers Suit  

One of the main purposes for bidding is to find an eight card major suit fit to play in. The other purpose is to discover how many combined points the partnership has. as responder you will show partner either a minimum, medium or strong hand.

Raises with support for their suit

You can show your partner that you have enough cards for a fit, and points in their suit by raising the bidding in their suit. Raising their bid by 1, 2 or 3 levels shows your partner your point count. This suit raise is called a limit bid. Limit bids are useful bids as with one bid it is possible to show both the strength and the shape of your hand. A new suit bid is not a limit bid.

Minimum Hand Limit bids

  • Pass - shows 5 or less points
  • Double - in this situation shows 8-9 points but unable to bid at the 1 level, tells partner you have some values
  • 1NT shows 6-9 points and 2 cards in partner's suit
  • Raising partner's opening bid by 1 level - shows 6-9 points

Medium Hand Limit bids

  • 2NT shows 10-12 points and 2 cards in partner's suit
  • Raising partner's opening bid by 2 levels - shows 10-12 points

Strong Hand Limit bids

  • 3NT shows 13+ points and at least 2 cards in partner's suit (must have balanced hand)
  • Jump shift bid - jumping 2 levels and changing the suit shows partner 13+ points and is a forcing bid, partner must keep the bidding going for at least 1 round

Preemptive bids

Bidding game directly (raising to 4 level) is a pre-emptive bid designed to shut out the opponents
  • 1H-4H promises 6-9 HCP with either 4 trump suit cards and a void
  • 1S-4S equally it shows  5 trumps and a singleton

Remember that if you have 3-card support for the opener’s major suit, you should raise that suit to the appropriate level immediately.

Opener Bids Responder Bid
Major Suits
1 / 2 / = 6-9 TP & 3+ cards (in opener's bid suit)
3 / = 10-12 TP & 3+ cards (in opener's bid suit)
4 / = 5-9 TP & 4/5+ cards (in opener's bid suit & void or singleton)
Minor Suits
1 / 2/ =6-9 TP & 4+ cards (in opener's bid suit) remember opener may only have a 3 card minor suit

3/ = 10-12 TP & 4+ cards (in opener's bid suit) remember opener may only have a 3 card minor suit

Exercise: Partner opens 1  - what is your bid?

Your Hand
  • Q J 10
  • K 9 7
  • A 10 9
  • J 10 9 6

Answer: Bid 3 showing your 3 card heart suit and 10-12 HCP with one bid.

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