Partner opens a suit  

With no major suit fit to bid, responder's second priority is bidding 1NT if possible as the points for a NoTrump contract score are higher than a Minor suit contract

Bids holding a minimum hand (6-9- points)

Usually without support for your partner's suit, you want to see if a NoTrump contract is viable. Bidding a new suit at the 1-level shows your partner you have at least 6 HCP.
Keep the bidding as low as you can to leave more room to explore the correct place for your contract. Your choices are usually one of the following.
  • Bid (show) a suit at the 1-level if possible 6+ HCP
  • Bid 1NT to show you have 6 - 9 HCP
No Trump bids and suit raises are Limit bids - Limit bids are useful bids as they  show the precise strength and the shape of a hand.

Bidding game directly is a preemptive  bid  designed to shut out the opponents it also asks your partner stop bidding.

Leaping into game promises  6-9 HCP with either 4 trumps & a void(zero cards in a suit), or 5 trumps and a singleton (one card in a suit).
If you have more than 13 HCP, you must not preempt.... you should change suit at the lowest level first and then bid game  (this is known as a delayed game raise). 

 Responses with a minimum hand

Opening Bid Your Response  Points Meaning of Responder Bid
1 in a suit Pass 0-6 Game is out of reach and you have no five card suit to bid
1 in a suit 1NT 6-9 Not able to bid at the two level and no four card suit higher ranked than openers suit 
1H/1S 4H/4S 5-7 Promises five cards  with minimum strength points
1H/1S/1D/1C Intervening bid by opposition and you bid double "X" 5-7 A negative Double promises 8-9 points and some cards but unable to bid over the opposition's bid

Exercise: Partner opens 1.   What is your responding bid?

Your Hand
  • J 8 5
  • K Q
  • 7 4 2
  • 10 9 8 7 6

Answer: Your bid is 1NT. You know you have no major fit and you have 6 HCP.

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