Opener’s Suit Rebid

If you open the bidding and responder changes suit , this is a “forcing bid” on opener, meaning that you must keep the auction going by bidding at least one more time (there are exceptions but we will learn about this in later lessons). Opener must rebid.

Different strength hands need different rebids


As the opening bidder (“opener”) you have several choices, it is always a good idea to plan what your second bid will be before you make your first bid.

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Evaluate point count and card distribution

1.  11-14 TP  show this by rebidding your opening suit but only if it has 5 or more (written as: ‘5+’) cards
2. If this is not possible (i.e. you only have 4 cards)   and with 11-19 TP, bid another 4 card suit of a lower rank than the first suit. This is called “bidding down the line” ie. first bidding a higher ranked suit followed by rebidding a lower ranked suit .

EXCEPTION: If you have two four card suits BID THE LOWER RANKED ONE FIRST, this is how you show that the first bid suit is NOT longer3. Otherwise if you have support (4 cards) for  your partner’s suit (remember partner has promised a minimum of 6 points) show support by raising their suit to the 2 level if minimum points 11-14 TP, bid at the  the 3 level if you have 15-17 TP and go  to ‘Game’ level if you have 18+ TP .

To support partners bid you need

  •  With 11-14 TP and a ‘fit’ raise partner’s at the 1 level 
  •  With 15-17 TP and a ‘fit’ jump the bidding so this is a double level jump – inviting your partner to bid game if they have higher than the minimum point count of their bid.
  •  With 18+ TP and a ‘fit’ go straight to game in the suit

Opener’s Second Bid

  1. Support responder’s suit if you have more than 4 cards in partners bid suit (is a limit bid and shows precise points)
  2. Bid No Trumps ( a limit bid showing precise point count) Bidding NoTrump (next lesson)
  3. With only one *biddable suit (more that 4 cards) opener rebids their first suit
  4. Bid a second suit of your own rather than rebidding your first suit
    • With two 5-card suits, you have already bid the higher ranked suit for your first bid so for the rebid you should bid the lower ranked of the 5 card suits.
    • With two 4-card suits you have already bid the lower ranked suit first, so for your rebid you should rebid your higher ranked suit.
  5. Support responder’s suit with a jump bid if you have more than 4 cards in partners bid suit
  6. Bid No Trumps ( a limit bid showing precise point count) Bidding NoTrump (next lesson)
  7. With only one *biddable suit (more that 4 cards in a suit) opener can rebid their first suit

*a biddable suit has 4 cards or more, a medium or strong hand has 16+ points

Exercise: You (North) opening the bidding with 1♥ . Your partner responds with 1♠, what is your rebid? Remember responder has changed suit which is a forcing bid, so you must bid again.

You (North)

  • ♠ 8 5
  • ♥ K J 10 7 6
  • ♦ A 6
  • ♣ A Q 4 3

Answer: Open 1 ♥ and rebid 2♣. You could rebid your hearts after partner’s 1♠ but then partner only knows about your 5 heart cards. Bidding 2♣ shows your hearts suit is longer than your 4♣. With two 4 card suits bid the lower ranked firstPractice Game for this lesson

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