When you don't have Openers Suit
You don't have support or a major suit fit
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.
With a weak hand - 0-9 points
- Pass with 0-5 points
- Bid (show) a suit at the 1-level if possible shows 6+ HCP
- Bid 1NT to show you have 6 - 9 HCP
With a medium hand - 10-12 points
- If you bid in a suit at the 2-level, you need to have at least 10 TP.
- With 10+ TP and are not suited to a no trump bid and long suit(s) of your own keep bidding and rebidding that suit
With a strong hand - 13+ points
- Bid 2NT over your partners 1 in a suit bid to show 13 - 15 HCP and stoppers in all the unbid suits
- Over your partners 1 level bid 3NT shows 16 - 18 HCP and stoppers in all the unbid suits
- Make a Jump Shift bid, changing the suit and jumping a level
Pre-emptive bidsJumping the bidding up to game in partner's suit is pre-emptive and designed to shut out the opponents. Jumping straight up to game level promises either:
- 6-9 HCP with either 4 trumps & a void (valuable for cross trumping)
- OR 5 trumps & a singleton (valuable for cross trumping).
Exercise: Partner opens 1♥ - with the hand below what is your bid?
- ♠ J 8 5
- ♥ K Q
- ♦ 7 4 2
- ♣ 9 8 7 6 2
Answer: You should bid 1NT. You know have no major fit because you only have 2 heart and 3 spade suit cards. You have 6 HCP and 3-2-3-5 distribution (usually written as 5,3,3,2). When you bid 1NT showing 6-9 HCP your partner will know that its unlikely that you will have an honor card in every suit.