Jump Shift Responder Bids

A jump-shift response always shows partner a long suit and a strong responding hand, without guaranteeing a high-card point count.

With a strong hand 17+ points


A jump-shift is where the bidder bids one level higher than they needed to. Meaning they could have bid at a lower level in the same suit, but they didn’t. Jump shifts can be made by either the opener or the responder but the points required are different for each position. This lesson is concerned with responder jump shifts. If the responder has 13+ points they are able to make a jump shift bid.

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When to jump-shift

1. A jump-shift response can be most useful for those hands where you want to invite a slam, not insist on one.
2. A strong jump-shift should be made only when you have a one-suited hand with good honor strength in your suit, slam-try strength or better and a good rebid.
3. A jump-shift response is most useful when you want to describe your hand to partner in terms of points and shape.
A jump-shift  describes the following types of hands

  • A strong hand (17+ pts.) with one long, strong suit holding at least two of the top three honors.
  • An intermediate hand (13-16 pts.) with a long, solid suit and good controls.
  • A balanced slam-invitation (17 to a “bad” 19 pts.) with a good 5-card suit.

When not to jump-shift

Even with very powerful hands, you should make a low-level response any time you need general information from partner about his strength and distribution. Avoid making a jump-shift with the following types of hands:

  • Holding a two- or three-suited hand.
  • With one-suited hand with a bad suit (missing two or more top honors).
  • When you have a suit that needs good honor support or length from partner.
  • A very strong, balanced hand.

A jump-shift doesn’t always promise a distributional hand – it can also be made with a good 5-card suit and balanced strength. With very strong hands, there may be a problem finding a good rebid after your jump-shift, so in that situation try to keep the auction at a low level rather than jump shift responding.