Responding to Openers suit rebid

You can open the bidding with 13-21 points at the 1-level. So, 13 points is opener’s minimum, 21 points is the maximum points. The purpose of opener’s rebid is to show their partner whether they have a minimum, medium or maximum strength hand

What are my choices?

Responding to Openers suit rebids

1.  The opener has usually shown the strength and distribution of their hand in their first two bids. Responder must then look at their own hand and calculate the total point count, then decide should this hand be played in part-game or are there enough points to bid game (with the much higher number of bonus points)  the decision depends on the strength and points total of the openers and responders hands combined.
If the combined hands have at least….

  • 25 HCP and no ‘major suit fit’ then the responder needs to bid  game in NoTrumps;
  • if they have 26 TP and a ‘fit’ in either  ♠ or ♥ then the responder needs to bid 
    game in a major suit
  • if they have 27 TP and a ‘fit’ in either  ♣ or ♦ and side suits with no stoppers (honor cards) then the responder needs to bid  game in a minor suit

OTHERWISE if the combined hands have less than these points and distribution above then the contract should stay at the lowest possible level in a part-game contract.2.  The second decision the opener must make is whether the contract should be in a suit OR in NoTrumps. This decision is made by looking at your hand and deciding whether to:

  • Support one of partner’s suits
  • Rebid your own suit
  • Show another suit of your own
  • Bid NoTrumps
Responder can choose to…point count…holding
– prefer one of partner’s suits0-9 TPresponder choses opener’s suit in which they hold the most number of cards-with equal numbers of cards in both suits return opener to their first bid suit (this is called ‘showing preference’). Leave the contract at the lowest possible level and opener may pass.
– rebid first bid suit10+ TPa good 5 card or a six card suit
– bid a second suit 12+ TPmust have a second 4 card suit and two or less cards in in partners suits
– bid NoTrumps11+ HCPwith no major suit ‘fit’ and stoppers in the unbid suits

Exercise: Your partner opens 1♠ you respond 1NT – opener then rebids 2♥. What is your bid?


  • ♠A 5
  • ♥10 8
  • ♦ J 10 9 7 2
  • ♣J 9 6 2

Answer: Return opener to their first bid suit ♠ as you hold equal amounts of spades and hearts and the bidding shows that opener has longer spades than hearts. If you had more hearts than spades leave partner in hearts you ‘prefer’ their hearts. You don’t have 10+ TP for 2♦’s

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