I posed the following to my expert panel. You have six spades and four hearts. You
and partner bids 1NT. Holding
you would probably rebid 2. Holding
you would probably rebid 2
. Please give me the minimum heart/maximum spade holding needed to rebid 2
. Does form of scoring influence your decision?
Point No. 1
Some experts believe that you should always bid 2
. The good news is that by bidding 2
, you play in hearts when partner has one spade and at least three hearts. The bad
news is that you play in hearts when partner has one spade and exactly three hearts.
Another problem with bidding 2
is what to do when responder bids 2NT. Pass seems wrong and 3
is forcing. I’ve solved this problem along with the very bad 5-5 spade-heart hand
VS. the reasonable spade-heart hand such as
Over responder’s 2NT, 3
is now an artificial bid, a form of Wolff signoff, and shows a signoff somewhere
either with a hand with 6-4 or 5-5 in spades/hearts. The 2NT bidder assumes 5-5
distribution and does his best. With 2-2 in hearts and spades, responder bids 3. Opener’s direct bid of three-of-either-major
over 2NT is forcing and descriptive.
Dave Berkowitz---I’m a firm believer in always bidding 2
, so I would do it on the first hand, holding
5432. (Please destroy my answer if I am the only lunatic.)
Bart Bramley---I'm an extremist on this one. I always bid hearts with 6-4. I would
with the first hand. If you don't bid hearts now you will never find them. I am
willing to play in the wrong partial occasionally in exchange for reaching more
good heart contracts, especially heart games. Couldn't partner have
I tend to rebid my four-card side suit even if it is a minor, although suit quality
does enter into that decision. Another plus for bidding the second suit with
certain hands is that if partner raises the second suit you can sometimes bid game
in the first suit. That's how to reach game intelligently with, say,
Mel Colchamiro---My belief is that one should "always" bid 2
with 6-4. I get much the best of it following this guideline. Of course there are
exceptions. Qxxx in hearts is more than enough for me, and
is worth a 2
bid also. Form of scoring is basically not relevant to me, though the upside seems
to be greater to bid 2
at IMPs in marginal cases -- bidding 2
may strand me in the wrong partscore, but rebidding spades can lead to a real IMP
disaster when we play our 6-0 spade fit in 2
instead of our 4-6 heart fit in 4
Brad Moss---I would greatly strain to rebid 2
at all forms of scoring.
Point No. 2
Some of the experts need a decent four-card heart suit to bid 2
. For them,
5432 is not a real suit.
Kerry Sanborn---My general philosophy is to always rebid 2
with 6-4. However, the first hand above would probably convince me that I didn't
really have a four-card heart suit. Also, with a good hand where I would want to
bid again when partner rebid 2NT or 2
, I would normally rebid 2
so I could either bid 3
forcing over 2NT or re-raise myself to 3
from partner. That said, I don't really differentiate between suits with quality
when choosing to rebid 2
. At matchpoints, I would be tempted to rebid a chunky spade suit as opposed to
an anemic four-card heart suit.
Marinesa Letizia---Basically I never suppress a four-card heart suit unless it’s
quite extreme, such as the first example, and I judge that I really don't have a
four-card heart suit. With six good spades, if I miss a heart game, it's certainly
my fault when I break my own rule of not suppressing a four-card heart suit. Form
of scoring does not influence the decision.
Point No. 3
Another factor is the strength of the hand. With a minimum opening bid, your chances
of making game is reduced, so getting to the best partscore is the number one priority.
In that case you might suppress a weak four-card heart suit, especially at matchpoints.
So with a bad opening bid and good spades, some experts will bid 2. The chance of getting to and making game becomes
slim. With extras they bid 2
. Responder is more likely to bid again when you bid 2
. Over 2
he can raise hearts or take a preference to spades. Over 2, he can only raise to the three-level with at least ten HCPs.
Responder would never think of bidding again over 2
KQxxxxKxxxxx, but would raise hearts.
Grant Baze---I would rebid 2
with all 6-4's. Partner could have a stiff spade and AKxxx of hearts; partner would
pass 2, but raise 2
to four. A rebid of 2
looks for the safest partscore; a rebid of 2
looks for game with only a modest cost of safety -- so modest that I would rebid
even if I were playing matchpoints.
Nick Nickell---At IMPs, I tend to bid 2
on most hands.
Qxxx is a 2
bid for me. At matchpoints I would bid 2
more often, particularly with any interior solidity. In a way, a hand with
AKxx is a better hand for spades, particularly if we are in the part score arena.
At IMPs the reason to bid hearts is to avoid missing a heart game, not to get to
the better part score. Another factor is how good my hand is. With a maximum, you
should strive to bid 2
, and with a dead minimum, lean toward 2.
I would bid 2
. Change the diamonds to Jx, and I would try to slow things down with a 2
Henry Bethe---In general I believe one should almost always bid 2
. I would certainly do so with
Q9xx and probably even with
109xx. The strength of the hand would make a difference: if I do not intend to accept
when partner raises to 3
, I would tend to bid 2. So with
I would bid 2
; with Qx - Q in the minors I would bid 2.
I would also bid 2
more freely at IMPs than matchpoints because of the plus score VS. game bonus considerations.
Fred Hamilton---The minimum heart holding I would need to bid 2
Hearts may play much better if partner has four. We may reach game when partner
can bid on over 2
, but must pass 2
with no known fit.
Bill Pollack---I'm a pretty extreme 2
bidder on almost every 6-4 holding. I just hate to play in my 6-0 spade fit when
we have ten hearts. About the only time I wouldn’t bid 2
is when my spades are very solid, e.g. AKQxxx or KQJTxx, -and- hearts are hopeless
(Jxxx or worse).
Barry Rigal---With a dead minimum and six moderate spades and four moderate hearts,
has more to recommend it than 2
I bid 2, and holding AJ10xxx
I bid 2
. Chances of making game with the second hand are much better, so we maximize denominations
where game might be reached. Chances of game are poor facing hand one, so we look
for the safest partscore.
Bobby Lipsitz---Suit strength is not the only issue. With any hand without nearly
solid spades worth 16-18 playing points, I would rebid 2
. (Moderator’s note: Bobby rebids 2
no matter what the heart suit looks like with 16+ playing points, e.g. with
Larry Cohen---My partner, David Berkowitz, is on the extreme end of the Earth --
so much so, that he might consider 2
with the hand shown:
5432. He has influenced me to move to the 2
camp, but I'd say my threshold would be roughly
J10xx in order for me to consider bidding 2
. At matchpoints I'd be more likely to just rebid a good spade suit (especially
with a minimum and no likelihood of game) than Vulnerable at IMPs where I am more
interested in increasing my chances of finding a good game.
Eddie Kantar---I would rebid 2
with any hand that would go to 4
if partner raises to 3
, and would rebid 2
with any decent spade suit KQ98xx-plus and a hand that would not go to 4
. I’m more apt to rebid 2
at IMP scoring on a marginal hand.
Jill Meyers---If I would be happier for partner to pass 2
than 2, I would bid 2
Marty Bergen---Vulnerable at IMPs would be relevant. Strength of hand is very relevant.
With decent hands, I lean towards 2
on close decisions. Because the strength of the hand is so relevant, it is impossible
to define suit quality.
Mike Becker---One of the obvious ingredients in determining whether to bid spades
or hearts is whether I have a good opening hand or a weak one. With a good hand,
game is still possible and bidding hearts rather than rebidding spades is more likely
to encourage partner to bid again. It is understood that spades-spades-hearts (after
2NT) is weaker than spades-hearts-spades. And most VERY weak hands will not bid
hearts on the third round and just give up in 2NT. All that said, holding
I would rebid 2
I would rebid 2.
Jeff Rubens---With six good spades and four hearts, I would rebid two spades, but
if the six-card spade suit looks like a five-bagger (is of poor quality), I would
. I also would rebid 2
if I will bid again should partner bid two 2
I would rebid 2
. Make the spades stronger or the hearts weaker, and I would rebid 2. Form of scoring has no relevance.
Axxx. On #1 I think I would rebid 2, but
on #2 I would rebid 2
since the difference in spade suits lends itself to many more spade tricks with
#1 but still at least one spade loser for hearts, but #2 may have no spade loser
for hearts and more spade losers for spades. Maybe that fact and the more recognized
one of rebidding 2
tend to run for daylight to be able to bid game more than rebidding 2
are the two major reasons influencing the decision. To at least attempt to answer
the way you want me to, let’s say that with an obvious disparity between the suits,
Axxx, I would lean toward spades, while with
I would rebid 2
might make a very close vote in favor of 2.
Dan Morse---The maximum spade holding and minimum heart holding I would need to
With 6-4 hands, the experts, with a few exceptions, bid 2
, and I strongly agree. The big gain is when responder has four or more hearts and
can bid game. The big loss is when partner has zero or one spade and exactly three
hearts. The long heart hand occurs more often than the one-spade-three-heart hand.