I asked my experts the following: “You're playing with me and we're playing
two over one and 15-17 notrump openers. We haven't discussed 1
- pass - 2. How
much would you have to add to AJxx????Kxxxx?
to respond 2
instead of 1
to my 1-opener? If you responded 2, what would you expect me to have if I rebid 2?
Do you have some simple understandings after 1
- pass - 2?”
is one the most difficult sequences in standard bidding. 1
is one sequence that you have to discuss with your partner. Half the experts play
that a 2
rebid shows five diamonds and half play that it denies five diamonds. I think that
unless you have at least 15 HCP, you should respond 1. This will avoid most of the 1
problems. Suppose you have
AJxxxxKxAJxxx and you respond 1. If partner bids 2,
you can bid 4
and the opponents will be in the dark about your hand. If partner rebids 1NT, you
can bid 3NT.
The following experts promise five diamonds when they reverse into 2. If 1
shows five or more diamonds, why shouldn’t 1
show the same distribution?
I don’t mind treating xxxAKJxAQxxxx
as diamonds and hearts.
---I cannot answer your basic question without knowing
the opening bid style: Are minor suit openings hands Roth would have opened? Or
do we open light, rule of 20 with distributional hands? I use the rule of 21, and
generally insist on 1 1/2 quick tricks as well. Given that I guess my minimum to
would be a good 12 HCP, my rebid structure is
a) balanced hands bid 2NT
show four and at least five diamonds and a sound opening bid
almost always show four clubs
are splinters showing shortness with club support
shows very good diamonds: a one or zero loser suit opposite two small; does
not show extras.
is catchall, and may have only four diamonds.
---If I judged my hand to be game force, I would ALWAYS
start with 2
rather than 1
. Any hand that contains 13 HCP or a good 12 HCP for
me is a game force. After 1
, I would rebid 2
with six or more diamonds, two-of-a-major
with five diamonds and four of the major, 2NT with any other hand including a four-card
major including 4-4-4-1 pattern. I would raise clubs with four trumps or with three
trumps if I had a small doubleton or singleton somewhere else. I would rebid 3
only with solid diamonds or a one-loser suit and extra values. I would NEVER rebid
3NT over 2
unless it showed exactly some hand by agreement.
Jumping to 3NT makes it difficult for responder to describe his hand.
---I would expect four hearts and at least five diamonds. With a balanced
hand, you should rebid 2NT. I guess you could be 4-4-4-1. Playing Precision with
Fred Stewart, opener always rebids 2
with at least five diamonds regardless of
his major holding. A two-of-a-major call by opener shows a four-card major holding,
but doesn't say anything else except that he doesn't have five diamonds. Opener
usually won't bypass a major to bid 2NT, but he can if it looks right.
Playing Precision where the diamond opener is random, opener has to show a real
---I play that 2
doesn’t deny a four-card major.
An attractive game force would do,
etc. I would reverse with
The responder must plan to introduce his major, or distort. Matchpoints
would be slightly different.
---An ace or a KQ would be enough to bid 2
would show 4-5 in the reds and some extras. I play 2
as a GF, 1
is invitational with at least six clubs, 1
could be an invitational notrump hand. Rebids other
are natural and show extras since I play weak NT. 1
be a minimum 4-4-4-1 with 2
asking for further description.
The exception to 2
showing five diamonds is when you are 4-4-4-1.
A neat convention is a 1
shows either a strong jump shift in hearts or an
11-12 balanced hand. Opener bids 2
to ask for clarification. This allows 1
- 2N to show 13-15 or 18+ balanced hand.
---My personal style is unusual here but I'll give it
you anyway. I like a rebid of 2
to be five or more diamonds and may have a four-card major with a dead minimum.
A rebid of 2
shows reverse shape and not dead minimum I might have as little as
With spades and
clubs switched I might bid 2
So my problem hands are 2-4-4-3 hands with three
clubs and a small doubleton in side suit. With 12-14. and
, I might bid 3
. That said, as responder I'll bid 1
instead of 2
if a 4-3 fit might be right even with game-forcing values.
looks like 1
looks like 2
is a 2
is a 1
I would bid 1
with all of the above examples.
---Ross and I play 1
is 100% game forcing, so we would have to have a full opening bid to respond 2
. The minimum for such
a bid holding four spades might be something like
We also play 2
by opener is not a full reverse, but our understanding is that we would
not make that bid on a dead minimum.
One expert agrees with me and avoids 2
---Although I used to always bid 2
with a five-card
suit and only a four-card major, I now think it is better to respond in the major
unless responder has 16+ HCP or a six-card suit. As opener, I rebid 2
or more diamonds, two-of-a-major is usually weak in the other major or a singleton
club, and 2NT promises at least two clubs.
---With the hand given I would respond 2
with any 13
count or better. The key is the spade holding of AJxx rather than KQxx. That holding
much more likely to be a good contract. So with at least five reasonable
clubs say Qxxxx or better. I would respond 2
with that spade holding. If you bid 2
I would expect an unbalanced hand with at least a good minimum say around 14
points or so. If you are balanced you either bid 2NT regardless of stoppers or raise
Some experts expect extra values for a 2
---I would have to add either an Ace or a King + a Queen
for me to respond 2
rather than 1
I would expect you to have a better than minimum (but not much more) to rebid 2
instead of 2
, e.g. 2
but not with
I'd rebid 3
My favorite system is not two over one, but rather old fashioned Acol with a few
more forcing bids, but all very natural bidding. Perhaps a key difference is that
a 2NT rebid after a two-over-one response is non-forcing.
---I would need enough to commit to game, depending
on partner's opening-bid style. I’d expect you to have extra values to rebid 2
---Any hand with four points more is presumably worth
forcing to game on. On all such hands I would bid the clubs before the spades. Only
if I were intending to make a limit bid on the next round, or to sign off, would
I bid the spades first. It is important to show the relative lengths of the suits.
It’s nonsense to bid 1
without five spades. I would expect 2
to show extras, on the basis that with
a minimum 4-5 or 4-6 hand you could rebid 2
and wait for me to bid the hearts.
Some experts play that 2
denies five or more diamonds.
---I would need at least 14 HCP to respond 2
. I play 2
shows no extras, but denies five diamonds.
---With clubs so bad it would need to be Ax - Kx. With
weaker clubs, I would just bid 1
since I don't know what we play. It is a wide variety anywhere from a mini with
four hearts and not five diamonds or four hearts and at least five diamonds and
a good hand.
---I would add enough to make responder have an opening
bid. Always prefer to get into the two-over-one game-forcing auction with five clubs
and four spades, rather than respond 1
and have to worry about using fourth suit forcing. I would expect you to have discussed
this with me. Some people play it as extras, others as "just bidding out the hand."
There is no "standard" -- which is why it requires discussion. With David Berkowitz,
we play it is natural, no extras promised, and it denies five or more diamonds.
This, of course, is just one way to play it. Our actual agreement is irrelevant
as to how it SHOULD be played.
---As I play a light opening bid style, I need a
full opener to bid 2
would be a minimum,
lacking either black ten I would bid 1
If you bid 2
I would not expect extra values; perhaps
would be fine.
Below 3NT my priority is always to look for the best game. My simple rule is that
if you do not bid 2
you do not have five diamonds. Also 1
does not necessarily show four spades (maybe
- 2NT denies a four-card major, so responder’s three-of-a-major is shortness.
Berkowitz and Cohen play Precision where the diamond opener is undefined.
---I'd assume it's completely game forcing, so I'd
need another ace or so to respond 2
I use strong notrump with Michael Polowan.
We play 2
as a 100% GF, 3
as invitational, and use an artificial 2
invitational balanced hands with no four-card major.
---I would have a working 13 count that would make it
game-forcing. If 4-2-2-5 then KJ in one of the doubletons would be minimum a 13-count
with suits with no texture. This is based on a relatively sound 1
does not show anything extra. I bid 2
with five or more diamonds unless 3-3-5-2 with
stoppers in the majors. 2
shows stoppers in that suit. It could be 2-4-4-3. If
I bid 2
and responder bids 2NT, then it is up to opener to find the 4-4 major-suit
fit by bidding it at the three-level. With 2-4-5-2 I can bid 2
and I would bid
the hearts the next time. With 2
promising at least five diamonds I do not miss
5-3 diamond fits when right. So I might be 3-4-5-1 and I would bid 2
hand was bad with the diamonds being weak.
---I would need an ace more to respond 2
. With a King more I would respond
and make an invitational bid. If you responded 2
, I would expect four hearts and four diamonds, with or without
extra values. A rebid of 2
shows five or more diamonds,
strength undefined. A rebid of a major shows 4-4 in the two suits, strength undefined.
2NT denies a four-card major and denies five Diamonds, normally a minimum.
---I would want the equivalent of an opening bid, say,
I would not view 2
as a reverse. It may well reflect pattern. I would not expect partner to rebid
a three or four-card diamond suit. I play that over that specific sequence, a rebid
is not forcing and resembles an old-fashioned pre two-over-one followed by 3
invitational hand showing six clubs and ten or eleven HCP.
---With 4-2-2-5 and a decent suit I'd respond 2
with any combination of high cards totaling four points in the reds EXCEPT a queen
and two jacks, i.e., a seven-loser but not an eight-loser hand. With Joey Silver,
my regular partner, we do have simple understandings: we raise clubs with any four
or with three to an honor and a reason (could be a small doubleton, or a singleton).
We do not rebid 2
willy-nilly as many do; 2NT is the default-balanced minimum.
---Like to have a 12 count if 4-2-2-5 for two-over-one.
Play that if you bid two-of-a-major instead of 2
, you deny five diamonds. Bidding 2
doesn't show anything extra, just denies five diamonds so usually has four hearts.
---In standard American I would start with 2
game-forcing hand with clubs longer than spades 5-4, 6-5, 6-4 etc. knowing we are
in a game-forcing auction which makes things flow easily. I like to rebid diamonds
on any biddable five-card suit KJxxx or better. 2
would not show extra values but
would deny a decent five-card diamond suit.
---I would need enough to game force, given no discussion,
so equivalent of another ace to the given hand. If you were to rebid 2
, it would
merely show four cards in that suit with no extra values. It would probably deny
five cards in diamonds and/or four-card support for clubs. Simple understandings
include two-of-a-major is not reverse strength, 2NT shows minimum or 18-19 HCP;
three-of-a-new suit is splinter; raise is extras by way of high cards or shape.
---With a four-card major I would need a game-forcing
hand to respond 2
. With less than a game-force, definitely bid major first. So
I would need to
add an ace and a queen. At matchpoints I still might respond 1
with four spades and five clubs and limited slam potential. At IMPs, 2
more appealing if 1
showed nothing extra. It does not deny five-cards
in diamonds. I do not particularly like the idea of mandatory rebidding 2
---I would have a sixth club and a hand I would like to
force to game.
as responder with a four-card major as often as possible. Use it only
when you have a very, very good hand.
If opener has a hand that he can describe in one bid he should do so. I like 2NT
to show a either a balanced 13-14 or a balanced 18-19 HCPs. Two-of-a-major shows
a sound opening bid with at least five diamonds. The only exception would be a hand
with all the strength in the two suits such as
support. If holding three clubs it shows extras. With four clubs always bid 3.
Three-of-a-major is a splinter bid showing club support and shortness in the bid-major. 3
shows a one-loser or better suit. If you don’t have one of the above hand types,
rebid 2. I would rebid 2
(too weak to rebid
(too weak to raise
could go either
way depending on whether 2
shows extras. Now responder can bid 2
if he wants to
know more about your hand or can continue describing his hand.