Rebidding After Transferring

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

1 NTPass
2 *Pass2 Pass

*transfer to hearts

In response to its good-15-to-bad-18 notrump opening, Bridge World Standard uses Jacoby transfer bids: two diamonds promises hearts; two hearts promises spades. On the next round, responder may invite game by raising the major or bidding two notrump. Alternatively, the transferor may force to game with a natural bid in a new suit, bid three notrump (usually 5-3-3-2 distribution) to offer a choice of games, or invite slam: with four notrump (natural), by bidding game in the major (usually denies a side void or singleton), or by jumping in a new suit (shows shortness in that suit).

As South, what call do you make with each of the following:

(a)   Q 6    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 3    8 6 4

(b)   6 4    K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    8 6

(c)   Q 7    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 6 3    J 10

(d)   A Q    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 6 3    K 10

(e)   A 3    K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    K 10

(f)   —   K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    K 10 8 2


Q 6    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 3    8 6 4
(a) Two notrump. With its spread-out values and weak suit, this hand is worth no more than a game invitation. You have shown your heart length, so partner can choose three or four hearts if he wishes; more important, he can treat his hand as minimum or maximum.

6 4    K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    8 6
(b) Three diamonds. The first decision to be made is whether to drive to game. With sound high-card structure, honors in long suits, and two possible sources of tricks, you have just enough. The second decision is whether to insist on hearts opposite a three-card fit. Possession of two weak doubletons makes this strategy desirable.

Q 7    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 6 3    J 10
(c) Three notrump. It is not mandatory to show your second suit whenever you have 5-4-2-2 distribution. Here, with scattered values, help in the doubletons, and secondary weakness in the four-card length, you do not mind pretending that you have 5-3-3-2. This will permit partner to use judgment when holding three-card support for hearts; you will be happy with three notrump if North's hand suggests that contract.

A Q    K 8 5 4 2    A 9 6 3    K 10
(d) Four notrump. Your hand is worth four notrump, so you have the option of bidding it directly or showing your diamonds first along the way. Since your diamonds are weak and your black suits strong, a direct four notrump is more likely to lead partner to the winning decision. This does not mean your side cannot reach six diamonds. Partner may still introduce the suit himself, but will know not to expect four strong diamonds from you.

A 3    K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    K 10
(e) Three diamonds. You intend to reach the level of four notrump. However, in contrast to (d), this time you have good diamonds and powerful controls on the side. Slam could belong in diamonds even if partner has a minimum notrump and four weakish diamonds, as long as the North hand has good controls or hearts. Thus, a direct three diamonds (you intend to raise three notrump to four) may be helpful, and won't be misleading.

--   K 8 5 4 2    A Q 9 6    K 10 8 2
(f) Three diamonds. This is not the hand for a splinter jump to three spades (that suggests a one-suiter, typically 1=6=3=3). The best you can do is show your suits. Since this is not an up-the-line situation (three diamonds by opener after three clubs by responder is not an attempt to play diamonds), you may as well bid the stronger suit.

(Adapted from "Rate Your Own Game" in The Bridge World.)


Our learning center web pages are dedicated to teaching the game of bridge. There are lessons for first-time players, as well as for those at the elementary and intermediate levels. You can find the appropriate section, and proceed through the lessons.

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