After Three Suits

Neither side vulnerable
The bidding has gone:

1 Pass
1 Pass1 Pass

In responder's rebid after opener's one-level new-suit rebid, the 1984 version of Bridge World Standard made one major adjustment and some additions. The adjustment is that a jump preference to opener's original minor is invitational, not forcing. To force in opener's minor, responder must first bid the fourth suit. The additions are ways to give splinter raises of opener's second suit. If responder is short in the fourth (unbid) suit, he can jump in it--a single jump if a reverse, otherwise a double jump. If responder is short in the minor suit opened, he can jump to four of that suit.

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

(a) K 10 8    9 6 2    A Q 10 6 2    A 2

(b) K 10 8    9 6 2    A 10 6 4 2    A 2

(c) K 10 8 6    9 6    A Q 10 4 2    A 2

(d) K 10 8 6    9    A J 10 4 2    A 6 2

(e) K 10 8 6    A 6 2    A J 10 4 2    9

(f) 4    A Q 10 6 2    A Q J 9 7 3    4


K 10 8    9 6 2    A Q 10 6 2    A 2

(a) Two hearts. You have enough to drive to the level of three notrump, but can't be certain of the best strain. First, set up a forcing situation by bidding the fourth suit. Opener's next bid may give you a further clue as to strain. If not, you can take a tentative guess next round at the three level.

K 10 8    9 6 2    A 10 6 4 2    A 2

(b) Two spades. In some methods, this hand is suitable for a rebid of two hearts (intending to pass two notrump if opener bids it. However, the Bridge World Standard two hearts, a fourth-suit reverse, is forcing to game. You might not mind stretching a bit if you had any idea what strain was suitable, but you don't. You have to compromise somehow. We suggest two spades to protect the plus opposite a minimum balanced hand.

K 10 8 6    9 6    A Q 10 4 2    A 2

(c) Four spades. This shows game values and four trumps (you could show three by bidding two hearts, then three spades, then not supporting spades again); it denies a short suit (since you could have splintered, but didn't). You should have decent trumps for this triple jump. Some would hold out for even better spades than this, but that is not standard practice.

K 10 8 6    9    A J 10 4 2    A 6 2

(d) Three hearts. Three is a splinter raise because two would be a reverse. In contrast, had you responded one heart, then jumped to three diamonds, that would not be a splinter; it shows a strong red two-suiter (we hope you don't find it too hard to cope with this artificiality). If your red suits were switched, you would have to bid four diamonds.

K 10 8 6    A 6 2    A J 10 4 2    9

(e) Four clubs. This is another "new" [in 1984] BWS splinter. Make sure you don't get stuck by it. If you have a big hand with diamonds and clubs, you have to rebid two hearts, followed by some appropriate number of clubs.

4    A Q 10 6 2    A Q J 9 7 3    4

(f) Two hearts. Careful! If you bid a "natural" three hearts partner will think you have spades, as in (d). A bid of the fourth suit does not deny a holding in that suit; it simply shows a good hand. You plan to bid three hearts next, to announce a true two-suiter.

(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.

BEGINNER: Learn how to play bridge if you have never played before. The beginner lessons here are designed for those who know little or nothing about the game.

ELEMENTARY: If you understand the basics of the game, and are ready to proceed further.

INTERMEDIATE: Here is a collection of intermediate-level problems in bidding, declarer play, and defense for you to practice and improve your game.