Bridge Corner – Lesson 2 (Responding to a suit opening bid)

Points required between the partnership for part game or game (remember distribution also effects the number of tricks that can be won)

Points between
the Partnership
no. of tricks level
18-21 7 1
22-24 8 2
24+ 9 3 (3NT)
25-26 10 4 (4H/S)
27-28 11 5 (5C/D)

The responder also communicates hand strength through bidding by responding to partner’s opening bid uniquely according to their high card points.

  • 0-5 points: A hand in this range normally should not bid (i.e. should pass)
  • 6-9 points: This is a minimum response hand. You can show support for partners bid with a simple raise to the 2-level if you have 4 cards of the partner‘s suit, bid a new suit if you can do so at the one-level (never deny a 4 card major), or respond 1NT otherwise.
  • 10 or 11 points: any new suit bid at the 2-level promises opening partner at least 10 points. With specifically 10 or 11 points, you have a medium strength hand, and can bid another 4-card suit but at the two-level now in hopes of discovering the 8-card fit. You plan eventually to invite partner to a game contract.
  • 12 or more points: you have a maximum hand and desire a game contract. – however bid slowly at the beginning to allow partner to further describe the strength/distribution of his/her hand. This will enable the partnership to find the best contract to be in.

What is the Responder’s bid to a suit opening bid?

    Responder’s Hand Responder’s Bid Why?
1C Axxx Jxx Kxxx xx
1S QJx AKxx xx Jxxx
1H Jxx Qxxx KJxx xx
1S KQxx Axx xx Qxxx
1D Kxx xxx Qxx Jxxx
1H Ax KJxx QJxxx Ax
1D KQx Qxx Ax Qxxxx
1C xxx Jxxx Qxx Qxx
1S x AQxxxxx Kx xxx
1D AJxxx Qxx Qx KQx