(The most important bid in bridge)

There are four basic scenarios to consider when determining opener’s rebid, having originally opened with a suit at the one-level (at this stage, all these scenarios assume no interference bidding).

Remember that your primary objective is to assess whether you should be in a game contract, needing about 25 or more combined points (27 points for a minor game). Moreover aim for 3NT rather than 5♣ or 5, since you only need to make nine tricks rather than eleven.

Hence it is more important to understand the reasoning behind the rebids rather than attempt to learn the specific point counts.

Partner Has Supported Your Major Suit Opening

1.    Typically 1 - 2; or 1♠ - 3♠ etc.

Partner in response has made a limit bid, i.e. he has defined his hand as having support for your major and the strength within a range of about three or four points. Now that a ‘fit’ has been found, you can also start to add notional points for distribution, in particular for singletons or voids – 4 for a void, and 2 for a singleton (as you become more experienced, there are better ways to quantify your distribution, but these are for advanced players). So your original opening point count may now be increased.

In response to 2/2♠ (6-9 points) if you are:

- towards the lower end of your point range (12-15 points), you can pass your partner’s bid:

- towards the middle of the range (16-17 points) you can invite partner to bid again, by bidding your agreed suit at the next level (again, there are more advanced methods to invite partner to bid game – but not for beginners):

- towards the top of the range (18+ points) you can bid game yourself (and there are situations where you may elect to look for a slam).

(As you progress, meanings will be attributed to a change-of-suit re-bid by opener when partner has given low-level support).

2.    In response to 3/3♠ (10-12 points), bid game (4/4♠) with 14+ points (effectively playing your partner for the middle of his 10–12 point range). With 19 points you may consider a slam.

3.    In response to 4/4♠ (7–10 points), which remember is a weak pre-emptive response, you will rarely bid again.

4.    (When you start to play a 2NT response from partner as showing a major fit and 13+ points (Jacoby), there are special responses. These will be defined later).


Over partner’s 2♠ (i.e. 1♠ - 2♠, where 2♠ shows 6–9 points):

a)♠ KQ752b)♠ KQJ73c)♠ KQ964d)♠ AJ8753e)♠ KJ872

98 AK64 AQ96 AK43 AKQ8

AK86 J9 K97 1095 AQ

♣ 42♣ 74♣ 6♣ -♣ 97

a)  PASS  - 12 points, happy to play in 2♠.

b)  PASS  - 14 points, no extra distributional points, still content to play in 2♠.

c)  3♠  - 14 points plus the singleton, just about good enough to invite partner to bid game (4♠) if he has bid 2♠ with a maximum response (8 or 9 points).

d)  3♠  - 12 points plus the void and the extra spade, certainly good enough to bid 3♠.

e)  4♠  - 19 points.

Over partner’s 3♠ (i.e. 1♠ - 3♠, where the 3♠ bid shows 10–12 points)

f)♠ KQ87g)♠ KQ872h)♠ KQ872i)♠ KQ872

A863 A862 AK82 AK82

A8 A84 AQ8 AQ

♣ 932♣ 9♣ 9♣ 97

f)   PASS - 13 points with no distribution points.

g)  4♠ - 13 points + 2 for the singleton club, just worth 4♠.

h)  4NT - 18 points + 2 for the singleton club. Probably just worth investigating slam possibilities. This is done by using the ‘Blackwood’ 4NT convention, which enquires about partner’s aces  (to be discussed later).

i)   4♠  - 18 points with no additional distribution points. Slam possible, but against the odds.

Partner Has Supported Your Club Or Diamond Opening

Typically 1♣ - 2♣; 1♣ - 3♣; 1♣ - 4♣; 1 - 2; 1 - 3; or 1 - 4.

As with the ‘major situation’ partner has made a limit bid, but the requirements for a game in 5♣ or 5 are more than those for a major suit game (usually 27+ points for a minor suit game). However the possibility does exist of an alternative 3NT contract if you have adequate ‘stops’ in the other suits (remember that if settling in no-trumps you cannot add on points for singletons or voids, since your club or diamond suit will not now be used for ruffing). This usually requires fewer points for success (25+).

In response to 1♣ - 2♣, or 1 - 2♦: (6–9 points)

- towards the lower end of your point range (12-15 points), you can pass your partner’s bid:

- with stops in the other suits and 16-17 points, you can invite with 2NT. Remember your partner will not have a four-card major in response, so ensure the stops in the majors are ‘good’.

- with stops in the other suits and 18-19 points, you can bid 3NT directly. With 1 - 2 - 3NT, partner can pass with a non-distributional hand, or bid 5 with a ‘distributional’ hand (i.e. a hand which would be unsuitable for no-trumps).

- with inadequate stops in the other suits and 16-19 points, bid 3♣/. Partner can pass, or bid 3NT or 5♣/ with a suitable hand. (Again there are better ways to investigate a possible no-trump contract, but not for beginners).

- you would only bid an alternative suit (a major) with something like a 6-5 distribution (with more experience a new suit can carry a different meaning).

In response to 1♣ - 3♣, or 1 - 3♦: (10-12 points)

- pass on any minimum opening hand (up to 13 points).

- with 14-17 the choice is between 3minor and 3NT. On most balanced hands it’s best to bid 3NT.

- with 18-19 points you may investigate slam possibilities.


Over partner’s 2 (i.e. 1 - 2 where 2 shows 5-9 points)

j)♠ K6k)♠ K10l)♠ J2m)♠ K9n)♠ 7

AQJ3 AK6 AK6 AKJ7 AQ1062

Q953 Q953 AK83 KQ92 AK9853

♣ K76♣ A762♣ J1074♣ Q72♣ 8

o)♠ 86



♣ A4

j)   PASS -15 points, not quite worth 2NT.

k)  2NT  - 16 points – stops in the majors. Partner with 8 or 9 points will bid 3NT.

l)   PASS - 16 points but too many ‘jacks’, particularly in the spade suit (remember partner doesn’t; have four spades, so the opposition could well run this suit).

m) 3NT  - 18 points. By no means assured due to the fragile spade suit – but playing duplicate bridge, everyone else will be in it.

n)  2  - You originally correctly opened your longer suit – 1. However your partner may have three hearts. Despite only a 13 count (plus at least 4 for distribution and 1 for the additional suit length), there is a high chance of game in either hearts or diamonds. Hearts scores more and you only require ten tricks. By bidding 2, partner will now know you have this 6-5 distribution and bid accordingly. (Later on, you will learn that this type of bid is termed a ‘reverse’).

o)  3  - 16 points. Partner will pass with a minimum, and can bid 3NT or 5 (again there are more accurate methods to assess whether 3NT is viable – not for beginners).

Over partner’s 3♣ (i.e. 1♣ - 3♣ where 3♣ shows 10-12 points and a five card club suit).

p)♠ 8q)♠ 8732r)♠ KJ63s)♠ 86

AQ73 AK73 KJ63 A752

A95 AQ5 9 KQ4

♣ K7542♣ K9♣ KJ72♣ KQ85

p)  5♣  - 13 points + 2 for the singleton spade.

q)  3NT  - 16 points. Not ideal without a spade stop. However the length in spades compensates (the opposition have less chance of running the suit). 

r)   PASS - 12 points + 2 for the singleton diamond, but including three jacks. A close decision, but I would pass this hand (but I wouldn’t dismiss 5♣).

s)  3NT  - there is a good chance that the opposition can attack spades, but no other suitabble bid (it's highly likely that some of partner's points are in his probable three card spade suit).

Partner Has Bid A New Suit (At The Lowest Available Level)

Partner has made a non-limit bid so you must bid again (unless partner had originally passed).

One feature of opener’s re-bid is that a ‘jump’ bid will require 16+ points. So in the 12-15 point range you bid minimally.

Your proposed action should be considered in the following sequence:

1. Support partner’s major suit with 4 or more cards at the appropriate level. This can also be correct with a 3-card suit and two of the top three honours, if no other reasonable alternative.

2. If balanced with stops in the un-bid suits, bid no-trumps at the appropriate level.

Partner has bid at the 1-level (e.g. 1 - 1♠):

- with 15-16 points balanced, bid 1NT.

- with 17-18 points balanced, bid 2NT.

- with 19-20 points balanced, bid 3NT (many 20 point hands will have originally not been opened at the one level).

Partner has bid at the 2-level (i.e. he has guaranteed a 9+ point hand) (e.g. 1 - 2♣):

- with 13-14 points, bid 2NT

- with 15+ points bid 3NT

3. In the 12-16 point range, either bid a suit lower ranking than your original suit at a higher level (e.g. 1 - 1♠ - 2♣, or higher ranking than your original suit at the same level (e.g. 1 - 1 - 1♠), or re-bid your original suit (ideally with extra length).

4. With 17+ points and a suit higher ranking than your original suit at a higher level, or a new suit at the three level, bid the second suit (e.g. - 1 - 1♠ - 2 or 1 - 2 - 3♣). This is known as a ‘reverse’. This would also tend to imply that your first suit is longer than your second suit (to be discussed more fully in a later lesson)


Over 1 - 1♠ - ?

t)♠ K96u)♠ K9v)♠ K96w)♠ K96x)♠ K96

A3 Q984 7 AK54 10

AKJ7 AKJ732 AKJ732 AKJ73 AKJ73

♣ Q987♣ 9♣ AQ9♣ 8♣ AK87

y)♠ K96z)♠ K96aa)♠ K965bb)♠ J965cc)♠ J106

10 Q8 9 KQ9 AQ

AKJ73 K9732 AKJ73 AKQJ3 AKJ4

♣ A987♣ KJ8♣ Q98♣ 9♣ 9854

)  2NT   - to show a balanced 17-18 points. Always rebid no-trumps with a balanced hand.

u)   2   - showing a minimum opener. You are not strong enough to make a ‘reverse’ bid of 2 (hearts are higher ranking than your original diamond suit), for which you would require 17+ points.

v)  3  - a jump rebid with a good suit and good points (16+)

w)  2  - good enough to make a ‘reverse’ bid.

x) 3♣  - a bid of 2♣ would show your second suit, but would hide the strength of your hand. The jump bid indicates 16+ points.

y)  2♣  - similar hand to (w) but only 15 points. Just show your second suit at the lowest level.

z)  A trick question – you should have opened 1NT originally. If you open 1, it’s not ideal to rebid such a poor suit and a minimum hand.

aa)  2♠  - support partner’s suit at the two level with this minimum hand

bb) 3♠  - just good enough (16+ points) to raise in partner’s suit.

cc) 1NT   - balanced 15 points.

Over 1 - 2♣ - ?

dd)♠ -ee)♠ K6ff)♠ K6gg)♠ AQJhh)♠ K9

AJ9872 AQ987 AJ987 AJ987 AKJ863

AQ42 KJ3 KJ3 875 AQJ

♣ 984♣ J32♣ A3♣ 84♣ 6

dd)  2   - better than repeating your hearts (partner has initially probably denied heart support)

ee)  2NT   - (13-14 points)

ff)  3NT   - (15+points)

gg)    2   - what else to bid?

hh)  3  - good six-card suit, 16+ points

Partner Has Bid No-Trumps

Partner has made a limit bid (1NT – 6-9 points; 2NT (over a minor) – 11-12 points), and has shown no interest in your suit. He has also denied a four card major. You should only re-bid your opening suit if you have extra length.

Only with a highly distributional hand would you bid another suit, otherwise you aim to play in no-trumps at the appropriate level.

If partner has bid 1NT, only bid an invitational 2NT with 17-18 points (partner will bid 3NT with top of his 1NT response range). Bid a direct 3NT with 19-20 points.

If partner has bid 2NT over your minor opening, raise to 3NT with 14+ points (13 points with a 5-card suit)


Over 1 - 1NT - ?

ii)♠ K96jj)♠ K9kk)♠ J96ll)♠ 9

A3 Q984 762 A5

AKJ7 AKJ732 AKJ7 AJ973

♣ Q987♣ 9♣ AQ9♣ AQ872

ii) 2NT   - inviting partner to bid 3NT with 8-10 points.

jj)   2  - the singleton club makes leaving 1NT unappealing.

kk)   PASS

ll) 2♣  - giving partner the choice of passing or correcting to 2 (which will be passed)

Over 1 - 2NT - ?

mm)♠ K96nn)♠ Q9

A83 KQ4

AKJ7 AJ973

♣ J87♣ 987

mm)    3NT

nn) PASS - not good enough for 3NT.