Opener’s Rebid: 3 Opener has a Fit for Responder
NB: Check out the earlier lesson related to Opener’s Rebid.
Although opener counts only high card and length points in the beginning, once they know there’s a fit, and they intend to raise responder, it’s a different story.
e.g. opener starts with 1♣, partner bids 1♥, and opener has four hearts. Opener carefully look now to see if there are any shortages in side suits which will improve the hand. Doubletons, singletons or voids will always make a hand play better once there’s a known fit.
Add 1 point for each doubleton (that’s two cards in a side suit)
3 points for a singleton (that’s one card in a side suit) and
5 points for a void. (that’s no cards in a side suit)
Why do shortage points improve a hand? Because they allow the hand to take more trucks by trumping any losers in the other hand. (That’s if you leave some trumps to do that with!)
There are 14 high card points and one length point for the fifth club to start with, so the opening bid is 1♣. But when responder bids 1♥, now the spade shortage improves the hand by three points, so the total points becomes 14 + 3 = 17. (NB: Don’t count both length and shortage when there’s a fit, because the length is now the trump suit). This puts the hand in the medium range, so the rebid should be 3♥.
1♣ P 1♥ P
3♥ P ?
There are 14 high card points to start with, so the opening bid is 1♣. When responder bids 1♥, although there is a fit, there’s no change to the value of the hand, because there’s no shortage. So it’s still 14 points, and the hand is still in the minimum range, so the rebid should be 2♥ only.
1♣ P 1♥ P
2♥ P ?
1♣ P 1♥ P
4♥ P P P
There are 19 high card points to start with, so the opening bid is 1♣. When responder bids 1♥, the spade doubleton improves the hand by 1 point. So the hand value is now 20 points, and the hand is in the maximum range, so the rebid should be 4♥.
NB: This jump to 4♥ shouldn’t be described as a “shut out” bid, because partner is allowed to continue if they have a really good hand. All you have done is describe your strength and shape, and limited your hand to being in the maximum range. If responder had 13+ points they may want to try for slam!
Test your knowledge
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