1-Over-1 Response


Finding A Fit

If you have a weak hand (less than 10 HCPs), the first priority is finding a major suit fit. So with support for partner's major suit, you should raise when weak rather than bidding a new suit.

Opposite a 1 opening, bid a 4+ card major before raising. But with a minimum (5-6 HCPs) and 5-card or longer support for the minor, some will just raise. In particular, the raise to 3D playing Inverted Minors has a maximum preemptive effect.

Minimum support for raising Spades or Hearts is 3, for Diamonds it's 4, and for Clubs you would prefer to have at least 5.

As always, unusual distribution overrides simple point-count, so with 6-9 HCPs, but a long side suit in addition to support for partner, the hand will play much stronger than the HCPs indicate and should be bid accordingly (i.e.: bid the other suit first).

With 10+ points, you can bid other suits before raising partner's major.


Partner opens 1:
You have:
K987 752 76 A654
K987 752 K6 A654
K987 75 876 A654
K987 Q5 87 AJT54
K98 75 876 AJT54
987 Q75 6 AKT954
You bid:
2. You have <10 HCPs.
1. You have 10+ HCPs.
1. You have <3 Hearts.
2. 10+ HCPs, bid longer suit.
1N. <10 HCPs, <3H, <4S.
2. <10 HCPs, but strong side suit.

Partner opens 1:
You have:
K982 52 K6432 A7
K982 52 KQ432 65
K982 52 87654 K6
Q2 92 8765 AQT94
Q32 92 876 AQT94
You bid:
1. Show a 4+ card major first.
1, even when weak.
1, but 3D is also Ok very weak.
2. Too weak for 2C.
1N. Can't raise with 3.

Note that after 1-P, entry #240000 will raise Clubs if the hand has fewer than 5 Diamonds, so when you get down to entry #410000, bidding a 4-card suit up-the-line, you don't have to worry about having 4 Diamonds and 5 Clubs in a weak hand.

Rescuing Opener From 1C

Your partner may have to open 1 with as few as 3 cards in the suit (in SAYC). If you are weaker than is normally required to bid and you have few Clubs yourself, partner may get passed out and have to play in a 3-2 or worse fit.

If you have a very weak hand and poor support for Clubs (<3 cards), you might bid a new suit with as few as 3 or 4 HCPs. Opener should consider this possibility when bidding again after responder has made a 1-over-1 bid.

If opener's LHO overcalls 1, responder no longer has to "save" opener from a bad fit, of course, and should pass with no fit and a subminimal hand.

Bidding Up-The-Line

In SAYC, bidding goes "up the line". This means that if you have a 4-card major and a 4-card Diamond suit, you bid the Diamonds first. The idea is that if opener has a 4-card major, he can bid it on his next turn and you still find the fit -- a fine idea if opponents don't interfere, which they often do.

In Standard Bridge Bidding For The 21st Century, Max Hardy says that the number one priority is to find a major fit. However, that's all we have to go by from Max because neither this book nor the Advanced version of the book even mention 1-over-1 bidding.

However, some people believe in the idea of finding a major fit so much that they even ignore a 5-card Diamond suit to bid a 4-card major.

In BidBase, the default is to use SAYC, so we do, although we suspect that the majority of experts bypass 4 Diamonds to bid a 4-card major.

Bobby Wolfe said in his newspaper column that with a minimum and five Diamonds and 4 Spades, he would bid the Spades first (responding to 1 because he might not get another chance to bid. However, the logic of up-the-line is that if you bid 1, partner should bid a 4-card major if he has one because you haven't denied one yet.

Even if your major is Hearts and opener bids 1, you don't have to worry about showing your four Hearts because partner has already denied 4 of them by bypassing them to bid Spadeds. You can just bid 1NT over his 1.

Bidding a Major When Flat And Weak

When you have 6-7 HCPs and 4-3-3-3 distribution, should you bid the major or 1NT?

Well, if the main priority is to find a major fit, then the 4-card major should be bid rather than 1N. However, few (if any) experts agree with this, and they bid 1N.

However, logic says that bidding 1N will be best only if opener is also balanced and/or doesn't have 4 of your major, and it also wrong-sides the contract.

BidBase will respond with 1 and let opener bid 1N if he is balanced.