Raise 1/1 With
3-Card Support

After Responder makes a 1-Over-1 bid, Opener can raise with only 3-card support when he does not have anything better to bid.

If Responder is weak (<10 HCPs) and has only 4 cards in his suit, he just passes and may be playing a 4-3 fit (although more often, opener will have 4 cards for his raise).

If Responder has enough points to bid again (a good 10+ HCPs) and he has only 4 cards in his suit, he should usually bid 2N over the raise to show that he only has 4. This is invitational, and opener may pass 2N, raise to 3N, or bid another suit -- whichever his hand dictates.

Here are examples of hands with which opener might raise with 3-card support after 1-P-1-P:

  • T62 62 AKQ72 A75 -- A perfect example from ACBL Bulletin:
    • minimum range strength
    • a weak doubleton makes 1N unattractive
    • can't rebid the 5-card Diamond suit
    • can't rebid the 3-card Club suit

  • AJ4 T98 AQJ854 5 -- From Bobby Wolff's "Aces" column: A good, rebiddable (6+) Diamond suit is surpassed by the great quality of the Spades, even though just 3 of them, but "both options are acceptable" according to Wolff.

    At IMPs it may not matter, but at Matchpoints, if you rebid 2D, partner will pass with a weak hand and 5 Hearts, for a bad score. Even a 4-3 Major fit may pay off better than 2D at MPs.