Saturday, July 3, 2010

Jacoby Two-Notrump Rebids

Not much to write about these days from the bridge trail.  I haven't seen any really interesting hands.

However, one topic has been on my mind for a while and an example came up just the other day in the STAC tournament (Friday morning, board 4).  As dealer, with both sides vulnerable, you pick up the following hand: ♠QJ953 3 KQ ♣AK542.  You have a decent 15 point hand although you couldn't say that it was a great 15 points.  Anyway, with silent opponents throughout, you open 1♠ and partner responds 2NT (game-forcing with four or more spades and either a good 13 or more hcp or a balanced hand, or both).  What should your rebid be?  What is the most useful thing for partner to know?  The singleton 3 or the good club suit?  Of course, that depends on partner's hand.  But one thing is for sure, partner will know you have a singleton (or void) regardless of which bid you choose.  A computer simulation is probably the best way to determine the best call. With ♠QJ953 3 K5 ♣AKQ42, I think that 4♣ stands out a mile.  Even with the actual hand, I think that 4♣ is best, even though it uses up more bidding space.  On this particular hand, responder held ♠AT72 AK865 92 ♣Q6.  Given that we're off an ace and the trump K, no good pair is going to bid the slam (which makes by the way).  Nevertheless, the responding hand will have cause to get very excited and bid 4 over 4♣ because whether opener's shortness is in hearts or diamonds, it really doesn't matter much as there's no wastage either way.  Over the actual 3 rebid, responder bid 3♠ leaving the door open but we ended up subsiding in 4♠.  However, if opener's hand had been ever so slightly different, ♠KJ953 3 KJ ♣AK542, we probably would have missed an easy and biddable slam.

So, what sort of suit quality does a 4-level rebid promise.  I'd say the usual "two of the top three" honors is about the minimum (similar to a positive response to a 2♣ bid).  Missing the ace or king, we'd probably want the J too, or at least the ten.  So AKxxx, AQJxx would all qualify but nothing less.  KQTxx would be OK when every other aspect of the hand is perfect.



  1. Well, I think this is a clear 4C bid. But I think you are off on when one should decided to show the singleton vs the 5 card suit. Its not based on the quality of the second suit, but based on the quick loser in the two short suits. This way partner knows that only aces count in the two short suits and card in the long suits are key.

    For example something like AQxxx x AJxxx Kx should bid 4D while AQxxx Q AQJxx xx should bid 3H, thus when partner has KJxx Axxx Kxx Qx you will get to small on the first hand which has some play but avoid it on the second which has no play.

    With this style, the 2NT bidder is much better able to evaluate there hands, know that only card in the two long suits and aces count.


  2. Hmm, Brian, this is a very interesting way of looking at it. What you say makes a lot of sense and is much less arbitrary then my scheme.

    Incidentally, did you see that Marty Bergen wrote in the August 2010 bulletin that the 4-level bid should show a "minimum" hand? I suppose that makes sense given that with, say, a good unbalanced 17 count, you would probably rebid 3 of your major regardless of shape.