I opened with 1H - Partner bid 2C - (I have 5 hearts, 12 pts, 3spades 3diamonds 2clubs). I have to respond, but responding 2NT would mean I have 18 pts (my written source on this is: http://www.math.cornell.edu/~belk/opening.htm#1.5Notrump: "With 18 or 19 HCP and a balanced hand, you should open in a suit (usually a minor) and then jump to 2NT on your next bid.")

I've been told that in this case (the case where partner responded on 2-level) - 2NT rebid would not mean 18pts (e.g. that it's ok to bid 2nt here). Can someone point me to the appropriate material on the web that discusses this?

  • 1
    What is your actual hand? Beginners often think that shape and HCP is sufficient, but your actual honors often matter. Do you have a S honor? Do you mostly have Qs and Js or do you have As and Ks? For example, Axx AKJxxx xxx xx is a much stronger hand than xxx AQxxx QJx QJ (in general and especially in this auction).
    – ruds
    Jun 13, 2013 at 6:30
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    The keyword being "jump". After 1H - 2X, 2NT is not a jump...
    – Aryabhata
    Jun 13, 2013 at 15:12
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    @ruds: I never evaluate 14-card hands; I call the director. Jun 13, 2013 at 22:54
  • @PieterGeerkens: Yes, too many spots in the heart suit. I was attempting to illustrate the difference between 3=5=3=2 12-counts. The first hand should have been Axx AKJxx xxx xx
    – ruds
    Jun 14, 2013 at 14:11
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    PLEASE DON'T EDIT QUESTIONS TO MAKE EXISTING ANSWERS OBSOLETE; Unless you want to get down-voted that is. Ask a new question, or append to your question if it is a minor variance. Jun 14, 2013 at 22:42

3 Answers 3


The SAYC card specifies strong jump shifts by responder after a 1H opener, further explaining that it invites a slam. This suggests a 17-19 HCP range with 5+ cards and a good honor holding in the bid suit (though I warn you that point-count is insufficient to evaluate many slam invitational hands, and e.g. AKJxxxx Axx Kx x is a 15-count that suggests a strong jump shift).

Though 2NT only promises a minimum opener as explained by Aryabhata, your first priority must be to show your support for partner's spade suit. Your proper rebid is 4S by the principle of fast arrival. You know enough to sign off: your hand is not good enough to accept a slam invitation (thus the game), and you know your partnership has a spade fit (thus the strain). Bidding 3S here suggests to partner that slam is still a possibility.

If you'd like to read more about opener's rebids after a strong jump shift by responder, the bridge bum has a good summary.

Edit The question has been updated to make the auction start 1H-2C instead of 1H-2S.

SAYC suggests that 1H-2C-2NT should show a balanced hand, 12-14 HCP. Be aware that if the club bidder is an unpassed hand, 1H-2C promises a second bid from responder, and so you're forcing your side to the three level with a 2NT response. You should probably consider a different rebid if your hand doesn't stop the other suits (especially spades, the other major, as defenders prefer to lead majors against no trump contracts).

1H-2C-2H does not promise a 6th heart (as opposed to 1H-1NT-2H or 1H-1S-2H, which do). So if your 5-3-3-2 12-count is something like Jxx AKJxx Qxx Jx, I would rebid 2H. If instead it's AJT KJxxx QJx xx, 2NT seems better.

  • thanks for good site link. Please note: I've slightly modified the example in my question (1H-2S --> 1H-2C) it doesn't change the essence of 2nt 18pts rebid (wanted to make the question more succinct).
    – user5185
    Jun 14, 2013 at 14:02
  • I should add that even though 1H-2C-2H doesn't promise 5, it's not a comfortable rebid with 5. I suggest it here because you don't have a 2D rebid or a comfortable 2NT bid.
    – ruds
    Jun 14, 2013 at 14:31

A non-jump rebid by opener of 1NT or 2NT shows a balanced 12-14 HCP hand (sometimes with a singleton in responder's suit). A single-jump rebid of 2NT or 3NT by opener shows the 18-19 HCP balanced hand.

Partner's jump-shift in spades shows a very good hand, and a very good suit; you should always reveal 3-card support promptly, when you have it, by raising to 3S. If playing fast arrival, the jump-raise to 4S should show a hand both minimum in strength and soft, ie rich in queens and jacks in short or un-bid suits.

Many partnerships play that a jump by opener is a splinter, showing 4-card support and a singleton in the bid suit; however don't attempt this unless you have already agreed to play splinters in more obvious circumstances. Unlike in my answer yesterday, this is not a situation where partner can read it without an agreement.

Questions edited to change auction. This answer addressed the original question.


The ACBL booklet (quick reference) on SAYC can be found here: http://www.acbl.org/documentlibrary/play/sayc_book.pdf.

According to that (page 3), NT rebids by opener at the lowest available level show a minimum hand. (Of course, that probably does not apply when responder initially bids 1NT).

Based on your edit, it looks like you have some confusion regarding what a jump rebid means.

A jump is when you skip a level, i.e. you could have bid the suit/no trump a level lower, but you chose to "jump" over it. For example opener 1D - responder 1S - opener 2NT. 2NT is a jump, as opener could have bid 1NT. In this case, it would indeed show 18-19 balanced hand.

After partner responds 2S, 2NT is not a jump rebid. It is a rebid of NT at the lowest available level.

For more detailed reading, there is also a book by Ellen Pommer, http://www.amazon.com/Standard-Bidding-With-SAYC-Downey/dp/1897106033 which you might find useful (I haven't read it).

  • Oops! I meant to add that comment to my answer, not yours. Please decline edit if desired; I was unable to revert. Jun 14, 2013 at 22:47
  • @PieterGeerkens: No worries, I have reverted.
    – Aryabhata
    Jun 15, 2013 at 5:32

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