Only us vulnerable at matchpoints, partner opened one club, with the following. I responded one heart, partner bid one spade I bid two spades. (Opponents passed throughout).

♠ AT72
♡ KQ9
♢ 54
♣ AJ95

My bid showed at least four spades and more than four hearts (since I bid them first). Partner feared that I had as little as six points and passed because she felt that her hand (14 high card points) was also close to a minimum.

I had expected at least an invitational bid of three hearts. I felt that partner's hand was more than a bare minimum, especially in view of the apparent double fit in the majors. We actually made five spades because of this double fit, and the fact that I had 11 high card points (and more like 15, counting distribution).

Was partner too conservative in her evaluation of her hand and mine? Or was it reasonable for her to treat her cards and my bids as showing near minimum values playing standard American?

  • 1
    It's not quite standard yet, but the trend is that the 1S rebid promises an unbalanced hand, and that opener rebids 1N with any balanced hand (with 12-14 hcp), even with 4 spades. If responder is at least invitational you have 2 way new minor forcing (or XYZ) to find fits at the 2 level. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 17:11

2 Answers 2


Why does 1H then 2S show more hearts than spades? You’re supposed to bid that with 4-4. Otherwise how do you find the heart fit when it occurs without a spade fit??

Since 1S is not strictly forcing, 2S shows at least a tiny bit more than a minimum, though 1S is still such a wide range it’s not promising that much. Good six is fine with the fit. Partner could have 17-18 maybe and that could be enough.

With 11 and a shapely hand I’d bid 3S to invite.

  • In my experience, a hand with 6-7 points is a one bid hand, while a "two bid" hand with the second bid at the two level requires at least 9-10 points. If my second bid were one no trump, then I might have only 6-7. Maybe I'm missing something.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 3:25
  • Given 1S has a max of maybe 17-18, even six could still have a game. If nothing else think of it this way - you have 13, even 12, you are game forcing, right? So 3S (invitational) can mean 10-11, and 2S is just responsive. Doesn’t have to promise much at all.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 3:39
  • 4
    @TomAu - No - you do not count points and figure out how many bids you have before hearing opener's rebid. Different rebids by opener have different maximums, and that influences what responder needs to make a second bid. You cannot treat 1C-1H-1S the same as 1H-1S-2C or 1S-2C-2D. Commented Jan 29, 2023 at 17:18

It always helps to know what bidding system you play. And to see your hand.

Once you have found the 4-4 fit in spades, partner has no immediate need to confirm a 5-3 fit in hearts.

In Acol your raise to 2 spades would show 6-9 points and partner would be correct to pass with only 14 high-card points. But in Acol partner should have opened a weak 1NT anyway...

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