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2 - Heart response to 1 - Spade opening by partner

edited October 2013 in All Things Bridge

Playing standard English ACOL opening 1 - spade with 4 and partner responds 2 - hearts, which promises 5 - hearts but WHY?

I cannot find an explanation for this.


  • edited 7:02PM
    This is answered in the current (Nov 2013) issue of Bridge page 32 - "Ask Julian". Partner will show a 4-card suit through a heart rebid allowing 4-4 fits to be identified. A two heart response with a 5-card suit allows 5-3 fit to be identified.
  • edited 7:02PM
    Indeed the book does say that 2H over 1S promises 10+HCP and 5 hearts, the problem is, what do you bid if you have 10-15HCP and a distribution of 3,3,3,4 with hearts being your 4 card suit?  Sometimes it comes down to choice of choosing the best bid available which (IMO) is a bid which conveys the most accurate information and leaves the way open find the place where you nee to be.
  • edited 7:02PM
    A lot depends on your system and partnership agreements. If 1S, 2NT and 1S, 3NT are natural then this is the shape to make that bid.

    However, most play these bids as artificial (1S, 2NT = Jacoby / 1S, 3NT = Pudding Raise). In that case, it is much better to bid a 3-card minor suit than a 4-card major suit.
  • edited 7:02PM
    I remember reading somewhere that if your bidding system presents you with a situation where you are going to lie, then it is better to lie in a minor rather than in a major. A two heart response is likely to force the auction to a dangerous 3 level without a fit being agreed, and opener may only have one or two hearts. Better to bid your best minor (a 2 level bid of a minor only promises 4 in the suit) and then show your strength on the next round, possibly with a reverse into hearts, showing four hearts, or if partner rebids spades you can  support at the 3 level or bid game. 
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