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Changing the Suit

As we know the opening bid may cover 12-19 points we only need 6 points for a potential game if it is at the top of this range.

With 6 point you must respond.
With 0 to 5 you must pass


A change of suit is different from both support and NT bids as there is no limit on the points.

You will always have your own 4 cards suit and because it is unlimited it is forcing and the opener must speak again.

You should bid at the lowest available level as it gives more room for development.

Requirements

  • Your suit must have 4 cards to be biddable
    .
  • Minimum 6 + points but unlimited
    .
  • A change of suit is forcing for 1 round
    .
  • Bidding at the 2 level promises minimum of 9 points
    .

Choice of bid

First choice is your longest suit, but remember a 2 level bid requires 9 points. There is latitude to bid a 4 card major before a longer minor when you do not have enough points to raise a level.

Choosing a suit over NT is often more informative and will help in choosing the final contract.

Openers Bid: 1 Heart

-
1
-
2
-
3
-
4
-
5
♠ Spades
A J 7 6
A J 7 6
A J 7
A J 7
A J 7 6
♥ Hearts
10 9 8
10 9
K 9
10 9
10 9
♦ Diamonds
J 10 9
J 10 9 8 5
K 7
J 10 9 8 5 2
K J 10 9 8
♣ Clubs
Q 4 2
4 2
Q 9 5 6 4 2
4 2
A 2
 
High card pts
8
6
13
6
13
Responders
1 Spade
1 Spade
2 Clubs

1 No trump

2 Diamonds
  1. Hand 1 is balanced but it is worth mentioning the spade suit rather than bid 1NT. You partner may have 4 hearts and 4 spades and a suit contract can be easier than No trumps
    .
  2. You have enough to bid but not enough for 2 diamonds with 4 card major
    .
  3. You have enough points to bid at the 2 level and indeed to make game when you have examined to options via your bids. So bid 2 clubs to give your partner some positive information
    .
  4. You must respond with 6 points but no 4 card major and not enough to bid 2 diamonds. So use 1NT as a limit bid
    .
  5. Again you have enough points for game and you can expect to have a chance for a second bid. So bid Diamonds first and then spades if appropriate.

Two 4 card suits
Like an opener you may need to choose between more than one suit.

Choose the cheapest (i.e. lowest bid)

Openers Bid: 1 Diamond

-
1
-
2
-
3
♠ Spades
A J 7 6
A J 7 6
A J 7
♥ Hearts
K 9 6 3
K 9
Q 9
♦ Diamonds
Q 5
K 7 5
K 7 5 2
♣ Clubs
Q 4 2
Q 6 4 2
J 10 6 4
 
High card points
12
13
11
Responders bid
1 Heart
1 spade
2 No trump
  1. Both majors but hearts are cheaper then spades and allows room for partner to bid spades or support your hearts.
    If you bid spades partner is now forced to go past 2 Diamonds to show hearts
    .
  2. You have both spades and clubs but spades are cheaper than clubs
    .
  3. You do have support for diamonds but it is a long way to go to 5 diamonds (game). Use the 2NT bid to give partner a point count. If necessary you can bid diamonds later.

Two 5 card or longer suits
Choose the highest ranking

Openers Bid: 1 Diamond

-
1
-
2
-
3
♠ Spades
A J 7 6 5
A J 7 6 5
A
♥ Hearts
K 9 7 6 3
Q 9
K 9
♦ Diamonds
5
5
K 10 7 5 2
♣ Clubs
Q 4
J 10 6 4 2
J 10 6 4 2
 
High card points
10
8
11
Responders bid
1 Spade
1 spade
3 diamonds
  1. Both majors 5 cards in each. Bid the higher ranking first giving you room to mention the hearts on your second bid unless partner supports the spades. Point count is in the invitational range and this is not a no trumps hand and majors are worth more than the minors
    .
  2. This time you have 5 clubs and 5 spades and almost an opening hand. Spades are the higher ranking ( and the cheapest) so bid that first.
    .
  3. Two 5 cards suits one of which is the openers suit. The point count range is invitational so raise to the 3 level this gives partner the limit and a description of your hand.

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© Mary Vale 2009
Learn to play bridge