M J Bridge
These pages are about opener’s rebid on a two-
This discussion really belongs in the section on opener’s rebid, and will be repeated (more or less) in that section, but the concepts are so critical to the choice of opening bid that they must be introduced at this point.
The following discussion assumes that the hand has the appropriate strength for an opening bid of one of a suit (see opening 5-
The simple rule is that you will open the longer of unequal suits, and the higher-
Your initial hope will be to rebid in your second suit.
Defining a reverse bid
There are two correct versions of the definition. Choose whichever you find more intuitive -
Definition 1 following an opening bid of one of a suit and a change of suit at the lowest level from responder any rebid in a new suit by opener which would require responder to go to the three-
Definition 2 following an opening bid of one of a suit and a change of suit at the lowest level from responder any rebid by opener which is higher than two of his first suit is a reverse bid.
K Q 8 3
A K 8 4 2
Twelve points in a 5-
An opening bid of 1♣ followed by the natural rebid of 1♠ does not constitute a reverse.
Spades is indeed the higher-
K Q 8 3
A J 8 4 2
Suppose you open 1♦ and partner responds 1♠.
If you were then to rebid 2♥ partner would have to bid at the three-
Alternatively, a rebid of 2♥ would be higher than 2♦ -
By either definition, 2♥ would be a reverse bid.
This page last revised 7th Sept 2018
Sometimes you will hear a third definition along the lines of ‘opening in a lower-
This definition is incorrect.
If partner’s first response was at the one-
Even if partner’s first response was at the two-
You may agree to accept these extreme possibilities in the interests of showing the shape of your hand, but you will then encounter a secondary problem.
If you play the reverse as non-
alternatively you might prefer to play it as forcing in which case you could even find yourself at the four-
Time for a partnership agreement
You must, as a partnership, agree on your approach to bidding such hands.
The choices available
The traditional choice, and the most common for experienced partnerships, is
With this agreement opener should hold additional strength, say sixteen points, before making a reverse bid.
This approach solves the strength problem, but hides the structure of those hands which were not strong enough to qualify for a reverse bid, frequently necessitating a rebid of a five-
A modern alternative is
This agreement emphasises the shape of the hand rather than the strength.
It is fairly common as a beginner method and also in some clubs, but less so amongst stronger partnerships.
With this priority partner will almost always bid his second suit in the sequences above. At least he will have given a truthful description of his shape, at the risk of having taken the bidding a level too far. It will also greatly increase the probability that a rebid in his first suit promises a six-
A third possibility is something of a hybrid
in which additional strength is required for a reverse bid as in a strong reverse, but this additional strength is set at a lower level whenever partner responds at the two-
Making your choice
You must agree one of these approaches with your partner.
There is much to be said for agreeing to play ‘the non-
you will be in the very best of company if you choose to play the ‘strong’ reverse;
but if you are starting off afresh with a regular partner then there is much to be said for the variation on the strong reverse which I call the ‘modified strong reverse’.
Follow one or more of the links above, then make your choice.
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|