Quick summary

Don't miss a 3-5 major fit, when responder proposes a major suit.

If not sure partner's 1st suit = 5-card:

3 responder situations:

  1. 5-5, 4-4
  2. 5-4
  3. other, e.g. 5-3-3-2,

Case 1 it's usually clear. Responder will bid 5-card suits down the line, and 4-card suits up the line,

Case 2 it's clear sometimes. With 5-4 he bids length first. If the 5-card suit is higher denomination, no problem.. But if the 5-card suit is hearts, and the 4 card is spades, it will sound like a 4-card suit in hearts.

Case 2 it's not clear. Responder is v. unlikely to repeat a 5-card suit, preferring to, e.g. rebid NT, or support one of your suits.

As opener, if 5 might be there, but it's not definite, your responses are these

spadeheartdiamondclub

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Openers rebid. Unbalanced, Delayed support

3-5? Delay your 3-card support if responder bids spadeheart

You opened the bidding, and partner changed suit to one of a Major, promising 4+ at the one level. If you have a 3-card suit, should you support it ?

WNES
1diamond pass 1heart pass
?      

If are not sure if partner's 1st suit = 5-card, what should you do ?

  • assume it was a 5-card suit, but give "delayed support"
  • after your delayed support, partner will go back to the suit if it was a 5-card major

So, delayed support means respond with something else, and then support it next time.

WNES
1diamond pass 1heart pass
1NT pass 2club pass
2/3heart pass heart/NT  

There are three basic responder distributions that give rise to uncertainty:

  1. 5-5, 4-4
  2. 5-4
  3. other, e.g. 5-3-3-2, or 4-4-3-2

Case 1. It's usually clear, but only after the second bid. Responder will bid 5-card suits down the line, and 4-card suits up the line. But hang on, what if he bids up the line, does that guarantee the first suit is only 4-cards ? No. . ...

Case 2. It's clear sometimes. With 5-4 he bids length first. If the 5-card suit is higher denomination, no problem. But if the 5-card suit is hearts, and the 4-card is spades, it will sound like a "up the line" 4-card suit in hearts and spades. Best to assume that is was 5-4, not 4-4, and give delayed support to the hearts if you have 3.

Case 3. It's also not clear. Responder is very unlikely to repeat a 5-card suit, preferring to rebid NT, or support one of your suits.You won't be able to tell the difference between 5 and 4 in the major. Again, assume 5 with delayed support if you have 3 in your hand.

As opener, if 5 might be there, but it's not definite, your responses are these

  • 4-card = immediate support always
  • 3-card = delayed support (5 might be possible)
  • 2-card = double delay (6 might be possible)

spadeheartdiamondclub

 


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