# Responder rebids. Responders reverse

## Hey partner ! I've got game going points

*Please* pay attention to the order of my bids

Responder can "reverse" his bid order too, sometimes known as "breaking his barrier", to show he has 12 points or more. The bid is usually forcing to game, for fairly obvious reasons. It's an important bid, because the 2-level new suit 1st response showing 10+ is not enough for opener to bid game if he has 12-14 HCP.

By bidding 2 different suits starting with the lower denomination suit at the one level, and the higher denomination suit at the 2 level, (e.g. 1 followed by 2), responder says he's quite strong (12+ HCP). He has gone through the barrier of 2 that he set with his first bid of 1.

Bid them the other way round (i.e. 1 followed by 2), and you are telling partner you have fewer than 12 HCP.

Useful. Let's hope partner was paying attention !

### Example

Suppose the opener bids 1, and then follows with a NT rebid. Responder has two biddable major suits (), containing 4 cards each. The order and level in which he bids these two suits will, among other things, tell his partner if he has 12+ plus HCP (go through barrier), or fewer than 12 HCP.

1 (by opener) – 1(by responder) – 1NT (by opener) – 2 (by responder - this bid is the "*reverse*"). Here, responder has shown 12 points or more. If he wanted to show the same suits but fewer than 12 points, he would have bid the other was around as follows:

1 (by opener) – 1(by responder) – 1NT (by opener) – 2 (by responder). Here, the responder has* not *gone through the barrier set by his first bid at the 2 level.

**A caveat
**

*Note:*If the opener's rebid were in a different suit from his first bid, then responder's rebid in a new suit would

*not*imply any particular number of points (in fact, that would be "4th suit forcing"). Also, if opener's rebid had been to support responder's first bid, then

*again*a change of suit by responder has quite a different meaning, probably a cue bid). To put it another way, a responder's "reverse" can only be made after opener has re-bid his first suit, or has switched to No Trumps after his first suit bid.

### Suit lengths

You need to think about the impact of differing suit lengths of the two suits you want to bid. The most common combinations to worry about of course are 5-5, 4-4, and 5-4. 6-6 should be treated like 5-5

You should also bear in mind that your suits need to be bid in the order longest first, or according to denomination if they are of the same length. After you've had a little read of that section, which you should definitely do, and not forgetting to read about "delayed support", let's have a look at the consequences of all this with an example. . .

### Example 2 a, b, c

(a) 1 – 1 – 2 – 2. Here the responder has said: I have 2 biddable suits, the distribution is 4-4 or 5-4, and I have 12+ HCP (1) .

(b) 1 – 1 – 2 – 3. Here the responder has said: I have 2 biddable suits, the distribution is 4-5 or even 5-5, and I have 12+ HCP. The distribution cannot be 4-4 or I would have bid the diamonds first, example (a). . ...

(c) 1 – 1 – 2 – 2. Here the responder has said: I have 2 biddable suits, the distribution is 4-4 or 4-5 (or even 5-5), and I have fewer than 12 HCP. The distribution *can be* 4-4, even though I started with the Hearts. Responder normally starts with the lowest denomination first ( in this example). However, starting with the diamonds would have forced me to break my barrier when I then went on to mention Hearts, as in case (a). That would not be good ! Telling my partner that we have game going points would have misled the poor chap considerably more than a slight uncertainty over my number of Hearts. Always assuming he was paying attention to my "reverse" in the first place.

*footnote:* (1) A problem comes up in a case similar to example 2 (a). Say you have *fewer* than 12 HCP. Let's say the distribution is 5-4, so you have to bid the diamonds first, or course. How can you now bid the hearts without breaking your barrier ? Answer is, you can't. So don't. You will now have to pass or think of something else. The alternative is to bid according to example (c) below, which is probably just about acceptable with a 4-4 distribution, but not with 5-4 the wrong way round.