By Peter Rhead
After opening, your second bid: when to reverse
You are the opener. The Reverse convention is bid only by you and only on your second bid and only when your hand value is more than the minimum opening of 13-15 points. You and your partner must be in agreement to use the Reverse convention.
For example, you open One Heart. Partner bids Two Diamonds. You now bid Two Spades. The Two Spades is a Reverse showing extra strength (more than 13-15 points). It is a Reverse because partner must now go to the three-level if he prefers Hearts. Three Hearts is a more difficult contract than Two Hearts for a part score.
Whereas, if you bid One Spade first and then Two Hearts, if partner prefers Hearts, he would be able to PASS Two Hearts. Two Hearts is a more comfortable place to play than Three Hearts for a part score.
Guideline One: Your hand must be two-suited, preferably 5-5 but often 5-4. Always bid your longest suit first. Reverse only if you have extra strength.
Guideline Two: Some players play Reverses only with major suits (Hearts and Spades). In that case, opening One Club and then bidding Diamonds is not considered a Reverse. However, opening One Club and then bidding Hearts is a Reverse.
Guideline Three: You should have at least a medium-strength hand to Reverse. If you have only minimum opening strength (13-15 points), for your second bid just bid standard (often One No-Trump) and wait to see what your partner does.
For more information, check out “Reverses” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know, page 49
Next Week: Examples of when your second bid could use the convention “Reverse”
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way you test or consolidate various Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to include it in this column.
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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