Tip of the Day – 31 January 2022

Today I have a tip about jump shift responses. Jump shifts are jump bids in new suits. 

Be sure you have discussed the meaning of a jump shift response with your partner before making a jump shift response. If you are playing with a partner you don’t know, don’t make a jump shift response! 

Some partnerships play that jump shift responses show a very strong hand of 18 or more points with a long powerful suit and interest in a slam.  

Alternatively, a jump shift response for some partnerships will be a convention such as a Bergen Raise or a splinter bid. 

The most common agreement is that a jump shift shows a weak hand of 6 to 9 high-card points with a long suit of six or more cards in the suit bid.  

You show a hand you would have opened with a weak two bid if partner had not opened.  

Example: Partner opens 1 and your hand is 74 AJ9632 Q7 763. Respond 2 to show six cards and a weak hand.  

Weak jump shift responses are not forcing. After a weak jump shift response, the opener will often pass. The weak jump shift response is made to obstruct opponents rather than have the opener bid higher.  

The opener should only make a further bid with a strong hand of 15 or more points, or with three or more cards in the jump shift suit (with nine or more trumps you can bid to the three or four level). 

A jump shift by a passed hand shows a different type of hand. A passed hand is a hand that has had the opportunity to open the bidding and did not open.  

New suit bids made by passed hands are non-forcing. Your partner will know you have limited strength so shouldn’t bid too high without a strong hand.  

When you are a passed hand, a jump shift response to the two level also shows 9, 10 or 11 high-card points and a five-card suit. You show you are just under one-level opening strength.  

Although a jump shift response by a passed hand is not forcing, it is highly encouraging. 

Example: You are the dealer with ♠AJ983 86 863 ♣KQ3. After you pass, partner opens 1. You should respond 2. 

The reason a jump shift by a passed hand doesn’t show a weak hand with a six-card suit is because once you have passed you are unlikely to hold a weak hand with a six-card suit. 

With that type of hand you may well have opened a weak two.