Bridge Tips No 1

Fourth Suit Forcing

If, after 3 bids, no satisfactory suit fit has been found, e.g. 1C-1H-1S-? or 1H-1S-2C-? responder, with 6-9 points, must make a limit bid such as 1N or give preference, perhaps even false preference, for one of opener's suits or repeat his own suit if he has 6 or more cards in the suit.

With 10-12 points responder can bid as above but at the level appropriate to his strength or may bid the fourth suit provided this can be done at the 2 level. Bidding the fourth suit is forcing and asks opener to further describe his hand. In so doing, opener gives preference to NT if holding a stop in the fourth suit or might show secondary preference (3 cards) for responder's first suit. Failing any better contract, responder can default to 2N.

If the fourth suit must be bid at the 3 level, e.g. 1H-1S-2D-3C, responder must have at least 13 points to bid the fourth suit because the default bid is 3N.