RESPONDING TO ONE OF A MINOR
SAYC by Ned Downey

HAND EVALUATION: Do not upgrade for "support points." The final contract may be in notrump, and even if the partnership plays in the minor, you may end up ruffing with the long trump suit.

With a Minimum Hand:

  • Bid a new suit, four cards or longer, at the one level. With more than one four card suit, bid "up the line." Note: with a hand suitable for only one bid, many players will bypass a four-card diamond suit in order to get a major suit into the auction as quickly as possible. This approach requires an alert as it is not standard SAYC.
  • Raise Partner's minor with adequate support.
  • If you cannot do either of the above, bid 1NT non-forcing.

With an Invitational Hand:

  • Showing a new suit, preferably a major, remains your primary duty.
  • Raising partner's minor is fine, but
  • If your partnership has hopes for game, that game will almost invariably be 3NT.
  • A jump raise to the three level is a "limit raise", showing appropriate length in the minor.
  • A Jump to 2NT shows 11-12 HCP and a balanced hand. The bid denies a four-card major suit. [In Standard versions, this bid shows 13-15 HCP and denies a four-card major suit.] Responding 2NT to a minor opening with a flat 10 HCP is not recommended. If the final contract is in notrump, you will have no long suit to run. The key is to think not only in terms of HCPs but also in terms of the trick-taking potential of the hand.

With Game Forcing Values or More:

  • Showing a new suit, preferably a major, remains your primary duty. New suits at the one level show four or more cards and 6-18 points.
  • A Jump to 3NT shows 13-15 HCP and a balanced hand. The bid denies a four-card major suit.
  • [In Standard versions, this bid shows 16-17 HCP and denies a four-card major suit.]

  • A Jump Shift usually shows 19 points and a suit of at least five cards.

OPENER'S REBIDS:

With a minimum hand opener may:

  • Rebid NT at the cheapest level
  • Raise responder's suit at the cheapest level. four-card support for a major suit is desirable, but not mandatory.
  • Show a second suit, four cards or longer, lower ranking than the first.
  • Rebid the original suit at the cheapest level possible. This is rarely done with less than 6 cards in the suit.

With a medium opener (good 16 to 18 points), opener may:

  • Jump raise partner's suit or jump rebid his own suit.
  • Reverse in a new, higher-ranking suit (if the first suit is longer than the second)
  • Show a new suit without reversing (note the wide range of 13-18 points for this action).

With a maximum opener (19-21 points), opener will:

  • Jump rebid in NT - - usually 18-19 points.
  • Double-jump raise partner's suit.
  • Double jump rebid his own suit.
  • Jump shift into a second suit four cards or longer.