# Opener's Reverse

When opener bids a new suit at the 2-level which is higher than his original suit, it is called a reverse. There are ten different reverses:

 1 — 1 — 2 1 — 1NT — 2 1 — 1 — 2 1 — 1NT — 2 1 — 1 — 2 1 — 1NT — 2 1 — 1 — 2 1 — 1NT — 2 1 — 1NT — 2 1 — 1NT — 2

Since a reverse forces responder to bid at the 3-level with a preference for the first suit, such a bid promises significant extra strength.

What a Reverse Shows.     First of all, a reverse promises extreme distributionat least 5-4 in the two suits. The first suit always has greater length than the second.
The strength promised by a reverse varies based on the distribution of opener's hand:

 Strength Requirements for a Reverse: With 5-4 distribution, you need at least 19 points (17 HCP) to reverse. With 6-4 distribution, you need at least 18 points (15 HCP) to reverse. With 6-5 distribution, you need at least 17 points (13 HCP) to reverse.

Note that there is no upper limit on the strength for a reverse.

EXAMPLES:

 A2 AQ32 AQJ32 32
Open 1. If your partner responds 1 or 1NT, rebid 2.

 KQJ3 AJT432 KJ3 —
Open 1. If your partner responds 1NT, rebid 2.

 — A5432 K2 KQJ432
Open 1. If your partner responds 1 or 1NT, rebid 2.

If You Are Too Weak to Reverse.     If your hand does not have enough strength to reverse, you may have to bid the suits in the "wrong" order.

EXAMPLES:

 2 A32 AQ32 KQ432
Open 1. If your partner responds 1 or 1NT, rebid 2.

 AQ432 AJ5432 32 32
Open 1. If your partner does not raise, rebid 2

## Bidding After a Reverse

A reverse by opener is forcing. Furthermore, as long as responder did not bid 1NT, a reverse by opener promises a rebid. (That is, opener must bid again unless responder makes a signoff in game.),
NOTE    What follows is one possible set of agreements for bidding after a reverse. Since there is no universal agreement on bidding in this area, none of what follows is particularly standard.

Responding to a Reverse.     If responder originally bid a major suit, he must clarify whether he holds a minimum (6-10 point) or game-forcing (10+ point) hand. There are only two minimum rebids available:

 1 — 1 — 2 — 2: Shows 6-10 points and 5 spades (forcing). 2NT: Shows 6-10 points and denies 5 spades (forcing).

If responder fails to make one of these minimum rebids, it is forcing to game:

 1 — 1 — 2 — 3: Shows 10+ points and 3 clubs (forcing to game). 3: Shows 10+ points and 4 hearts (forcing to game). 3: Shows 10+ points and 6 spades (forcing to game).

(NOTE:    You may want to play a bid of 3 above as an artificial game force, perhaps looking for 3-card spade support or a stopper in diamonds.)

If Responder Bid 1NT.     If responder originally bid a 1NT, he may not want to go to game with a bare minimum (6-8 HCP). There are two ways to show such a hand:

 1 — 1NT — 2 — 2NT: Shows 6-8 HCP (not forcing). 3: Shows 6-8 HCP and a preference for diamonds (not forcing).

Any other bid by responder is forcing to game:

 1 — 1NT — 2 — 3: Shows 3 good hearts (forcing to game). 4: Shows 3-card diamond support (forcing to game). 3NT: Shows 8-10 HCP and stoppers in the unbid suits. 3: Shows a good 5 or 6-card club suit (forcing).

Opener's Third Bid.     Opener's third bid should clarify his strength and distribution. If opener is still unsure about going to game, he should make one of the following minimum rebids:

 1 — 1 — 2 — 2 — 2NT: Shows a minimum reverse with a diamond stopper. 3: Shows a minimum reverse with spade support (inviting 4). 3: Shows a minimum reverse with 6 clubs.

(NOTE:    If responder had bid 2NT instead of 2, then 3 would be the only available minimum rebid, and would hence only show 5 clubs. A bid of 3 in such a situation should show 3-card support and should be forcing to game.)

With enough strength for game, opener has more options available:

 1 — 1 — 2 — 2 — 3NT: Signoff in 3NT with a diamond stopper. 4: Shows a game forcing hand with spade support. 3: Shows a game-forcing hand with 5 hearts and 6 clubs (forcing). 4: Shows a game-forcing hand with 6 or 7 clubs (forcing).

(NOTE:    I suppose opener could also bid 3 to show 4 diamonds and a void in spades. Such a bid would be forcing.)