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Fourth Suit Forcing - An artificial bid of the fourth suit, requiring partner to continue describing their hand thus conserving bidding space to explore game or slam.  The bidder may or may not have a holding in the fourth suit, making the bid artificial and alertable.  While some players play Fourth Suit Forcing requires partner to bid only one round, many others play the convention as game-forcing.  However, most players the bid is game forcing when the fourth suit is made at the 3 level.

Fourth Suit Forcing is initiated on Responder's rebid.  Example:

1H - 1S;
2C - 2D;

After the Fourth suit Forcing bid, opener may bid:
 

Bid

Meaning

Cheapest Notrump

Minimum hand with a stopper in fourth suit and balanced hand

Jump Notrump

Strong hand with a stopper in fourth suit and balanced hand

Opener bids a suit

Not promising a stopper, typically showing extra length in suit;
opener's first priority is to bid responder's first bid major suit with 3 trump support.  Opener's second suit rebid should show 5-5 length or better.

Most players agree Fourth Suit Forcing is not a jump except:

1C - 1D;
1H - 2S;
   2S is Forcing by most players (in North America)

1C - 1D;
1H - 1S;   1S
is natural by most players (in North America)

Some players have additional agreements, as:

1C - 1H;
1S - 3D;
   3D shows 5-5 in responder's bid suits, strongly invitational
               (a minority may play responder's jump is a Splinter of
                opener's second suit - a rare occurrence)

1C - 1H;
1S - 2D;
3D             3D
shows opener has 4 cards (thus, 4=0=4=5 shape)

1C - 1S;
2C - 2H;   
Opener's 3D is also Fourth Suit Forcing, asking responder
3D            
 to bid 3N with a stopper

Note: Fourth Suit Forcing does not apply when Notrump was a prior bid, nor when opponents' intervene in the bidding.

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