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Bidding Question

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Assuming the partners are not playing Jacoby Transfers, what is the meaning of 2H in this auction?   Can opener raise to 3H with good Hearts or must opener Pass?  Our bidding went:

1N - 2H;

The standard treatment for partners who do not play Jacoby Transfers after opener bids 1 Notrump (assuming 16-18 points) is:


0 - 7

Bid 2D, 2H, or 2S with 5+ cards in suit (2C is Stayman)

8 - 9

Bid 2N


Bid 4H or 4S with a 6+ card suit
Bid 3H or 3S with a 5+ card suit
Otherwise, bid 3N

Thus, responder's 2H bid is a signoff bid, sometimes known as a "drop dead" bid - this requires the opener to Pass (no possibility for game).

Not surprisingly, many newer partners have never discussed this agreement and have had the same problem.  Ironically, when emerging players convert to the Jacoby Transfer convention, many forget this bidding scenario and make similar mistakes.  And when the opponents' compete, partnership agreements are all the more lacking.  Let's say the auction goes:

1N - (2H) - 2S

Is the 2S bid still 0 - 7 points and only a competitive bid, or does 2S imply greater values?  What would responder's Double mean? Does the vulnerability matter?

These are areas that are partnership dependent - there are no generic guidelines for such competitive bids where all partners agree. So while your partner's understanding of the your auction is correct, I suggest you use the opportunity to discuss other auctions, too.



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