Limit Raises

When playing Five Card American Standard, a jump by the responder in the named suit to the three level formally indicated 13-15 support points for that suit, and was considered a game forcing bid. However, over time the bridge community has adopted other auction sequences and has given new meaning to an old concept.

Please review the following:

Stop

In many, and perhaps older, bidding systems a jump raise, or Limit Raise, of the suit opened by partner promises a holding with at least a 4-card support for the Major suit of partner, or at least a 5-card support for the Minor suit of partner and no higher-ranking 4-card suit, 13-15/16 support points, and is absolutely game forcing.

 

Evolution of Change

Many partnerships reduced the requirement of the 4-card Major suit to a 3-card Major suit as adequate. Support Points are those points accumulated when the responder adds his values to the distributional points, so the jump raise is not entirely based on the total of the high card points.

Stop

In modern treatments a jump raise, or Limit Raise, of the suit opened by partner promises a holding with at least a 4-card support for the Major suit of partner, or at least a 5-card support for the Minor suit of partner and no higher-ranking 4-card suit, 10-12 support points, and is not game forcing, but rather invitational in nature. Support Points are those points accumulated when the responder adds his values to the distributional points, so the jump raise is not entirely based on the total of the high card points.

 

Limit Raises

The modern treatment showing at least a 4-card Major suit support and at least a 5-card Minor suit support is presented. One reason for this choice is the rate of frequency, which has shown that the responder will more often have a 10-12 point holding as opposed to a full opening with support.

This approach also allows the responder to show the same holding even if the responder is a passed hand.

Example
Opener   Responder
AKJ83
Q85
975
Q2
 
Q1076
K73
A86
J53
1   3

The above example shows the more modern treatment, which has been adopted by the majority of bridge players playing Limit Raises. The Limit Raise is applied mostly in competitive bridge, but can also as easily be employed at the club level. The Limit Raise is used in all four suits, although some partnerships limit this conventional method only to the Major suits.

The meaning of the Limit Raise does not change whenever used. Therefore, a Limit Raise, even by a passed hand, carries the same meaning, without exception. Even after an intervening bid by an opponent, the Limit Raise still retains the original definition, although some partnership agreements have varied the meanings of certain bids to compensate for interference.

 

Rebids by Opener

A. If the opener has opened with an absolute minimum, then the opener should pass.

Opener
AKJ83
Q85
975
Q2
Pass

B. If the opener has opened with additional values, then the opener should bid game.

Opener
AKQ83
QJ85
97
QJ
4

C. The opener may even try slam with values and good distribution.

Opener
AKJ1083
8
AQ9
KQ8
4 NT

 

As mentioned, the Limit Raise can be applied to all four suits. It is important to remember that a Limit Raise in the Minor suits also carries the responsibility of the desired and required length. However, a Limit Raise in a Minor suit would not be advisable if the responder does hold a 4-card Major suit. It is definitely not recommended. If the partnership agreement decides to apply the Limit Raise also to the Minor suits, then the responder is required to have at least a 5-card holding in that Minor suit, and no 4-card Major suit, which should be bid first. The rebids of the opener remain the same as described below.

Example
Opener   Responder
K75
Q98
AK976
J7
 
Q98
K107
Q10843
A6
1   3

Using the Limit Raise, it becomes necessary to alter the treatments and conventions normal to Five Card American Standard somewhat. However, the changes are minimal and can be applied easily to relay the correct information and to describe the hand accurately. These altered methods apply in general to the Major suits. They also apply to the Minor suits, but caution must be used as Length Of The Suit becomes the dominant factor.

Note: It is strongly recommended that the Limit Raise conventional method be employed in conjunction with the Jacoby 2 No Trump conventional method since they both complement each other.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.




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