The origin for this employment of the concept for lebensohl is unknown, but it addresses a problematic situation whenever the opener employs a reverse bid as the rebid.

Parameters of the Concept

Since the reverse bid is considered by many partnerships as a one-round forcing bid, and not necessarily game-forcing, the responder may be in a situation, where the holding shows no fit for the partner and a preference bid may not be the optimal choice.

Therefore, this particular situation creates a priority for the responder to show that the values are not present for game and also the desire to stop in a partscore contract. This is accomplished when the responder rebids 2 No Trump, which is a puppet bid, and the opener is required by the partnership agreement to rebid 3 Clubs, as in the following auction.

Note: A puppet bid is anĀ artificialĀ bid that simply requests partner to make a specified cheap reply - commonly the cheapest sufficient bid, or next step. It is not a transfer bid and also not a relay bid.

Opener Responder Meaning
1 A bid showing opening values.
1 Responder has sufficient values to respond and a 4-card Heart suit.
Q6
J872
5
QJ9874
2 The opener has made a reverse bid.
2 NT The responder shows 5-7 high card points, no fit in either Diamonds or Spades.The opener is puppeted to 3 Clubs.
3 Forced rebid.

The situation is that the responder cannot make a preference bid for either Diamonds or Spades. By forcing the opener to rebid 3 Clubs, the responder can comfortably pass, which would be the optimum contract. The responder general shows values between 5 and 7 high card points. The opener is able to infer the distribution of the responder's holding through the bids the responder has not been able to make, namely 4 Hearts and a minimum of a good 5-card (AKQxx or AQJ10x) or a minimum of a 6-card Club suit.

The guideline behind this concept is that the responder should have a 6-card Club suit, otherwise the responder should make a preference bid, which also shows weakness, insufficient support in length, and no game ambitions.

This would be the case in the following example, and the bidding sequence has been:

Opener Responder Meaning
1 A bid showing opening values.
1 Responder has sufficient values to respond and a 4-card Spade suit.
Q726
J8
QJ
109874
2 The opener has made a reverse bid.
3 Since the opener has shown a 5-card Diamond suit and a 4-card Heart suit, the responder shows only a preference for Diamonds and a partscore contract.
Pass Opener has no additional values to continue.

Game Forcing Sequence

The basic structure of the lebensohl 2 No Trump second response is generally reserved for very weak holdings, but can be also employed for other holdings and establish a game-forcing auction.

The following auction with responder's holding should clarify this feature.

Opener Responder Meaning
1 A bid showing opening values.
1 Responder has sufficient values to respond and a 4-card Spade suit.
KJ10875
75
98
AQ6
2 Opener has made a reverse bid.
2 NT The responder shows 5-7 high card points, no fit in either Diamonds or Hearts. The opener is puppeted to 3 Clubs..
3 Forced rebid.
3 Shows a 6-card plus suit, 8+ high card points. This is a game-forcing action.

Relay to 3 Clubs Not Accepted

Another feature of this method is that the opener can refuse the relay to 3 Clubs. Whenever the opener decides to bypass the relay, then the opener shows additional strength and perhaps a void, as in the following example.

Opener Responder Meaning
1 A bid showing opening values.
AQJ87
AKQ974
K9
1 The responder has sufficient values to respond and a 4-card Spade suit.
2 Opener has made a reverse bid.
2 NT The responder shows 5-7 high card points, no fit in either Diamonds or Hearts. The opener is puppeted to 3 Clubs.
3 The relay to 3 Clubs is not accepted. Shows additional length in Diamonds; communicates a shortage / void in Spades.
3 Shows a 6-card plus suit, 8+ high card points. This is a game-forcing action.

Note: A few bridge players will declare that the best opening bid for such a holding would be a strong, artificial 2 Clubs. However, the frequency of either the opponents competing in the auction and/or the responder being able to either double or respond in a suit allows the opener to show the considerable strength of the holding.

To show a largely distributional holding with an extreme two-suited hand, as in the following example, the opener has a second possibility of descriptive bidding after refusing the relay to 3 Clubs:

Opener   Responder Meaning
1     A bid showing opening values.
7
KQJ84
AKQ974
A
    1 The responder has sufficient values to respond and a 4-card Spade suit.
2     The opener has made a reverse bid.
    2 NT The responder shows 5-7 high card points, no fit in either Diamonds or Hearts. The opener is puppeted to 3 Clubs.
3     The relay to 3 Clubs is not accepted. This rebid shows additional length in Hearts and a 6-card Diamond suit; shortage, possible shortage / void in the other two suits.

Additional Options Other Than 3 Clubs

Two other possibilities, after refusing the 2 No Trump relay, is for the opener, holding support for the suit of the responder, to raise the responder and/or to rebid 3 No Trump with at least one stopper in the unbid suit. Therefore, the opener, in refusing the 2 No Trump relay, can show either a totally distributional holding, additional length in the bid two suits, support for the suit of the responder, and show a stopper in the unbid suit. All these bids are deemed to be game-forcing and the responder may not pass.

However, after the reverse bid by the opener, the responder has several options other than to rebid 2 No Trump. A description of these possible second responses, without examples, is presented below:

1. The responder can take a preference to the first bid suit of the opener. This promises at least a 3-card support, 8 plus support points, and is game-forcing.
2. The responder can raise the second suit of the opener. This promises at least 4-card support, 12 plus support points, and is considered to be slam-indicative.
3. The responder can rebid his own suit. This promises a 5-card suit by favorable vulnerability and at least a 6-card suit by unfavorable vulnerability, and the range is between 5 and 7 high card points.
4. The responder can jump in his suit. This promises at least a 6-card suit and generally three of the top five honors, and the inability to make a preference for either of the two suits shown by the opener. This jump also indicates stronger values of 8 plus high card points. The opener, if holding a stopper in the unbid suit, may bid 3 No Trump as the final contract since no fit is possible. This jump rebid by the responder is normally not considered game-forcing.
5. The responder can jump to game in his suit. This promises a solid 6- or 7-card suit and game values. The opener is obliged to pass.
6. The responder can also rebid the unbid suit. This promises at least 8 plus high card points, at least a 5-card suit in the first bid suit, and the inability to show a preference for either of the two suits bid by the opener. This rebid is one-round forcing. The opener may not pass. It has the same effect as the conventional method of Forth Suit Forcing.
7. The responder can also jump in the unbid suit. This is a splinter bid promising either a singleton or a void in that suit and a 4-card support for the second suit of the opener. The minimum point range should be 11/12 plus high card points depending on whether the splinter bid reveals a singleton or a void. This is a definite slam try.

Note: See also: Ingberman Convention

 

 

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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