Weak Jump Shift

In many systems, a jump shift to the 2-level shows a good 6-card suit with about 13-16 HCP. Although this method has its merits (bidding is very precise when it comes up), I (and many others) think there is a better way.

The strong jump shift is a typical example of a convention that works well on the hands it was designed for. After for example 1 - 1 - 2, it is hard to show different types of hands with a good 6-card spade suit. The sequence 1 - 2 should be used to relieve some of this pressure. The problem with strong jump shifts is, they do hardly occur! Weak jump bids are much nicer. The definition is:

A jump response on the 2-level shows 4 - 8 HCP and a 6-card suit or longer.

This bid has several advantages:
  • It preempts the opponents, who may have the majority of strength even though partner opened.
  • It provides an accurate description of your hand.
  • Responses are clear: this bid looks terribly like a Weak Two...
  • It lessens the pressure on the auctions where responder rebids his suit after a 1-over-1 response.

    The last one may need some explaining: Assuming strong jumps, what do you bid with K87543 AQ5 6 QT8 after the auction 1 - 1 - 2?
    There is no perfect solution. You can bid 2, which partner may pass with a reasonable hand with Honor and small support (making four), or you may bid 3, which will be too high opposite most minimum hands with a singleton . As part scores and games are more frequent than slams, the strong jump shift does not help you in this normal situation. Weak jump shifts do:

    After an unbalanced rebid by opener (anything but 1NT and 2NT) after a 1-over-1 response, responder's rebid in the same suit shows:

  • 9-11 HCP on the 2-level
  • Game Force on the 3-level
  • Minimum Game Force with independent suit on the 4-level
  • A GF hand that is unsure about what strain to play in can also bid 4th suit forcing first

    Summary: If partner has no fit, you stay low (and safe) if you are not GF. If you have GF you can force it below game level so there is room to investigate what game is best or if slam is on. 1