4th suit forcingd bridge convention

Return to the Bridge Burglar’s Guide to Bridge Bidding Conventions

4th suit forcing is an offensive bidding convention to keep the bidding going when one of the two partners knows the partnership should probably be in a Game, but does not have a logical next bid available. In that case, the partner may bid the only suit not yet mentioned during the auction (all three others having been bid already) just to keep the bidding going.

Example: (East-West pass throughout) North opens a Heart; South responds a Spade; North rebids 2 Clubs and now South responds 2 Diamonds. If the partners play 4th suit forcing, North should alert South’s 2 Diamonds bid as such. It does not mean South has a biddable Diamond suit (although he is likely to have at least one stopper in the suit). He is telling his partner that he cannot rebid his own Spades but he can’t really support either one of his partner’s suits, either. However, he thinks he has enough points for a contract at Game level, so he just keeps the auction going. It is a forcing bid in that it cannot be passed. It invites partner to bid on.

Cautions: 4th suit forcing is not used in 2-over-q bidding systems; it is not used when one partner is a passed hand; it is not used over interference, either. It is not used, either, when you have a really strong side suit in the 4th unbid suit. For example, if partner has bid Diamonds and Hearts (the red suits) and your first response was a Spade because you have a 5-card Spade suit, if you also have a 5-card Club suit, don’t bid Clubs in the next sequence. Instead, with a 5-5 hand, jump in Clubs to skip one level.

Return to the Bridge Burglar’s Guide to Bridge Bidding Conventions

Speak Your Mind