Play trumps now or later?
June 5, 2018
Precision Has Its Limits
June 11, 2018

Partner’s Big Jump

Partner’s Big Jump

You’ve got opening strength with a pretty diamond suit. Partner opens 1C and you respond 1D. Then partner makes a double jump to 4D. How do you respond?

Leave a comment below and let us know your answer, as well as what your thinking was that led to your decision!

Tina's Response

Click here to read Tina's Response

Great answers - thank you to all left comments below.

I agree with most of you - here are my thoughts:

Let’s think about the auction so far. Partner opened the bidding and jumped to 4D. This is absolutely forcing to game. If partner wanted to merely invite me to game, she could bid 3D or 1NT (not 2NT as it is forcing).

So what kind of hand will partner have to force me to game when I have only shown 6 points and a 4-card diamond suit?

Firstly, partner’s hand must be very unbalanced. With a balanced hand, partner is going to bid notrumps rather than support a minor suit. Secondly, partner is very strong. Partner is happy to be in game when I can be really weak and, given that I have a great hand, I am not just settling for game. I’m definitely off to a small slam at least.

I can't imagine a hand where partner doesn’t have 2 aces.My primary concern is whether to bid a grand slam and whether we should be in notrumps or diamonds. I’d like to be able to ask partner for kings and not worry about aces but I can't! (As an aside, asking for kings should only be used if you are looking for a grand slam.)

So, without doubt, 6D is the safest contract but most of the time 6NT will make as well. Personally I would just bid 6NT. But, if you really are paranoid about missing 2 aces, you can bid 4NT first and then choose 6D or 6NT.


  1. waltz says:

    I’m thinking, why didn’t my partner show a second suit or rebid no trumps? They have obviously got well above 12 points or partner would not have bid 4 Diamonds – I would Ace ask looking for a small slam in Diamonds.

  2. janemart says:

    Agree with @waltz, if partner has 0 or 1 Ace it’s not too late to revert to 5D, if he has 2 we can bid small slam.

  3. ellswell says:

    Wild imagination but 1st partners call 1C tells me he has longest suit C (12-19 pts or 20TP), I’m telling him C doesn’t suit me, I have 5 diamond with at least 2 picture cards and 6 or more points. His 2nd call 4D tells me 1/ By upping me in D he has enough for fit. 2/ By not going game his pts are not enough for game but close. 3/ Fact he didn’t go NT he hasn’t got balanced hand, he has probably low end points ie 12-15 point, but going to 4D, he probably has a few D (2D he has 3, 3D he has 4, 4D he has 5). With cards I hold, I’d say he had 5D, 6C, and with only QD possible in trumps suit, he has at least 10 -13pts between other 3 suits (two of the suits are either 1 card only or 2 of one suit and an empty suit. Bid game 5D liking thought of empty suit to cross trump.

    Partners hand 8,7,5,4,2D – A,K,J,9,6,3C – K,QH and likes chance his small diamonds will be used to cross trump and will be needed after AS lead and clubs lead, will lose AH and possibly QD if 3 remaing diamonds not split between opponents hands. Finesse on QC could be needed. Make it on AH lead. Got to have an imagination.

  4. ellswell says:

    Make partners hand 8C instead 9C

  5. sbc38134777 says:

    I would Ace-ask looking for a diamond Slam

  6. johnwearn says:

    5D. I am guessing but it surely signals I should bid game I have 5 diamonds which with my min 6 should be enough
    John Wearn

  7. gwendolinej says:

    5d. bidding 5d tells partner I have good points. He can take it higher if he thinks we can get a slam.

  8. gayer says:

    I think I would bid 5D and leave it to partner to go on if necessary

  9. judymacmanus says:

    5d, at least we are in game, and if partner is very strong he go to six. If I ace ask we could end up in 6ds when we should have left it in 5d

  10. combobulate says:

    I would bid 4 NT to Ace ask. I reason partner can’t have many Hearts or Spades, must have two long suits, and must have close to 20 points as I have only signalled 6 plus. If he has no aces I can return to 5 D.

  11. allyp says:

    4 NT ace asking as i have 2 aces and one king. Partner has given indication of a fit and his distribution.
    I have 15 total pts and he has a minimum of 12 plus distribution . May have a chance for slam otherwise 5D.

  12. PJM says:

    I would bid 5 d.. partner doesn,t know I have more than 4 diamonds so his jump must mean 5 or 6 .. With his clubs hopefully can get rid of some of my losers e,g, hearts think it will be fun to play.. he can choose whether to go to 6,.

  13. doydoy says:

    5d partner has mum of 16 points you have 13 points to game , but game 5 diamond’s

  14. krill says:

    Ace ask. If he has 2 you’re good to go to slam.

  15. tomjelly says:

    5D. At first I thought 4NT asking for Aces however the initial 1C bid said have you got a 4 card Major? Which suggests partner has a 4 card major.
    With weak Hearts & not much in Clubs, if partner wanted to ask for Aces he could have gone 2 or 3 Diamonds first then asked.

  16. Opener’s bid of 4D after responder’s 1D seems to be pushing me to 5 D so expect has 15+ pts and a helpful D suit. Would choose 5D, hoping he has helpful clubs as well as Ds.

  17. 1C opening could mean opening points but no 5card major. Their jump to 4D confirms a fit in diamonds and suggests more than 12 points – perhaps partner is saying we should definitely be in game, but asking if I have a 4 card major. Since I don’t 5D is probably our contract, but 4NT asking for aces looking for a small slam could be an option?

  18. baygon2014 says:

    6 diamonds – I would treat 4 diamonds as slam invitational. To date partner has only shown the minor suits. If game was the only option he would have bid 5 damonds. Clearly he is not looking for game in the majors or no trumps. So he is basically saying if you are at your max bid 6 diamonds.

  19. dcsk says:

    Prob 4NT, leaving room for 5D if no aces

  20. jeanne says:

    I would bid 4nt asking for aces

  21. juliecbridge says:

    5diamonds. We have game strength in points but north might wish to proceed to slam bidding

  22. heatherte1 says:

    5 diamonds. They start with 15 plus points, to jump to 4 diamonds shows strength at least 5, we don’t have a 4 card major, so 5 diamonds is the bid.

  23. lizwelch says:

    5 diamonds. South has 8 losers. I think North is asking if south has that little bit more to go to game.

  24. margette says:

    4NT and then either 5D for 5C or 5D response or 6D for 5H response

  25. chrismac says:

    I would Ace ask with 4nt and if all 4 aces are held I would bid 6nt. If not I would bid 6d, we must have 3

  26. gunna says:

    North does not know if I have 6 points or more. With jumping he tells me he has 17-18 points and wants to know more. If I have 6 points say pass. If I have 10 points say 5 D. If I have more say 4 NT asking for slam.

  27. vals says:

    4 NT as wouldn’t want to miss a slam

  28. anette says:

    I interpret partners double jump as strong hand with at least five clubs and four diamonds. I can afford to investigate aces but not kings, therefore not slam in NT, would go directly to 6 diamonds…. I think..

  29. sallysmith says:

    Six Diamonds! That huge leap suggests a really strong hand and is offering me a choice.As I have5 good Diamonds I would probably go for it.However if we were vulnerable I would be prudent and bid five Diamonds as my own (real) partner would have shown strength by bidding NT and I often do not “get” the computer bids.
    Sally Smith

  30. waxing2 says:

    N only knows I have 4+D and 6+ points. I’m only missing QD, so I’m assuming N has it plus at least 4 other Ds. Double jump implies 16+ points and with high blockers in Cs and Hs. I have AS blocker so N must have C blockers and at least AH or KH. I can lose one trick. Toss up is between 6D or 6NT and 7 may be on. So worth A asking for 6D minimum. Some people say A asking is always in Cs even if bid previously. That would make it easier here as 4NT forces responses up another level. But if N has 2As I think I’d go 7NT. If only one, 6D.

  31. sbc4646054 says:

    5 D, too many losers to look for slam

  32. valjef says:

    I agree with Baygon. Go for 6D

  33. its-bruce says:

    It’s all too hard for me so…

  34. triciacallow says:

    I agree with @margette .

    @tina when do we find out what we should have done?

  35. jckspa says:

    My interpretation is a double jump of responders suit shows 20+HCPs and support for that suit. But what didn’t partner bid? Did not open 2NT so has an unbalaned hand (balanced and 20-22 = 2NT opening). Did not open 2C so has fewer than 23HCPs. We now know partner has exactly 20-22 points with an unbalanced hand and diamond support. Between us we have 33-35 points a diamond fit, so we have enough for slam. I would bid 6D rather than 6NT as partner has indicated an unbalanced hand.

  36. Would bid 4NT asking for aces – if none – 5 diamonds

  37. chalker546 says:

    I would bid 4nt asking for aces. If partner shows 1 or 2 aces I’ll bid 6D and give partner the chance to bid 7D. If partner shows no aces I’lol bid 5D.

  38. I have 14TP Partner has top of range by saying 4 he is inviting me to slam So I will bid 4NT asking for Aces If partner says 5 I will go to 6 If he goes to !6D I will go to 7

  39. jennjosh says:

    Partner is asking am I strong in D for game

  40. lodwyer says:

    Jumping from 1 to 4 is a big jump and he must love diamonds……so 5 diamonds

  41. eileenc says:

    4NT. Partner looking for slam. So calling my two aces. Partner can’t call 4C asking due to original call. If partner wanted game in diamonds would have called 5D.

  42. Wow! Complicated. Could this show a void or Singleton? One C opener can’ t be a short club because with apparent support for diamonds the bid would have been in diamonds. With reasonable degree of uncertainty, I’m going to respond 5D, and let partner correct or explore slam. We haven’t discussedcue bidding. Fun.

  43. romey78 says:

    Quite tricky because need to show partner that I have 12+ points- NT out because partner did not rebid NT or hearts – must have min 29 points and with an extra diamond should ask for aces to think about slam

  44. younglady says:

    I would ask for aces, to my onclusion North has got a very good hand and unbalenced. So if there´s no ace it´s easy to go to 5 D.

  45. 4 spades. We can afford to lose 3 hearts….partner will asses his/her hand on the strength of that.

  46. yardster says:

    I may have missed it, but I don’t know if partner is playing Acol (C is a 4+ card suit) or 5 card majors (C may just be better minor). Either way his/her bid shows 17+ points, or equivalent, since I have shown just 6 points. I need to show my strength; partner may have nothing more to say. While I could show the S ace by bidding 4S, I don’t want to risk partner going to 5D so I prefer 4NT. I think if partner shows one A I go to 6D; if two As, I ask for kings looking for 6 or 7 Ds or possibly NTs.

  47. lornamatt says:

    I would bid 5 diamonds as it seems the logical play as both strong in that suit.

  48. rosalindra says:

    I would bid 5D. Partner has opened 1C so I would take that to be between 12 and 19 points. I have 13 points – so only 32 at max between us. With 8 points missing I feel it’s a bit risky. Slam probably there if partner has a void, but I prefer to be safe and have a positive score.

  49. I play a little conservative so I would pass and be happy to meet the auction of 4D.

  50. 997maybe says:

    4 Sp…..concerned about H…..leave it up to P.

  51. simste says:

    I think 4D indicates a fit in diamonds with 19 points. Ask for aces with the option of ending in 5D if partner indicates no aces at all.

  52. gupgop says:

    Sounds as though partner has only 5 losers. It can’t hurt to enquire about Aces.

  53. clarencesq says:

    A jump to 4D rules out 3NT and limits bidding space; shows a strong hand but denies South the chance to show majors.
    You either ask for Aces or go to 5D; or do a) then b) BUT if you use RKCB ; depending on your response system you may not have the option to bid 5D.
    More sophisticated bidding has a double jump as a splinter bid but that doesn’t fit the sky bridge level.
    Also, experienced players would use a change of suit at the 3 level as forcing; again not applicable on this website, I imagine.
    Personally, I don’t find the 4D bid very informative given the rationale I’ve explained.

  54. zippy says:

    My initial response has not fully described my hand & every indication is we have the strength to keep bidding.

    With my regular partner, we cue bid controls after jump support. Would cue bid 4S because it shows 1st round control in Ss, AND DENIES 1st round control in Hs.
    But does SBC have cue bid convention? This would be my 1st choice. Shows my hand better & allows partner to decide final contract (so I can blame him if we crash & burn, tee hee!).

    With or without that convention: I would think my partner has shown opening points and 2 additional features [(not just 1) by his double skip bid]. If those features are points, we could still crash & burn, unless the points are aces. So 4NT, to ask, seems reasonable at 1st, And ….
    With my regular partner, if he has already shown trump suit length, he’ll respond by counting voids as aces. Which then excludes a NT slam (1st evil consequence of counting voids as aces). And a 5C, 5H or 5S response becomes ambiguous (the 2nd evil consequence of cue bid responses to Blackwood) so that would be great for deciding 5D vs 6D. 5D response would show only 1A or 1 void, so I would then pass. Anything else & I will bid 6D. Great so far, but makes it impossible for our partnership to get to 6NT or higher.

    At SBC, Blackwood allows us to get higher, maybe too high. A 5D or 5C response, I stop at 5D. 5H response & I ask for kings. 6C or 6D response will get us to 6D, & 6S response will get us to 7NT. But 6H response is problematic (the evil consequence of Blackwood for slam bidding in the minors).

    So I’m back to 4S as my answer to the question. If partner has AC, he’ll cue bid it (can’t have a void), I’ll cue bid 5D. If he has AH, he’ll bid 5H & I’ll respond 6D. (If not, not, and we’re where we should be at 5). If he bids 7C after showing AH, I bid 7D to show KD. If he shows KH or KS, we’re going to 7NT. If not, we’re at 6D, where we should be.


    • graybill says:

      My first inclination was to go straight to 6D. There will be different responses depending on what system you play. Playing 4 card majors partner has at least 4 clubs and 4 diamonds. With the reverse and double jump he is showing 18-19 points and I would think more than 4 diamonds which means he has at least 5 clubs and a very shapely hand. With my 13 points we should be in slam. After reading all the comments, especially the very impressive analysis by @zippy, I think Ace asking is a waste (I’m sure at least @graeme will agree?). I don’t think NT is a viable option – with partners shape. So 6D it is and partner can go to 7 if he is so inclined. Scary!

  55. rockchick says:

    I would bid 5D to let partner know we have game strength or more. It would then be up to partner to decide whether to ask for Aces.

  56. satnams says:

    It looks with my points there is atleast a game possibly slam my change of suit would give partner chance to describe his hand further IF THERE IS NO SLAM MY thoughts would be for no trump It looks as if partners hand is not balanced and and not slam bidding and he is left it to the parent to bid game if the hand permits. With 13 points and a doubleton I bid 5D


  57. tessybear says:

    4NT asking for Aces – if none 5 D. Have to try for slam here.

  58. johnkib says:

    North is showing a strong hand (16+ points). Distribution 5c and 4d or 6c and 4 or 5 diamonds. Either way slam (6d) is a possibility. I would be inclined to go straight to 6d but a more cautious approach would be Blackwood (bidding 4nt , asking for aces). North should have at least 1 of the remaining 2 aces, probably clubs. @rockchick ‘s suggestion has merit but I think Blackwood is a more precise way of telling N we are interested in slam.

  59. Fortunately I haven’t learnt how to bid a slam! But obviously partner strong and so I could just guess has an honour in S and H. To make up to 17+ points. So fingers crossed 6D

  60. susanne0704 says:

    ….we have a fit, I go for 4 spades to show control in spades … cuebidding, first and second round , to see how far we can go, partner can stop at 5 diamonds …

  61. lynchd says:

    4S showing first round control .Partner can then cue bid, use Blackwood or sign off in 5D.

  62. virgoan says:

    5D can’t bid anything else, up to partner to go further, they have the points not me.

  63. billhaustin says:

    4 NT asking for aces since I’m not into cue bidding.

  64. mrsbirts says:

    I have 8 losers……………

  65. Grib says:

    4NT . Partner might be showing a reverse bid implying significant point count thus possibility of grand slam .

  66. wandad says:

    I want a slam if possible. If not enoughA’s I can still go to 5 D

  67. sandra123 says:

    Will this hand be played by one of you at SBC?

  68. wien says:

    5 diamonds. Partners opening bid may only be with 12 points. He probably has r diamonds and 5 clubs. Otherwise he would have named his 4 card major.

  69. dottied says:

    4NT as I feel a slam is a possibility.

  70. depe says:

    5D I have 13pt but 8 losers. Leave it to partner for slam

  71. PJM says:

    we want to know the answer !!!

  72. joycooper says:

    I would bid 5D but agree with others’ comments that 4NT would also be worth a shot.

  73. wince says:

    Are we Vul or not? This helps me make my choices. Trust my partner knows what …he, she or it is doing! Show I am happy with diamonds and bid 5D then let partner bid further .

  74. wince says:

    How and when will we find out what should or should not be done ????!!!! I am looking forward to the answer or playing the hand !!!!

  75. jarn says:

    4 NT to see if we have 6D.

  76. scottieg52 says:

    4 no trump asking for aces

  77. rustyman says:

    4 NT and go looking for slam in Diamonds

  78. collar says:

    With n stopper in hearts would bid 5 diamonds

  79. I favour 4NT Ace asking as if partner bids 5C saying o Aces I can bid 5D otherwise go for slam.

  80. perutb says:

    5d too weak för slam

  81. lindagaddum says:

    Please give us the answer 🙂

  82. beaparker says:

    I would bid 4NT asking for Aces. I would be interested to know the correct bid please.

  83. Looks like the better bid is 4 cue bid There is control Opener then bids 6

  84. kmollohan says:

    I would ask for aces, and if none bid 5D and go down 1 or 2

  85. kchbridge says:

    What would sky bridge bid?

  86. featherp says:

    Partner probably has 5 or 6 clubs and five diamonds. Since he has jumped on the second round, I guess he has a 5 loser hand
    We are heading for a minor suit game or slam, so Cue bidding is the way to go, rather than Blackwood
    So, 4 Spades shows my first round control and an interest in going higher.
    If my partner shows a first round control in either hearts or clubs, I know that I’m not missing more than one ace and I’ll be aiming for 6 Diamonds
    5 Diamonds is the safe bid. Six may be worth the risk, depending what mood I’m in on the day!

  87. Looking at the 4NT bids, a 5D reply gives you only a 50% chance at a successful slam. If the promised ace is not an ace of Hs, standby for trouble, right?

  88. delta says:

    5🔶partner 6🔶 6nt made 13

  89. gingacrunch says:

    4 diamonds is a splinter bid so I bid 4 spades showing a control.
    Then it’s 6 diamonds.

  90. robinh says:

    I can’t remember what I did but I replayed the hand and I’m pretty sure I bid 4NT, then 5NT asking for aces and kings, reasoning that a small slam was there, and possibly a grand slam. In the replay I made 7Nt but can’t remember whether I bid and made that originally.

  91. sbc4646054 says:

    4NT in order to decide whether to play in 6D or 6 NT

  92. chalker546 says:

    Partner showed a max of 19 pts and with my 13 I bid 4nt asking for aces, after learning that N had 2 aces decided to simply bid a small slam and be done with it.

  93. bala1954 says:

    Seemed like a strong hand, diamond fit, and possible slam. Bid 4NT, settled – sadly – on 6D, making 7.

  94. chrismac says:

    I took the 4D to be a positive LONG suit and asked for aces, thus bidding 6NT and making 7

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