Bidding A New Suit “Above The Barrier”

If you have opened the bidding, you visualise an imaginary “barrier” above your opening suit, but at the next level.

So if, for example, you have opened with a bid of 1 Heart, the barrier is above 2 Hearts (ie between a bid of 2H and a bid of 2 Spades)

If you hold just 12 -15 points you should avoid bidding “above the barrier” as this shows a stronger hand and partner may be forced to bid at too high a level – leaving you with a contract that you don’t have enough points to make.

Here is an example:

Bidding A New Suit Above The Barrier


In this example, opener has bid 1 Heart and partner has bid 2 Clubs.  Imagine openers hand has the 5/4 shape with 5 cards in hearts and 4 cards in spades.  It’s tempting to rebid 2 Spades to show you have the 5/4 shape, but that forces partner to bid at the 3 level if they can’t support your second suit.  If you only hold 12 -15 points, you might not have enough points between you to achieve 9 tricks.  So you should simply rebid your opening suit at the 2 level.

If you rebid “above the barrier” this tells partner that you hold 16 – 19 points and they can bid accordingly.