This convention is alertable.

Bergen raises are conventional raises of a 5-card major suit opening. After a 1 or 1 opening, a 3 response shows 4-card minimal support, while a 3 response shows 4-card invitational support. It is usually played with Jacoby 2NT.

Bergen raises are developed as an application of the law of total tricks, which indicates that one should compete at the 3-level with 9-card trump fit regardless of strength.


Fit responses with Bergen raises and Jacoby 2NT
weak minimum invitational game forcing
5-card support raise to 4 3 3 2NT
4-card support raise to 3
3-card support Pass raise to 2 bid another suit                              then rebid the major                    

  • 3C minimum raise (7-9 points) with at least 4-card support. This response is alertable.
  • 3D: invitational raise (10-12 points) with at least 4-card support. This response is alertable.
  • 3 of the major: preemptive raise (0-6 points) with exactly 4-card support. This response is alertable in ACBL regulations.[1]

reverse Bergen raise Edit

Some exchange the meaning of the 3 and 3 responses, hoping to get more preemptive power and more space to try for game after an invitational response.


  1. [1] Responses to One-Level Opening Suit Bids : Three-level jump raises not in competition which promise less than invitational values

Single raise - Jump raise
Competitive raise - Preemptive raise - Constructive raise - Limit raise - Forcing raise
Inverted minor raise - Bergen raise - Splinter - Jacoby 2NT - Truscott 2NT (Jordan 2NT)
Quantitative slam invite

Advantages Edit

  • The bidding is pushed to the 3-level whenever a 9-card fit is found, therefore, the opponents are very difficult to enter the bidding at this stage.

Disadvantages Edit

  • Two natural bids are gone (3 and 3)
  • Other methods need to be used holding only 3-card support.