Major suit openings in SAYC show a five-card or longer suit. The following conventions are on for responding and the subsequent bidding:

``Responses Edit


Summary Edit

Responses to one of a major suit opening
  0-5 6-9 10-12 13-14 15-17 slam interest
5-card support game (with shape) limit raise Jacoby 2NT
4-card support Pass single raise
3-card support 1/1 or 2/1, then rebid at 3-level
4 card suit 1/1 jump shift
  other response   others
Responses to one of a minor suit opening
  6-9 10-12 13-15 16-18 slam interest
fit without 4-card major single raise limit raise  
4 card suit 1/1 jump shift
1NT 2/1
balanced   2NT 3NT  

Fit responses Edit

Fit is 3 cards in a major, 4 diamonds, or 5 (good 4) clubs. Fit responses to minor suit openings deny a four-card major.

  • Single raise to two level shows 6-10 points and fit.
  • Limit raise to three level shows 10-11 points and fit.
  • After a major suit opening 1/
    • 2NT is Jacoby, showing game-forcing (13 point) four-card support and asking for a short suit.
    • Game in the opened major shows a distributional hand, typically 5+ trump, a singleton or void, and less than 10 points. This is a preemptive bid.

Nonfit responses Edit

Balanced responses Edit

  • After a major suit opening 1/
    • 3NT shows 15-17 points, balanced, and two-card support for partner.
  • After a minor suit opening 1/
    • 2NT shows 13-15 points, balanced.
    • 3NT shows 16-18 points, balanced.

Opener's Rebids Edit

After one-level response Edit

Because both partners are very much unlimited after a 1/1 response, it is critical for opener to narrow his point range as much as possible. Any new suit or double jump bid is forcing.

Rebids after 1/1 (SAYC)
13-14 15 16-17 18 19 20-22
Balanced 1NT 2NT
4-card support single raise jump raise double jump raise
6-card opening suit nonjump rebid jump rebid double jump rebid
New 4-card suit non-reverse or 1-level jump shift
if 5 or 6 cards

With a minimum opening (13-15 points) Edit

  • Rebid notrump with a balanced hand
  • Single raise in responder's suit with 4-card (or good 3-card) support
  • Nonjump rebid of opened suit with a six-card suit
  • New suit at the one-level, or non-reverse at the two-level (note range 13-18 points)

With a medium opening (16-18 points) Edit

  • Jump raise of responder's suit with four-card support
  • Jump rebid of opened suit with a six-card suit
  • Reverse in a new suit with a four-card suit that is shorter than opened suit
  • New suit at the one-level, or non-reverse at the two-level (note range 13-18 points)

With a maximum opening (19-22 points) Edit

All these rebids are forcing.

  • Jump in notrump with a balanced hand
  • Double jump raise of responder's suit
  • Double jump rebid of own suit
  • Jump shift in a new suit

Responder's rebids Edit

After non-reverse new suit Edit

While the other rebids are all limit bids, a non-reverse new suit still has a wide range of 13-18 points, and therefore responder must continue to narrow his own point range to make opener captain.

Responder rebids after 1/1 and non-reverse rebid
6-9 10-11 12+
Pass or 1NT 2NT Game
Prev. suit at 2-level Prev. suit at 3-level
New suit[1]
With a minimum response (6-9 points) Edit
  • Pass without anything more to say
  • Bid 1NT
  • Bid a previously-bid suit at the two-level. This typically does not include opener's second suit.
With an invitational response (10-11 points) Edit
  • Bid 2NT
  • Bid a previously-bid suit at the three-level.
With a game-forcing response (12+ points) Edit
After a 1NT rebid Edit

These are similar to the rebids after a non-reverse, except that two-level non-reverse new suits are not forcing. To force in a new suit, t must be a reverse or a jump shift.

After a reverse Edit
After a jump shift Edit

Typically if opener jump shifts then he has a good idea what the contract should be. Bid anything weak-sounding with nothing else to say, or give more information with slam interest.


  1. after 1NT, must be reverse or jump to force