Limit Raises are used after partner opens the bidding with 1-of-a-suit. A jump raise (e.g. 1:3 or 1:3) shows 10-12 points and 4-card support. 5-card support is possible opposite a minor-suit opening.

Back in the old, old days, this sequence showed a strong game-forcing hand. Over time, players gradually realized that this approach was too uncommon and impractical. Hence the birth of the limit raise.

There is expert debate on whether 3-card limit raises are acceptable opposite a 1H/S opening bid. This practice may occur if 1) playing a 5-card major system, and 2) holding 3-card support with unbalanced shape.

Opener can pass a limit raise with minimum values, or bid on with more. If playing a system that uses 3-card 1 and 1 openings, limit raises in those suits should should show good 4- or 5-card support.


Examples

OpenerResponder
AQ987SKJ43
HT92A4
DQ5984
CA98Q632

Opener
1
Pass (2)

Responder
3 (1)

  1. Limit raise
  2. Passing with a minimum


OpenerResponder
6SKJ5
HKQT84A973
DAK983
CQ43J9762

Opener
1
4 (2)

Responder
3 (1)

  1. Limit raise
  2. Bidding game with sufficient values


In Competition

In competition, limit raises can either be on or off, depending on partnership agreement. If off, then jump raises become preemptive, showing 0-6 points and at least 4-card support (or 5 in response to a minor). Using this method, responder can then use the Jordan 2NT over an enemy takeout double to show a hand worth a limit raise or better, or a cue-bid over an enemy overcall.

See also

  • Bergen Raises
    A method of raising 1/ opening bids that includes weak jump raises.

  • Inverted Minors
    A method of raising 1/ opening bids in which a single raise is strong and a double raise is weak.

  • Jacoby 2NT
    A 2NT response to 1/ showing game-forcing support

  • Jordan 2NT
    An artificial 2NT raise after an opposing takeout double. Promises limit raise strength or better.

  • Reversed Splinters
    A variation of splinters in which the bid suit shows shortness in another suit.

  • Splinters
    A double-jump shift to show unbalanced, game-forcing support in response to a major suit.

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