A weak jump shift is a jump response to an opening bid of 1C, 1D, 1H, or 1S. A jump to a new suit at the 2-level (e.g. 1C : 2H) usually shows 2-5 HCP and a 6-card suit. At the 3-level (e.g. 1H : 3C), it typically shows 2-7 HCP and a 7-card suit.

Weak jump shifts are, of course, more preemptive than the traditional strong jump shift that promises 17-19 points. The purported benefits of weak jump shifts are:

  1. They occur more frequently than 17-19 point hands, and
  2. Strong jump shifts gobble up valuable slam exploration space. If playing weak jump shifts, then 17-19 point suit-oriented hands get absorbed into natural 1- and 2-level responses (e.g. 1H : 2D). However, this obviously adds extra meaning and burden to those bids.

An example of a weak jump shift:

OpenerResponder
92SAT8765
HAKJ326
DJT42865
CAT532

Opener
1
Pass

Responder
2 (1)

  1. Weak jump shift


Opener's Rebids

Opener usually passes unless holding a strong hand and/or good support for partner.

  • Pass - Could be a strong hand with a misfit.

  • Rebidding his own suit - Shows at least a 7-card suit. Non-forcing.

  • Raising partner's suit - Any single, double (or even triple) raise is natural and non-forcing. Responder is not expected to bid again.

  • Any new suit - Natural, usually at least a 5+ card suit with extra hand strength. A new suit bid by opener is non-forcing. However, responder is allowed to either raise, or correct to opener's original suit. Responder should not make the mistake of rebidding his own suit.

  • 2NT - A forcing game try, implying at least doubleton support for responder's suit. This is similar to a forcing 2NT response to an opening weak two bid. Responder must rebid his suit with a minimum. Bidding any other suit shows a maximum hand cooperating with opener's game try.


Examples

OpenerResponder
AKQ42S5
HJ9273
D5KQT8652
CKJ32T83

Opener
1
Pass

Responder
3 (1)

  1. Weak jump shift


OpenerResponder
SAQ32S654
HA43HQJT765
DJ86
CA987563

Opener
1
2NT (2)
Pass

Responder
2 (1)
3 (3)

  1. Weak jump shift
  2. Artificial, forcing game try
  3. Signoff


OpenerResponder
KQ42SAT8765
HAKJ326
DK2865
CA9532

Opener
1
4 (2)

Responder
2 (1)
Pass

  1. Weak jump shift
  2. Opener bids game with a massive supporting hand


Other Considerations

  • After a 1H/S opening, weak jump shifts should be avoided if responder has the strength to make a raise. Raising partner's major suit takes priority.

  • Weak jump shifts are on in competition.

  • Pairs who employ Bergen raises cannot use weak jump shifts after a 1H/S opening.

  • Pairs who use splinter bids should agree when a double-jump bid is a weak jump shift or a splinter. This particularly holds true in competitive auctions, e.g.

    West North East South
    Pass 1H 2D 3S


    In this auction, 3S could show a weak hand with 7 spades... or it could be a spade void with heart support. Needless to say, a misunderstanding invites catastrophe.

See also

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