Romex Jump Shifts
The concept behind any Jump Shift in the Romex Bidding System is that the bid is forcing. The idea is similar to the Two-Over-One bidding system, which guarantees game. After an opening bid, if the responder bids and then rebids any other suit except the first named suit, then a game-forcing situation has been created. The strong jump shift by the responder promises at least 16 plus points and a semi-solid or solid 6-card plus suit.
The length of the suit can be downgraded to a 5-card suit if there is an established fit with the opener. The jump shift also promises five plus controls and less than five losers. The feature of the jump shift also strongly indicated that the responder held no other 4-card side suit, unless it was possibly the suit of the opener.
This definition for the jump shift is rather restricted to holdings, which do not occur that often and are rarely applicable. However, this particular definition gives the partnership a certain advantage of immediate clarification when such a holding does occur.
The Responses to a Romex Jump Shift
The rebids by the opener are also clearly defined and are narrowed in definition, in order to describe, as best as possible, the holding. These rebids are described and listed below:
If the opener holds an honor in the Jump Shift suit of the responder, even if it is a singleton, then the opener is required to raise the suit of the responder. The opener may do so in two different manners:
1. The opener jumps in a suit to indicate a void. This jump, not in the suit of the responder, is only void-showing.
2. The responder raises directly the suit of the responder.
In the case that the opener raises the suit of the responder, the assumption is that the suit of the responder is a solid suit or at least a semi-solid, sound suit. The responder then can raise the suit of the opener, the established trump suit, and this raise then become Keycard Blackwood.
The responder can also rebid:
1. an entirely new suit after the jump shift;
2. or cuebid (for example, a No Trump rebid by the responder may be employed as a Trump Cuebid of the suit of the opener. This is a partnership agreement.
In both bidding sequences, the assumed trump suit is the suit of the opener. Since the trump suit is only assumed, the final contract may be in one of the suits named by the responder.
If the opener holds no honor in the Jump Shift suit of the responder, the opener has several options to describe his holding:
1. A jump in the original named suit promises at least a semi-solid or better 6-card plus suit containing additional values. This jump is forcing and responder must rebid.
2. The opener can rebid the original suit, which promises two of the top three honors. This rebid does not, however, indicate any additional length of the suit. If restricted in choice, the opener generally rebids the original suit before bidding a new suit.
3. If none of the above requirements fit the description of the holding, then the opener rebids the cheapest No Trump. This rebid does not guarantee a balanced or even semi-balanced holding.
The responder then has several options:
1. The responder can rebid his own suit, which is considered to be non-forcing;
2. The responder can support the suit of the opener;
3. The responder can bid 3 No Trump.
The opener then has several options:
1. Once the auction has indicated that sufficient information has been communicated, then the opener simply places the final contract.
2. If the auction has indicated that the trump suit is only assumed and that additional bidding is necessary and that the optimum contract has possibly not been reached, then the opener can make a Romex Cuebid to force the responder to more precisely describe his holding.
The responder, in providing additional information, may cuebid by rebidding a new suit, which establishes the original suit of the opener as the trump suit. The responder also has the option of bidding 4 No Trump, as a slam attempt, which is Keycard Blackwood. This confirms the assumption that the original suit of the opener is the established trump suit. However, a rebid by the responder of his suit establishes this suit as the trump suit.
If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.
Claus and Raymond
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