# BBO Discussion Forums: Fourth Suit by opner - BBO Discussion Forums

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## Fourth Suit by opner Default: Asking or showing

### #1paulsim

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Posted 2019-May-08, 04:25

Fourth Suit by opener Default: Asking or showing
(Edited action 4)

Hi all,

I wonder if it is any standard about this subject, or it's a only a partnership question.
what do you think?

A.- When opener bids fourth suit is always asking for stopper
B.- When opener bids fourth suit is always showing values.
C.- If it is a GF action, opener always shows values
D.- If opener has limited his hand, when bidding fourth suit is showing values
E.- If opener has not limited his hand, when bidding fourth suit is asking for stoppper.
F.- If responder has limited his hand, opener's fourth suit is showing values? or asking for stopper?
G.- If responder has not limited his hand, opene's fouth suit is showing values? or asking for stopper?

H.- Anyone more? What condition would you write to show or demand values in the suit if it is not always one way?

1 1
2 2NT
3?

1 1
2 2
3

1 1
2 2 Natural, F1-10PH+
3

1 1 (Edited. Not 1D but 1H)
2 2
2

1 1
2 2 Standard Reverse: 17+ F1
3

1 1
2 2 Standard Reverse: 17+ F1
3

Thank you very much
Kind Regards,
P.
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### #2Tramticket

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Posted 2019-May-08, 04:41

It might not be optimal, but we treat all of these bids of the fourth suit as "4th suit forcing". They create a game-force and ask partner to describe their hand further. They don't show length or values in the suit.

Edit: auction 4 is different, since it us not the fourth suit. Here the 2S BID shows spade values in a three-card suit and is a NT probe.
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### #3paulsim

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Posted 2019-May-08, 05:06

I missed some examples when responder shows values?

Still, there seem to be some controversial...?

1 1
2 2 Natural, Standard Responder Reverse, GF 13HCP+
3

1 2
2 3
3

1 1
2 2
2
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### #4pescetom

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Posted 2019-May-08, 06:40

For us all nine are asks except #4 and #9 which show (3-card).
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### #5FelicityR

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Posted 2019-May-08, 09:26

An interesting post. I was under the impression that fourth suit forcing was only used by responder to establish a game force. (please correct me if I am wrong.) Some of the examples given could be where opener is 5440 or 64(30-21) and is describing his/her hand further.
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### #6HardVector

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Posted 2019-May-08, 12:56

All of them should be some kind of 4th suit forcing bid except 1. In 1, nt has been bid, so there is no questions about stoppers, that has already been answered. Opener is bidding out their shape and asking the question, "Should we play in nt, or some minor suit game/slam?".
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### #7pescetom

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Posted 2019-May-08, 13:26

HardVector, on 2019-May-08, 12:56, said:

All of them should be some kind of 4th suit forcing bid except 1. In 1, nt has been bid, so there is no questions about stoppers, that has already been answered. Opener is bidding out their shape and asking the question, "Should we play in nt, or some minor suit game/slam?".

For us none of these are 4th suit forcing, but we make a very limited use of that convention (and in this post many examples start with 1 which playing short clubs is not a suit: so even 1 1 1 1 is just forcing 1 round).
In #1, for us the nt bid suggests at least half a stopper but the 3 bid asks for confirmation that partner can manage the suit alone, it is not forcing to game.
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### #8HardVector

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Posted 2019-May-08, 18:13

So, partner's 2n bid doesn't say anything. Partner could have a garbage stopper, or could be solid in the suit. Sounds like bad bidding to me. When I bid nt after a vulnerable suit has been identified, I'm saying I'm ready to play there.
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### #9helene_t

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Posted 2019-May-08, 22:14

Whenever it makes sense, 4th suit by opener is natural and shows a 3-suited hand.

However, in some of these examples it doesn't make sense for it to be natural. In 1) and 2), opener would have rebid 2 with 0-5-4-4.

In such cases, 4th suit is a general strong bid, containing strong hands that can't bid anything else.
Posting in this thread is [...] probably not a net benefit to mankind --- gwnn
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### #10pescetom

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Posted 2019-May-09, 01:27

HardVector, on 2019-May-08, 18:13, said:

So, partner's 2n bid doesn't say anything. Partner could have a garbage stopper, or could be solid in the suit. Sounds like bad bidding to me. When I bid nt after a vulnerable suit has been identified, I'm saying I'm ready to play there.

It says quite a lot. Partner has 10-11 hcp, is willing to become declarer in nt and has some capacity to stop the vulnerable suit. It's an invite, direction is now up to us. If you never make that bid without two stops in their suit, that is your choice.
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### #11miamijd

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Posted 2019-May-09, 10:11

I think you are taking bids as artificial that are actually perfectly natural.

1♥ 1♠
2♣ 2NT
3♦

Game force, but ought to show something like 0544 with concern about spades. If responder has weak spades, 5m or 4h on a 5-2 might be a lot better than 3NT. How else is opener supposed to show this sort of hand?

There's no need to show or ask for a stop in diamonds. Partner already said he had one by bidding 2NT.

1♥ 1♠
2♣ 2♠
3♦

This is an odd auction that probably should never happen. If opener wasn't good enough to jump shift at his second turn, then how is he good enough to force game now, when responder hasn't shown anything more than the minimum he did the first time? And if opener has short spades, then responder's second bid has made things worse, not better.

1♣ 1♠
2♣ 2♥ Natural, F1-10PH+
3♦

This one is a matter of agreement. It could either be a hand with great clubs that wants a stop for NT, or else it could be a 15 or so 6/4 or 6/5 minor hand. With no prior agreement, I would think the latter.

1♣ 1♥
2♣ 2♦
2♠

The standard meaning for 2♦ here is artificial "third suit forcing" (game force with five hearts). I would take 2♠ here as a fragment, not asking for a spade stop. Since there are still two suits that we haven't really bid yet (spades and diamonds), you generally show your hand, not ask partner about his.

1♣ 1♠
2♥ 2♠
3♦

I would take this as a strong 0445. How else would you bid that hand? 2♠ just shows 5 spades. It doesn't deny side minor suit support. Our best spot could easily be in 5 or 6 of a minor. If you just wanted a stop for NT, you could just make the pedestrian 3C rebid. Partner will likely bid NT with a stop now.

1♣ 1♠
2♦ 2♠
3♥

I would take this as a fragment. Something like 1345. Again, who is to say that our best spot isn't in a minor suit? Responder MUST bid 2♠ with 5 of them, even if he has 4 clubs, so this looks like simple patterning out to me. As before, if you are interested in a heart stop for 3NT, you could just make the pedestrian 3C rebid. Partner will probably bid NT with a stop now.

Fourth suit asking would occur on an auction like:

1♠ 2♣
2♦ 3♣
3♥

On this auction, it's clear that:
1. We don't belong in diamonds (opener doesn't have 5 - he'd have rebid 3♦; responder doesn't have 4 - he'd have raised).
2. We don't belong in hearts (opener doesn't have 4 - he'd have bid 2♥; responder doesn't have 4 -- he'd have bid 2♥ (yes, I know that's fsf, but opener can raise the fourth suit)).

We could belong in spades, clubs, or NT. The only bid to really help us find out is 3♥. Responder will bid 3NT with a stop; 3♠ with a doubleton spade and no heart stop; and 4♣ if all he has is a pile of clubs.

Cheers,
Mike
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### #12msjennifer

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Posted 2019-May-09, 11:05

Sirs,the so understood Fourth suit bid by the opener may have various meanings depending upon the bidding and can not be necessarily considered the same as one made by the responder. 1)NORMALLY it depicts the distribution pattern.However the bid can be made to2)deny a three card support for responders 5 card suit where it appears that responder has a double suited hand,3)at the same time to express the inability to bid NT in a GF sequence 4)S Ince it is almost always a ORF if not GF it may be an advance CUE bid clarified later by agreeing a suit on the next round bid. It remains a subject that has not been given any serious special treatment at length by any of the famous authors of Natural Bidding.(Kindly correct me if I am wrong) In the Super Precision system that I play opener never makes the Fourth suit bids because by itself it is an artificial system wherein 1C/1D opening bids themselves do not indicate any clarification about the distribution pattern of openers hand.Felicity has almost rightly remarked about this 4th suit bid by opener.The partnerships are free to give any appropriate conventional meaning as such. It is pertinent that they use the ALERTS appropriately then.
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### #13HardVector

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Posted 2019-May-09, 13:10

So, anyone who is in the ACBL and gets the Bridge Bulletin, go to the May edition pg. 26 and look at Mel Colchamiro's article. It describes all of these situations. I'll just quote one particular paragraph that I feel is relevant to the current point in this thread.

Quote

If you don't have a stopper in the fourth suit, but want to ask if partner does, then bid the fourth suit as an inquiry. This is one application of what is called "fourth suit forcing." But if you already have a stopper in the fourth suit, then bid notrump yourself.

The reason to bid the 4th suit as a shape shower, is when you have no intention of playing in notrump. You are going to insist on playing in one of your suits, and may be interested in slam.
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### #14pescetom

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Posted 2019-May-09, 14:58

HardVector, on 2019-May-09, 13:10, said:

So, anyone who is in the ACBL and gets the Bridge Bulletin, go to the May edition pg. 26 and look at Mel Colchamiro's article. It describes all of these situations.

Which may or may not be a coincidence with this post

Mel Colchamiro Article said:

If you don't have a stopper in the fourth suit, but want to ask if partner does, then bid the fourth suit as an inquiry. This is one application of what is called "fourth suit forcing." But if you already have a stopper in the fourth suit, then bid notrump yourself.

I find it useful to distinguish between "fourth suit asking" and "fourth suit forcing".

"fourth suit asking" is exemplified in the quote above and is a consequence of simple bridge logic: if a natural NT shows a stopper in the fourth suit, then a bid of the fourth suit should ask for it.

But "fourth suit forcing" as I was taught it is a convention - which applies only after 1 over 1, for those of us who play 2 over 1 - when the responder at second turn shows the only remaining unbid suit: this is artificial and forcing (for most of us to game), with no other appropriate bid. A classic example in a natural system would be 1 1 1 1. We don't use it much, as we play XYZ and also do not consider 1 a suit: but sequences such as 1 1 2 2 or 1 1 2 3 are 4SF even for us.
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### #15miamijd

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Posted 2019-May-10, 12:34

HardVector, on 2019-May-09, 13:10, said:

So, anyone who is in the ACBL and gets the Bridge Bulletin, go to the May edition pg. 26 and look at Mel Colchamiro's article. It describes all of these situations. I'll just quote one particular paragraph that I feel is relevant to the current point in this thread.

The reason to bid the 4th suit as a shape shower, is when you have no intention of playing in notrump. You are going to insist on playing in one of your suits, and may be interested in slam.

You and I must be reading different articles. The one I see on pp. 26-28 doesn't cover any of these situations and doesn't contain the sentence you quote at all. Indeed, the sentence you ascribe (incorrectly, it appears) to Mel is nonsense. There are dozens of different uses for a fragment bid. Sometimes you'll end up in NT; sometimes you won't.

The article I see mainly (though not exclusively) covers situations where the OPPONENTS have bid one or more suits. That rule is simple. If the opponents have bid one suit, a cue-bid of their suit ASKS for a stop. If the opponents have bid two suits, a bid of one of their suits generally SHOWS a stop.

Mel only has one example where the opponents have not bid, and that's a very basic fourth-suit forcing scenario

1D 1H
2C 2S(4sf)

And even here, Mel is not quite accurate. 2S is not merely used to ask for a NT stop. Partner's first duty is actually to show 3-card H support here, not a NT stop. Probably partner doesn't have 3-card H support on this auction (if he did, he'd have a stiff spade), so failing that, yes, he will bid 2NT with a stop. But Mel's assertion that you'd bid NT with a stop here is just plain wrong. You would NOT bid 3NT instead of 2S with

AJxx AKxxx Jxx x

You'd make the same 2S bid, and then if partner rebid one of the minors, then you'd bid 3NT yourself.

The scenarios the OP provided are very different than the basic ones in Mel's article.

Cheers,
Mike
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### #16HardVector

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Posted 2019-May-10, 20:38

miamijd, on 2019-May-10, 12:34, said:

You and I must be reading different articles. The one I see on pp. 26-28 doesn't cover any of these situations and doesn't contain the sentence you quote at all. Indeed, the sentence you ascribe (incorrectly, it appears) to Mel is nonsense. There are dozens of different uses for a fragment bid. Sometimes you'll end up in NT; sometimes you won't.

I guess you didn't read the whole thing. Pg. 27, second column, at the bottom. It's in the section entitled "Don't worry, be happy". The quote, which I believe I stated, was in reference to where the thread was at, not the original question.

Quote

And even here, Mel is not quite accurate. 2S is not merely used to ask for a NT stop.

The article was not just on 4th suit forcing. You failed to include the hand that was making the 4th suit bid. You are correct in that 4th suit forcing can be used in a number of different things, but with the hand that was presented, attempting to play in nt was the goal.

Frankly, I'd rather trust the opinion of a published authority to your personal opinion.
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