Partnership Understandings: Level 4

7 A 2 : A pass directly after a natural, non-forcing one-level suit opening bid must not show, or usually have, any values.

You may be in that seat holding a hand with values but no suitable suit to overcall, not the right shape for a take-out double and not the strength to overcall 1NT according to your system.

Agreed that pass must not SHOW any values by partnership agreement, but according to the regulation it must also not HAVE any values.

What do you do?


  • The words are 'usually have' - so it does allow exceptions. Sometimes you do have high card values but have no sensible bid in your system e.g. a 3-3-3-4 12 count. (You can convey this to partner by pausing before passing of course - TIC). Equally you may have fewer high card points but have values (which I would interpret as 'trick-taking capabilities') in length in one or more suits, when you can overcall.

    The aim of the rule is to ensure that 'pass' cannot be used constructively.

    if you did not include the word 'usually' then you would have to bid/ double on any hand stronger than 432,432,432,5432.

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