~Rule of 17

Here is a convention or system that is useful in deciding whether or not to pursue game or slam in partner’s suit after partner has opened a Weak 2 Hearts or 2 Spades.
~Add your number of HCP to the number of cards you hold in partner’s suit (at least two).
~If your total equals or exceeds 17, you want to bid game or explore for slam.

If your total is 17 or only slightly higher, bid 2NT to find out if partner is at the upper end of his bid and has an A or K (a feature) in a side suit. Partner will show that holding by bidding three of that side suit; if the feature fits your hand, bid game in opener’s suit. If partner just rebids his suit (denying either the feature or the strength), pass.

Partner’s Hand
S KJ8754
D T92
C 76

Your Hand
1. S Q3 H KQ98 D A63 C A432
2. S AQ32 KQ98 D 63 C A32
3. S QT96 H KQJ9 D A63 C A4
4. S QT96 H KQJ92 D AK3 C A
1. With 15 HCP and 2 spades (total of 17), bid 2NT. When opener bids 3H, raise to 4S.
2. With 15 HCP and 4 spades (total of 19), bid 2NT. If partner shows a feature, bid 4S.
3. With 16 HCP and 4 spades (total of 20), bid 2NT. After partner bids 3H (showing the heart feature), bid 4NT (RKC). If RKC reveals enough keycards, bid 6S.
4. With 19 HCP and 4 spades, bid 2NT. After partner bids 3H, bid 4NT. Missing one control, stop at 6S.


One Response to “~Rule of 17”

  1. Daniel L. Jacobson Says:

    I was taught that the rule of 17 is an asking bid of where you are in the preempt. This less than 9 points, with or without a feature the opener rebids his suit a 3 level. With 9-10 pts. and a feature, bid the feature. With 9-10 pts all in suit, rebid 3nt. Obviously, the 2nt bidder can pass, bid game or explore slam based on the combined holdings.

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