You have this hand: spades: 3; hearts: AQ32; diamonds: KJ87; clubs: K632.

With this holding, what will you open the bidding? Answer: 1D. The reason is that when you are opening the bidding and have no 5 card major, you open your longer minor; or if you have two four card minors, you open 1D.

If you have two three card minors, you open 1C.

So, you open with 1D, and partner now bids 1S. Now what do you do?

Do NOT rebid 1NT. That bid guarantees a balanced hand and no singletons or voids. Your rebid should be 2C.

Note that you cannot bid 2H now because that would be a reverse, promising more cards in the first bid suit than the second, and it would also promise 17 or more points.

A reverse is when the opening bidder bids a new suit at the 2 level on his rebid that is higher in rank than the suit with which he opened. Reverses are not available to an opener with a minimum hand.

For all of these reasons, you must now bid 2C.

Many players say that they do not play reverses. Reverses are not a convention; they are an important part of the Standard American bidding system that all players need to learn. The only players who do not play them are the ones who do not understand them yet.

In short, when an opener reverses, he always has two biddable suits with more cards in the first bid suit than the second, at least a 5-4 distribution, and he always has 17 or more points.

Try a few more. Which bids below are reverses?

1. 1C-1S; 2D

2. 1C-1H; 1S

3. 1H-1S; 2C

4. 1D-1S; 2H

Kathie Walsh, accredited by ABTA, teaches all levels of bridge at Hilton Head Island Bridge Club.