Balancing – Last Pass Bid Position

A balancing bid is used to compete in the bidding when your opponents intend to end the bidding at the one or two-level.


Chances are, if your opponents are ending their bid at two, they don’t have many points between them.  Why should they win the contract, simply because they bid first?

  • If they find a fit, it is also likely that your own partnership has a fit.
  • The opposite is also true – if they don’t find a fit, you probably won’t either in your partnership.



  • Opponents have opened 1 of a suit
  • Opponent partner makes a simple suit raise to 2 of the same suit    OR
  • Opponent partner remains at the 1 level
  • Opponent partnership then passes

Own Partnership Defensive bid:

In the last bid position, where a pass would end the bidding:

  • If you have within a king’s value* of opening points
    • AND you have a long suit (5+ cards)
      • AND recommended not vulnerable
    • Enter the bidding with
      • an overcall or double with the right distribution and 10+ points.
      • a long suit at the 1 level
      • overcall at the 2 level with a long suit (5+ cards) and 10 points
      • overcall at 1NT with 12+ points 
  • Partnership should:
    • agree that doubles in this position are not for takeout AND
    • knowing this is a balancing bid, deduct 3 points from their response bid


  • Overcall:  
    • 6 points + 5-card suit
  • Doubling: 
    • Shortness in opponent’s suit
    • 13 points – King = 10+ points
    • Support for unbid suits
  • No Trump Opening:  
    • 15 points – King = 12+ points


Use caution when:

  • Opener rebids their own suit
  • Opponent partnership ends at 1NT
  • When the opponent partnership does not find a fit.