3.5 Bidding After Reverses — Ingberman

Ingberman is a convention used to allow you to stop below game after opener’s 2-level reverse bid. It is similar to Lebensohl in that bidding 2NT (relay to 3♣) then giving preference is weaker than an original preference.

Definition of a Reverse: Any rebid by opener which forces preference of the opening suit to the three-level. If the initial bid and response were one of a suit, this bid is forcing one round (promises a rebid), but does not create a game force.

For example:

TheyWeTheyWe
  1♣ Pass 1♠
Pass 2    
 
TheyWeTheyWe
  1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2    

Reverses after 1 - 2♣ are forcing to game since responder has shown 10+ HCP and opener has extra values. I also like to play that reverses after a 1NT response are forcing to game, since opener knows there is no fit in the higher suit. If you don’t have a game force in this situation, just raise to 2NT.

TheyWeTheyWe
  1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2 Pass ?
2♠ 5+ spades, any strength, forcing one round. All other calls deny 5 spades except for raises of hearts
2NT Denies the values for game opposite a minimum reverse — asks partner to rebid 3♣, so responder can take preference at the three-level to play
3♣ Good hand (10+), with values in clubs
3 2+ diamonds, values for game; denies 5+ spades
3 4+ hearts, values for game: serious 3NT is on by both hands
3♠ Solid or semi-solid spades, can play opposite a small singleton
3NT 8-10 HCP, club stopper, denies 3 diamonds or 4 hearts
4♣ Splinter in support of hearts
4 Unused
4 Picture Bid: 5 spades, 4 hearts, no controls in the minors. It may as well mean something as it is so preemptive.

Note: We do not play fast arrival. Note that the 3 preference can be made on a doubleton. This would only happen if you had nothing in clubs, for example, ♠AQxx Kxx Qx ♣xxxx. You certainly have the values for game, but have no other strain to suggest. If we belong in 3NT, it must be played from partner’s side.

TheyWeTheyWe
  1 Pass 1♠
Pass 2 Pass 2NT
Pass ?    
3♣ Any normal reverse, 17 - 19 points
3 6+ diamonds, game forcing
3 5+ hearts, 6+ diamonds, game forcing
3♠ 3 spades, game forcing
3NT Probably 2=4=5=2, 20 - 21 HCP