The Impossible Negative is a convention used by players responding to a Precision (or other strong club) 1 opening. A 1 response is normally an artificial "negative" bid that shows less than 8 points. However, responder may also bid 1 with any 4-4-4-1 hand pattern that contains 8+ points. This is the "impossible" negative bid.

After opener makes his rebid, the Impossible Negative bidder has two types of rebids to disclose his shape and values, as follows.

Jump-rebidding the singleton

Responder can make a jump rebid in his singleton suit, assuming opener has not bid the suit naturally. For example:


1 (1)

1 (2)
3D (3)

  1. Strong and artificial
  2. Negative
  3. Showing 4-4-1-4 shape and 8+ points. (Diamond singleton.)

1! : 1!
1NT : 3! Showing 4-4-4-1 shape and 8+ points. (Club singleton.)

Jumping in no-trumps

If opener has bid responder's singleton suit, responder can jump in notrumps. For example:

1! : 1!
1H : 2NT! Showing 4-1-4-4 shape and 8+ points. (Heart singleton.)

1! : 1!
1S : 2NT! Showing 1-4-4-4 shape and 8+ points. (Spade singleton.)

See also

Online Audio Lessons by Marty Bergen