High-spin states of the odd–odd 194Bi nucleus have been studied by means of nuclear spectroscopy for the first time. Two low-lying rotational bands were observed. The positive-parity band built on a short-lived isomeric state 633 keV above the α and β decaying long-lived (10-) state is assigned a πi13/2⊗νi13/2-1 configuration, while the other band is attributed to the πh9/2⊗νi13/2-1 configuration. Both of these bands are assumed to have oblate shape. Three band-like structures composed predominantly of Δ I= 1 transitions were also found. One of the shears band candidates is firmly linked to the lower lying level structures whereas for the other two links to lower-lying structures remain missing.