by Tony Melucci


Introduction
2C Invitational Puppet Stayman
2D/2H/2S/3C To Play
2NT Game Forcing
3D Minor Suit Slam Try
3H/3S Forcing
Brozel Escapes
14-17 NT in 4th seat
Lebensohl
Quiz

Introduction

When you think of a preemptive bid, you probably think of an opening bid at the two, three or four level. These preempts are effective and important to a good, aggressive game of bridge. But, the most effective preempt you can make is actually 1NT. An important bridge maxim is "whoever bids NT first wins." How true that is!

Since 1NT is such an effective preempt, it seems logical to be able to use it as frequently as possible. Our opening 1NT shows 10-13 HCP, regardless of vulnerability (only in the passout seat does it change to 14-17 HCP). Using 1NT to show 15-17 or 16-18 HCP is a waste of a good bid, because it just doesn't occur frequently enough. About 1/3 of all hands contain 10-13 HCP. You will be dealt 15-17 HCP about 10% of the time and 16-18 HCP about 7% of the time. This does not mean you will get to open 1/3 of all hands 1NT. This is because of distribution or someone opening in front of you. But you will get to open many more hands with the ultimate preempt... 1NT. Why does a weak NT opening work out so well? There are several reasons:

It puts tremendous pressure on the opponents (The Ultimate Preemptive Factor).

  • They must guess whether their hand is worth a bid at the two-level.
    • If they pass they might miss a game.
    • If they bid they might end up in a poor contract for lack of room to discover their best fit.
    • If they bid they have less room to figure out how many points their side has and overbid or underbid.
    • If they bid they might catch their partner with nothing and suffer a large low-level penalty.

  • Weak NT auctions get to game immediately whenever possible (i.e. 1NT - PASS - 4). In this auction the oppenents do not know if the 4 bidder has 6 hearts and 19 HCP or is just making a preemptive bid with 7 hearts and 0 HCP. Similiar to the auction of 2H - PASS - 4, it puts the oppenents to a guess.

  • It puts your partner in a comfortable position.

  • Partner will have a lot of knowledge about your hand from your first bid and feel confident throughout the auction.

These are just some of the reasons to play Weak NTs. Of course, as with any system, you will experience some bad results because of it. Guaranteed. The bad results might be because of:

  • Playing the contract from the wrong side.
  • Bidding and going down when the hand would have been passed out.
  • Getting doubled in a partscore AND being set more than the value of the oppenents game (this happens much less frequently than you might think).

When you play Weak NTs, with Strong NT hands you open 1 of a suit and rebid 1NT. Is this a major disadvantage? Not significantly. I've found that opening 1 of a suit with stronger hands sometimes helps to evaluate game and slam possiblities better.

If the system is played correctly, the good results will outweigh the bad. I personally tracked the matchpoints on hundreds of hands where my partner or I opened a Weak NT. The average was approximately 65%. You don't have to be a statistican or a bridge expert to realize the signifcance of that figure. Take the good results with the bad. In the long run you will be well ahead of the strong notrumpers.

You may open 1NT with semi-balanced distributions (i.e. 5-4-2-2, 6-3-2-2, 7-2-2-2), even if the two doubletons are unstopped! 1NT can also be opened with a five card major if it is not strong enough to open 1H or 1S (10-11 HCP). Possible 1NT openers are:

SKJ5
HA943
DQ842
C97
S984
HQ8542
DJT
CAKJ
ST7
HAQJ
DK86532
CJ3


Other Bids When Playing a Weak NT

With the strong NT hands you must open of a suit. A rebid of 1NT shows 14-16. A rebid of 2NT shows 17-19. Also, there are other auctions where you can infer extra values from a NT rebid. For example, 1 - 2 - 2NT (oppenents passing) would show 14-16; 3NT, 17-19.

A common problem with any range of NT is what to do with NT strength and a five card major. What do you rebid after you open 1H, partner responds 1S and you have a 5-3-3-2 type hand? For weak NT users some of the choices are:

A) After 1-1, a 1NT rebid is standard (12-14). Make up a bid with a 5-3-3-2, 15-17 (rebid your five card suit or bid a three card suit).
B) After 1-1, a 1NT rebid is a strong NT, 14-16. Open 1NT with a 5-3-3-2, 10-13 and a five card major.
C) After 1-1, a 1NT rebid is a strong NT, 14-16. Open 1NT with a 5-3-3-2, 10-11 and a five card major. With 12-13, and a 5-3-3-2 rebid 2C unless your doubleton is in clubs, then bid 2 (like a forcing NT response).

I've played all three systems. A) is too awkward. B) is good because you get to open with the ultimate preempt more often, but C) is slightly better because the "field" will be opening 1H with your hand and you will lose on partscore hands where the major suit plays better than NT. The ambigous 2/ rebids rarely occur and cause a problem even less.

NorthSouth
KJ5SQ98
HQT3KJ62
DAJT9T85
CA84762

1
1NT

1
Pass

North's 1NT rebid shows 14-16.


NorthSouth
KJ5SQ98
HQT3KJ62
DAJT9T85
CAK4762

1
2NT

1
Pass

North's 1NT rebid shows 17-19.


NorthSouth
AKJ3SQ982
H98KJ62
DK972T85
CKT8Q62

1
1
Pass

1
2

North should bid 1 to show the four card suit.


NorthSouth
KJ92SAQ4
HKJTAQ52
DKJ6T95
CKJ5T72

1
1NT
Pass

1
3NT

With such a balanced and NT oriented hand, North should skip over the four card spade suit. South has the option of going through Checkback Stayman (see next section) to find a 4-4 spade fit.

Checkback Stayman

After the bidding goes 1/1/1 - 1 major - 1NT (14-16):

  • 2 is a relay to 2 and says you either want to play 2 OR have invitational (but not game forcing) values and are interested in a major suit game. If you make any bid after the relay to 2, then you are showing invitational values.

  • 2 promises game forcing values (good 11+ HCP) and tends to show interest in a major suit game. Rules of a game forcing auction apply (fast arrival denies slam interest, jumps in NT show extra strength). See section on fast arrival for a more detailed description.

  • A new suit past 2D at the two or three level is a weak hand, non-forcing (the only exception is a reverse in the auction 1/1 - 1 - 1NT - 2)

Checkback Stayman can also be played after a rebid of 2NT. This is commonly called a Wolff Signoff. 3 shows a weak hand that wants to signoff. 3 creates a game force.

NorthSouth
A83SJ64
HQJ8AT73
DKQJT97642
CK953--

1
1NT
2

1
2

1NT shows 14 to 16. 2 is a relay to 2 and enables North to play the contract there.


NorthSouth
QJST852
HAQJ73
DJT94AQT83
CQJT796

1
1NT
2

1
2

Again South wants to play 2, so he goes through 2.


NorthSouth
K73SQJ862
HA9J8543
DA986372
CAJ56

1
1NT
2

1
2

2H is weak promising at least 5-4 in spades and hearts.


NorthSouth
A73SKQT94
HK2A85
DQJ53296
CAQT964

1
1NT
2
4

1
2
2

Going through 2C, and then bidding 2S, South shows invitational values with 5 spades. North can PASS, bid 2NT, 3S, 3NT or 4. He chooses 4.


NorthSouth
QT86SAK64
HKJ7Q9863
DAJ6T6
CAJ3K8

1
1NT
2

1
2
4

South forces to game with 2D, and North shows 4 spades. South denies any interest in slam with 4.


NorthSouth
KJ4SAQ832
HKJ7AT84
DKJ32Q6
CQJ6K8

1
1NT
2
4

1
2
3

2S shows 3 spades (don't worry about the distribution). 3S is forcing and shows at least mild slam interest. 4 shows NO slam interest (his hand couldn't be too much worse!).

Responses to 1NT

Our responses to 1NT are very scientific. You can find outopener's point count, length in the majors or minors, and can escape into a good contract if 1NT is doubled.

  • 2C is a Modified Puppet Stayman promising invitational values (11+ -15-), but denying game forcing values.
  • 2D/2H/2S/3C shows a five card or longer suit (3C shows 6) and 0-11 HCP.
  • 2NT is game forcing showing a balanced or semi-balanced hand, interest in a major suit game and 15+ HCP (similar to 2D Game Forcing Stayman).
  • 3D shows interest in a club or diamond slam (similar to Minor Suit Stayman).
  • 3H/3S shows 5+ of that suit and an unbalanced hand. Game Forcing.
  • 3NT, 4, 4, 6H, 6S, 6NT, 7NT are to play.
  • 4 is Standard Gerber.
  • 4NT invites 6NT.
  • 5NT invites 7NT.

If the opponents overcall:

If the opponents double (regardless of what the double means):

  • Brozel Escapes (Mandatory Reopen)


2C - Modified Invitational Puppet Stayman (Weak NT only)

A bid of 2C in response to 1NT shows enough values to invite game, but not enough to force to game. The range for this bid is 12 (or a very good 11) to a bad 15 HCP. Opener's bids 2H or 2S with a 5 card major, 3C or 3D with a 6 card minor or bids 2D with any other hand. After 2D you bid 4 card majors up the line. NOTE: This is different than the normal Puppet Stayman used in 2NT - Game Forcing or after a 2C opener and a 2NT rebid. Here are some examples of how two hands might be bid:

NorthSouth
A974SJT
HA32T973
DT853AKQ
CQJK862

1NT
2
2

2
2
2NT

2D shows no 5 card major or 6 card minor;
2H, 4 or more hearts;
2S, no heart fit, but 4 spades and a minimum hand (with a maximum you would jump to 3S);
2NT, no spade fit.


NorthSouth
QJ8SAK953
HK4A65
DA9762JT84
CQ729

1NT
2
4

2
3

3S shows a 5 card suit. North is happy to accept the invitation. NOTE: Since 2C already denied a game forcing hand, 3S is non-forcing.


NorthSouth
JT4SA53
HAQJ84KT52
DK3AQT94
CT846

1NT
2

2
4

2H is a 5 card suit with 10-11 HCP. South's hand reevaluates to a 4 bid.


NorthSouth
AT2SK53
HK986T
D653QJT
CATKQJ984

1NT
2
3NT

2
3

Since 2C already promises invitational values, 3C emphasizes the club suit. North realizes how valuable the is, and accepts.


2D/2H/2S/3C - To Play (Weak NT Only)

After a 1NT opener from partner, these are signoff hands (2D/2H/2S/3C respectively):

S9843
HJ8
DQ8653
CAJ9
SQJ3
HQJ872
DKJ4
CJ2
S86542
H732
D653
C94
S952
H53
DT8
CJ98642

Opener is expected to pass, but can raise with good 4 card support or compete with any 4 card support. 6 clubs are required for 3C, but only 5 are necessary for 2D, 2H or 2S. The range for this bid is 0-11 (with a very good 11, you can bid 2C). With a no trumpish hand and good entries you might consider passing 1NT as opposed to bidding 2D or 3C. Never pass 1NT with a five card major.


2NT - Game Forcing (Weak NT Only)

Playing 2NT as game forcing is quite effective combined with our 2C as Invitational Puppet Stayman, and 3D looking for a minor suit slam. It is superior to Two-Way Stayman because you get to describe all the same hands Two-Way Stayman does, plus you get to play 2D. 2NT Game Forcing is easy to respond to because you bid your shape as if partner opened 2NT (standard).

After 1NT - 2NT:

  • 3C - Puppet Stayman (the most common rebid)
  • 3D - 5 hearts
  • 3H - 5 spades
  • 3S - 5-4 in the minors, 12-13 HCP
  • 3NT - No interest in any other contact

After 1NT - 2NT - 3C:

  • 3D - One or both four card majors
  • 3H - 5 hearts
  • 3S - 5 spades
  • 3NT - Neither 4 nor 5 of either major

After 1NT - 2NT - 3C - 3D:

  • 3H - 4 spades
  • 3S - 4 hearts
  • 3NT - No interest in a four card major, was interested in a five card major
  • 4C - 4 hearts and 4 spades, asks 2NT bidder to bid their major (or better major with both)

NorthSouth
J863SAQT
HKJ7AQ63
DQ853K9
CAJQ762

1NT
3
3

2NT
3
3NT

3C is Puppet Stayman, 3D shows one or both four card majors, 3H, a four card spade suit, 3NT denies a spade fit.


NorthSouth
AJ85SKQ93
HQJ62K94
DJT8532
CQJ93AK

1NT
3
4

2NT
3
4

In this auction, 4 shows both majors.


NorthSouth
JT7SAQ954
HJ2A87
DA842K65
CAT94QJ

1NT
3
4

2NT
3

3C - Puppet Stayman, 3S - 5 spades, 4 - Spade fit, no serious slam interest (a cuebid would indicate a fit and serious slam interest).


NorthSouth
A95SK6
HJT852AKQ43
DK62Q7
CQ9AKT82

1NT
3
4
5

2NT
3
4NT
6

3D - 5 card heart suit (transfer), 3S - Cuebid, 4 - Cuebid, 4NT - RKC for hearts, 5 - 1 key card (can't be 4 after a weak NT opening), 6 - Good Job!


NorthSouth
AT7SKQJ96
HA6K94
DA843K75
CT842AK

1NT
3
4
5

2NT
3
4NT
6

3C - Puppet Stayman, 3S - 5 card suit, 4 - Cuebid showing slam interest, 4NT - RKC for spades, 5 - 0 or 3 keycards (obviously 3 from South's hand), 6 - South can see 11 tricks and figures there is likely a 12th trick somewhere since North cuebid 4.


3D - Minor Suit Slam Try (1 or 2 suited) (Weak NT Only)

This shows a hand that is interested in a minor suit slam. It is similar to Minor Suit Stayman. This is bid is game forcing and asks opener to show his shape. The responses are:

3H - At least 4 clubs
3S - At least 4 diamonds
3NT - Neither 4 clubs nor 4 diamonds
4 - At least 4 clubs and 4 diamonds


NorthSouth
T873SA6
HAJK94
DAKT3QJ875
CT84AKQ

1NT
3
4
5

3
4
4NT
6

3D expresses interest in a minor suit slam, 3S shows 4+ diamonds, 4 agrees on diamonds as trump, 4 is a cuebid (first or second round control), 4NT is Roman Key Card Blackwood for diamonds. The 5 response is 0 or 3 key cards (South knows it's 3).


NorthSouth
Q6S--
HAJ982T6
DAT9KQJ8732
C863AKJ5

1NT
3NT
4
5

3
4
4
6

After North shows no four card minor, South's bid of 4 shows 6+ diamonds. 4 is an encouraging cuebid (5D would be discouraging). South cuebids 4. North with nothing more to say bids 5. South has an easy 6 call.


3H/3S - Forcing (Weak NT Only)

When your partner opens a Weak NT, and you have a game forcing hand which is unbalanced and contains at least one 5 card or longer major, you should forego the 2NT response and bid the longer major at the three level. This action is forcing to game, shows length in the bid suit and asks partner to:

A) Bid 3NT with only 2 card support
B) Raise to 4 with 3 card support
C) Cuebid a new suit with 3 or more card support and a good control

NorthSouth
Q642SAKJT85
H98536
DA9KQ84
CAQ5K7

1NT
4
5

3
4NT
6

3S shows a game forcing hand, unbalanced.
4 is a cuebid in support of spades, showing 12-13 HCP, at least 3 card support and the A or K.
4NT is RKC for spades.
5 shows 0 or 3. South could bid 5 to ask it was 0 or 3, but he knows North has at least the A since South has the K.


NorthSouth
94SAKJT85
HKJ7536
D752KQ84
CAQ9K7

1NT
3NT
4

3
4

3NT by North shows a doubleton spade.
4 is a second suit.
4 would be a cuebid for diamonds by North, so he simply corrects. South is discouraged and passes. Note that a cuebid by North can't be a cuebid for spades, because 3NT denied 3 spades. North should raise even with a 4-3-3-3 distribution because South is unbalanced. South could have gone through 2NT with possible interest in NT.


NorthSouth
62SAKJT85
HQ436
DAT972KQ84
CAJ5K3

1NT
3NT
5

3
4
6

The auction continues the same except this time North has great diamond support and announces his enthusiasm by cuebidding 5. South figures the slam is a decent shot.


Brozel Escapes after a DOUBLE

One reason people fear playing the Weak NT is that you might get doubled and go for a telephone number. This escape system will get you out of almost all doubles. It is a bit more complex than most escape systems, but well worth learning. Look in Appendix A for a detailed description of other escape systems to compare to ours.

Regardless of what the double means (penalty, one suited hand, two suited hand, the majors), the escapes are on. Two suited hands are 4-4 or better. One suited hands will contain a 5 card suit (or 4-3-3-3 distribution).

2C - Clubs & Hearts
2D - Diamonds & Hearts
2H - Spades & Hearts
2S - Spades

REDOUBLE - Two suited hand without hearts (Clubs & Diamonds, Clubs & Spades, Diamonds & Spades).

PASS - Forces partner to redouble. You either want to play 1NT redoubled or you have a one-suited hand and will pull the redouble to that suit.

NOTE: If the auction proceeds 1NT - Pass - Pass - DOUBLE, the 1NT opener just bids his distribution as if the auction went 1NT - DOUBLE. He would bid 2C with clubs and hearts, redouble with both minors or spades & a minor, pass with a single suiter, etc. If the auction proceeds Pass - 1NT - Pass - Pass - DOUBLE, the escapes are off and bidding proceeds naturally, because the cards are unlikely to be seriously stacked against you (and a big penalty against the opponents is likely). Here are some example escape hands:

NorthSouth
K53S97
HAJ9T8753
DQ986T73
CT53964

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
Rdbl

East    
Dbl
Pass

South    
Pass
2H

South's PASS is forcing showing either a hand that wants to play 1NT redoubled (usually 10+ HCP) or a single-suited hand.
2H shows aheart suit. If East or West bid in any of these escapes sequences, North and South should SHUTUP QUICKLY! A good general principle is that when you've successfully escaped, the oppenents are in a very awkward position. Let them guess what to do!


NorthSouth
653S9
HAQJ5K862
DK863T75
CJ8T9764

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
2

East    
Dbl


South    
2C

South's 2C shows at least 4 clubs and hearts. North takes his preference.


NorthSouth
AJT8SKQ63
H95T8
DT857642
CKQ43JT3

West    

Pass
Pass

North    
1NT
2
2

East    
Dbl
Pass


South    
Rdbl
2D

South's redouble shows a two-suited hand without hearts (Clubs &Diamonds, Clubs & Spades, Diamonds & Spades). When South corrects 2C to 2D, North knows he must have diamonds and spades and re-corrects to 2S.


NorthSouth
KJ9ST83
HA98653
D9853QJT4
CQJK863

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
2

East    
Dbl


South    
Rdbl

After a redouble, North's response will usually be 2C, but on this hand he knows diamonds or spades will be a better contract than 2C.


NorthSouth
QJ3S87
HQ84975
DQ953KJT4
CQJ2KT53

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
2

East    
Dbl


South    
Rdbl

Just in case South has a diamond fit, North bids 2D. North is equally happy playing 2C as 2S, so, 2D is right just in case South has this hand. Notice that if North bids 2C they will end up playing their 4-3 fit instead of their 4-4 fit. Responding to the redouble is a logical problem... What might partner have?


NorthSouth
T85S653
HK83QJ83
DKQJ3752
CQ74T85

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
Rdbl

East    
Dbl
Pass

South    
Pass
2

Yuck! Sometimes you won't have a one or two-suited hand and you will have to lie and tell partner you have a one-suited hand.


NorthSouth
KJSQ854
HQ98526
DJ8T9652
CQJ83762

West    

Pass
Dbl
Dbl

North    
1NT
2
2


East    
Dbl
Dbl
Dbl


South    
Rdbl
2
2

EEEEK! This is the hand we fear, although it hasn't happened to us (yet!). Everyone's bidding was normal. After the two suited RDBL, North hopes with 2C, but South bids 2D to show diamonds and spades. South tries 2H showing a five card suit just in case South has T854 763 T965 76, making 2H a better spot (a 5-2 H fit is also possible) or T8543 6 T965 762, making 2S better. Don't let this hand scare you off from the Weak NT, these type of hands will be rare and more often than not the oppenents will bid something and rescue you on these hands where THEY will be doomed for a bad result. Weak NTs are really exciting!


NorthSouth
A86SJ53
HAKJ5QT73
D653AJ7
C984Q63

West    

Pass
Rdbl!

North    
1NT
Rdbl
Pass

East    
Dbl
2H!
Pass!

South    
Pass
Dbl
Pass

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. My partner, Rich Unger, and I were sitting North and South. East's hand was (KQx xxxx KQx AKx). He should have passed over North's redouble, obviously. West thought the 2nd redouble was SOS, East didn't have the same idea. Rich and I confess that we burst out laughing at the end of the auction (and kept laughing most of the evening). Double-dummy, we might have been able to beat the hand for +2200, but South, of course, couldn't find a heart lead and we only beat it two for +1000 (the same top). This is an extreme example of the great results you get with Weak NTs and our escape system.


NorthSouth
93S82
HAKT64QJ93
D8752T964
CK9753

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
3H

East    
Dbl


South    
2D!

After South shows diamonds and hearts, North is drooling with the double fit. Although you shouldn't be anxious to jump, this hand is appropriate for a jump at any vulnerability.


NorthSouth
A53S864
HA864KQT2
DK96584
CT7J9853

West    

Dbl

North    
1NT
2D

East    
Pass
Pass

South    
Pass
2H

North escapes showing diamonds and hearts and South places the contract. Don't forget that the escapes apply after a balancing double is made.


NorthSouth
K9SA853
HKT6QJ3
DQ8652KT3
CK53JT7

West    

Dbl

North    
1NT
Pass

East    
Pass
Pass

South    
Pass
Pass

North passes to show a single suited hand and is expecting South to redouble, but South is happy with 1NT doubled. It appears as if West may have been making a light penalty double and is not likely to do that in the future.

REMEMBER: The escapes don't apply if the DBLer in the passout seat has already passed. If the DBLer is a passed hand, opener should bid a good 5 or any 6 card suit, else pass and wait to see if partner can double them. Partner may also want to sit for 1NT doubled (these possibilities are more likely since the DBLer is doubling on a weak hand).


Responding to 14-17 NTs (4th Seat)

Responses to the 14-17 NT are more "standard." You should use whatever systems you normally use over your Strong NT. We will not go into great detail over our response to the 14-17 NT because they will occur so infrequently. When deciding what to play, keep in mind your partner has less than 12 HCP.

In the Ultimate system after a 4th seat, 14-17 NT:

  • 2NT is invitational, not game forcing
  • Garbage Stayman
  • Jacoby (2S is a transfer to 3C and could be a diamond bust)
  • Texas (off after an overcall, on over a double)
  • Forcing Smolen
  • 3H - 5/5 in the majors, invitational
  • 3S - 5/5 in the majors, forcing

NorthSouth
K4ST873
HAJ53QT94
DAJT8653
CQJ973--

West    

Pass
Pass

North    

1NT
2H

East    
Pass
Pass


South    
Pass
2C

South uses Garbage Stayman after the strong NT opener and passes whatever North bids.


NorthSouth
QJ6SK852
HK7AT9542
DAQ85JT
CQT328

West    

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

North    

1NT
2D
3NT
4H

East    
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass


South    
Pass
2C
3S
4D

South uses Stayman to check for a 4-4 spade fit and then bids 3S, Smolen. 3NT shows a doubleton heart and 4 is a transfer to hearts.


NorthSouth
J9SKT652
HA94QJT83
DKJ84Q
CAKJ7T5

West    

Pass
Pass

North    

1NT
4

East    
Pass
Pass


South    
Pass
3H

South bids 3H to show 5/5 in the majors and invitational values (with T8752 JT832 A KQ, he should bid 3S).


NorthSouth
KQ8S72
H843KQJ952
DKQ73--
CKQTJ652

West    

Pass
Pass

North    

1NT
4

East    
Pass
Pass


South    
Pass
4D

South uses a Texas Transfer after North's 4th seat 1NT.


NorthSouth
AJ63S74
HKJ7495
DQ6KT5432
CA82954

West    

Pass
Pass
Pass

North    

1NT
3
Pass

East    
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

South    
Pass
2S
3D

South bids Minor Suit Stayman and corrects 3C to 3D.


Bidding when the opponents interfere after a 1NT opener (Lebensohl)

We use Lebensohl (Slow Shows) when there is interference. A brief summary (natural overcalls):

  • A direct jump to 3NT says I have values for 3NT, no interest in a major suit game and no stopper.
  • A direct cuebid is Stayman, asking for a four card major and no stopper.
  • A new suit at the two-level is to play.
  • A new suit at the three-level is forcing (5 or more cards).
  • 2NT is a relay to 3C, responder will describe his hand at his next bid.

After the relay:

  • 3NT shows the values for 3NT, no interest in a major suit and a stopper.
  • A cuebid shows a stopper and is Stayman, asking for a four card major.
  • A new suit above overcaller's suit, is invitational.
  • A new suit below overcaller's suit, is to play.

NorthSouth
KJ63SAT
HA8T5
DQ874A93
CT63AKQ752

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
Pass

East    
2H
Pass

South    
3NT

3NT shows the values for 3NT without a heart stopper. North has the stopper and can leave it in, without the stopper he would pull 3NT to a minor.


NorthSouth
T853SAKQ4
HAKQT8
DA39862
C97542AQ

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
3S

East    
2D
Pass

South    
3D
4S

3D asked for four card major and denied a diamond stopper. North bids his major and South raises to game. If North bid 3H, South could be 3NT, leaving the decision up to North, because his original call of 3D denied a stopper.


NorthSouth
KT3SAQJ85
HQ64JT7
DQJ8953
CA97482

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
Pass

East    
2H
Pass

South    
2S

2S is to play. Even after the strong NT, 2S would not be a transfer after the overcall.


NorthSouth
A83SK9
H97AJ842
DAQJ83K75
CT63A4

West    

Pass
Pass

North    
1NT
3NT


East    
2S
Pass


South    
3H
Pass

3H is natural and forcing and says nothing about a stopper. North has a stopper, but no support so 3NT looks good. 3S by North would ask for a stopper.


NorthSouth
853SAK
HAK7T63
DQJ93AK84
CJT4A652

West    

Pass

North    
1NT
3C

East    
2S
Pass

South    
2NT
3NT

2NT is a relay to 3C and 3NT after the relay shows the values for 3NT with a spade stopper.


NorthSouth
AQJ4SK9
HT3AKJ5
DQ86A73
CQJT5K983

West    

Pass
Pass

North    
1NT
3C
3S

East    
2D
Pass
Pass

South    
2NT
3D
3NT

3D after the relay is Stayman promising a stopper. 3S shows 4 or 5 spades.


NorthSouth
KJTSAQ8532
HK7A3
DQ8596
CKJ843QT9

West    

Pass
Pass

North    
1NT
3C
4S

East    
2H
Pass


South    
2NT
3S

3S in this sequence is invitational because it is above overcaller's suit. North accepts.


Quiz

As dealer, what do you open?

SQ93
HA64
DJ952
CAJ8

1

SQJ3
HQ83
DQJ5
CQ742

2

S75
H942
DKJ85
CKQJ3

3

SKQJ
HJ3
DT4
CQJ8543

4

SQT
HQ97
DKJT7
CJ983

5


Your partner opens 1NT (10-13) and your RHO passes. What action do you take?

SJ9864
H542
DJ32
C98

6

SJT52
HJ843
DJ985
C4

7

S865
H942
D98632
C52

8

SAQ8
HAK93
DJ9
CJT63

9

SA82
HK7542
DA
CAJ43

10

SJ86
HJ4
DQJ63
CAKQ5

11

SA5
HA9
DKQ954
CAK54

12

SAK8532
H--
DJ82
CQJ75

13

SKQ974
HQJ
DA9432
C8

14

SKQJ6
HJT75
DAT
CJT4

15

SQJ976432
H--
D9754
C3

16


Your partner opens 1NT (10-13) and your RHO overcalls 2H. What action do you take? If you make a relay, also write down what your next bid will be.

SKQ7
HKQ5
DKQ
C87532

17

SAQJT83
HA
D532
C986

18

S9854
HAK
DAK
CQ8752

19

SAJT63
HJ5
DQJ6
CAQT

20

SAQT82
H7
D976543
C5

21


Your partner opens 1NT (10-13) and your RHO doubles. What action do you take?

S874
HAK963
D92
CT72

22

SAK852
H643
DT8
C764

23

SKQ93
HJT42
D983
C64

24

S75
H964
DJT85
C7632

25

S986
HQT93
DJ
C87532

26

S8542
HKQJT7
D93
C73

27

SKJ5
HKJ6
DKJ9
CJT84

28

S953
HJ95
DJT6
CQJT7

29


You open 1NT (10-13) your LHO and partner pass. Your RHO doubles. What action do you take?

SAK85
HKJ84
D972
C65

30

SJ64
HK92
DK8
CKT953

31

SKQ65
H85
DQT93
CA84

32


Quiz Answers

  1. 1NT
  2. 1NT
  3. 1NT, don't worry about having two suits unstopped.
  4. 1NT, 6 card (and on rare occasions, 7 card) suits are perfectly okay.
  5. 1NT, only 9 HCP
  6. 2S
  7. PASS, you can't Garbage Stayman with this system.
  8. 2D
  9. 2NT, game forcing.
  10. 3H, natural and game forcing.
  11. 2C, and follow up with 2NT. Vulnerable at IMPs, we would stretch and bid 2NT immediately.
  12. 3D, a minor suit slam try.
  13. 4
  14. 2C, and over partner's response bid 3S, invitational.
  15. 2C, bid 2H over 2D or raise 2H/2S.
  16. 4, although there are many creative possiblities (2H, 3H, 3NT, 4, etc.)
  17. 2NT, and then 3NT over partner's 3C.
  18. 2NT, then 3S.
  19. 2NT, then 3H.
  20. 3S
  21. 2S
  22. PASS. You have 1 suited hand. If partner gets the chance to redouble, you will pull to 2H.
  23. 2S. This shows a single suiter in spades. This is the only single suiter you can bid directly.
  24. 2H. Hearts and Spades.
  25. RDBL. Both minors OR spades and a minor.
  26. 2C. Clubs and hearts.
  27. PASS. You could bid 2H for the majors, but your since your fivecard suit is so much better than your four card suit, treat it as a one suiter.
  28. PASS. If your partner redoubles, leave it in. If they bid anything,double it.
  29. PASS. You are praying one of the oppenents will bid. If the redouble comes around to you, bid 2C with confidence and in tempo.
  30. 2H. Hearts and spades.
  31. PASS. One suited hand (could be 4-3-3-3). If partner wants to know your suit he will redouble.
  32. RDBL. Both minors OR spades and a minor.