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The Gambling 3NT is an opening 3NT bid showing a solid 6-8 card minor suit. It typically denies a void or 4+ card side suit. Side suit strength depends on partnership style. Opener may have anywhere from 0-3 outside suits stopped. Let us call these the aggressive, moderate and conservative approaches.


The aggressive style is more preemptive by definition. With the example hand above, it's clearly more obstructive to open 3NT instead of 3C. This hand type is also more common than the conservative hand with a running minor suit AND all side suits stopped, which appears about as often as Halley's Comet. However, the disadvantage of an aggressive approach is that it may wrong-side the contract when partner holds stoppers (tenaces) in the side suits.


There are several flavors of responses to play. Below is a summary of some common approaches.

Responder's Bid Meaning
4C   There are a couple ways to play this:

  1. A weak bail-out bid, asking partner to pass or correct to 4D.
  2. Artificial, strong and forcing. Shows interest in slam. Asks opener to clarify her hand.
4D   Again, a couple ways to play this:
  1. Gerber, asking for aces. Responder should have a clear vision of what the final contract might be.
  2. Artificial, strong and forcing (if 4C is weak).
4H   Natural, showing a good 6+ card heart suit.

4S   Natural, showing a good 6+ card spade suit.

4NT   Quantitative, inviting 6NT.

5C Bail-out bid, showing major-suit weakness but good support for both minors. Asks opener to pass or correct to 5D.

Opener's Rebids

There are multiple ways to define opener's rebids.

  1. In response to a strong 4C ask, opener may:

    • Bid 4D Gerber.
    • Bid 4H/S to show a side-suit ace.
    • Bid 4NT with a minimum.

    The same rules can apply over a strong 4D response, except that opener cannot use Gerber.

  2. Alternatively, opener's rebids may describe suit length. In response to a strong 4C ask, opener can:

    • Bid 4D/H/S to show a singleton in that suit.
    • Bid 4NT with a semi-balanced hand, i.e. 2-2-2-7 or 2-2-7-2.
    • Bid 5D to show long diamonds with a singleton club.

    The same rules apply when replying to a strong 4D inquiry, except that opener must bid 5C instead of 4D to show long clubs with a stiff diamond.

In Competition

  • If the opponents double 3NT for penalty (how unsporting!), responder may bid 4C as a runout bid, asking opener to pass or correct to 4D.

  • If the opponents overcall, a 4NT bid by responder is natural. It is neither quantitative nor Blackwood.

See also

  • Marvin 2S
    An artificial 2S that shows a decent 7-card minor with a side control.

  • Weak Two Bids
    Opening bids of 2// to show a 6-card suit with a weak hand.