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The weak no-trump is a generic term for all natural 1NT opening bids that show less than 14 or 15 HCP. The traditional weak notrump shows 12-14 HCP, although popular HCP ranges include:

  • 10-12
  • 10-13
  • 11-14
  • 12-14
  • 13-15
  • 14-16

The weak notrump is a preemptive bid intended to gobble up the opponents' constructive bidding space. One problem of the weak notrump, however is that 4-4 major-suit fits are frequently missed, when playing in a major is much better than playing in notrumps. Also, because the weak notrump is subject to penalty doubles by the opposition, an escape system is a necessary adjunct:

If integrating the weak notrump into your system, it is also important to consider its effect on natural sequences such as

1 : 1

1NT here normally shows around 12-14 HCP, but playing a weak notrump should show 15-17.

See also