Quick summary

33 points is not a guide - it's essential

Don't include points for voids and singletons

It's all about raw strength

37 for a Grand Slam


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33 points for a No Trump "Slam"

Don't ask for Aces and Kings otherwise

Bidding successfully in No Trumps (NT) always requires great precision in HCP point count, by comparison with bidding in a suit.

By contrast, when you have a suit contract, ruffing in short suits can make up for weaknesses and lower HCP count.

On the other hand, when bidding in NT you really do need HCP points, especially for a slam. Voids are no substitute, of course, having nothing to trump with.

When bidding for a NT Grand Slam, you'll need lots of brute strength, 37+ points in fact. There are 40 HCP's in the pack, so with the minimum 37 you can be certain of having all the aces, quite probably all the Kings, and with typically only one Queen and one Jack missing, you might still make it because you know you'll have a very good chance of killing the Queen and the Jack. Better still, you might have one strong suit with some extra length, and never have to worry about the missing high cards in the other suits.

With a Small Slam in NT, you can afford one trick less, so the minimum needed is 33,(1) representing one Ace less than the minimum needed for a Grand Slam.

The good news is that there are relatively simple ways of bidding which provide this enormous precision, and which make bidding a NT slam somewhat easier than bidding a suit Slam.

(1) 31 is the equivalent number for a suit slam.

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