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«  0030  »

Responder 1st bids. After 1NT, General principles

30. Responses to 1NT - general principles
HCP points combined strength not beginners beginners
<11 game impossible pass or takeout with Transfer, or "wriggle" if doubled either pass, or bid at 2 level with 5-card suit to get out of NT if poor distribution.
11-12 23-26, game might be possible invite to game, use Stayman with 4-card majors, or Transfers with single 5+ card suit invite at level one less than game, in Major or NT
13+ 25+ to 27+, game values ensure we get to game, use Stayman & Transfers or direct to game with 6-card Major bid at 4 level if 6-card Major, else 3 level
16+ 28+ to 30+ minor game is on - but NT might be better if no slam minor game is on, but NT might be better if no slam
19+ 31+ investigate slam / 2-way Baron slam likely
how to reply Stayman, Transfers, wriggle,  
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Capitalise on the precision !

You already know very precisely what your partner has, since he has defined it so narrowly with his 1NT opening, There are many situations you can now use this fact to get to game more readily. (First though, don't forget to evaluate your hand for long suits because they have usable value).

1. When 1NT opening means 12-14 HCP

Summary of the logic
With less than 11 points, your total combined strength is only 12-24 HCP, a bit too weak, so game is not possible. Therefore either pass or get out of 1NT if it's an inappropriate contract. You can get out of NT by using Transfers, or if you're beginners by using a 2-level weakness takeout into a 5-card suit. Which your partner will then definitely pass on, won't he Neil?

With 11+ points, either invite partner to game, or put into game yourself:
If you have 11-12 points, recognise that 25 is possible, 23 is certain, and therefore "invite" partner towards game in some way (in a Major or NT, or let them choose, or use Stayman and Transfers, but remember - for people who don't use Stayman or Transfers - that a 2-level reply to 1NT is a bid that means "partner, please say no more" and that "invitation" therefore requires a higher bid).

If you have 13+, then recognise that 25 is now certain, so you should directly "choose" game in a Major or NT.

However, if your good suit and length is in a minor, you'll need more combined points than 25 to reach game. With 13HCP to "invite" towards a minor suit game, but remember NT is preferable, so steer towards NT.

With 16+, although you can now put it directly into game in a minor, again it might actually be better to choose NT if you are confident you have stoppers in all suits. That's mostly because you'll need two fewer tricks to win the huge "game bonus-points" if your contract is in NT compared with a minor suit contract.

With 19+ points, your combined strength is very very strong. This is rare, but fun, see slam bidding.

 

From the above, you can see that logic can be totally re-devised, even if you've left this crib sheet behind.

2 Strong NT openings

Incidentally, if you prefer a strong 1NT opening, generally meaning 15-17 HCP, that too is precise. You just need to adjust the meaning of the replies by 3 points.

 

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