Quick summary

Our 1NT response systems have been destroyed!

Lebensohl is a way of keeping systems open, now that Stayman & Transfers are off. Cue bid the enemy suit instead of Stayman 2club

And you can send your partner down 5 avenues of different strengths:
  1. 2 level new suit (non-forcing)
  2. 3 level new suit, force to game
  3. 2NT is intermediate, starts a weaker auction
  4. Double is for penalty
  5. Re-instate Stayman (bid enemy suit)

Route 3, intermediate 2NT, allows bid of lower ranking suit than RHO's, without forcing to game. Works by forcing opener to blind relay 3club

Route 1 is not always open; might use Route 3 instead

For NT game, can also explore who holds stopper in enemy suit, by using Route 3 and 5 in combination


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0111  »

Interfering bids. Overcalls, Response to 1NT after suit overcall (Lebensohl)

Your partner opened 1NT. But the opposition overcalled in a suit, showing an opening hand. You have three options now, in addition to passing

  • bid naturally (Stayman and Transfers are cancelled)
  • use Lebensohl cue bid (that's a way of re-instating Stayman)
  • double in this case for penalties.

Your partner's 1NT opening was overcalled. Pass with 4-card Major? Aargh!

"Reinstate" Stayman with a cue bid of the enemy suit

Lebensohl is a way of keeping systems open, now Stayman is off. Just cue bid the enemy suit instead of bidding 2club.

  • 2spadeheartdiamond = natural, 5-card
  • 3spadeheartdiamond = natural, 5-card, forcing to game
  • 3 cue bid enemy = like Stayman, no enemy stopper
  • 3 NT=to play, no enemy stopper
  • 2NT=relay, auto reply 3club, then. . .. . .
  • 3 suit < enemy = to play
  • 3 suit > enemy = inviting
  • 3 cue bid enemy, as above with stopper
  • 3 NT, as above with stopper

"Like Stayman" means asking for a 4-card Major, because you have one.

The response codes are the same as after Stayman, but possibly at the 4-level if they overcalled in Spades, so you might want to reconsider. It's going to be much eaasier to cope with a minor overcall. If the response code 4diamond meaning no Majors has been consumed by the cue bid of the enemy suit, then bid 3NT.

Other situations

When your partner has overcalled 1NT, and RHO bids. Essentially the same as above, but allow for the fact that partner is not weak (12-14), but strong, with 15-18.

2NT as a puppet to 3club is often used in other positions and is usually given the same name, Lebensohl.

Now try the quiz

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(You can try quizzes for any other subjects too while you're there. Look out for the thin red line).



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