Quick summary

You really need 6 cards.

Simplest method, after 1NT:

But this fights with precision balanced reply to 1NT

So either use a hybrid. . ...

Or best of all:


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0161  »

Minor suit transfer

If you play transfers, what do you bid after a 1NT opening when you want to play in a minor ? Obviously you can't bid 2club or 2diamond, since these bids would be interpreted as "Stayman", or "Transfer to Hearts".

There are several ways of doing it, so you should agree with your partner which method you are going to use. In all cases you need 6-cards if your bid is a weakness takeout, because you are often going to end up at the three level.

Use Stayman to transfer to Diamonds, and get to Clubs if needed

You can simply use Stayman, bid 2club. If the opener responds 2diamond, which he will do on about 35/40% of occasions, you can just pass if you want diamonds. You will have managed a transfer into diamonds. What's more you've transferred at the 2 level, which would be useful for a weakness takeout. If the opener responds in 2heart or 2spade, you can switch to 3diamond. In this case it's not a transfer, but at least you get to your suit, albeit at the 3 level.

After you have successfully transferred to diamonds, you can then rebid according to your strength. You might want to go beyond 2 or 3diamonds. However, it can be difficult to get to game, and at the same time to choose between 3NT and 5diamond.

If you're trying to get to clubs, you have 2 choices depending on your strength. , you can then bid 3club after the transfer, if you want clubs at the lowest level. Don't worry, opener will pass if he wants to talk to you again ! He knows you would have gone straight to 3club after your 1NT if you were strong.

You should Stayman to transfer to a minor if the 2spade method below doesn't work for you. Many people like to use the 2spade bid to differentiate between 11 and 12 HCP.

Transfer to Clubs, and get to Diamonds if needed

Bid 2spade. Opener should then automatically bid 3club. If Clubs is the suit you wanted, you will pass, transfer is complete, albeit at the 3-level. If not, you can bid 3diamond. Well, at least you managed to get into the right suit, even if in the case of diamonds you did not managed to transfer the bid to the opener.

Why not use this system? Use a hybrid instead, if you can remember it

One reason you might not like to use this method is because you prefer to use the 2spade bid to indicate a balanced hand and precisely 11 HCP, which some people like to do. Such a bid instructs the opener to rebid 3NT only with a maximum 14 HCP. This system means that the usual 2NT reply can be made more precise and useful: bid 2NT =" I have a balanced hand and exactly 12 HCP". This allows the opener to bid 3NT with 13 HCP.

This has been further refined to include the use of the 2spade bid as a means of transferring into a minor suit. Thus after a weak 1NT:

  • 1NT - 2spade. "I may have 11 HCP, or I may have a long minor suit"

Opener rebids:

  • 2NT with a weak hand (12 HCP). Partner then chooses between passing, or bidding a minor suit.
  • 3club with a strong hand (14 HCP). Partner then chooses between 3NT, passing, or bidding diamonds.

Another method

An alternative method of transferring to a minor suit is to use 2spade as a transfer to clubs, and 3club as a transfer to diamonds, but this loses the power of the 3club bid.

5-cards ?

As you know, you need 5 or more cards to transfer into a Major. Here though, since you are going to end up at the 3-level, you should really have 6-cards for a transfer into a minor suit. That's not really a problem, since with shorter suits you will probably want to be playing in NT.


About us   Contact us     Terms & conditions of use      Log in      Comment on current page

© Bid and Made. Nothing on this website may be reproduced without written permission from Bid and Made. Just drop us a line, and we'll almost certainly say yes.