W open 1NT
- As an experiment, we allow opening 1NT with a six-card minor. This can even be a six-card minor and a singleton. One could then bid normally. But conventionally, you can respond 3 of a minor to Stayman or Jacoby transfer to show this hand. (So the only super-accept is 3 of the major, which is what we play anyway.)
- 2C is Stayman.
- Nonforcing. Over a 2D response, 2H and 2S are weak. With a two-card heart suit, the 1NT opener should transfer from 2H to 2S. The sequence 1NT - 2C - 2D - 2H - 2S - 3C is still weak and should be passed. (See Junk Stayman.) With a weak hand with 6 hearts and 4 spades, transfer to hearts. (Marvin suggests as a point of strategy that you should just transfer with 6 spades too, and I think he is right.)
- Does not promise a 4-card major. Over the 2H response, 2S is invitational with a 4-card spade suit. (3S is splinter; over 2S, 3H is a splinter)
- Rebid of a minor over Stayman shows 6-4 distribution (or maybe 5-4). It is invitational to game and it can be passed.
- After a Stayman response, 4NT is quantitative invitation to slam and 4C is Gerber -- RKC Gerber if the Stayman response was a major.
- After a positive response to Stayman, a jump to a suit is a splinter.
- 2S is a transfer to 3C; 2NT is a transfer to 3D. 1NT opener goes slow (2NT/3C) with 3 card support and 1 of the top 3 honors.
- If the (artificial) transfer bid is doubled, accepting the transfer implies that you can tolerate the lead of that doubled suit. If you can't, pass. If the transferer redoubles (or bids the artificial suit) after a pass by opener, that also suggests no stopper.
- A transfer to hearts followed by a bid of 2S is invitational and 5-5 in the majors; a transfer to spades followed by a bid of 3H is forcing to game and 5-5 in the majors.
- Texas transfers. 4D and 4H are transfer bids. They can be used just to play, say as pre-emptive with a long suit. If you then go slamming, it implies 6 of the suit. In contrast, Jacoby transfers only promises 5, though transferer could have more. For example, 1NT - 2D - 2H - 6H only shows 5 Hearts and opener should convert to 6NT with only two.
- Subsequent bidding over a Texas transfer: 4NT is Blackwood, and 5NT is the grand slam force. A suit bid is a void! Following a void showing bid, no trump or the agreed-upon major are negatives. Other bids are cue bids of aces.
- Bidding a second suit after Jacoby simply shows the suit. However, subsequent bidding might reveal this as a slam try. Bidding a third suit after a Jacoby transfer is just an efficient way of showing a 5-4-3-1 distribution with a singleton in the unbid suit.
- Jacoby transfer followed by a jump to a new suit is a self-splinter showing exactly a singleton (and a slam try). Opener bids 4NT with values opposite the singleton and 2-card support; opener bids 4 of the major with values opposite the singleton and 3-card support. All other bids are positive; below 4NT, they have no other meaning except to allow partner to bid 4NT RKC. If the Jacoby transfer is to a minor, only 4NT shows values opposite the singleton. If we are past 4NT (because of a super-acceptance, e.g., 1NT - 2H - 3S - 5C), all bids are cue bids showing aces. (Subsequent cue bidding of a skipped suit shows a king.)
- Bids at the 3 level are invitational to slam and show a 5-card suit. These imply that we might have a 31-HCP slam with a 5 card suit. Such slams require the fillers in the suit. They do not deny a 4-card major, because Stayman cannot be used. There is not much need for 3C and 3D are not as useful, because the same information can be gathered by a minor suit transfer. By inference, these 3-level bids show a flatish hand, because Jacoby transfer could be used with a second suit or a singleton.
- If you are inviting to slam with a major suit, your best bid is usually 3 of the major. The best discriminant is usually partner's support in the suit. If you don't need support (e.g., AKQxxx or KQJxxx), then it is misleading to invite that way and you should use Jacoby or Texas Transfer.
- A Jacoby transfer followed by a leap to 5NT is the grand slam force.
- On the sequence 1NT-4NT, which is quantitative, pass or show suits..
When They Compete Against Our Opening 1NT
- When 1NT is doubled: Transfers are on. Stayman is off, so 2C is a transfer to diamonds. A redouble is strong. A pass is weak, and the 1NT opener should redouble or bid a 5-card minor. In running, we have either a 4-4 fit or two 4-3 fits. So we can safely pass up one 4-3 fit.
- When the opps overcall 2C natural (clubs and perhaps another suit), 2S is transfer to diamonds. 2NT is natural and invitational and shows a club stopper (and asks for 4-card major if opener is accepting the invitation.)
- When the opps overcall 2C, natural or not, double is for penalty and 3C is Stayman. 2D through 2NT are transfers, and in general all systems are on.
- For two-level bids that are natural (except 2C), we play Lebensohl.
- To stop, responder bids his suit at the two level, if he can. 1NT - (2D) - 2S. If he cannot, he bids 2NT, opener bids 3C, and then responder passes or bids his suit. 1NT - (2H) - 2NT - 3C - 3D.
- Strong hands can either bid above 2NT, or can bid 2NT and then bid beyond a suit that could not be stopped at. For example, over 1NT - (2H) - 2NT- (P) - 3C - (P), 3S would be strong, because with a weak hand responder could have just bid 2S.
- FADS. Fast arrival denies a stopper.
- We play Jacoby transfer on the direct (but not delayed) 3-level bids.
- A delayed cue bid, or a transfer to their suit, is Stayman.
- The direct bids on the three level are at least invitational to game. Opener should jump to game with the clear top half of the range.
- A cue bid by the no trump opener implies no stopper.
- Over preempts at the 3-level or higher, all bids are to play. Except cue bids, which ask opener to bid a 4-card major.
Over Opening 2NT or 2C 2D 2NT
I assume we want to play the same system over both of these, just for the sake of memory, and that there would be a slight preference for making it like 1NT.
- Transfers -- same as over 1NT, except that 3S is for the minors and 3NT is to play.
- I think the only way to show 5-4 in the majors is to bid Stayman, and then (if need be) bidding the 5-card major over 3D. I guess that we would want this to be forcing, as it will occur more often with good hands than bad. On the other hand, there is no ruffing value in dummy for the 5-3 fit.
- Directly, 4C is Gerber and 4NT is invitational. Over Stayman, 4NT is Blackwood.
When we Overcall No Trump
We play "all gadgets on" (AGO) for 1NT and 2NT overcalls, including 1NT in the balancing seat (1x - P - P - 1NT). However, the transfer to the opponent's suit shows 4-4-4-1 with a singleton in the opponent's suit.