# The Logic of 1NT Forcing

#### Description

presents

The Logic of 1NT Forcing by Bernie Chazen

Email Bernie online [email protected]

Visit Bernie’s Website below - a must see

www.berniechazen.com Call Bernie at: 954 720-4929

2

The Logic of 1NT Forcing by Bernie Chazen

3

Page

Introduction

5-6

1

Standard American Responses to 1♠ or 1♥ Opening Bids

7 - 13

2

1NT Forcing

14 - 15

3

Why Should Responder’s 1N Response to 1♥ or 1♠ 16 - 17 Opening Bids be Forcing (for one round)?

4

Responder’s 1N Forcing Bid When Responder Has a Long (6+ card) Suit.

18 - 23

5

Opener’s Second Bid After Partner Responds 1NT Playing Standard American

24 - 25

6

Opener’s Second Bid After Partner Responds 1NT Playing 2/1 Game Forcing

26 - 27

7

1NT Forcing Quiz 1

28 - 29

8

1NT Forcing Quiz 2

30 - 31

4

www.berniechazen.com

[In the course of reading this book you may find the words 2/1 Game Forcing abbreviated with 2/1 GF.]

5

Nowadays when a bridge player says he plays 2/1, he means that the old “rule” of requiring ten HCP (High Card Points) when responding to partner’s opening bid in a lower-ranking-suit-atthe-two-level has been replaced by the concept of having an opening bid instead. The value of each player knowing that his partner has an opening bid cannot be overstated. Since each partner is aware that the partnership has the values for game (two opening bids equals 25+ HCP), the bidding can proceed to game without any jumping to show extra values. In Standard American such jumping took away valuable bidding space and usually made determining the correct contract a difficult matter. The sister booklet to this one, “The Logic of 2/1 vs Standard” discusses this in great detail. Responding 1NT to a minor suit opening does not differ playing 2/1 GF or Standard. It still shows 6-10 HCP and it is not forcing. By requiring an opening bid to respond in a new suit (lower than opener’s) at the two level, a special burden falls upon the 1NT response to a major. Since a 1NT response might contain as many as 11 or even 12 HCP, it becomes obvious that such a response must be treated differently than a Standard American 1NT response which shows at most nine or 10 HCP. Hence the need for a booklet such as this. If the reader’s intention is to become familiar with the 2/1 Forcing to Game System, this book is best used together with it’s “partner,” “The Logic of 2/1 vs. Standard” by the same author. Contact the author for details.

6

Standard American Responses to 1ª or 1© Opening Bids Opener

Responder

Meaning

1♠ 1♠

1N 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

5 - 10 HCP, less than three spades 10+ HCP, minors may be a 4-card suit but hearts must be 5+

1♥ 1♥

1N 2♣, 2♦

5 - 10 HCP, less than three hearts 10+ HCP, minors may be 4-cards

When the response to 1♠ or 1♥ is a 2/1, the bidding is natural. Sometimes opener or responder must jump at his second turn to show extra strength. Failure to jump with extra values might lead to missing game. Here are some examples: ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1 AQJ84 AJ7 QJ2 T5

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 1 K3 KQ3 T63 Q9843

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 1A T3 KQ3 T63 AJ982

Auction 1A Opener 1 Resp 1A 1♠ 2♣ 2N Pass

Auction 1 Opener 1 Resp 1 1♠ 2♣ 2N Pass

In Standard American opener would miss game with both Responder 1 and Responder 1A if opener rebids only 2N with his 15 HCP. With a minimum 10 HCP, Responder 1 would pass the 2N bid, as would Responder 1A. So, in Standard, opener should jump to 3N at his second turn and not bid 2N. The point is that opener must jump to 3N at his second turn or risk missing game since responder may be passing a 2N rebid. 7

In the examples below, responder must choose to jump or not to jump at his second turn. ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 2 K5 AJ8742 QJ65 2

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 2 QJ6 Q53 T7 KQJ87

Auction 2 Opener 2 Resp 2 2♣ 1♥ 2♥ 3♥ All pass

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 2A A63 Q53 KT QJ873

Auction 2A Opener 2 Resp 2A 2♣ 1♥ 2♥ 4♥ All pass

Clearly North will pass any invitational bid such as Responder 2’s 3♥ bid. Responder 2A has a better hand than Responder 2 so he must jump to game so as not to give opener a chance to pass. It would appear from these and the page 7 example hands that jumping the bidding is helpful. The truth is it can be either helpful or hurtful, depending on the hand. Consider the next sets of hands. You will notice that jumping the bidding puts the partner of the jumper in a position to make the final decision. Unfortunately, the decision maker doesn’t have enough information to make the final decision. ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 3 KJ6 KQ9752 A4 765

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 3 QT5 T KQT3 AQJ83

Auction 3 Opener 3 Resp 3 1♥ 2♣ 2♥ 3N All pass

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 3A QT5 JT J52 AKQJ3

Auction 3A Opener 3 Resp 3A 1♥ 2♣ 2♥ 3N All pass 8

Responder 3 and Responder 3A each had to bid 3N at their second turn since opener might pass if they bid 2N. Opener, of course, had no idea whether to pass 3N (the right action opposite Responder 3) or bid 4♥ (the right action opposite Responder 3A). If the 2♣ bid had been forcing to game, each responder would have been able to bid 2N the second time. Opener would then support clubs by bidding 3♣: Responder 3 would bid 3N over opener’s 3♣ while Responder 3A (with no diamond stopper) would say 3♥ which opener would raise to 4♥. The sister booklet to this one, “The Logic of 2/1 vs Standard” discusses this in great detail. The Much Better 2/1 Game Forcing Auctions Auction 3 Auction 3A Opener 3 Resp 3 Opener 3 Resp 3A 2♣ 2♣ 1♥ 1♥ 2♥ 2N 2♥ 2N 3♣ 3N 3♣ 3♥ All pass 4♥ All pass

Some Other Standard American Auctions Auction 4 Opener 4 Resp 4 1♥ 1N 2♣ 2♥ How many hearts does Responder 4 have in the above auction? Only two. If he had real support and 7-9 points, he would have raised hearts at once. see this=====>

Auction 4A Opener 4 Resp 4A 1♥ 2♥ How many hearts does Responder 4 have in the above auction? Three or four. This auction shows a simple raise...7-9 points with trump support as compared to the auction left which shows a preference!

9

Review of the 1NT Responder’s Second Bid After Partner opens 1♠ PLAYING STANDARD AMERICAN Opener 1♠ 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

Responder 1N 2♠

Meaning

1♠ 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

1N 3♣, 3♦, 3♥

1♠ 2♣

1N 2♦, 2♥

1♠ 2♦

1N 2♥, 3♣

1♠ 2♥

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♠ 2♠

1N 3♣, 3♦, 3♥

1♠ 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

1N 2N

10 points; invitational to 3N

1♠ 2♠

1N 3♠ or 2N

10 points; invitational to game

preference (see #4 page 9 bottom)

raising the 2nd suit shows trumps, but less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

10

Review of the 1NT Responder’s Second Bid After Partner opens 1♥ PLAYING STANDARD AMERICAN Opener 1♥ 2♣, 2♦

Responder 1N 2♥

Meaning

1♥ 2♣, 2♦

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♥ 2♣

1N 2♦

1♥ 2♦

1N 3♣

1♥ 2♥

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♥ 2♣, 2♦

1N 2N

10 points; invitational to 3N

1♥ 2♥

1N 2N

10 points; invitational to 3N

1♥ 2♥

1N 3♥

10 points; invitational to game

preference (see #4 page 9 bottom)

raising the 2nd suit shows trumps, but less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

11

Quiz Cover the answer at the right. What should responder bid at the “?”

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 1 2 JT6 6543 AQJ76

Auction 1 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 2 Q9 AK87 T9753 65

Auction 2 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 3 K4 AJ753 543 543

Auction 3 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 4 J8 A986 J85 T542

Auction 4 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 5 T9 QJT5 KJT3 K93

Auction 5 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

2♣

2♠

2♥

2♦

2♠

?

?

?

?

?

? = 3♣. Responder’s raise of opener’s second suit shows long trump and often shortness in the opened major. Responder bids 2N with more points even with four clubs. ? = 3♠. With a hand with more than two tricks and a doubleton in opener’s suit, responder should make a courtesy raise to three of the major. ? = 3♥ or 4♥. The author much prefers a 4♥ bid here but admits that some would bid only 3♥. At IMPs, 4♥ is automatic. Maybe a more delicate 3♥ at Matchpoints. ? = 2♠. Responder’s choices are pass or 2♠. Since 2♠ is a preference, showing only a doubleton, that’s our choice. Spades scores more than diamonds. ? = 2N. With a maximum (10 points) and stoppers everywhere, 2N seems obvious. Never bid 2N to escape from partner’s bid. Only bid 2N to suggest going to 3N!

12

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 6 T J8 QT6 KJT6532

Auction 6 Open Resp 1♠ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 7 KQT J QT976 QT96

Auction 7 Open Resp 1N 1♥

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 8 AJ9 Q9 T87532 J8

Auction 8 Open Resp 1N 1♥

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 9 QJT T7 QT76 AJT5

Auction 9 Open Resp 1N 1♥

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 10 T96 95 AQJ532 J8

Auction 10 Open Resp 1♥ 1N

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 11 AT7 Q3 AT764 T76

Auction 11 Open Resp 1N 1♥

2♦

2♥

2♣

2♦

2♣

2♥

?

?

?

?

?

?

? = 3♣. With a seven card suit, the 3♣ bid is clear. Opener knows responder has less than 10 points from his 1N response. Usually, opener just passes 3♣. ? = 2N. Just like in #5 on page 12, responder should make an effort to get to 3N with this maximum 1N response. With fewer HCPs, responder should pass! ? = 2♥. Seems like a choice between 2♦ and 2♥ (not enough for 2N). With such weak diamonds and an honor in hearts, the writer likes the 2♥ choice. ? = 2N. A 3♦ bid tends to show longer trump and fewer points (see #1 on page 12). Here, 2N expresses the hand perfecrtly: let’s get to 3N partner, if possible. ? = 2♦. This one is a snap. The 2♦ bid stands out. What other choice makes sense? When your 6-card suit is strong, it’s easy. Compare with #8 above. ? = 3♥. This hand should remind you of hand #2 on page 12. We repeat:with a hand with more than two tricks raise opener if you have two trumps!

13

1NT Forcing The purpose of Chapter 1 was to make certain that you had total understanding of the meaning of responder’s bids subsequent to his response of 1N. Perhaps you picked up other small points such as the “preference” at responder’s secAuction A Open Resp ond turn. A preference can even be given in a minor. Consider the auction shown Resp A 1♥ 1♦ left. Responder’s 2♦ preference ♠ K842 2♣ 2♦ might conceiveably by made with ♥ J7432 only a doubleton diamond. What ♦ Q3 else would you expect the responder to bid with ♣ 95 responder hand A at the right? So, as we first realized in Chapter 1, a preference at responder’s second turn doesn’t mean much, only that responder would rather take the preference than make any other call...including pass. Remember: a preference is usually made with a doubleton and never a singleton. 2/1 Game Forcing The bidding system called “2/1 Game Forcing” has two major components: A) The six 2/1 responses (raising opener’s suit is not called a 2/1 response) show opening bids unlike Standard American where these same responses show 10+ HCPs. Here are the six auctions: 1. 1♠ - 2♥

4. 1♥ - 2♦

2. 1♠ - 2♦

5. 1♥ - 2♣

3. 1♠ - 2♣

6. 1♦ - 2♣

B) The second component involves the response of 1N to an opening bid of 1♠ or 1♥, the so-called 1NT Forcing. 14

It behooves us to discuss the one anomaly in the six auctions on the previous page. The auction that is different is #6 because it is the only auction in which the opening bid is one of a minor, instead of 1♥ or 1♠. The concept of responder’s 1N response being forcing does not apply when responding to a 1♦ or 1♣ opening bid, but only to a 1♥ or 1♠ opening bid. In all six of the auctions which begin as shown on page 14, the partnership must get to game. After all, one of the first things we learn as bridge players is that one opening bid opposite another opening results in game being bid...somewhere! Let’s review our current status. Playing 2/1 Game Forcing means that each of the six auctions that begin as shown on page 14 must result in the partnership arriving in a game contract. What contract? We don’t know yet. The auction continues (just as it does in Standard American) with each partner telling more about his hand with each bid. The good news is that there will be no jump bids since both members of the partnership know immediately after the 2/1 response that they must keep bidding until they arrive in game. Neither partner is permitted to pass below game. There is no such thing as changing your mind! The rest of this booklet will be devoted to explaining the auctions that begin

i)

Opener 1♠

Responder 1N

ii) or

1♥

1N

The explanation and continuations of the 2/1 auctions which start like #1 through #6 on page 14 can be found in the sister booklet to this one entitled, “The Logic of 2/1 vs Standard” by the same author. See the back cover for ordering information.

15

Why Should Responder’s 1N Response to 1♥ or 1♠ Opening Bids be Forcing (for one round)? Once you know the answer to the above question, you can fully appreciate the system called 2/1 Game Forcing. In Standard American, as you know, the opening 1♥ or 1♠ bidder should simply pass a 1N response without a second suit, a 6-card suit or extra points. This is quite logical (almost) since the 1N responder has 6 - 10 HCP. Since responder has at most 10 HCP, game is extremely unlikely when opener has a balanced hand (no second suit, no 6-card suit) without extra HCP. We say “almost” because, like most everything else, there can easily be exceptions. Consider the two hands below and the “obvious” auction. North B South B Auction B ♠ JT854 ♠ 7 W N E S ♥ A4 ♥ K53 1♠ P 1N ♦ A75 ♦ KQ6 All pass ♣ KQ4

♣ JT9832

Although there are times when responder stretches by bidding at the 2-level with less than 10 points, that only happens when responder has a very strong suit like ♣AKJ954. It would be quite unlikely to have any player respond 2♣ with the above responder’s hand with such a bad suit (clubs), less than 10 HCP and a stiff spade. However, the cold 5♣ contract would be missed. By the way, 3N is also cold! The point to the above discussion is that the responder’s range (6 - 10) is relatively small so when opener passes the 1N response it is probably a reasonable contract. Obviously from the above example, this is not always the case. Of course you realize that the range is so tight because with 10+ HCP responder goes to the 2level (in Standard American). In 2/1 Game Forcing, responder needs an opening bid to respond in a new suit at the 2-level. When responder has enough 16

strength to respond (6 HCP), yet is unable to go to the 2-level in a new suit (less than an opening bid) and doesn’t have three or more of his partner’s major (so he can’t support that major) what can responder do other than to respond 1N? However, you should realize that responder will at times have an 11 or even 12 HCP hand (unable or unwilling to force to game). Most 11 HCP and many 12 HCP hands are not opening bids. What can the responder bid? YOU KNOW. 1N! Since we require an opening bid to make a 2/1 Game Forcing response, the responder will have to respond 1N not just with 6 10 HCP but also with most 11 and 12 points hands. You should now realize why the 1♥ or 1♠ opener should not be allowed to pass the 1N response. Since the opener has an average hand of 13 HCP (yes, sometimes 12 but sometimes 14) and the responder might have as many as 11 or 12 HCP, the combined strength for the partnership might easily be 24 - 26 HCP. It would be much too easy to miss game if opener passes. Missing game doesn’t happen very often playing Standard American because the combined total is 22 - 24, at most, since responder never has more than 10 HCP. Playing 2/1 Game Forcing, the response of 1N to a 1© or 1ª opening bid is forcing for one round and: 1) shows 6 - 12 HCP 2) typically denies 3-card support for opener (one exception later on) In Standard the second danger is that responder has a long suit and winds up playing the hand in 1N because he was unable to name his suit immediately and never got a second chance when opener passed. See page 16. Not so when 1N is forcing for one round. The 1N response to a 1© or 1ª opener is forcing for one round: 1) so as not to miss game; and 2) also to get to the best contract (and stay low enough to make it) when responder has a long suit and less than an opening bid. 17

Responder’s 1N Forcing Bid When Responder Has a Long (6+ card) Suit Even playing Standard American there are problems when responder has to bid 1N in response to the opening 1♥ or 1♠ bid when responder has his own long suit. In Standard, responder might get to play in 1N since opener might just pass (see page 16). One of the benefits of playing 2/1 Game Forcing is that this is not the case. Since the 1N response is a one round force (ONLY IN RESPONSE TO AN OPENING MAJOR), opener must bid again and now the responder gets a second chance and can now name his long suit, if he has one. However, the problems are just beginning. If you consider the opening bid ‘C’ below, you will notice three possible responding hands: C1, C2, and C3. After the opening bid of 1♠, each of the responding hands would bid 1N (even hand C3 is not quite good enough to respond a game forcing 2♥ since he will be overboard if openAuction C er has a minimum with a singleton heart.) Opener Responder The auction would be something 1♠ 1N like:========================> 2♣ 2♥

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Open C A9754 K3 K2 QJT4

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp C1 2 AJT964 543 762

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp C2 2 AJT964 543 K62

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp C3 2 AJT964 QJ3 K62

It should seem obvious to you that something is not right. Look at hand C1. Responder has a complete minimum and is hoping to play in 2♥, which he might not make. However, responder C2 has a better hand and would probably make 3♥ or even 4♥ on a good day. Now, responder C3 has a hand that might have made a 2/1 immediately but didn’t because if opener had only a stiff heart, responder’s 2♥ bid (instead of 1N) would probably result in a minus score. Returning to the first sentence of this paragraph, what’s wrong is that there is too big a spread between the worst 18

hand and the best hand that responder can hold for the given auction. The range of almost every bid in bridge is a king or an ace: 3 or 4 HCP. Some examples: 1. Opening 1N 15 - 18 2. 1♣ - 1N 6 - 10 3. 1♣ - 2N 11 - 12 or 12 - 15 your choice 10 -12 4. 1♥ - 3♥ and we’re sure you can think of some more. But, the 1N forcing response to the opening 1♥ or 1♠ bid is 6 - 12...MUCH TOO LARGE A RANGE. No one can tell if you have a minimum or a maximum. Playing 2/1 we can fix the problem quite easily when responder has his own long suit. Here’s what we’ll play: A) When responder has an opening bid with a 6-card suit, he makes a game forcing 2/1 response to the 1♥ or 1♠ bid. B) When the 1NT responder has a maximum, (10-12 HCP), with a 6-card suit, he will jump in his 6-card suit in response to the opening 1♥ or 1♠ bid. This jump is forward going but it will not be forcing. It is invitational. Opener may continue bidding armed with the fact that responder has a 6-card suit with 10 - 12 points. Naturally, the better the fit in responder’s suit, the more the opener should want to continue. When opener has a minimum opening without a fit for responder (such as a singleton), opener should reject the invitation by passing! When opener doesn’t have a fit for responder, he needs more HCP to continue bidding. One of the worst mistakes in bridge is to ‘escape’ to NT when you have a stiff in partner’s suit. As long as you are permitted to pass, you should not be ‘running’ from what partner bid. C) When responder has 6 - 9 HCP with a 6-card suit he should respond 1N forcing to the opening 1♥ or 1♠ bid and then bid his 6-card suit after opener’s second bid. Opener will know that the responder has a minimum (6 - 9) since with a maximum (10 - 12), responder would have jumped at his first turn as described in ‘B’ above and with an opening bid responder would have bid a 2/1 in his suit. 19

You should realize how exact a picture responder can paint with a long suit as long as you are playing 2/1 game forcing. With a long suit and 6 - 9 points, responder bids exactly as in Standard American but is guaranteed to get a second chance. If the responder jumps in his suit it show a 6-card suit and 10 -12 points. With an opening bid and a long suit responder makes a 2/1 game forcing bid in his suit. Very exact! Back to the examples on page 18. After the 1NT response C1 would rebid 2♥ (6 - 9); C2 would rebid 3♥ (less than 10); and C3 would respond 3♥ (10 - 12) immediately. The 3h bid for C2 distinguishes it from C1. This distinction is not always available.

Quiz What is the best bid with each hand below to a 1♥ or 1♠ opening ? ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 1 4 K6 AT54 Q76532

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 2 4 K6 AT54 AQ7653

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 3 4 K6 JT54 AQJ532

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Resp 4 K9 Q7 AQJT76 T98

Resp 1

Easy 1N response intending to bid clubs after opener’s next bid.

Resp 2

Another easy one. This is a 2♣ response. A full opening bid with a good 6-card suit is enough to force to game.

Resp 3

The classic jump to 3♣ to show an invitational hand. Opener passes or goes on depending on the quality of the fit and strength of hand.

Resp 4

Borderline hand for a 2/1 but we would chance a 2♦ game forcing response. 20

It should be clear that is doesn’t much matter whether you are playing Standard American or 2/1 Game Forcing when it comes to responder’s initial response of 1NT. The key difference, of course, is that when playing 2/1 Game Forcing the response of 1NT to a 1♥ or 1♠ opening might be as many as 11 or conceivably 12 HCP. But aside from the possibility of having extra HCP, the meaning of the responder’s bids when playing Standard American is the same as when playing 2/1 Game Forcing with the exception as noted on page 19 #B. For instance, if partner opens 1♠ and your response is 1NT (forcing or not), should you name a brand new suit after opener’s next bid, you would be showing a 6-card or longer suit and 6 - 9 HCP. Since the two systems are so very much alike once the response to a 1♥ or 1♠ opening is 1NT, it behooves you to totally understand what the responses mean. For Standard American auctions, we outlined the meanings of all auctions of this ilk on pages 10 and 11. So that you might compare Standard American auctions with 2/1 auctions with 1NT-forcing-for-one-roundresponses, we have “replicated” pages 10 and 11 on pages 22 and 23. Page 10 corresponds to page 22; page 11 corresponds to page 23. Pages 22 and 23 show the same auctions as 10 and 11 but these pages show the 2/1 auctions. MOST OF THE AUCTIONS ARE IDENTICAL. We have underlined the “different” auction. Spend some time to compare. Finally, after spending so much energy on responder, we need to discuss opener’s 2nd bid when playing 2/1 Game Forcing and facing a partner who has just responded 1NT to 1♥ or 1♠ opening. This discussion will begin on page 24 right after the previously mentioned comparisons on pages 22 and 23. After the discusion of opener’s 2nd bid there will be a quiz and you will be done (hopefully to read the other book in this series “The Logic of 2/1 vs Standard” if you have not already done so.)

21

Review of the 1NT Responder’s Second Bid After Partner opens 1♠ PLAYING 2/1GAME FORCING Opener 1♠ 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

Responder 1N 2♠

1♠ 2♣, 2♦

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♠ 2♣

1N 2♦, 2♥

1♠ 2♦

1N 2♥, 3♣

1♠ 2♥

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♠ 2♠

1N 3♣, 3♦, 3♥

1♠ 2♣, 2♦, 2♥

1N 2N

1♠ 2♠

1N 3♠ or 2N

Meaning preference (see #3 page 9 bottom)

raising the 2nd minor suit shows 5+ trumps, but usually a poor hand new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

10 - 12 points; invitational to 3N

10 - 12 points; invitational to game 22

Review of the 1NT Responder’s Second Bid After Partner opens 1♥ PLAYING 2/1GAME FORCING Opener 1♥ 2♣, 2♦

Responder 1N 2♥

Meaning

1♥ 2♣, 2♦

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♥ 2♣

1N 2♦

1♥ 2♦

1N 3♣

1♥ 2♥

1N 3♣, 3♦

1♥ 2♣, 2♦

1N 2N

10 - 12 points; invitational to 3N

1♥ 2♥

1N 2N

10 - 12 points; invitational to 3N

1♥ 2♥

1N 3♥

10 - 12 points; invitational to game

preference (see #4 page 9 bottom)

raising the 2nd suit shows 5+ trumps, but a poor hand

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

new suit after responding 1N shows a 6-card suit and less than 10 points

23

Opener’s Second Bid After Partner Responds 1NT Playing Standard American Most of opener’s 2nd bids are exactly the same playing 2/1 Game Forcing as they are playing Standard American. We’ll list the auctions below with their meanings in Standard American. Then we will continue the discussion by examining which of the bids change in 2/1. Opener

Resp Meaning of opener’s 2nd bid

1♠ 1NT 2♣ 2♦ 2♥ 2♠ 2N 3♣, 3♦, 3♥ 3♠ 3N 4♥ 4♠

shows four or more clubs shows four or more diamonds shows four or more hearts 6-card suit, minimum 17-18 natural jump shifts, forcing to game, 18+ 16 - 18, 6 spades, invitational 19+ lots of hearts to go with lots of spades lots of spades, not lots of points

1♥ 2♣ 2♦ 2♥ 2♠ 2N 3♣, 3♦ 3♥ 3N 4♥

shows four or more clubs shows four or more diamonds 6-card suit, minimum reverse, natural, game force 18+ 17-18 natural jump shifts, forcing to game, 18+ 16 - 18, 6 spades, invitational 19+ lots of hearts, not lots of points

1NT

24

Even a cursory examination of the tables on the preceding page leaves us a bit empty in the sense that the bidding seems so obvious (mainly because it is so natural). The naturalness of Standard American is one of only a few good points! Playing 2/1 Game Forcing would necessitate some very small changes to the aforementioned tables. Consider these two hands which are almost identical:

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener A AQ874 KT 85 AT54

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener B AQ874 KT5 85 AT5

Holding hand ‘A’, the auction would be the same regardless of system. Opener bids 1♠ and when his partner says 1NT, opener bids 2♣. Normal, natural bidding. The auction is identical playing Standard American or 2/1 Game Forcing. Suppose opener held hand ‘B’. Certainly, playing Standard American, opener would pass his partner’s 1NT response. However, playing 2/1 Game Forcing with 1NT Forcing for 1 round means opener is not allowed to pass. But he does not have a second suit and a 2nd bid of 2NT shows 17 - 18 HCP (check the table on page 24). Opener appears stuck! Not so. When faced with this situation, opener should solve it the same way he solves his opening bid problems at the 1-level when he doesn’t have a 5-card major nor a 4-card minor. Opener bids a 3-card minor. In this case, opener (at his 2nd turn after partner has responded 1NT) bids his lowest 3-card suit when he does not have a four card suit; when he does not have the strength for 2NT; and when he doesn’t have a 6-card suit to repeat. On page 26 you will find the equivalent table to the one on page 24. However the page 26 table is for thpose who play 1NT Forcing. The changes are shown underlined. Compare the two tables.

25

Opener’s Second Bid After Partner Responds 1NT Playing 2/1 Game Forcing Most of opener’s 2nd bids are exactly the same playing 2/1 Game Forcing as they are playing Standard American. We’ll list the auctions below with their meanings in 2/1 Game Forcing. We have underlined the differences from Standard American. Compare to the table on page 24. [Ed note: the only time to bid a three card suit is when no 4-card sui t is available.] Opener Resp 1♠ 1NT 2♣ 2♦ 2♥ 2♠ 2N 3♣, 3♦, 3♥ 3♠ 3N 4♥ 4♠ 1♥ 2♣ 2♦ 2♥ 2♠ 2N 3♣, 3♦ 3♥ 3N 4♥

Meaning of opener’s 2nd bid shows three or more clubs shows three or more diamonds shows four or more hearts 6-card suit, minimum 17-18 natural jump shifts, forcing to game, 18+ 16 - 18, 6 spades, invitational 19+ lots of hearts to go with lots of spades lots of spades, not lots of points

1NT shows three or more clubs shows three or more diamonds 6-card suit, minimum reverse, natural, game force 18+ 17-18 natural jump shifts, forcing to game, 18+ 16 - 18, 6 spades, invitational 19+ lots of hearts, not lots of points

26

Opener’s Rebid Quiz Playing 2/1 What is opener’s 2nd bid in each auction? Answers below. Opener 1A ♠ AQT84 ♥ KJ6 ♦ K5 432

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 2A AQT84 KJ K56 432

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1B AKJT5 AQ8 8 AJT4

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 2B AQJ96 KJ4 A3 QJ4

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1C 87 AKQ43 AJ3 AJ9

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 2C AJ95 AQ952 K65 3

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1D 2 AKQ874 A54 QJ2

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 2D 2 AKQ874 A54 AQJ

W P P

Auction A N E 1♠ P ?

S 1N

W P P

Auction B N E 1♠ P ?

S 1N

W P P

Auction C N E P 1♥ ?

S 1N

W P P

Auction D N E P 1♥ ?

S 1N

1A. 2♣. Ugly but there is no 4-card suit to bid. 2A. 2♣. Bid the lower of two 3-card suits, not the stronger. 1B. 3♣. Normal jump shift. 2B. 2N. Shows 17 - 18. 1C. 3♣. 3-card jump shift is better than 3N because of spades. 2C. 2♦. Tricky. Can’t bid 2♠ since a reverse shows 17+. 1D. 3♥. Classic: 6-card suit, invitational to game. 2D. 3♣. Jump shift in a 3-card suit. Too strong for 3H. 27

1NT Forcing Quiz 1 Write down your bid at the “?”. Answers on facing page.

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1 AT984 KJT4 AJ6 3

Auction 1 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 3 54 T5 A87 KQJT54

Auction 3 Open Resp P 1♠

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 5 3 AT963 KT753 A3

Auction 5 Open Resp 1N 1♥ 2♦ 3♦ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 7 AK875 AQJ54 76 3

Auction 7 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ?

?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 2 2 Q9532 T93 AT84

Auction 2 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ? 2♥

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 4 6 87 AQ4 AQT8743

Auction 4 Open Resp 1♠ 2♣ 3♣ 2♥ 3♠ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 6 AQ5 2 Q874 QJT65

Auction 6 Open Resp 1N 1♥ 2♦ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 8 T9 62 AJ984 K542

Auction 8 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ? 2♥

28

1NT Forcing Quiz 1 Answers 1. There won’t be many as easy as this one. The opener’s rebid is obviously 2♥. It should be pointed out that the author dislikes 12 HCP opening bids with balanced hands, he is much in favor of opening this hand with both majors and a singleton. 2. Many players would be delighted to hear their partner’s 2♥ bid since now they have landed in a decent contract. With only 6 HCP many would simply pass and put down the dummy. Passing would be a serious mistake. Your hand is quite powerful with a stiff spade and a fifth trump. It is imperative that you raise partner. The correct bid is 4♥! Not 3♥ but 4♥. Think of it this way: what would you respond to a 1♥ opening bid? 3. After passing, your conventions should not change. In other words, a response of 1NT is forcing, etc. Of course, if the third seat opener does not have an opening bid, they can pass the 1NT response even though it was intended as forcing. On this hand, opener (who passed initially) should respond 3♣ showing an invitational (10 - 12 ) hand. See page 19. 4. Now responder can bid 3NT confident that his partner knows his hand: an opening bid; a long, strong club suit; and a stopper or two in diamonds. The key is the 3♣ bid which is still forcing to game playing 2/1 Game Forcing. 5. It is hard to believe but the opener should bid 4♦. His partner’s raise shows trumps not points! If responder has a stiff heart and five diamonds to the ace, 5♦ is probably cold! 6. 2NT is the correct bid not 3♦. A 3♦ bid shows diamonds. On this hand responder wants top show points! 7. Just 2♥. Not good enough to jump shift which shows lots of HCP (18+). 8. It is quite tempting to bid 2NT but with only 8 HCP it is not very appealing. A preference to 2S is the correct call. (See #4 page 9 bottom) 29

1NT Forcing Quiz 2 Write down your bid at the “?”. Answers on facing page.

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 1 AJ9 AJT84 K97 A5

Auction 1 Open Resp 1♥ 1N ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 3 AK875 2 AQJ8 AQ5

Auction 3 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 5 AKJT985 2 KJT5 8

Auction 5 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Opener 7 AJ9865 2 AKJ AQ8

Auction 7 Open Resp 1♠ 1N ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 2 8 765 K98 QJT964

Auction 2 Open Resp 1♠ 1N 2♠ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 4 9 AQJT76 QT86 65

Auction 4 Open Resp 1♠ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 6 T86 5 AQ8642 542

Auction 6 Open Resp 1♥ 1N 2♦ ?

♠ ♥ ♦ ♣

Responder 8 JT7 J KQT86 AJT7

Auction 8 Open Resp 1♥ 1N 2♦ ?

30