1 Openings are 16+ HCP unbalanced or 17+ HCP balanced.

  1. We use 1NT as 10-13 or14-16 HCP balanced, 1st and 2nd seat depending on Vulnerablity. We use 1NT as 15-17, 3rd and 4th seat, all vulnerablities. 
  2. We use the Maxi-Roman 2 Opening In Midchart events.
  3. We use the 2  opening for the Precision 2. The responses and asking bids are unchanged, We can only use this in Midchart events. In General events we must use 2 to show shortness in diamonds.
  4. We use the 2opening as 11-15 HCP with 6+ clubs, may have a 4-card major.
  5. We use 2/1 methods for Major suit openings except 2over 1 is not GF if clubs rebid but is forcing one more round.
  6. We use the 1 opening as a catchall bid for all other 10-15 HCP hands.  Note the 1 opening is a 10-13 HCP wk NT bid 30% of the time, the remainder are unbalanced hands with 4+ diamonds.  May be 4-4,  4-5 or 5-4 in the minors. The only time the 1 opening has 2 diamonds is when it is a balanced weak NT or a strong NT hand.

Summary of the NT Ladder Note, these only apply after a 1 opening and a 1 response

           HCP             BID

  1. 10-13           Open 1NT NV in 1st and 2nd seat
  2. 14-16           Open 1NT Vul in 1st and 2nd seat
  3. 15-17           Open 1NT all 3rd and 4th seat
  4. 17(18)-19    Open 1 and rebid 1NT
  5. 20-21           Open 1 and relay (rebid 1) to 1, rebid 1NT
  6. 22-23           Open 1 and rebid 2NT
  7. 24-25           Open 1 and relay to 1, rebid 2NT
  8. 26-27           Open 1 and relay (rebid 2) to 2, rebid 2NT
  9. 28-29           Open 1, rebid 3NT
  10. 30-31           Open 1, relay to 1, rebid 3NT
  11. 32+              Open 1, relay to 2, rebid 3NT

1NT conventions are all in place after 1NT openings and rebids:

  1. 2 is Stayman
  2. 4 suit Jacoby Transfers
  3. Texas Transfers
  4. 3 is Puppet Stayman
  5. 3 is 5-5 in the minors, GF.
  6. 3 is GF, 4 hearts, 0-1 spade, splinter.
  7. 3 is GF, 3-4 spades, 0-1 heart, splinter.
  8. If 5-5 in the majors, with invitational values transfer to 2, the bid 3. With GF values transfer to 2 then bid spades.

Puppet Stayman is just 3 and asks for a 5-card major or 4-card majors.

, at least one 4-card-major
     4 is Gerber, 1430 with 's showing 2 controls and a minimum and NT showing 2 and a maximum

     4 shows both majors and asks partner to bid his major

3, 5-Hearts
, 5-Spades
Of course, this would mean 2
would always be invitational (unless garbage applies) but does not necessarily guarantee a 4-card Major. 

The 2NT Opening Bid

We now free up the 2NT Opening Bid to show both minors. IE. an Unusual NT as an opening bid. NV it should be 4 to 8 HCP, Vul it should be 8 to 12. Responses:

  1. 3 or 3 is to play.
  2. 3 is an asking bid:
    1. 3 = 5-5, minimum (4-6 NV, 8-10 Vul.)
    2. 3NT = 5-5, maximum
    3. 4 = 6 clubs, five diamonds, minimum.
    4. 4 = 6 diamonds, 5 clubs, minimum.
    5. 4 = 6 clubs, 5 diamonds, maximum.
    6. 4 = 6 diamonds, 5 clubs, maximum.
    7. 4NT = 6-6 in the minors.
  3. 3 is to play.
  4. 3NT is to play.
  5. 4 is preemptive.
  6. 4 is preemptive.
  7. 4 or 4 is to play.
  8. 5 or 5 is to play.

Positive Responses to 1 .

Look at the bids this way. We are trying to get the opener to bid his suit 1st. It will not always work.

We show the balanced hands by bidding a suit that allows the opener to bid NT 1st.

2 is the weakest bid since it shows 8-10 balanced and so we use the most bidding space to show the weakest hand.

We bid 1 to show a balanced 11-13 or a 5-card spade suit. This allows opener to bid 1NT and responder to show the spade suit by suit responses. 2 being a Stayman type bid, 11-13 HCP balanced. 2 is 8+ with less than 4 controls.  2 is 4 or more controls and 2 is 14+ with 4 or more controls. All except the 2 bid show 5+ 's. This bid does not use standard IAB answers because it is used to show spades. If responder has the balanced 11-13 hand his 1st rebid will be 2NT. If opener does not bid 1NT his bid is a SAB. After any SAB the 2NT response is not included in the SAB answers since it always shows the 11-13 NT hand. Just skip the 2NT SAB answer.

The big balanced hand 14+ is shown by a jump to 2.

The 14+ 4-4-4-1 hand is shown by a jump to 2. This bid replaces the Super unusual positive. Unusual positives are still used for the 8-13 4-4-4-1 hands.

  1. 1-1 shows 11-13 HCP, balanced or 5+ 's.Opener should bid his own 5-card suit or bid 1NT. If he bids his own suit it should be a SAB. If he bids 1NT, responder does not bid controls and instead shows his values with spades.
    1. A raise to 2NT shows the 11-13 balanced hand with no 4-card major.
    2. 2 shows 11-13 with at least 1 4CM and is a Stayman type bid. 
    3. 2 is the 8-10 minimum with a 5-card spade suit.
    4. 2 is the 11-13 hand with a 5-card spade suit with at least 4 controls.
    5. 2 is 14+ with 5 spades and 5 or more controls.
  2. 1-1 shows 5+ hearts. Opener can bid hearts with 3 or more and it is a TAB. Any other suit bid is a SAB. NT turns off all asking bids and is IAB starting at 2 controls.
  3. 1-1NT shows 5+ clubs. If opener bids clubs it is a TAB. All other suits are SAB.
  4. 1-2 shows 5+ diamonds. If opener bids diamonds it is a TAB. All other suits are SAB.
  5. 1-2 shows 8-10 balanced. Opener usually bids 2NT so responder can use Stayman. If opener bids a suit it is a SAB.
  6. 1-2 shows 14+ balanced. Opener usually bids 2NT so responder can use Stayman. If opener bids a suit it is a SAB.
  7. 1-2 shows 14+ 4-4-4-1 any suit. Opener bids 2NT to ask for the singleton. This bid is highly invitational to slam. If opener bids a suit responder bids NT if that suit is his singleton.

Positive 1NT Responses.

1 may be a balanced 11-13 HCP or *+ HCP and 5+. A 1NT bid by opener shows a balanced hand and asks for further information.  Any other bid by opener is natural and at least 5-cards. It is a Support Asking Bid (SAB).  Yes, I know I am repeating myself but this is important. Responses to the 1NT acceptance is:

  1. 2= Stayman, usually 11-13 HCP..
  2. 2= 5+ spades, 8-10 HCP, 0-3 controls.
  3. 2= 5+ spades, 11-13, 4+ controls..
  4. 2NT= 14+, 5+ controls,  balanced.

Positive 2NT Responses. (the jump to 2)

14+ HCP always in slam territory so use Baron to find the suit in which to investigate slam.  Baron is a 3 bid asking responder to bid his cheapest 4-card suit. Opener and responder alternate bidding 4-card suits up the line to find the best place to look for slam.

All other bids are natural and show 5+card suits except 4 bid immediately is 1430 Gerber. Redwood/Kickback may be used if a minor suit is agreed on but we use a bid of 4 in an agreed upon minor as 1430 RKC for that minor.  We never invite game in the minor by bidding at the 4 level.

Negative Responses to 1

  1. 1 is 0-7 HCP but treat a hand with AK in a suit as 8+.
  2. 4 & 4 are 0-4 HCP and an 8-card suit with no ace in the hand.

Unusual Positive Responses 1, 4-4-4-1 hands. 

  1. 3 is 8-13 HCP, singleton in clubs.
  2. 3 is 8-13 HCP, singleton in diamonds.
  3. 3 is 8-13 HCP, singleton in a hearts.
  4. 3 is 8-13 HCP, singleton in a spades. 

Then the bid of the singleton asks for controls starting with 0-2, then 3, etc.

Opener Rebids After 1-1.

1 is forcing and is a relay to 1. All artificial, may be used in the NT ladder.

1 is forcing and shows 5 or more spades. Raise to 2 with 0-5 HCP and 3-card support. Rebid 1NT (artificial) with 0-5 and 0-2 card support. Bid 2 (artificial) with 6-7 HCP and 0-2 card support. Bid 3 with 6-7 HCP and 3+ card support.

2, 2 are 5+ in the bid suit. May be passed with 0-4 HCP.

Jumps to 2, (relay to 2 if NT is not the rebid shows hearts.) 2, 3, 3 are very strong, long suits, equal to old Goren 2 bids.

Handling Interference over the 1 Opening.

If the interference is at the 1 level:

Pass is either 0-4 HCP or a trap pass. We ignore the meaning of the bid and use Negative Free Bid methods where all bids except 1NT are 5-8 HCP and a 5+ card suit and are not forcing while a double has two meanings. Either 5-8 HCP balanced or any 9+ HCP unbalanced hand. The 9+ hand is shown by bidding a new suit at the next opportunity. Note though, a raise of openers suit is not the same as bidding a new suit.
Example: 1
-1-Dbl-2, 2-p-3 does not show 9+ points but is constructive.
Example: 1
-1-Dbl-2, Dbl-p-2 is a forced bid and thus not constructive.

1NT retains its old original meaning or 9+ balanced as do jumps to 3 or 4 of a major (weak) or 3 of a minor (unusual positives.)
but a jump to 2 of the major shows 5-8 HCP and a 5-card suit since we have found a double is not effective with a 5-8 point hand and a 5-card major. This is because if partner passes or doubles the new suit bids are forced and thus may not show a 9+ point hand.
Example: 1
-1-Dbl-2-pass (or double), 2-is forced so it is better to bid 1-1-2 to show a 5-card suit and 5-8 HCP.

Non-jump bids forced to the 2-level are positive bids showing 8+ HCP and a 5-card or longer suit.

Don't worry about the methods they use. These methods are much like Negative Free Bids.

When they double:

  1. 1. Redouble shows 9+ HCP, any shape.
  2. 2. 1 shows a balanced hand of 5-8 HCP.
  3. 3. 1, 1, 2, 2 show 5-8 HCP and 5+ cards in the bid suit.

2 Opening Showing 6+ Clubs 

It shows 11-15 HCP and 6 or more clubs.  It may also have a 4-card major.

A: Responder may pass with a weak hand.
B: Responder may bid 2
, 2, as 5-card invitational or 3NT or 3 as sign-off’s.
C: Responder may bid 2NT invitational.
D: Responder may ask for more information by bidding 2
Opener bids 2or 2 with 4-cards in those suits.
Opener bids 2NT with no 4-card major but stoppers in two suits plus clubs. (usually majors)
Opener bids 3
with no 4-card major and with a stopper in only one suit plus clubs.

Anytime responder bids 4 it is 1430 RKC, responder cannot bid 4 as invitational. Since we don’t use Redwood we have to chose between RKC and invitational and I suggest RKC is more important since you can still stop at 5.

2 showing short diamonds. General Chart method.

It shows a hand of 4-4-1-4, 4-3-1-5, 3-4-1-5, or 4-4-0-5.  No 5-card major, may have 5-card club suit.

A: Responder may bid 2,2, 3, as drop dead bids but if opener holds 4-3-1-5 opener should correct 2 to 2
B: Responder may bid 2NT to ask for exact shape. Over 2NT the responses are:
     1. 3
=all 11-13 HCP hands, 3 asks, 3=4’s, 3=4’s, 3NT=4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5
     2. 3
= 3-4-1-5 (4 cards in lowest major, 14-15 HCP)
     3. 3
= 4-3-1-5 (4 cards in highest major, 14-15 HCP)
     4. 3NT= 4-4-1-4  or 4-4-0-5 (14-15 HCP)
C: Responder may bid 4NT as an immediate Ace asking bid. Response are the same as 1430 Gerber.
D: Responder may bid 3 as 6+ 's, GF or 3 as 6+ 's, GF.

2 showing short diamonds (Alternate Method, only played if 2 opening can be a 5-card suit with a 4-card major)

It shows a hand of 4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5.

2 and 2 are drop dead bids. 2NT asks for more information.

Responses to 2NT asking.

  1. 3 is 11-13, 5 clubs
  2. 3is 11-13, 4-4-1-4
  3. 3 is 14-15, 5 clubs
  4. 3 is 14-15, 4-4-1-4
  5. 3NT is 14-15, single Ace or King.

2 showing short diamonds. Midchart method.

It shows a hand of 4-4-1-4, 4-3-1-5, 3-4-1-5, or 4-4-0-5.  No 5-card major, may have 5-card club suit.

A: Responder may pass with a weak hand and at least 4 hearts. 
B: Responder may bid 2
, 3, 3as drop dead bids.
C: Responder may bid 2NT to ask for exact shape. Over 2NT the responses are:
     1. 3
=all 11-13 HCP hands, 3asks, 3=4’s, 3=4’s, 3NT=4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5
     2. 3
= 3-4-1-5 (4 cards in lowest major, 14-15 HCP)
     3. 3
= 4-3-1-5 (4 cards in highest major, 14-15 HCP)
     4. 3NT= 4-4-1-4  or 4-4-0-5 (14-15 HCP)
D: Responder may bid 4NT as an immediate Ace asking bid. Response are the same as 1430 Gerber.

2 showing 4-4-4-1 Shapes 16+ HCP With Maxi-Roman. If using Midchart methods.

You can use Maxi-Roman for 4-4-4-1 hands. Now 2 becomes the 4-4-4-1 bid. 2 asks for more information,

2 shows bottom of the point range with 4 and 2NT can then ask for the singleton.

2NT shows bottom of the point range with 1.

All bids above 2NT show a maximum and a singleton in that suit.

It is a bit easier when partner makes a positive bid. If you have support you can raise.  If it is your singleton you can rebid NT. So the thing to remember is if the bidding is 1 - any positive - cheapest NT it may be a 4-4-4-1 hand 21+ HCP but this happens very seldom.

Strong 4-4-4-1 Shapes 21 HCP.

These hands are very difficult to bid since you have no reasonable rebid after opening 1 when partner responds 1 Since you have no 5-card suit to bid. You will have to bid 1 forcing and hope to find a fit somewhere.


The Rest of the Bidding System is 2/1 Style

Over 1

Inverted Minors over 1 (6's if weak or invitational.)
is 13+ HCP may just be looking for 3NT
is 10-12 HCP but shows 6's
is weak, usually 0-7 HCP

2NT invitational, 3NT to play

Over Majors

Splinters, Bergen raises, always on, even over interference.

Jacoby 2NT shows 4-card support and 0-6 LTC, asks for singleton
    If no singleton a rebid in game shows minumum, 7 or 8 LTC
    If no singleton a minimum rebid shows 6 or less LTC
    If no singleton a NT rebid shows 6 LTC and 15 HCP balanced

3NT is 13-15 HCP, exactly 4-3-3-3 shape with either 3-card support or 4-card support with no honors.
Always has an honor is other 3 suits.

2-way Reverse Drury over 3rd and 4th seat openings

1NT forcing, used also to show the difference between a good single raise and a bad single raise.
  For example with 3 small support we would tend to use 1NT forcing but with 3 to the Queen or better,
  We would make the single raise immediately.  In response to 1NT forcing, Opener should promise
  4 diamonds to make the diamond rebid even with a singleton club such as 4-5-3-1 shape. This is
  because responder would be forced to bid 3 clubs with a weak hand and a long club suit.

Conventional Responses to 1 NoTrump Opening bids

    2=Stayman with 2 after a 2 response to show drop dead, pass or correct, 4-4 or 4-5 in majors
        After Stayman, 3 of a minor is a mild slam try
, 2, 2 ,2N as transfers with 2 transfer to 's and 2NT transfer to 's.
    3  = Puppet Stayman, 3 = 5-5 minors, GF, 3  = 4 hearts, 0-1 spade, GF, 3 = 3-4 spades, 
0-1 heart, GF
, 4 as Texas Transfers
    SMOLEN, where after 2
;s Stayman and a 2 response, a jump to 3 of a major shows 5-cards in
     the OTHER major, game forcing values.
     Thus a transfer to a major followed by the bid of the other major shows an invitational hand with
      5 cards in the transferred to suit and 4 in the other major.

Splinters After NT Openings and Stayman Responses

After a NT opening bid and a Stayman response, if opener rebids a major, the bid of the other major at the 3 level shows a fit for openers suit, mild slam interest and an unknown singleton or void. If opener has slam interest he will bid 3NT to ask for the singleton. Once the singleton is known, values in the singleton are subtracted if they are other than the Ace and either game is bid or cue bidding for a slam is started.

If 1NT is doubled, pass requires an alert and a redouble to locate an escape.

If 1NT gets suit interference
    Transfers are still on over 2
and double is Stayman
    Double over 2
or higher is Stayman, otherwise Lebenshol in effect

Other Conventional Bids

Negative Free Bids at the 2 Level
Responsive, Negative and Support Doubles thru 3

1430 RKC Blackwood, 1430 RKC Gerber, 1430 RKC Kickback

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 April 2012 21:25