Responding to a 1 NT opening bid

an integrated approach

1NT = 12-14pts

With flattish hands you need a combined total of 26 pts to have a 66% of success, but with a total of 25 pts then the success rate falls to around 52%. A 5 card suit shifts the chances of success up 1 notch. Suits that have 10s and 9s can also do this especially in combination with other honours

1.Use Stayman 2 to look for a 4 card major suit in opener's hand. Use red suit transfers to tell partner you have a 5 card major (weak or strong)

2.Action after the transfer is completed. Pass to show a weak hand, bid 2NT/3NT show 11 pts and 12-15 pts respectively, with a 5 card major. Bid a new suit to show a hand of at least 5-4 distribution and forcing to game

3. The 2 and 2NT responses to 1NT

(i)The 2 response is redundant, so use it to show a 11pt hand with a 5/6 card minor suit containing preferably 2 honour cards. Parner can bid 2NT/3NT according to strength

(ii) The 2NT responses shows 12 pts , no 5 card minor

(iii) A 3NT response shows 12pts with a 5 card minor/to 15 pts, with or without a 5 card minor. Parner will not have a 4 card major otherwise would have bid Stayman first

4.Showing a weak hand with a 6 card minor

Use Stayman, but over any bid from partner bid 3 /, non forcing

Alternative bids to show a weakness take-out in a minor

(i) bid 3/ direct over 1NT. Section 5 will need modifying

(ii) OR use the 2 response to include a weak 6 card minor. The re-bids by opener can then be modified : 2NT as before with a 12-=13 pt hand which you can convert to the minor, and 3 bid showing 14pts, and asking you to pass with a long suit or bid 3 with that suit, or bid 3NT with the invitational (not weak) hand as in section 3

5. Showing a 6 card suit with possibility of a slam in the suit or NTs, around 18pts +

Bid the suit at the 3 level. Opener then shows aces by cue bidding

Over 3/ with a minimum hand and no support signs off in 3NT, rather than making a cue bid. Over 3/, with no aces signs off at the 4 level in the major, but also can bid 3NT with a minimum hand, no aces and 2 cards in the major. Then partner can sign off in 4 of the major etc

See section 4 alternatives to show a weakness take-out

6. Asking for aces.

Bid 4 to ask for aces direct over the 1NT bid, otherwise if there has been any other bids use 4NT

7. If you do NOT play red suit transfers

Then 2// is a weakness take-out in the suit

2NT asks for maximum/minimum from opener

responses at the 3 level show a 5 card suit and is forcing to game/ or the long minor if you choose this option, with the major bids showing a game going hand.

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