Join Bridge Winners
LC Standard -- Notrump Openings (Part 1)
(Page of 3)

By far, this is the trickiest section of the card. It takes the longest amount of time, and involves the most decisions. Please don't get turned off by the perceived complexity here.There are many possible choices.I've selected what I consider to be a workable framework that doesn't involve too much memory strain. Yes, there are better ways to skin this cat--please don't write to me to tell me your way is better.

1NT OPENING: 15-17 balanced. I recommend upgrading decent 14-counts (especially when they contain a good 5-card suit). Openallbalanced(4432, 4333 and 5332) hands in range with 1NT--regardless of stoppers or possession of a 5-card major.

RESPONSES to 1NT:

2: Regular Stayman, does not guarantee a 4-card major (because 1NT-2NT is used to transfer to diamonds)
2/2: Jacoby Transfers (At least 5 cards and 0+ HCP)
2: Transfer to Clubs (More on this later)
2NT: Transfer to Diamonds (More on this later)--it does involve some sacrifices, as do all choices here
3: Puppet Stayman (More on this below)--only for experienced players
3/3/3:SplinterBid (Game Forcing with a 3-suiter, 0-1 cards in the suit bid)
3NT: To play
4:Gerber
4: Texas Transfer to hearts (6+ )
4: Texas Transfer to spades (6+ )
4: Don't bid it (or come up with your own definition)
4NT: Quantitative

(ClickNext Pageto see details)

After 2(Stayman):

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
?

Here is the brief overview of what it means if the Stayman bidder takes further action:

  • On the 2-level, everything is natural and not forcing (example: 1NT-2-2-2).
  • On the 3-level, a raise is invitational, of course. Other 3-level bids are discussedhere.
  • On the 4-level, a raise to game is to play, other bids aresplinterbids (example: 1NT-2-2-4).


Partnerships wishing to cover most of the details of Stayman followups can read about themhere.

Advanced players may want to read about Smolenand aspecial Stayman rebid.


After 2/2(Jacoby Transfer):

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
?

Transferring to a major and then:

  • 2 = 4, 5 invitational (requiring memorization!)
  • 2NT = invitational.
  • 3/3 = natural andGF
  • Raising to 3 = inviting game (typically a 6+ card suit)
  • Raising to 4 = inviting slam (typically no singletons or voids since no splinter). This assumes usage of Texas Transfers.
  • 3NT = choice of games (typically balanced)
  • Jump shift = asplinterbid (example: 1NT-2-2-4is likely 6=3=3=1 shape).
  • 4NT = Quantitative
  • (Note: 1N-2-2-3 =5-5 majors, GF)


After 2(Transfer to clubs) or 2NT (Transfer to diamonds)

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
?

Opener accepts the transfer(bids the suit transferred to) with a maximum. Example: 1NT-2-3.

Opener rejects the transfer (bids the in-between suit) with a minimum. Example: 1NT-2-2NT.

More details on follow-ups to all transfers are availablehere.

After 3(Puppet Stayman--responder is usually looking for a 5-3 major-suit fit):

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
3
P
?

Opener's rebids:

  • 3=no 5-card major(Responder then bids 3NT to sign-off or 3-of-the-othermajor with 4 cards).
  • 3/3= 5 cards in that major (or a very good 4).
  • 3NT and other rebids = Do not exist


Notes:

  • There are other ways to play Puppet Stayman, but this way (with no 3NT rebid) is better/improved.
  • Responder should not use Puppet with exactly 4-4 in the majors.
  • If using 3Puppet Stayman causes too much memory strain, use 3as something else (for simplicity and consistency, as asplinterbid).
  • In LC Standard, Puppet Stayman is used only with game-going values (the 3response isGF).

After Texas Transfers (4/4)

W
N
E
S
1NT
P
4
P
?

Responder will usually pass, but continuing with 4NT isRKC.
Note: Jacoby then 4NT is quantitative, while Texas then 4NT is the way to ask for keycards.

All of the previous covers more than 90% of hand-types which might come up. Every follow-up isnotcovered here.

There is unfortunately no substitute to printing this out, studying, practicing, and memorizing. This section is much more important than memorizing a new convention. If you are "memory-challenged," try to select the most important items above and work with your partner on them.

You can play the structure and survive most deals without a system accident.This is NOT a perfect system. Repeat: It is NOT 100% perfect. Please don't write with suggested improvements. I know of many improvements, but they require too much memory strain. I am presenting here what I believe will cover most hand-types without killing yourself with memory. The entire theme of LC Standard is to have a 90% system which you can remember 99% instead of a 99% system which you remember 90%.

If you found this section difficult, I understand and sympathize. Hang in there. Once we finish with NOTRUMP OPENINGS, it will be smoother sailing.

In following articles I will discuss 2NT and 3NT openers as well as coping with interference against 1NT. There are a few references in the image above which refer to interference. They will be filled in with the next installment.

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