Join Bridge Winners
LC Standard -- Notrump Openings (Part 3)
(Page of 2)

We can now finish the NOTRUMP OPENING BIDS section, with a slight breather. The right-hand most part of this section (see above illustration) is not nearly as complicated nor memory-intensive as the other parts.

2NT OPENING:

The 2NT opening should be 20-21 balanced. (With 18-19, open one of a suit and rebid by jumping to 2NT; with 22 or more balanced, start with2). A five-card major is certainly possible, but I don't recommend usingPuppet Staymanafter 2NT (because it makes it hard to handle 5-4 in the majors).

Here is what I suggest you use after a 2NT opening:

  • 3 =RegularStayman
  • 3/3 =Transfers
  • 3 =Minor-SuitStayman
  • 3NT = To Play
  • 4 =Gerber
  • 4/4 =Texas Transfers
  • 4 =Does not exist (though you can create a fancy meaning if you can remember it)
  • 4NT = Quantitative


Follow-ups: Very similar to after a 1NT opening.

After Stayman:

2NT - 3 :

  • 3 - ? :If you useSmolenafter 1NT, then it applies here, too. If you don't useSmolen, then3/3in this auction would show 5 of that major and 4 of the other (GF).
  • 3M - ? : The other major is anartificial"raise" showing slam interest

Example:

W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
4

4 is now a slam try in spades, an artificial raise of spades.

Responder's rebid of 4-of-a-minor after usingStaymanis natural.

Example:

W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
4

4 = Clubs, forcing -- the only way to show a club suit. TheStaymanbidder need not have a major.

Please, oh please, do not play this asGerber. If you wish to ask for aces, you can bid the other major first to set trump, and then use 4NT to ask for aces. It is much more important to be able to naturally show clubs (viaStayman, then4).

After a Jacoby Transfer:

  • 3NT = Choice of games
  • Raise to 4-of-the-major = mild slam try (because you can signoff in 4M with a direct Texas Transfer)
  • 4NT = quantitative (because you can use Texas to set trump and then bid 4NTRKC(same structure as after 1NT).
  • Anything else = natural (a second suit)..

If there is interference (unlikely), double is negative (not penalty). New suits are natural and forcing.

As you've heard me say before, there are definitely more modern and fancy possibilities, but not worth the trade-off of having to remember them.









3NT OPENING:

This should not be used to show a big balanced hand. Always start such strong hands with2(leaving more room). You can alwaysrebid3NT with the big balanced hand if need be.

This leaves several options for opening 3NT. One is to play it as a solid major (Kantar 3NT). Another is to play it as a 4-of-a-minor preempt (this works well in conjunction withNAMYATS--an option/upgrade to LC Standard).

Lastly, is what I recommend: GAMBLING. All that is promised is a long running suit (typically a minor, but it could be a major in 3rd- or 4th- seat). "Long and running" means at least AKQxxxx (yes, seven of them). In 1st and 2nd position, do not have any outside aces or kings. In 3rd or 4th position, anything goes (partner is supposed to pass your 3rd- or 4th- seat Gambling 3NT). Over a 1st- or 2nd- seat Gambling 3NT (no outside aces/kings), the responder will often remove to4or5to say: pass if you have clubs, convert to diamonds is you have diamonds. There are some fancy methods available after a Gambling 3NT, but I don't recommend memorizing them for the one time a year you'll use them.

I hope you've made it this far--NOTRUMP OPENING BIDS is the hardest part of LC Standard (or of most systems). It involves some memory and study (especially theStaymanfollow-ups).

Here is the completely filled-out 1NT section for LC Standard:

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