New Minor Forcing
When opener's rebid is 1NT (12-14 balanced), responder will often need this tool. The "2-way" box is checked, so we are considering auctions that start with 1♦-1♠-1NT or 1♣-1♥-1NT, for example. Here is the generic bidding table for "new minor":
|1 any||Pass||1 any||Pass|
|1 any||Pass||1 any||Pass|
In both cases, Responder's rebid (2♣ or 2♦) is artificial. Here is what the bids mean:
Of course, using this 2-way New Minor Forcing, you lose the ability to play in 2♣ or 2♦ (but those are usually not desirable contracts).
The responder won't always use the new minor. He will pass opener's 1NT rebid with a flat minimum. He can invite (2NT) with a flat 11-12 count (but no 5-card major). He can bid 3NT to play. He can repeat his major to sign off in 2 (example:1♣-1♥-1NT-2♥). He can jump-rebid his major to show a 6+-card invitation (1♣-1♥-1NT-3♥). He can jump to game if he has no interest in anything else (1♦-1♠-1NT-4♠).
By starting with 2♣ "checkback" he is promising at least invitational values. Opener's duty is to bid 2 of responder's major if he has three cards.
2♥ = 3 hearts. Without 3-card support, opener bids 2♦.
Special 2♣ auction: 1♣-1♥-1NT-2♣-2 any-3NT = Choice of games with 5 hearts. Put another way: Any time responder has 5 cards in his major and a flat game hand, he can use 2♣ "new minor" and then bid 3NT to tell opener he is 5-3-3-2 (approximately). This is a memory burden, but not likely to cause an accident if forgotten.
Starting with 2♦ "new minor" is used for all other GF situations. Obviously, don't use this toy if as responder you know where you want to play (such as in 3NT or 4 of your major -- just bid it directly in that case). Here is a hand where I would wheel out 2♦:
Bid 2♦ to set up a game force.
If responder wants to sign off in a minor, he can do so only on the 3-level (1 of a minor-1 any; 1NT-3 of either minor = to play).
The auction 1 of a minor-1♠-1NT-2♥ denies a decent hand--the opener passes or corrects to spades.
Note: New Minor Forcing is OFF by a Passed hand (2♣ or 2♦ by a passed hand is natural, NF)
Note: New Minor Forcing is OFF if the opponents overcalled, but ON if they only doubled on the 1st round.
Note: New Minor Forcing is ON after 1♣-1♦ (so 1♣-1♦-1NT-2♣ is used to start maybe an invitation in a minor).
After a 2NT rebid, LC Standard uses "new minor forcing." So, if 1♣ was opened, the new minor bid is 3♦. If anything else was opened, the "new" minor bid is 3♣. Typically the responder is looking for 3-card support from opener. New Minor after a 2NT rebid is ON by a passed hand.
There are many other systems/conventions that can be used after notrump rebids, but I find the above to be the best combination of relatively easy to remember while also effective. More details on New Minor are here.
Fourth Suit Forcing
This is a cousin of New Minor Forcing. The difference is that opener's rebid was not 1NT. Opener's rebid was a suit. So, after, say, 1♦-1♥-1♠, a bid of 2♣ is the 4th suit. Any time the auction starts: 1 grape-1 apple, and opener bids a 3rd suit, responder can bid the 4th suit to set up a game force. In LC Standard, the 4th suit is artificial and 100% forcing to game.
Bid 2♦ to set up a game force. The bid says absolutely nothing about the fourth suit (here, diamonds). It could be ♦xxx, it could be ♦AKQ. The opener will usually bid notrump if he has the 4th suit stopped. Both players assume the 4th suit is unstopped until either player bids notrump.
Fourth suit forcing is not used after a 2/1 GF response. The 4th suit would be natural in that case (1♠-2♦-2♥-3♣ = clubs).
Fourth-Suit is NATURAL and non-forcing by a passed hand:
This shows 5-5 or longer in spades and diamonds.
If the opponents have made an early double, 4th suit forcing is still on. If they overcall, it is off.
1♣-1♦-1♥-1♠ is 4th suit forcing to game.
A close relative to both "conventions" above is XYZ, but this is not LC Standard.
Weak Jump Shifts (In and Out of Competition)
David Berkowitz and I were quite successful using fit-showing jumps in competition. We also used some strong jump-shift responses to our opening bids. However, for LC Standard, I am conforming to the majority. It is easy to remember if ALL JUMPS ARE WEAK. So, in LC Standard, nearly all jump-shifts (in or out of competition) are WEAK. There are 3 exceptions, which must be memorized:
Exception #1: Obvious Splinter Bids (Double jumps), such as: 1♠ (P) 4♣ = club splinter in support of spades or 1♥ (1♠) 4♦ = diamond splinter in support of hearts
Exception #2: Passed-Hand Fit-showing Jumps (No need to preempt anymore), such as: P (P) 1♠ (X) 3♦ = ♠+♦
Exception #3: As discussed in the Major and minor openings, responder's jump to 3 of a LOWER suit is invitational (so, 1♠ (P) 3♦ or 1♦ (P) 3♣ are invitational 6-card suits).
All other jumps are weak:
Example weak auctions:
Reverses and beyond
Reverses aren't a convention, but there is really no other place on the convention card to discuss followups.
As my friend Marty Bergen says, he prays that reverses don't come up. Not only for when he plays, but for when he teaches. A "reverse" is when opener's rebid (2nd bid of the auction) meet both of the following criteria:
So, these are reverses:
In all auctions above, the last bid promises extra values. Reverses are forcing one round--the responder can not pass. However, reverses are not forcing to game. Opener's jump shift, however, is game forcing.
Contrast these two auctions:
On the first auction, opener (who jumped and changed suit) has to have 19+ -- his jump shift is game forcing.
On the second auction, opener (who reversed) has to have 16/17+ -- his reverse shows extra values, is forcing one round, but not forcing to game.
All reverses should show unbalanced hands. With balanced hands, the opening is 1NT or 2NT, or the rebid is 1NT or 2NT. Reverses show that the first-bid suit is longer than the suit reversed into. So, 1♦-1♠-2♥ would show not only 16/17+, but would indicate 5+ and 4.
As to the follow-ups, after, say 1♦-1♠-2♥, I recommend:
The generic summary of the above treatment would be as follows:
After opener's reverse:
I don't advocate "reverses" after a 2/1 auction -- so there is no such thing as opener promising extras (1♥-2♣-2♠ can be bid with a dead minimum). I prefer to think of reverses only when the auction starts 1-1 (any 1 opening and any 1-level response, including 1NT).
Reverses after negative doubles are a tricky topic. For example, is this a reverse?
This, and other similar auctions have confounded bridge players and teachers for decades. If I had the perfect answer for you, I'd tell you--but I don't. My best suggestion is to consider these auctions as not promising extras. Certainly, if North's bid was 2♥ (the suit that South surely has), it wouldn't be considered a reverse showing extras.
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