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Specific Serious 3 No Trump (SS3NT ) by Jack Feagin

Specific Serious 3 No Trump (SS3NT ) by Jack Feagin

This method has improved our slam and grand slam bidding and in particular has greatly reduced getting to the 5 level with strength but without having enough controls. This is another modification of Serious 3 NT by Eric Rodwell. In my own partnerships, the principle of fast arrival with really weak hands applies but not an essential part of SS3NT. We do not jump to game unless the hand is pretty weak with most stuff in the trump suit. I realize jumping to game with very weak openers may lead to a few missed slams but more often the opponents beat weak games with info gained by automatic cue bids. The negative and positive inferences of SS3NT allow for more necessary info to be conveyed below game.

If we have established an eight card major suit fit then 3NT is never to play except auctions where there has been a jump to 3 NT like 1 /2 /3NT or 1 1 /2 /3NT . Unless we have agreed otherwise when the major fit is found we are playing SS3NT. We must have made a definite exception. Conventional uses for SS3NT in such auctions like Bergen Raises and any 2/1 game forcing auctions where the major suit is agreed upon or other auctions when the major is agreed upon. 1 P 1 p 3 etc.

Below 3 No Trump normal cue bidding takes place but later SS3NT can still be bid after cue bid(s).

A 3NT bid not otherwise defined as conventional is SS3NT. e.g. 1 /2 /2NT/3 /3NT is SS3NT . Over 3  not bidding 3 denies A of  and if partner has bid spades denies the K of .  If 3 cue bid is made the next bid would use the principle of SS3NT.

Example: 1 /2 /2NT/3 /3 / SS3NT=some interest in slam but in at least one minor I do not have second round control. However a cue bid like 4  would also confirm second round control of diamonds.

• A SS3NT bid shows extra values but denies a control in one of the minors. No first or second round control in one of the minors. Responder will show his lowest minor control in response.

• SS3NT does not supersede any convention. i.e. If a 3NT bid has a conventional meaning then it retains that meaning.

• A direct cue bid in this approach shows at least 1st round control in the minor bid (or the King of partner's minor ) and at least second round control in the other minor. If neither partner has limited his hand then a bidder who bypasses 3NT to cuebid on the four level shows extra values. e.g. 1 /2 !/3 /3 /4 : opener's 4 shows first round control of clubs and at least second round control of  .

• If hearts are trump then a Serious 3NT which bypasses 3 denies a spade control. i.e denies the ACE of if spades have not been bid. e.g.1 /2 /2NT/3 /3NT. Here the bidder denies the Ace if spades have not been bid. If partner has bid spades denies K of spades as well and also says one of his minors is lacking a 1st or 2nd round control.

• If one bidder limits his hand then partner may still employ SS3NT but here a direct cuebid also shows extra values. e.g. 1 /1NT/2 /3/... Here responder has at most 12 HCP. So opener needs substantial extra values to look for slam. Thus a cuebid of 4 sends the same message as Serious 3NT: "I have extra values, cuebid if you can." (Opener would choose 3NT if he lacked a club or diamond control in this approach.)

• 1 /2NT/3NT (Jacoby 2NT). In such an auction a 3NT is very strong and is regular Serious 3NT (not SS3NT) and requiring partner to cuebid.  With other types of hands you can bid 3  over 2NT setting up the use of SS3NT.


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