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Systems on after 2 - 2NT?

It's tough to find info on following bids after 2 openers. That's strange, because the subsequent auction is very important and sometimes fraught with misunderstanding.

After 2, if Responder bids 2NT (balanced, 8-10), should Opener's rebids be Transfers?

That is: 2 - 2NT - 3. Should it be natural, or a transfer to ?

I contend that it should be natural. Transfers exist to:

  1. hide the strong hand; and
  2. get a potentially favorable opening lead into the strong hand's tenace.


It seems to me that Transfers, in this context, have no purpose. They merely wrongside the contract, and unnecessarily force Responder into a meaningless relay, rather than further describing her hand.

Rather than 2 - 2NT - 3 - 3, in which Opener still doesn't know whether or not Responder has support or not, I'd favor 2 - 2NT - 3 - 3NT (if Responder has no support) or 2 - 2NT - 3 - 4 (to show support).

One more point in disfavor of Transfers: If Opener's suit is s, he can't show them at the 3-level. He has to bid 4, passing up 3NT. That seems kludgy.

What am I missing? What agreement is standard?

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