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A Comprehensive System of Responses to 1NT

This system was developed for resonding to a 12-15 1NT opening, but will work for any range with two requiremets:

1. You have a balanced invite. Certain sequences will differ for "pass or bash" partnerships

.2. You open 1NT with a five card major with at least fair frequency. If for you it's seldom or never, you don't need some of these responses.

In the following summary, rather than using point count numbers, responder's range is descrbed as weak, invitational, (game) forcing, or slam try. Opener's range is minimum or maximum.



2 = Stayman

.2/2 = Jacoby transfer

.2 = range ask or clubs.

2NT = diamonds, any strength, or both minors, weak.

3 = LIPS (low information Puppet Stayman).

3/3 = fragment transfer with both minors.

3 = five-five or better minors, no fragment.

3NT = to play.

4 = Gerber

.4/4 = Texas transfer.



Opener bids a four or five card major, bidding hearts with both and diamonds with neither. After 2, responder's 2 is weak with both majors, opener passes or corrects to 2 with longer spades (or significatly stronger spades if 3-3). Respoder's 2 is invitational with five spades, 2NT is balanced invitational, 3/3 is forcing with at least a five card suit. 3/3 in Smolen: four cards in the bid sui and five in the other major, forcing. 3NT is to play.

After 2, reponder's bids are the same as after 2 except 3 is four+ heats, invitational, 3 is four+ hearts balanced slam try, 4/4 is a splinter, 4 is to play.

After 2, reponder's bids are the same as after 2 except 3 is four+ spades, balanced slam try, 3 is four+ spades, invitational, 4/4/4 is a splinter, 4 is to play.


Jacoby Transfer:

The next step in lieu of accepting the transfer is a speraccept with a mximum and a four+ fit, a jump to three of the target suit is minimum but with four good trumps and a weak doubleton or five trumps. After the next step super-accept, a repeat of the transfer suit at the three level is a retranfer, other bids are control bids with slam interest. When responder wishes to make a control bid in the transfer suit, he retransfers and then makes a different call than pass, four of the major, or key card.1NT-2-2-2NT shoes a spade control.

If responder bids three of the major, it is natural and invitational with a six card or longer suit.

The sequence 1NT-2-2-2 is an artificial game invitation. Responder has exactly five hearts unless he has six hearts and four spades. Opener rejects by bidding 2NT with two hearts, or 3 with three or more. After 2NT, responder set the contract, ofen by passing. Opener bids 4 to accept with three+ hearts. To accept with two hearts, opener bids suits up the line or 3NT if sure he wants to play there.

.Responder's other bids are extended transfers and are game forcing unless otherwise indicated. 2NT shows clubs, and 3 shows diamonds. 1NT-2-2-3 shows six+ hearts,  slam try with no shortness. 1NT-2-2-3 shows five-five or better majors, invitational+.  1NT-2-2-3 is six+spades, slam try with no shortness. Respoder's 4/4 and 1NT-2-2-3 and 1NT-2-2-4 are autosplinters. 3NT is choice of games. 4M does not exist, use Texas.


2 range ask or clubs:

Opener must bid 2NT (minimum) or 3 (maiximum) unless he is worth 3NT (or 5) opposite Jxxxxx and out, then he bids what he thinks he can make. With a balanced invitation, responder passes 2NT or bids 3NT over 3. With a bslanced slam try reponder bids 3NT/6NT/7NT.. All other bid show long clubs. Weak, bid or pass 3. With game+ values, 3/3/3 are autosplinters, 4 is a slam try with no shortage, 4 is kickback, 4/4 exclusion, 4NT is exclusion with a diamond void, and 5 is to play (a gambling bid, opener shoul not bid six).

1NT-2-2NT-3NT can be clubs, no splinter, turned off by opener's minimum.


2NT diamonds or both minors, weak:

Opener bids his longer or stronger minor, preferring 3 if minimum and 3 if maximum if his minors are equal. With both minors weak, responder passes, all other calls show long diamonds. 1NT-2NT-3-3 is weak. 3/3/4 are autosplinters. 3NT is no shortage slam try willing to play3NT i opener is uninterested., while 4 is a stronger no shortage slam try. 4 is kickack, 4/5 is exclusion, 4NT is exclusion wth a heart void.


3 low information Puppet Stayman:

Responder has one or two three card majors, or one four card major with a possible three cards in the other major. His shape is not 4333. Opener bids a five card major or three diamonds. After 3, responder with a four card major bids three of the other major.


3/3 fragment transfer: 

This handles 5431 and 5530 hands with both minors. Responder transfers to his three card major. This idea was developed from a Bridge Winners thread. Accepting the transfer shows one of two hand types: five cards in the major with a willingness to cooperate in a slam try, or four cards in the major, groping for the best contract. 3NT by opener shows the short suit securely stopped.3NT by responder shows a stiff honor and a desire to play 3NT if opener has help. Other calls are natural,


1NT-3-4 and 1NT-3 -4 show a five card suit but slam negative.

3 five-five or better minors with no fragment.


4/4 sets trumps with slam interest, 5/5 is to play. 4 is six-ace kickback, 4 is a control bid, 4NT shows a heart control.


4/4 Texas:

To play or setting trump for kickback or exclusion.

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