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Responses to 1NT open with 9+ cards in both minors
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I open 1NT with 15-17.3 level responses to 1NT open as I played were: 3 = puppet stayman; 3 = 55 in minors ;3M = shortage with (31)(54)3D! and 3M bids were used in very rare occasions, I suggest to use these bids in another way for the same purpose and more and in much more effective way.

The probability of holding 9 or 10 cards in 2 suits (MM or Mm or mm together) is 23% including shortage in a suit, in addition 5422 has probability of 10.2%. Compare that to the probability of holding 4432 distribution which is 21.6%.Such high probabilities justify accurate responses for any pair of suits after partner opened 1NT (15-17).Bidding when the two suits are both majors or mixed major and minor – are well known and already covered. Standard stayam , transfer and smolen convention solve the problem for almost any strength of above distribution.

The principles of my alternative approach for responses to 1NT with both minors are:

• I will redefine responses to 1NT with 9-10 cards in both minors, shortage in a Major suit and game values or better or 11+ cards in minors any strength. This will cover (45) or 55 or (64) or (65) or 66 in minors.The highest probability of those is of (31)(54) distribution.Depending on the combined strength, fit and in a Major suit - decision should be made if we belong to 3NT, 4 in other major (5-3 fit) or contract in one of the minors.

• With (12)13+ "working" points responder should bid 3M (his shortage) "strong slam invitation"

• With (9)10 – 12 hcp "working" points responder should bid 3 "weak slam invitation"

   Distinction between 3M and 3 bid might depend not only on hcp but on "real working values", quality of values and extreme distribution.

• With bad 10-11 hcp and wasted values in his shortage and 5431 responder can bid 3 puppet stayman in order to find 53 fit in major

• Slam can be made with fit, singleton and combined 27 working hcp and 5+ key cards out of 6.

• Without good stoppers in the suit with shortage - opener should reject the idea to be in 3NT.

• Slam invitation weak or strong asks to accept slam with fit and enough working points

"Weak slam invitation" asks opener to accept with "working" 16+ hcp , responder has 10-12 working hcp.

"Strong slam invitation" asks opener less in order to accept, with "working" 14+ hcp - accept, responder has 13+ working points.

Responder should adjust a little his slam request (weak or strong) while his strength is 11-13 hcp based on his distribution (55 VS 54) and quality of high cards.

With good 12 working hcp and 5431 I would make weak slam invitation with 5521 I would make strong slam invitation

With xxx—AQT9x-AJT9x I will make strong slam invitation

Opener might adjust a little his responses based on supper fit and cards quality.

• Beside slam invitation those bids give a strong warning about weakness in a major or majors and suggest to reject 3NT and play in minor suit contract.

• KCB can be asked by either player, we respond 6 KC

• Bidding preview for (31)(54) distribution(31)(54) distribution is the most common distribution for 9 cards in two suits.

Responder with (9)10-12 hcp can bid make weak slam invitation or look for 53 fit in major

puppet stayman and weak invitation to slam overlap one another in terms of the strength of the bidder. While strength concentrate in minors weak slam invitation looks better.

With Kxx,x,KQTx,AT9xx I will bid weak slam invitation, with QTx ,Q,KJxx,A9xxx I will bid puppet stayman

One can exchange the meaning of 3 and 3, I prefer 3 as puppet.

* 3 = puppet stayman, looking for 5-3 fit in major , great 9-bad 11

* 3 = weak invitation to play slam in a minor suit , working 10-12

* 3M = strong invitation to play slam in minor working 13+ shortage in M suit


I will send this article in PDF format by mail to those that will ask it from me 

Bidding details for any 9+ cards in both minors

  •  3M = strong invitation to slam, shortage in M

             13+ with 5431, with 10+ cards in minors(i.e. not only 9 cards) might have a little less in terms of hcp. 

           Opener responses:

           ** Opener has fit and decided to play minor suit contract

                     o 5minor = m4+ not strong enough to accept slam

                     o 4minor = m4+ accept slam , (13)14-17 working points

           ** Opener , deny m4 and reject 3NT       

                     o 4OM = I reject 3NT , I have OM5

                      o 4NT = I reject 3NT , I do not have max hand 

                      o 4M = I reject 3NT , I have maximum hand 

         ** 3NT = too much values in M, usually no 4 card minor

              In some cases responder which might be very strong can overrule it by bidding above 3NT with very strong hand

              or extreme distribution, as follows:

                     o 4NT = 55 or 66 in minors F

                     o 4 = 6 cards in, 5 cards in F

                     o 4 = 5 cards in , 6 cards in F

                     o 5NT = 55 or 66 in minors F

                     o 4minor = m5+om4 , F

                            In response :

                                 4NT = reject again

                                 Else = natural , fit

                      o 5minor = m6om4 , to play

                      o 6minor =m6om4 , to play

  • 3 = shortage in a one of Major suit 

             either "real weak slam invitation" with (9)10-12

              or in rare cases

              hand with 10+ cards in minor looking to play in minor contract only any strength

              Opener responses:               

                 ** 3 = asks for shortage location (3 shortage in ; 3NT shortage in)

                      Opener must skip 3NT with weakness in the shortage                   

                       Opener proceed with:

                       o Pass after 3NT(=) response

                       o 3NT after 3 response

                       o Opener has fit and prefer to play in minor cotract

                                 @5minor = m4+ not strong enough to accept slam

                                 @4minor = m4+ accept slam , (15)16-17 working points

                                    Responder can make another invitation or KCB or bid 5minor

                      o Opener deny m4 and reject 3NT

                                 @4OM = I reject 3NT , I have OM5                                   

                                      This will find most of the time 53 or 52 fit

                                 @ 4NT = I reject 3NT , I do not have max hand

                                 @ 4M = I reject 3NT , I have maximum hand

                  ** 3NT = too much values in majors

                                  In very rare cases opener can overrule it with 10+ cards in minors

                                  as follows:

                         o 4NT = 55 or 66 in minors F

                         o 4 = 6 cards in, 5 cards in F

                          o 4 = 5 cards in, 6 cards in F

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