Can you remember back in the time when bridge bidding was simple and that, 1NT-2♦ meant that you wanted to play in diamonds, and that 1NT-2♥ meant that you wanted to play in 2♥, and 1NT-2♠ meant that you wanted to play in 2♠, and finally that 1NT-2NT meant partner was making a gane try in NT's.
Seems such a long time ago now, but alas, advances in modern bidding take over and those days have long since gone. So nowadays, opposite Partner’s 1NT opening, most players use at least, some form of simple Transfers, wherby:
1NT 2♦ Informs partner you hold 5+ hearts and to bid 2♥
1NT 2♥ Informs partner you hold 5+ spades and to bid 2♠
2♦ and 2♥ are “transfer” bids, and useful in respect of generally; getting the strong hand to be Declarer, often referred to as 'right siding the contract' and; allowing us to describe more hand types than with normal old fashioned methods.
So after,1NT 2♥, 2♠, the auction is not necessarily over now. Yes if Responder has a weak hand (with Spades), he will simply pass 2♠ … but, if he has some additional values, he has a number of ways of further describing his hand.
1NT 2♥ A transfer, showing at least 5 Spades. Any strength is possible.
2♠ Pass 5+ Spades, no interest in game.
2♠ 2N 5 Spades, and a hand with invitational values (normally balanced but may be
concealing another 4 card suit)
2♠ 3NT 5 Spades, and a hand with game values (normally balanced but may be
concealing another 4 card suit)
1NT 4NT Invitational to 6NT.
2♠ 4NT Invitational to 6NT with 5 Spades.
2♠ 3♠ Invitational to game with 6 Spades.
2♠ 3♦* Shows a second suit, with game-going values (some ‘old fashioned
Partnerships still play this as forcing to as far as 3spades, however it is more
logical to play it as forcing to at least game). * This should be agreed with
your partner in advance.
2♠ 4♦ With spades as the agreed trump suit, 4♦ here is showing a slam interest
and would now be showing a control in Diamonds (first round if you prefer),
denying a control in clubs (denying first round control if you prefer) and inviting
opener to show his controls (or first round controls if you prefer)
Note that, in all the above auctions, the following applies:
(a) Responder’s transfer shows at least 5 Spades;
(b) Opener’s rebid is always 2♠ (though, next, we’ll meet some exceptions to this);
(c) Responder’s rebid clarifies his strength and hand-type.
Normally, Opener will accept the transfer, but modern styles advocate to make an exception when holding 4 cards in Partner’s major.
Holding the 4th trump gives the partnership at least a 9-card fit, which according to Total Tricks theory, normally means that there is safety at the 3-level.
In its simplest form a super accept is a jump to the 3 level in the trump suit. Therefore:
1NT - 2♥ 2 hearts is a transfer and showing 5 spades (at this stage that's all we know)
3♠ 3 spades now shows 4 card support and for the timid players amongst us, you
may want to agree it shows a 'non minimum' (see further on for examples of
minimums, non minimums and maximums. and where this may possibly be a 3
So, if the auction starts 1NT 2♥, and Opener now bids anything but 2♠, he is making what is known as a “Super Accept”, and is (usually) showing 4 Spades.
Not only does this get across immediately to partner there is a big fit, and enabling the partnership to better gauge those games with slender values, but it also has the advantage of ‘pre-empting the opposition from overcalling (who 99% of the time when you have a fit, they will also have a fit somewhere).
For those amongst us who cannot bear to bid a ‘super accept’ transfer when minimum and vulnerable, yes I have sympathy with your concerns. But at least do it when non-minimum at least.
So the next time you play against me, consider the ‘super accept against a simple transfer to your Heart suit as opposed to allowing me (or any opposition) to roll out a frisky 2 spades or 3 of minor, only to find that was the killing lead against your 4♥ contract. I won’t be coming rubbing your nose in it telling you I told you so,,,,,,but I have ‘’told you so!!!
For those of you who are already convinced or partially convinced you may even wish to consider the following, (as always please, please agree with partner first!!);
3♠ Any medium hand with 4 Spades.
2NT Any maximum hand with 4 Spades.
2NT Same thing, for Hearts.
2NT 3♥ This is a “re-Transfer” … Responder still wants Opener to play the
hand, and the re-transfer is the way to achieve that.
This approach has the benefit of simplicity, and does not volunteer unnecessary information to the opponents.
Suppose that you have 4 cards in Responder's major and a poor hand? We suggest that you do not Super Accept with these hands ... also, let's bear in mind that the determination of Minimum, Medium, and Maximum, is not based solely on HCPs ... shape and the type of the HCP's is just as important. Try these examples:
♠ A972 Yes its maximum 14 HCP’s high cards but not a particular nice hand.
♥ KJ2 4333 shape, mediocre trumps and fragile holdings in the other suits.
♦ KJ5 We will still ‘super accept’ but if we can distinguish between minimum
♣ Q74 medium or maximum, then the hand texture here is nearer minimum than
♠ AJ10 On the flip side look at this hand. Yes only 3 trumps and only 12 HCP’s
♥ 1075 But look at it. A 5 card suit, points in the right place and 2 Aces
♦ AQJT6 And those two tens are an added little bonus. Don’t even consider
♣ 86 this hand is worth anything less than a super MAXIMUM accept
So there you have it simple red suit transfers or transfers to the majors if you prefer, with the added ‘super accept’ as an option.
So what do we do when partner opens 1NT and we want to sign off, consider game or even slam in the minors? For now most people play 2♠ or even 2NT, as some type of transfer for a minor suit. However watch this space……..
……..next time we will be showing you how with a little uncomplicated fine tuning to your methods, you can now show a long minor for sign off, game try and slam purposes.