Spade Heart  Diamond Club
1 NT Bids and Replies (Test)

 

1. To open 1 NT, you need :

 

12 – 14 pts,

A balanced hand, i.e. one of :

4-3-3-3

4-4-3-2

5-3-3-2

 

and the 5 card suit must be a minor suit (C or D). If it is a major, open 1 of that suit.

 

Note : the “opening bid” is the first bid made in the auction.

 

2. Summary of responses to an opening bid of 1 NT by your partner

This assumes you are not playing transfers or Stayman :

 

points

balanced?

longest suit

bid

2nd bid by the opener

0 – 10

Y

Only 4 cards

Pass

n/a

0 – 10

N

any 5+ suit

2 of suit

Always pass

11 - 12

Y

n/a

2 NT

3 NT with 14 pts, pass with 12, use judgement with 13

13 - 19

Y

n/a

3 NT

Pass

11 – 17

N

5 card major

3 of suit

3 NT with 2 cards in the suit, else 4 of the suit

11 – 17

N

6 card major

4 of suit

Pass

11 – 17

N

minor

3 NT

Pass

11 - 17

N

minor, very unbalanced

3 of suit or even 5 of suit

3 NT with 2 or 3 in the suit, else 4 of the suit

18 +

N

any

3 of suit

As above. You may then bid again to try for a slam

 

 The aim is to decide if you can make game and if not, to stop the bidding as soon as possible for a part score. If the responder has at least 11 points, then game may be on. With 13+, game is on and you must look for a playable suit, i.e. where you hold 8 cards between you, or if not bid 3NT.

 

The above are guidelines. You need to use judgement when you have a hand that is borderline or very unbalanced.

 

3. Opening leads against a NT contract

 

If your longest suit has a sequence of 3 or more, lead top of the sequence. Otherwise, lead 4th highest. If opponents have bid a suit, try to avoid leading it. If partner made the opening lead, lead back the highest card of the suit led unless you have very few cards in it.

 

E.g. with K Q J 6 4, lead the K. With Q J 7 6 4, lead the 6 (but in a suit contract lead the Q). When you lead the K, partner knows you have the Q and not the A.