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Opinions on 11-13 1NT in precision

#1 User is offline   dcohio 

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Posted 2011-April-22, 06:02

How many people use the weak NT over the strong NT?

The upsides seem to be clarification of the 1D opener. Opener either has real diamonds in an unbalanced hand, or a 14-16 NT. This seems to take alot of ambiguity out of 1D. The obvious downsides are red vs white penalties...

Most of my experience so far has been at club level play and sectionals. Moving higher in tournament play am I going to have problems as a weak NTer?

Thanks for your replies
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#2 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2011-April-22, 06:18

Personally I prefer a 14-16 NT opening, although it's perfectly possible to play it the other way around.

The way I play precision some semibalanced hands are better opened 1NT (2 opening is 6+, so we need to do something with the hands with 5s). If you have more power, it's a bit safer imo.
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#3 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2011-April-22, 06:39

I think the weak NT is okay in 1st and 2nd seat, but I do not recommend it if partner is a passed hand.

Also in Precision, it is probably best to open 4225 / 2425 with 1NT / 1. Doesn't depend much on range though.
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#4 User is offline   dcohio 

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Posted 2011-April-22, 07:00

We're opening all of our 5c hands either 1D, 1NT, or 2D ((34)15/4405s).

We never sit for 1NTx. Pass by partner forces a XX, it either shows values or no 5 card suit. If partner sits for the XX we're usually scoring a top, if not we scramble.
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#5 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-April-22, 13:42

I have a lot of experience playing this as I play it in my most regular partnership. I just play it in first and second seat NV. In third and fourth seat it's better to play strong for obvious reasons imo, and vulnerable it is too risky to me.

You get a lot of really good results from the weak NT itself, and have some more awkward decisions when you don't open 1N later. Weak NT when NV kills bad players, but it is also highly effective against good players, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is basically just another preempt, and what preempts aren't effective?
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#6 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2011-April-23, 18:20

[quote][In third and fourth seat it's better to play strong for obvious reasons imo, /quote]The third seat is the best spot for the preempting effect no ?

The downside are

The chance of getting X while partner is holding a poor balanced hand is greater.
The chance of nailing them is greatly reduced.
You cannot pick partner with the magic weak 2 hand.

Upside are

You have no game on your side so you can have ways to stop in 2D.


I have a hard time believing that NV vs VUL weak Nt in 3rd seat isnt a winning proposition.

In 4th seat a weak Nt is very safe even vul.

When in 4th seat the bal 15-17 hands are a lot more critical than a 12-14 hands (in the sense that you might a game or not and the wich game is best problem is still there) So if you bidding tend to be more precise after a 1m opening than a 1Nt opening why would you want to have the better system for the non critical hands and vice versa.
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#7 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2011-April-23, 22:07

A few points:

(1) It turns out that the odds of having an 11-13 NT and a 14-16 NT in 3rd chair are pretty similar, because the preceding passes increase our expected point total.

(2) Part of the effectiveness of a weak notrump comes from the possibility that opener's partner is "lying in wait" for any overcall. This obviously cannot happen to any great degree when partner is a passed hand.

(3) Two of the disadvantages of weak notrump are missing our own side's 4-4 major fits and being doubled for a large penalty. Both of these are more likely once partner is a passed hand.
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#8 User is offline   dake50 

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Posted 2011-April-23, 22:08

If your responses MUST cater to M-fit
1NT opener must be strong enough to not be disaster if no M-fit.
Open 4xM, or put all/many 4xM into 1D opener.
Now 1NT:11-13 does its preempting safely. Asking 2m,3m often.
Especially in 3-seat. Take the 1-level away when 2m,3m likely our spot.
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#9 User is offline   dcohio 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 06:43

If you only open 1NT on hands without a 4cM, you take away the fact that the weak NT takes a lot of hands out of the overloaded 1D opener. Thats why I wanted to play it in the first place.
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#10 User is offline   glen 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 08:33

One of Germany's best partnerships, Gromoeller-Kirmse, have used a 11-13 1NT at the top levels (e.g. bronze medal 2009 World Transnational Open Teams), in their Swiss-Acol style:

gromoeller-kirmse.pdf

In a big club context, I used it in this system:

express.pdf
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#11 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 08:53

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-April-23, 18:20, said:

Quote

In third and fourth seat it's better to play strong for obvious reasons imo,
The third seat is the best spot for the preempting effect no ?

The downside are

The chance of getting X while partner is holding a poor balanced hand is greater.
The chance of nailing them is greatly reduced.
You cannot pick partner with the magic weak 2 hand.

Upside are

You have no game on your side so you can have ways to stop in 2D.


I have a hard time believing that NV vs VUL weak Nt in 3rd seat isnt a winning proposition.

In 4th seat a weak Nt is very safe even vul.

When in 4th seat the bal 15-17 hands are a lot more critical than a 12-14 hands (in the sense that you might a game or not and the wich game is best problem is still there) So if you bidding tend to be more precise after a 1m opening than a 1Nt opening why would you want to have the better system for the non critical hands and vice versa.


You raise some good points about weak in 3rd and 4th. However:

1. In 4th the weak NT, which is to a certain degree a preempt, is useless in that sense in that seat - there was nobody left to preempt

2. In 4th, the strong NT seems to come up at least as frequently.

3. You say that auctions are more accurate after a 1m opening - hmm - it is certainly true that you can miss some 4/4 major fits after a 1N opener (whatever your range) - but this happens less frequently opposite a strong NT. Also, if you use a weak NT in 4th, the auction is likely to go 1m-1M-1N-pass. So you've still ended up in 1NT having given away info in the process.

4. In 3rd, it is true that the preemptive effect of a weak NT against a strong hand in 4th can sometimes work to your advantage and some overstate the downside. However it can also happen that 4th seat isn't that strong and partner needs, ideally for responding to a weak NT opener by a passed hand, a whole different set of responses (you have no need of GF or slammy sequences - and do need a whole bunch of runaway and inv sequences). It is certainly possible to have such responses, but it is an additional memory load.

I'm not saying don't use weak in 3rd or 4th - many do particularly in my country - but the argument for a stronger range in 3rd and 4th seems pretty powerful to me - particularly if you play any amount of IMPs - the P-P-1N-X sequence is quite an IMP consideration.
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#12 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 13:02

Quote

1. In 4th the weak NT, which is to a certain degree a preempt, is useless in that sense in that seat - there was nobody left to preempt


Lets say i get 20 balanced hands all from 12-17 in 4th seat. LHO is a passed hand but will have some 8-11 pts with a good 5M and some 5/4 shapes and some 5/5 shapes. Nothing you can do about 5/5 shapes LHO will bid no matter what. For the 5M332 both strong and weak Nt will block neatly. For the 5/4 Opening a strong 1nt will block him more cleanly than a weak nt will do the job but the difference isnt enough to compensate the more frequents overcall your going to face when opening 1m. If your strong in 4th seat there is less chance of facing an overcall and you should be in a better shape against the overcall. So IMO its more efficent overcall blocking strategy to bid 1Nt with the weaker hand and 1m with the stronger.

Quote

2. In 4th, the strong NT seems to come up at least as frequently.


IMO its another good reason to play weak nt in 4th seat. Beginners/intermediates usually like to open 1Nt because their sequences are better defined after 1Nt than the rest of the system. Those who play neboulus diamonds or have shitty responses or bad agreement in contested auctions after 1C might feel that way too. But in a good system for constructive purpose I dont see why you prefer to open 1Nt as often as you can. I must admit i play a weird kind of precision so i dont fit in the "open 1C is the worst part of the structure but help the rest of the system" mentality. I like weak 1NT and NV i like to open it as much as i can for mainly contested auction and better overall system cohesion, not because my bidding is better after my 1Nt auctions than my 1C auctions. I it were just up to me NV i would play a wide 10-14 or 11-15 range and my goal would not be to get precise bidding afterward.

Quote

3. You say that auctions are more accurate after a 1m opening - hmm - it is certainly true that you can miss some 4/4 major fits after a 1N opener (whatever your range) - but this happens less frequently opposite a strong NT. Also, if you use a weak NT in 4th, the auction is likely to go 1m-1M-1N-pass. So you've still ended up in 1NT having given away info in the process.


Both method bury fits (mostly 4-4) and give "too much" information to defense when you stop in a delayed 1Nt. The advantage to strg Nt is that when you miss fit you have extras values so are likely to make 1Nt anyway. The worst when playing weak Nt is 12-14 vs 5-9 pts where 1nt goes down and 2M/m makes these are much more frequent than the equivalent 15-17 vs 2-6 pts in strong NT. For the information however i prefer weak Nt sequence. 1m--1M--1Nt is better if weak Nt (1nt rebid is 15-17) than str 1Nt were the rebid is 12-14. Its not a simple as this but its the main point. Also since in 4th seat weak and strong have the same freqency then both will bury your fit with the same frequency. Its just that a weak nt is more likely to bury opponents fits while missing a fits has worse consequence when ur weak.

A important good points for the strong nt is that their strong 1C opening have a much better definition since there is no bal 15-16 pts there. So its obvious its not an easy calculation to what is best and its highly dependant of the overall structure.
From Psych "I mean, Gus and I never see eye-to-eye on work stuff.
For instance, he doesn't like being used as a human shield when we're being shot at.
I happen to think it's a very noble way to meet one's maker, especially for a guy like him.
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#13 User is offline   relknes 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 14:45

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-April-24, 13:02, said:

Lets say i get 20 balanced hands all from 12-17 in 4th seat. LHO is a passed hand but will have some 8-11 pts with a good 5M and some 5/4 shapes and some 5/5 shapes. Nothing you can do about 5/5 shapes LHO will bid no matter what. For the 5M332 both strong and weak Nt will block neatly. For the 5/4 Opening a strong 1nt will block him more cleanly than a weak nt will do the job but the difference isnt enough to compensate the more frequents overcall your going to face when opening 1m. If your strong in 4th seat there is less chance of facing an overcall and you should be in a better shape against the overcall. So IMO its more efficent overcall blocking strategy to bid 1Nt with the weaker hand and 1m with the stronger.

Would you ever open 1m with 11-13 points and a balanced hand in 4th seat? Especially in a strong club context, that seems like asking for trouble. I would think it would be better to pass these hands out.
If that's right, then the comparison is not between opening 1m with your strong hands and 1N with weak hands vs 1m with weak hands and 1N with strong hands, it would be between opening 1m with strong hands and 1N with weak hands vs passing the weak hands and opening 1N with strong hands, so that your 1m openings in 4th seat promise length.
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#14 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-April-24, 21:15

You will bury your 4-4 fits much more often over a weak 1N in 4th seat than a strong 1N. This is because partner needs more to bid stayman and then game try/bid game over a weak NT. Since he is a passed hand, if you open an 11-13 NT in 4th seat and play precision, he will literally never have a game try. Even over a 12-14 NT, assuming you are opening all 11 pointers with your strong club and 11-13 NT in first/2nd seat, he will almost never have enough to try for game, so all 4-4 major suit fits will be buried unless partner has a garbage stayman hand type.

Given that you will have a strong NT just as often as a weak NT in 4th seat, this means you are going to miss a lot of 4-4 major suit fits. That is not good.

On top of that, when you do have a strong NT and major suit fit, the weak hand is going to play the hand (1m-1M-2M). Having the weak hand play the hand is worse than having the strong hand play the hand. It's not a huge issue, but it will cause you to make less games. Likewise, you might wrongside 3N when the auction would have gone 1N-3N, and partner responds in NT to your diamond opener. On top of that, they will have more information to defend with, they know declarer has no 4 card major.

It is always problematic to play a range where your 1N opener gives partner almost zero invitational hands, and zero GF hands. You miss out on your "best" auctions of 1N-3N, stayman 3N, transfer and invite, etc etc. You miss out on rightsiding games from the strong side. On top of that, you miss out on finding 4-4 fits on partscore hands when you have a weak NT hand. And remember, ALL hands when you have a weak NT are partscore hands! Yes, you gain sometimes on finding a 4-4 fit on a partial hand opposite a strong NT, but those will be less likely (since some are game hands), and less likely to matter (since 1N will usually make anyways).
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#15 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2011-April-25, 06:50

Quote

You will bury your 4-4 fits much more often over a weak 1N in 4th seat than a strong 1N. This is because partner needs more to bid stayman and then game try/bid game over a weak NT. Since he is a passed hand, if you open an 11-13 NT in 4th seat and play precision, he will literally never have a game try. Even over a 12-14 NT, assuming you are opening all 11 pointers with your strong club and 11-13 NT in first/2nd seat, he will almost never have enough to try for game, so all 4-4 major suit fits will be buried unless partner has a garbage stayman hand type.

Given that you will have a strong NT just as often as a weak NT in 4th seat, this means you are going to miss a lot of 4-4 major suit fits. That is not good.

In a MP perspective i completly agree. In a imp perspective I agree too but its only when you get a minus instead of a plus that its relevant. So the range where responder is strong enough to make a foward going stayman is a range that the weak Nt has good odds to go plus anyway. But Its clear that 12-14 bal vs 5-9 is way more likely to miss a fit and switch a plus into minus/ than 15-17 vs the equivalent range (something like 3-7). But its the major advantage of strong nt in all seats. Is this advantage is a lot higher in 4th seat than in 1st 2nd seat ? responder will never have a GF hand but the opponents passes tend to raise his HCP average. The fact that 1NT is safer in 4th seems to be a more than adequate compensation. Im not defending the weak Nt im just defending that if you play it in 1,2 you can play it in 4th seat

Quote

On top of that, when you do have a strong NT and major suit fit, the weak hand is going to play the hand (1m-1M-2M). Having the weak hand play the hand is worse than having the strong hand play the hand. It's not a huge issue, but it will cause you to make less games. Likewise, you might wrongside 3N when the auction would have gone 1N-3N, and partner responds in NT to your diamond opener. On top of that, they will have more information to defend with, they know declarer has no 4 card major.
Many play t-walsh or similar setup after a strong clubs so opening 1C wont wrongside M contracts nor 3Nt.(but its still an important point to take into account if you dont) It will sometimes wrongside 1Nt . As for after a 1D opening i agree that wrongsiding 3Nt after 1D--1Nt---??? is a loss but you get the upside of the 1D---1Nt--all pass sequence wich less frequent (and less damaging) if you play a Weak Nt. The combo 1d--1Nt all pass, they find killer M lead is more likely if you play a strong Nt than if you play a weak nt.

As for losing good bidding sequences, i agree that you loose more good bidding space by having a weak Nt hand in 4th seat.
From Psych "I mean, Gus and I never see eye-to-eye on work stuff.
For instance, he doesn't like being used as a human shield when we're being shot at.
I happen to think it's a very noble way to meet one's maker, especially for a guy like him.
Bottom line is we never let that difference of opinion interfere with anything."
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#16 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2011-April-25, 07:42

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-April-25, 06:50, said:

Many play t-walsh or similar setup after a strong clubs so opening 1C wont wrongside M contracts nor 3NT


I agree that many people use transfer responses to strong club openings.
I've never played against a pair who plays transfer Walsh which has a pretty specific meaning
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#17 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2011-April-25, 11:45

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-April-24, 13:02, said:

Also since in 4th seat weak and strong have the same freqency then both will bury your fit with the same frequency.


I don't entirely disagree with what you're saying, but I do think this point is wrong. When you have a weak NT, partner is likely to have (40-13)/3 = 9 points - not enough to look for a fit unless shapely. When you have a strong NT, partner is likely to have (40-16)/3 = 8 points - so will quite often be able to search for a fit opposite a min opener.
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#18 User is offline   straube 

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Posted 2011-April-25, 11:57

I'm starting to think that our 1N opener in 4th seat should be 16-18 and our 1D (2+) should be 13-15 when balanced. We play a strong club and open most 11 counts and distributional 10 cts. I find that opening 12 pt balanced hands fourth seat is not that great an idea; many times an opponent has a more distributional hand and successfully outbids us for a plus. Plus the 15-17 pt range is barely enough to entice partner into inviting or insisting on game.
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#19 User is offline   Quantumcat 

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Posted 2011-April-26, 03:16

I play a 10-12 1NT in 1st/2nd non vul. I absolutely love it. The pre-empting effect is fantastic, and has the side benefit of making it easier to bid games/slams after other openings (opener can't have a crap balanced 11-12 count anymore). We have also abandoned transfers and invented our own methods, which have the extra benefit of getting us in & out of the auction as fast as is possible. The opponents now don't get two chances to make a takeout double, and they don't get the chance to make a takeout double of a transfer knowing they don't have to risk it getting passed out. They get one shot to make a bid and if they choose not to, no second chance I'm afraid!

I have also been playing a 12-14 1NT in 4th seat which I think makes so much sense that I don't know why it isn't universal. Your partner is going to have 8-11 pretty much every time and you are going to end up in 1NT 3/4 of the time. Why let them overcall at the 1-level and either tell their parter the best lead, or else find out they have a fit and end up declaring at the 2-level? The 1NT opening bid means opening leader will be in the dark (can't make inferences from partner's failure to overcall 1 or whatever) and if they want to declare at the 2-level, well they have only one shot to figure out if it's right! I can't tell you the number of times we've made 90 and every other score has been 110 to the opponents.
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#20 User is offline   NickRW 

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Posted 2011-April-26, 12:08

View Poststraube, on 2011-April-25, 11:57, said:

I'm starting to think that our 1N opener in 4th seat should be 16-18 and our 1D (2+) should be 13-15 when balanced. We play a strong club and open most 11 counts and distributional 10 cts. I find that opening 12 pt balanced hands fourth seat is not that great an idea; many times an opponent has a more distributional hand and successfully outbids us for a plus. Plus the 15-17 pt range is barely enough to entice partner into inviting or insisting on game.


Well, though it has never been my style personally to open (most) balanced 11s in 1st & 2nd, a definite side benefit is that you don't need strain to open min balanced hands in 3rd and 4th.
"Pass is your friend" - my brother in law - who likes to bid a lot.
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