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Discussion of Jacoby 2NT Plus as requested

#1 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-November-23, 08:52

Most of us are familiar with the auction

1M-2NT, where 2NT is "jacoby 2NT" as game force major raise.

Opener shows his distribution (short suit or second long suit) pretty much even when he has no slam ambition and if responder has no slam ambition, the pair signs off in game. This sharing of information on hands where neither partner has any slam ambition only helps the defense. This is considered a flaw in Jacoby 2NT.

Many people who play jacoby 2NT also play Bergen raises, using 3 and 3 to differentiate between goodish limit raises and poorish limit raises and freeing up 3M as preemptive raise. I love the preemptive raise, but I think using two bids to show one hand type is wasteful, but you need a limit raise mechanism.

So what to do? Enter the Jacoby 2NT Plus response that handles both of these situations.

1) Opener without slam interest does not immediately share distributional features over 2NT as with normal Jacoby 2NT. Solving problem 1
2) 2NT is a limit raise or BETTER, so 3 and 3 can be whatever you want them to be.. fit jump, mini-splinter, weak preemptive, intermediate, or strong.. that is up to you.

For the info on Jacoby 2NT plus, see http://www.bridgematters.com/jplus.htm

The trick to Jacoby 2NT Plus is the 3 and 3 responses (as well as the others). 3 is the "negative" response and is used intially to say, "I have not game interest opposite a limit raise". The 3 is the semi-positive type response, that says, "I want to bid game opposite any limit raise, but am not so strong to make a slam try opposite that of hand - this reply is GF".

Opposite 3C or 3D, if responder rebids 3of original major, it says, "I have the limit raise". IF responder rebids a new suit (other than 3D over 3C), it shows shortness in a hand TOO GOOD for an immediate splinter in that suit.

Over 3C response, responder can bid 3 to ask opener for his short suit, showing strong slam interest anyway, and getting now the information that normal jacoby 2NT would get (but with benefit of knowing opener is very minimum). Or (and this is important), responder can leap to 4M and the defense knows nothing about declearers hand other than it is minimum.

Since 3D was forcing to game but no slam interest, responder rebids 3H (limit raise-otherwise just jump to game) only with shortness. Now opener can use relay (cheapest suit) to ask for responder's shortness. Or responder can go ahead and bid the other major to ask for opener's shortness (note 3NT shows shortness in the other major by responder).

Also over 2NT, opener can occassionally not respond with 3 or 3. A leap to 4M is the oddball hand that really wants to be game opposite a limit raise, but shows a really bad hand (this is an important bid to include some teeth in the 3 response). A bid of 3 of either major over a 2NT is at least mininimal slam try and a bid at the four level (even 4 of the major) is strong slam try.

Neat note. The strongest slam try includes hands where you bid 3 to get more info about your partners hand. IF he is limit raise, and bids 3M, you can start cue-bidding, with 3NT being the most ackward suit to cue-bid (the one below trumps). This shows VERY STRONG slam interest. Of course, if your partner leaps to game, etc, showing better than limit raise, you will be going to slam.

Over interference....
3M by either player shows weakest hand.
Double or Redouble show defensive cards (like optional double) given that fit has already been found.
Passes show balanced type hand too good for 3M
New suits show bid suit and values (too good for 3M)
All further bidding, is natural.

The advantages of Jacoby 2NT plus are several.

1) Either partner can ask the other for distributional features. This is important in that responder, with shortness can show it, and leave opener's hand a mystery.
2) Distributional features can be kept quiet on hands with no slam try
3) Free's us 3 and 3 for whatever you want them to be, while still allowing the modern practice of 1M-3M to be preemptive raise based upon four card fit and the law of total tricks.
4) It enters an area of uncertainty in the auction for the opponents. Over normal jacoby 2NT they might bid friskly knowing you have game value. Here a free wheeling overcall maybe leads to a loss when you were never bidding game. Also, you may have monster value for the 2NT bid, so bidding is again risky if they think you only have game invite values. This uncertainty is much more important playing with big club auction I think.. where, 1M-3C (bergen) gives them good idea of their sides total values, but 1M-2NT would not.

Now to the hand in question from the other thread.. which was...

♠ 9 ♥ Q97542 ♦ AKT42 ♣ 4

Opposite a limit raise plus hand using JACOBY 2NT, this hand would qualify for a slam try. 4@D would not only be natural, but would suggest a slam try. If your partner is willing to bid only 4 now, it is clearly time to stop. Alternatively, you could bid 3 and if partner tries to signoff with 3, you would raise to 4. The problem with 3 is partner might jump to 4. just to show an opening hand.. however, if he did bid 4 (showing a singleton and too good for immediate splinter -- btw, the hand I expect he holds), now 4NT is easy completion of auction.

But since he WILL BID 4 with any hand too good for immediate diamond splinter, I will start 3 here. I expect his next bid to be either 3 asking me for shortness, 4 showing short or 4. If he bids anything but 4 I will be making a strong slam try using blackwood.

Ben
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#2 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2004-November-25, 08:14

Ben,
would you comment on the additional benefits/drawbacks of Jacoby+ if applied when respondin to a limited opener (e.g. 1M = 5+ cards, max 15 hcp) as opposed to "standard" wider range 1M openers ?

(I know this is mostly applied in strong club systems so you may want to deal with this topic in another subsection rather than BIL)
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#3 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-November-25, 14:23

Ben,

What do you use 1M 3NT as?

If one doesn't want to play it as natural then one can play it as a raise to exactly game with no shortage, and splinters show a rise to exactly game with a shortage. This leaves 1M 2NT as a limit raise or at least a trick better than game. This, in turn, makes it easier for opener to determine the slam potential once he discovers that responder has more than a limit raise.

Eric
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Posted 2004-November-28, 21:48

EricK, on Nov 25 2004, 04:23 PM, said:

Ben,

What do you use 1M 3NT as?

If one doesn't want to play it as natural then one can play it as a raise to exactly game with no shortage, and splinters show a rise to exactly game with a shortage. This leaves 1M 2NT as a limit raise or at least a trick better than game. This, in turn, makes it easier for opener to determine the slam potential once he discovers that responder has more than a limit raise.

Eric

Indeed I play both 1M-3NT and 1M-4NT as hands with 3 card fits for the major, neither of which is forcing, both deny singleton or void. I don't remember making the 4NT bid.

I use 1M-2C-any-NT to show balanced hands without three card support (including some 4441's with stiff in major as balanced). Remember, my 2 response is very non-standard.

Ben
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  Posted 2004-November-28, 23:59

I don't use Jacoby 2NT in my forcing club method - I use a natural and forcing bid there. I instead use 1-2 and 1-3 as my forcing raises in trumps, with mild slam interest.

Instead I use this scheme for raises:

1-3 and 1-3: 4 trumps, 8 losers, 7-10 support points
1-3 and 1-3 (one under 3M): 4 trumps, 8 losers, limit raise with shortage
1-3 and 1-3 (direct): limit raise, 4 trumps, NO shortage, 8 losers
1-3 and 1-3NT: GF with UNKNOWN shortage (13-bad 17 hcps)
1M-4/ (4 hearts over 1 spade too): fit bids, 4 trumps with 5+ in this suit

This means that when I bid the first sequence mentioned I have mild slam interest and good working points. We respond not in shortages but in minimums, maximums with and without shortage, extra trumps, and quality. We find this is far superior to regular Jacoby due to the fact we can easily pinpoint what's really working without getting to the four level to do it (only one or two sequences gets this way, but it's due to the responses).

Jacoby isn't bad, but it's overused. Picture bidding is much better. Don't use it on a 12 count, 4 trump hand.....show it for a good hand.
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