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3NT Response to 1H/1S Opening What are my options? Which is best?

#1 User is offline   tobycurtis 

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Posted 2014-March-11, 17:51

Hi all,

In auctions that start with a 1H or 1S opening bid, what are the most standard/common/recommended uses of a 3NT response?

Here is what comes to mind:
1) 13-15 HCP, balanced with no fit
2) 13-15 HCP, balanced, 3-card support, choice of games
3) Jacoby 3NT -- not really sure how this is defined, is this the same as #2?

Any others? What is best in your opinion?

Thanks!
Toby
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#2 User is offline   phoenix214 

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Posted 2014-March-11, 18:19

Well there are several methods you can use:
1) Something like swiss: which shows 4333 hands i guess.
2)the 13-15 with no fit type of hands like you described
3) Differentiating splinters, for example:
You normally use you double jumps as splinter, but then still partner has different types of hands. You can help to untangle this by separating these splinter bids like this:
3M+1 min splinter - others max splinter(With a really good hand you do not even splinter)
other way which might work is
3M+1 - singleton splinter, other void splinter.
In case of 1-3NT. Since you cannot show a spade splinter, you use this showing the good version of a spade splinter
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#3 User is offline   jogs 

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Posted 2014-March-12, 16:02

View Posttobycurtis, on 2014-March-11, 17:51, said:

Hi all,

In auctions that start with a 1H or 1S opening bid, what are the most standard/common/recommended uses of a 3NT response?

Here is what comes to mind:
1) 13-15 HCP, balanced with no fit
2) 13-15 HCP, balanced, 3-card support, choice of games
3) Jacoby 3NT -- not really sure how this is defined, is this the same as #2?

Any others? What is best in your opinion?

Thanks!
Toby


You should rarely bid 3NT.

1a) 13-15 HCP, balanced with doubleton in the suit. Control poor, max of 3 1/2 controls. The queen of trumps is worth 1/2 a control. Else find some other bid.
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#4 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 08:12

As the reply takes up so much space, it needs to have such a descriptive meaning that partner can always pick the right contract. That of jogs fits the bill for me, as long as it also denies 4 of the other major, precisely 2 card support, strength, no shape and poor in controls. A mini-splinter forcing to game is not a mini-splinter in my view. (If it is, then is your normal splinter slam-forcing?) Choice of games is no good either, as by the time you have chosen, you are beyond 3NT.

You could alter aspects of the "well-defined" option, as it could be stronger, or different support length, but you need to keep it tightly defined and a meaning that is best removed from other sequences. Of course, playing a forcing NT gives you more options, as you can then also bid 1NT then 3NT.

Edit : With a forcing NT, I have 1 3NT as void heart splinter, and 4 is singleton splinter. 1 3NT is a void diamond splinter. You could also do this with non-forcing 1NT if you put the jogs hand into a semi-artificial 2 reply. Knowing whether a splinter is singleton or void is useful.

This post has been edited by fromageGB: 2014-March-13, 08:23

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#5 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 08:18

In the Netherlands it is popular to play it as a 12-14 four-card-raise without shortness. It is sometimes called "Truscott without dbl" because the same structure (split-range 2NT) is called Truscott when there has been a double in between.

Some swap 3 and 3NT in response to a 1 opening, though.

Other slightly less popular meanings are:
-(4333) COG
-semipreemptive raise
... I am not at all keen on arriving at the 4 level with no idea of where our fit(s) might be. --- Zelandakh
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#6 User is offline   lexlogan 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 10:30

View Posttobycurtis, on 2014-March-11, 17:51, said:

...In auctions that start with a 1H or 1S opening bid, what are the most standard/common/recommended uses of a 3NT response?...

I like 3NT to show the "pancake" game raise, any 4333 with 13-15 hcp. (If the four card suit is partner's, it should be poor in controls.) This is an important, useful hand that is not well-described otherwise. Adding game-going hands into the Forcing Notrump structure suffers both with and without competition; it sounds fine until partner or an opponent jumps and you have no way to describe the hand. Making a 2/1 bid and then supporting partner exaggerates the shape.
The most common use seems to be 13-15 with 4-4 in the minors and a doubleton in partner's major. I'd rather bid 2C with that hand; we could have slam in either minor, and 3NT leaves partner no wiggle room on unbalanced hands that might or might not belong in 3NT.
Paul Hightower
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#7 User is offline   guido 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 10:35

View Postlexlogan, on 2014-March-13, 10:30, said:

I like 3NT to show the "pancake" game raise, any 4333 with 13-15 hcp. (If the four card suit is partner's, it should be poor in controls.) This is an important, useful hand that is not well-described otherwise. Adding game-going hands into the Forcing Notrump structure suffers both with and without competition; it sounds fine until partner or an opponent jumps and you have no way to describe the hand. Making a 2/1 bid and then supporting partner exaggerates the shape.
The most common use seems to be 13-15 with 4-4 in the minors and a doubleton in partner's major. I'd rather bid 2C with that hand; we could have slam in either minor, and 3NT leaves partner no wiggle room on unbalanced hands that might or might not belong in 3NT.



I like something similar ... "pudding raise" junky 13-15, 3334. Pretty much the same as your Pancake raise, except we emphasis the junkiness of the honors
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#8 User is offline   lexlogan 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 10:40

Note: I don't describe 3NT as "choice of games." While it is permissible for opener to pass, most minimum hands should retreat to four of the major. If you really want to use the bid to suggest passing a minimum 5332, you probably want most of your stuff outside of partner's suit, and something in each side suit. Less ideal hands can respond 2C (pretty much regardless of which suit has four-card length.) This seems to limit the frequency of 3NT a great deal. Using it routinely on 4333's makes 1M-2C more descriptive: at least 4 clubs and a doubleton somewhere, or 16+.
Paul Hightower
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#9 User is offline   SteveMoe 

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Posted 2014-March-13, 21:55

If you choose to play 2 as GF balanced or natural, then you don't need 3N anymore for balanced hands.
You can gain substantially by using 1-3 and 1-3N as "mini"-splinters (4 trumps, hidden shortness, 10-12 HCP and 3 Control cards (A or K)). Then direct splinters (1-3N is splinter) are 13-15. 16+ hands with 0/1 are handled through Jacoby.
Check out Fred's advice from BW: http://bridgewinners...ce-4-splinters/
Also:
http://bridgewinners...ith-a-splinter/ Andrew Gumperz advocates 9-11 and 12-14...
Be the partner you want to play with.
Trust demands integrity, balance and collaboration.
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#10 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-March-14, 03:17

View PostSteveMoe, on 2014-March-13, 21:55, said:

If you choose to play 2 as GF balanced or natural, then you don't need 3N anymore for balanced hands.
You can gain substantially by using 1-3 and 1-3N as "mini"-splinters (4 trumps, hidden shortness, 10-12 HCP and 3 Control cards (A or K)). Then direct splinters (1-3N is splinter) are 13-15. 16+ hands with 0/1 are handled through Jacoby.

I like this structure but I object to calling it "mini-splinters". A minisplinter is a splinter below the 3-level of the opening suit and doesn't force to game.
... I am not at all keen on arriving at the 4 level with no idea of where our fit(s) might be. --- Zelandakh
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#11 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2014-March-14, 05:11

Classical definition is balanced 13-15. This implies 2 cards in opener's suit, who can therefore pullback to 4M with a 6 carder.

In the case 1-3NT it also denies 4 hearts. With 4 hearts and 2 spades, there is a 4-card minor somewhere. Thus a 2/1 is the bid, in case opener has 4 hearts. In fact, 1-3NT guarantees 2 spades, 3 hearts. Opener can pull to 4 on a 55 and 4 on a 6 carder.
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#12 User is offline   antonylee 

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Posted 2014-March-15, 12:32

You can squeeze in another hand type. I play:
1S-3N=mini-splinter (or whatever you want to call it)
1S-4C=C or D splinter, 4D asks
1S-4D=semi-good raise to 4 (say Axxxx x Kxxx xxx), 4H=last train
1S-4H=H splinter
1S-4S=purely preemptive raise
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-March-15, 19:57

View PostSteveMoe, on 2014-March-13, 21:55, said:

If you choose to play 2 as GF balanced or natural, then you don't need 3N anymore for balanced hands.

A while back, one of my regular partners gave me a fresh ACBL system card for our partnership. Under 3NT he wrote "25-27 HCP. But open 2." I pointed out that having defined two separate and distinct ways to arrive at 3NT showing a balanced hand of that count was a waste of bidding space, and suggested that we find another meaning for the 3NT opening. Then I asked him what he'd prefer. "I'll think about it" he said. That was last year sometime. Far as I know, he's still thinking.
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#14 User is offline   tobycurtis 

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Posted 2014-March-16, 01:23

View Posthelene_t, on 2014-March-13, 08:18, said:

In the Netherlands it is popular to play it as a 12-14 four-card-raise without shortness. It is sometimes called "Truscott without dbl" because the same structure (split-range 2NT) is called Truscott when there has been a double in between.


Interesting. Sounds like what in Japan (maybe other places too, I don't know) is called Jacoby 3NT...a 4-card GF raise showing less HCP than a Jacoby 2NT.

Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas and insight. Truly invaluable.
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#15 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2014-March-18, 19:56

what about a 15-17 or 16-18 hcp balanced with 2 cards in the major? could be passed with the extra strength 3N may be the optimal spot.

with the demise of strong jump shifts its hard to get this sort of hand across



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#16 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-March-18, 20:28

Pudding raises are quite good, because when you use it instead of Jacoby 2NT nothing is revealed about opener's hand. I have always thought they were a bit old-fashioned and don't play them with my regular partner, but had occasion to make the bid this evening with a semi-regular partner. This caused me to reflect on the usefulness of the convention.
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#17 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2014-March-19, 10:15

In addition to using 3/3NT to distinguish between different ranges of splinter (as described above) you can also use these calls to distinguish between singleton and void splinters. The same concept is at play, for example:

1
==
3NT = void splinter (4 asks and then 4 = void; 4 = void; 4 = void)
4 = singleton in suit bid

or the reverse

1
==
3NT = singleton splinter (4 asks and then 4 = sgl ; 4 = sgl ; 4 = sgl )
4 = void in suit bid

The advantage of the former is that you save a step on the more common singleton case when Opener has slam interest; the advantage of the latter is that less is revealed when Opener does not have slam interest for the more common singleton case. You have to decide which of these is more important to you.

The same structure works over a 1 opening using 3 as the unknown splinter and 3NT as the spade splinter.

If you can get your other range of splinter (maxi-splinter) through a different sequence (eg 1 - 2 and 1 - 2NT, or 1 - 3 and 1 - 3) then differentiating between a singleton and a void can be very useful.

If you search around under the heading "Swiss" you may be able to find some other (older) options for a 3NT response to a major. Most of these are essentially obsolete since the introduction of RKCB but you might find something that dovetails with your system if you have special requirements.
(-: Zel :-)
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2014-March-19, 12:29

While 3NT = any void splinter (or 3NT = any singleton splinter) is a sensible way of distinguishing between voids or singletons, it is usually the case that opener's slam interest depends more on what suit is short, not the exact nature of the shortage. Thus I prefer to play 4 as a natural splinter with either singleton or void, as this is less revealing when for opener it is the wrong suit. There is room to ask whether singleton or void over 4, but not over which is why my alternative expressed in post #4 is for this suit alone to have its length distinguished by the 3NT response.

This is certainly less revealing, but it may not be suitable if you want the space (if any) between the splinter suit and the trump suit to be used for other purposes.
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2014-March-20, 10:14

Hardy raises:

1-1NT-2m-2: bad raise to 2
1-1NT-2m-4: as 1-4 (see below) but with a side ace.
1-1NT-2m-3: 3 card limit raise, 9+ - 12- HCP, no side shortage (if opener rebids 2, bid 4 to show this hand).
1-2m-2any-2/3: GF, 3 trumps, 12+ HCP, usually 4+ cards in the minor.
1-2: normal raise, 5+ - 9- HCP, 3 or 4 trumps.
1-2NT: 4+ trumps, 15+ - unlimited, no side shortage. Opener rebids as after Jacoby 2NT.
1-3: 4 trumps, 9+ - 12- HCP, no side shortage, or 3 trumps, same HCP, side shortage (3 asks).
1-3: an "under jump shift", 4+ trumps, side singleton or void, 9+ - 12- HCP, FG. 3 asks, and responder can differentiate between singleton or void.
1-3: weak, 4 trumps, 0-5- HCP.
1-3: an "over jump shift", 4+ trumps, side singleton or void, 12+ - 15- HCP. 3NT asks. Opener shows where the shortage is, but cannot distinguish voids from singletons.
1-4: "inverted trump swiss", 4 trumps including 2 of the top 3, no side shortage, 13+ - 15- HCP.
1-4: as 4, but the trump suit has fewer than 2 of the top 3.
1-4: weak, 0-8 HCP, 4+ trumps (often 5), no side ace.

The structure is essentially the same over 1. Note that over 1, the 2 and 3NT responses are undefined. Over 1 these are, respectively, the simple raise and the "under jump shift", and 3 and 4 are undefined.
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#20 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2014-March-20, 10:55

View Postblackshoe, on 2014-March-20, 10:14, said:

Hardy raises:

Zel raises:

1 - 2 and 1 - 2 = normal weak raise
1 - 2 and 1 - 2NT = mini-splinter or maxi-splinter
1 - 2NT and 1 - 3 = GF raise
1 - 3 and 1 - 3 = limit raise
1 - 3 and 1 - 3 = mixed raise
1 - 3 and 1 - 3 = PRE raise
1 - 3 and 1 - 3NT = void splinter
1 - 3NT/4m and 1 - 4 = singleton splinters

If using the relay response structure then also

1 - 1(relay); 1NT/2 - 2 and 1 - 1NT(relay); 2 - 2 = 3 card limit raise
1 - 1(relay); 1NT/2 - 3 and 1 - 1NT(relay); 2 - 3 = 3 card GF raise

plus sticking in relays is also an option (often a good one) with a good raise.
(-: Zel :-)
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