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does acbl define 'semi-forcing 1NT"'

#1 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 17:45

Playing matchpoint.

Partner and I played a couple hands today where bidding went 1H-P -1NT (announced as semi-forcing) - all pass . One example is where she had 2-4-5-2 ...the other example was a 5-4-1-3 distribution with HCP around 11-12......Since we play canapé, we open the hand 1H...The 1NT bid by partner shows 6-12 HCP, denies 3+ Spades........So rather than showing the canapé, opener chose to play 1NT, hoping for a better matchpoint score...

Driving home I wondered aloud " Why are we saying the words "semi-forcing" .(I expect that Opener will show the canapé moist of the times, but I also know she can pass me, especially if I am already a passed hand).

So, can partner and I drop the words "semi-forcing" starting tomorrow ?

Thank you
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#2 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 18:36

No, you may not. You may have to change from announcing "semi-forcing" to alerting, though. I'm not familiar enough with canapé systems to be sure of that.

The alert procedure does say "Semi-forcing in this case means that opener may pass with a minimum and 5-3-3-2 distribution, but otherwise will treat it as a forcing notrump" so maybe you're okay with the announcement.
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#3 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:12

View PostShugart23, on 2017-December-12, 17:45, said:

Playing matchpoint.

Partner and I played a couple hands today where bidding went 1H-P -1NT (announced as semi-forcing) - all pass . One example is where she had 2-4-5-2 ...the other example was a 5-4-1-3 distribution with HCP around 11-12......Since we play canapé, we open the hand 1H...The 1NT bid by partner shows 6-12 HCP, denies 3+ Spades........So rather than showing the canapé, opener chose to play 1NT, hoping for a better matchpoint score...

Driving home I wondered aloud " Why are we saying the words "semi-forcing" .(I expect that Opener will show the canapé moist of the times, but I also know she can pass me, especially if I am already a passed hand).

So, can partner and I drop the words "semi-forcing" starting tomorrow ?

Thank you


If I am told that a pair is playing a semi forcing NT, my expectation is that opener will pull 1NT will any unbalanced hand.
As Blackshoe mentions, the only hands where we expect opener to pass is with a minimum strength 5332.

However, based on what you are describing opener frequently passes 1NT with an unbalanced hand.
Semi-forcing seems to completely misrepresent your actual agreement.
I wold go so far as to say that you MUST stop using this expression to describe you agreement.

FWIW, I strongly recommend that you are your partner try to figure out just when an unbalanced hand choses to pass and when they pull. Otherwise, you might run into issues where folks complain that there is some kind of concealed partnership understanding.
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#4 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:17

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-12, 18:36, said:

No, you may not. You may have to change from announcing "semi-forcing" to alerting, though. I'm not familiar enough with canapé systems to be sure of that.

The alert procedure does say "Semi-forcing in this case means that opener may pass with a minimum and 5-3-3-2 distribution, but otherwise will treat it as a forcing notrump" so maybe you're okay with the announcement.

I think I get what you are saying the ACBL rule is.....IF I (as Opener) announce the 1NT as semi-forcing, then I am NOT allowed to pass the 2452 and the 5431 distributional hands.....Therefore , our partnership agreement seems to be we are not, in fact playing 1NT as semi-forcing and we better not announce it as such...........so then you say we should alert our 1NT...I guess I would ask, why ? I
suppose if we alert it, and Opponents ask what the alert means, we say, it is a not forcing bid.......????? seems a little odd
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#5 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:23

View Posthrothgar, on 2017-December-12, 19:12, said:

If I am told that a pair is playing a semi forcing NT, my expectation is that opener will pull 1NT will any unbalanced hand.
As Blackshoe mentions, the only hands where we expect opener to pass is with a minimum strength 5332.

However, based on what you are describing opener frequently passes 1NT with an unbalanced hand.
Semi-forcing seems to completely misrepresent your actual agreement.
I wold go so far as to say that you MUST stop using this expression to describe you agreement.

FWIW, I strongly recommend that you are your partner try to figure out just when an unbalanced hand choses to pass and when they pull. Otherwise, you might run into issues where folks complain that there is some kind of concealed partnership understanding.



I think I came to the same conclusion...we should NOT announce it as semi-forcing.......As far as concealed agreement goes, that is not going on....in the case where opener has 5 spades and 4 hearts, and partner's 1NT bid says 0,1, or 2 Spades max, Opener showing a Spade canapé makes no sense...It's just one of those deductions that can be made...Just because Opener chose to pass does not guarantee a good result...Opener uses judgement and take the gamble is all....e.g..the 1NT is simply non-forcing
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#6 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:24

What is the strength range of your 1NT response?
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#7 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:39

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-12, 19:24, said:

What is the strength range of your 1NT response?


6-12 over 1H or 1S...obviously less if a passed hand
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#8 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 19:58

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-12, 18:36, said:

The alert procedure does say "Semi-forcing in this case means that opener may pass with a minimum and 5-3-3-2 distribution, but otherwise will treat it as a forcing notrump" so maybe you're okay with the announcement.

How silly! 5422 is considered balanced in the rest of ACBL regs. Even 6322 would be though i doubt you would want to be in 1N.

I'm not sure how much credence you want to put on requiring 5332. This is mentioned in one note everywhere else it just says balanced minimum.


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#9 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-12, 20:46

View Poststeve2005, on 2017-December-12, 19:58, said:

How silly! 5422 is considered balanced in the rest of ACBL regs. Even 6322 would be though i doubt you would want to be in 1N.

I'm not sure how much credence you want to put on requiring 5332. This is mentioned in one note everywhere else it just says balanced minimum.


although only mentioned in one note, isn't it the key note ? the definition of semi-forcing NT ?........


but even if I concur ( which is how I thought yesterday, but today not so sure), what of the 5431 distribution hand....Why would opener bid 2S over 1NT, knowing at best finding a 7 card Spade fit....or suppose Opener had A,xxxx, AKQJxx, xx.....in matchpoint, 1NT might be a pretty good score...1H-1NT - all pass.....the point being, I think partner and I are not really playing semi-forcing......we just playing a non-alertable, non-announcable 1NT response (maybe)
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#10 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 00:40

View PostShugart23, on 2017-December-12, 20:46, said:

we just playing a non-alertable, non-announcable 1NT response (maybe)

What makes you think this 1NT response is non-alertable?
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#11 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 03:53

View PostShugart23, on 2017-December-12, 19:23, said:

...partner's 1NT bid says 0,1, or 2 Spades max...

In England, I would expect that alone to make 1NT alertable, whatever other agreements you have about it.
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#12 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 07:26

View PostWellSpyder, on 2017-December-13, 03:53, said:

In England, I would expect that alone to make 1NT alertable, whatever other agreements you have about it.


Maybe. Playing 5-card majors it would be unusual to bid 1NT instead of raising. If your single raises are constructive, then you are probably playing a forcing NT so you are already alerting. In any case the possibility of 12 points would make it alertable.

In answer to a question posed by the OP, alert it, and when the opponents ask how about just explaining what your agreement is?
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#13 User is offline   WellSpyder 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 09:09

View PostVampyr, on 2017-December-13, 07:26, said:

Maybe. Playing 5-card majors it would be unusual to bid 1NT instead of raising. If your single raises are constructive, then you are probably playing a forcing NT so you are already alerting. In any case the possibility of 12 points would make it alertable.

I don't think we are talking about the possibility of raising. We are talking about a 1NT response to 1 heart denying as many as 3 spades.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 09:58

View Poststeve2005, on 2017-December-12, 19:58, said:

I'm not sure how much credence you want to put on requiring 5332. This is mentioned in one note everywhere else it just says balanced minimum.

I'm not sure we players should be cherry picking to which regulations we are going to pay attention and which we are going to ignore.
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#15 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 11:04

View Postblackshoe, on 2017-December-13, 09:58, said:

I'm not sure we players should be cherry picking to which regulations we are going to pay attention and which we are going to ignore.

I am surprised you can say that with a straight face given this thread is acting in parallel with the Stop card one... :ph34r:
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#16 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 11:34

What's your point, Zel?
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#17 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 12:18

View PostWellSpyder, on 2017-December-13, 09:09, said:

I don't think we are talking about the possibility of raising. We are talking about a 1NT response to 1 heart denying as many as 3 spades.


Ah, right.
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#18 User is offline   Shugart23 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 13:08

So I think when we open 1H , the 1nt response is alerted and explained as containing 6 to 12 hcp and less than 3 spades.......when we open 1S, the 1nt might be alertable only because the range is 6 to 12 ? I guess this is best approach and fairest to the opponents
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#19 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 14:17

View PostShugart23, on 2017-December-13, 13:08, said:

.when we open 1S, the 1nt might be alertable only because the range is 6 to 12 ? I guess this is best approach and fairest to the opponents


If it is ACBL, perhaps this is an announcement instead?
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#20 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-December-13, 16:13

View PostShugart23, on 2017-December-12, 20:46, said:

although only mentioned in one note, isn't it the key note ? the definition of semi-forcing NT ?........

Is mentioned several times without saying has to be 5332. It doesn't say key note it just says note.
Nowhere does it say notes haves have precedence over other statements. Nor does the one time mentioned as must be 5332, listed as a definition.

The entire alert documentation has many inconsistencies.
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