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Which is better and why? Serious or Non-serious 3NT

#1 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2013-February-20, 15:42

:P I am trying to learn the serious or non-serious 3NT. Which one is better?
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#2 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2013-February-20, 18:02

I have never played either, so my opinion is not to be really considered. However I always though non-serious is better, because when it matters the most: you stay in game, you leak less info about controls.
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#3 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2013-February-20, 18:05

Not sure whtich is better, but I prefer non-serious 3NT, and on a related subject, I prefer to reverse the meaning of the good/bad 2NT (bid directly with weaker hand, go through 2NT with the better hand). Maybe I just like to be difficult for my parnters who play these normally with others.


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#4 User is offline   lalldonn 

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Posted 2013-February-20, 18:28

Definitely non-serious. Hide your hand when you don't have extras.
"What's the big rebid problem? After 1♦ - 1♠, I can rebid 1NT, 2♠, or 2♦."
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#5 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 07:05

Not only does Frivolous have an advantage in terms of information leakage when partner is not interested in slam, it is also an advantage in some (rare) extensions to the idea that you can play such as agreeing a minor in clear slam auctions. What makes even more sense imho is Frivolous X+1; that is 3NT with spades agreed, 3 with hearts agreed, etc. This follows the traditional logic in slam bidding - first find out if we have enough strength/tricks for slam, then whether we are missing side suit controls and finally if we have enough key cards. Frivolous is a tool for making the first decision, so it should come before any control-showing bids (second decision).
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#6 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 07:40

Another advantage of non-serious 3NT is that it's less likely to preempt a club cue-bid. For example, we want to avoid the situation where we have agreed spades and the first cue-bid is diamonds, because now we have control of two suits to worry about but only one bid left below game. You're more likely to have a diamond control but no club control when you have non-serious values than when you have serious values.

The main advantage of Serious 3NT is that there's no temptation to give it a silly name.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#7 User is offline   lesh 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 09:11

View Postjdeegan, on 2013-February-20, 15:42, said:

:P I am trying to learn the serious or non-serious 3NT. Which one is better?


I think non-serious 3nt because you can limit your hand and dont overbid. It is important, however, to discuss what is the limit of the non-serious bid so that pd would know what to expect when you go 3nt or 4x.

It might be also a good idea to vary the non-serious 3nt with serious. For example, when one of the hands has shown a minimum hand and the other, which is unlimitted, bids 3nt it should be clearer that you look for cubid rather than using it as a non-serious because you will just bid 4M for example and end the action. :)
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#8 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 10:09

View PostZelandakh, on 2013-February-21, 07:05, said:

snip
What makes even more sense imho is Frivolous X+1; that is 3NT with spades agreed, 3 with hearts agreed, etc.

Zel :
With agreed and you bid 3S! ( Frivolous , but says nothing about a -Ctrl ) , then if partner still has slam aspirations and shows it with 3NT! or 4C , but he has no -Ctrl, how can you show that you actually have a -Ctrl below game ??

[ Maybe 4D! ( Last Train ) will show it ?? ] .
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
EDIT: Alternatively, what if you make the 3S - Ctrl cue ( but says nothing about Serious ) ,
if you then continue with a Ctrl-cue even after partner bids 3NT! ( Frivolous ), then you have shown that you were "Serious" .

This post has been edited by TWO4BRIDGE: 2013-February-21, 10:19

Don Stenmark
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"imo by far in bridge the least understood concept is how to bid over a jump-shift
( 1M-1NT!-3m-?? )." ....Justin Lall

" Did someone mention relays? " .... Zelandakh

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#9 User is offline   jdeegan 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 16:13

:P Thanks all, and I'm serious about that.
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#10 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2013-February-21, 19:39

View PostTWO4BRIDGE, on 2013-February-21, 10:09, said:

Zel :
With agreed and you bid 3S! ( Frivolous , but says nothing about a -Ctrl ) , then if partner still has slam aspirations and shows it with 3NT! or 4C , but he has no -Ctrl, how can you show that you actually have a -Ctrl below game ??

[ Maybe 4D! ( Last Train ) will show it ?? ] .
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
EDIT: Alternatively, what if you make the 3S - Ctrl cue ( but says nothing about Serious ) ,
if you then continue with a Ctrl-cue even after partner bids 3NT! ( Frivolous ), then you have shown that you were "Serious" .


I think the easiest mapping when 3 is artificial frivolous is for 3nt to be a spade cue. So if partner bids 3nt over the frivolous 3 it shows serious interest and the spade control. For simplicity I usually do what you describe in the alternative where a 3 level spade cue is natural but neither promises or denies extras, and 3nt stays frivolous. I think this arrangement is less optimal from a "perfect system" point of view, but is easy to remember and will lead to less disasters than confusion over the 3 artificial call.
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2013-February-22, 02:18

Don, 3 as a control cue and 3NT Frivolous is the "normal" way that I am arguing against. As Mbodell writes, you can simple reverse these so that 3 is Frivolous and 3NT is the spade cue. As you may know, I combine this with denial cues/asking bids, so that after 3 agreeing hearts:

(if 3 bidder is limited)
3 = slam try
3NT = serious spade ask
4m = serious ask in m
4 = sign off

(if 3 bidder is unlimited)
3 = would decline a slam try
3NT = would accept a slam try, no spade control
4 = would accept a slam try, spade control, no club control
4 = would accept a slam try, spade control, club control, no diamond control
4 = would accept a slam try, controls in all side suits

And yes, Mobodell is right, this takes a little getting used to since sometimes 4 is the weakest action and sometimes it is the strongest.

At some point, I am hoping to have enough time/energy to write an article about extending this concept to minor suit and two-suited auctions, which is an area that does not seem to have a great deal of literature devoted to it. I think there are some useful gains to be had there, albeit that these opportunities are comparatively rare in natural methods. Obviously every pair has to weight up the balance between "better" methods and complexity though. Also, it only takes one time where the opps double a Frivolous 3 and find their 4 sac over 4 for it to show a loss over a Frivolous 3NT (if there is not a corresponding hand over a 3 frivolous cue) where we come out ahead.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#12 User is offline   Codo 

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Posted 2013-February-22, 06:00

View Postlesh, on 2013-February-21, 09:11, said:

I think non-serious 3nt because you can limit your hand and dont overbid. It is important, however, to discuss what is the limit of the non-serious bid so that pd would know what to expect when you go 3nt or 4x.

It might be also a good idea to vary the non-serious 3nt with serious. For example, when one of the hands has shown a minimum hand and the other, which is unlimitted, bids 3nt it should be clearer that you look for cubid rather than using it as a non-serious because you will just bid 4M for example and end the action. :)



I agreed with all the input from others but not with this one:
I would not mix it and there is a too easy way to ask for club control so that you need to violate your system.



But besides this: Despite the theoretical disadvantage of serious 3 NT compared to frivolous: I cannot remember a single hand, where they took an extra trick just because I used a control bid in a "nonserious" auction.
Kind Regards

Roland


Sanity Check: Failure (Fluffy)
More system is not the answer...
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#13 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2013-February-22, 10:08

View PostCodo, on 2013-February-22, 06:00, said:

View Postlesh, on 2013-February-21, 09:11, said:

I think non-serious 3nt because you can limit your hand and dont overbid. It is important, however, to discuss what is the limit of the non-serious bid so that pd would know what to expect when you go 3nt or 4x.

It might be also a good idea to vary the non-serious 3nt with serious. For example, when one of the hands has shown a minimum hand and the other, which is unlimitted, bids 3nt it should be clearer that you look for cubid rather than using it as a non-serious because you will just bid 4M for example and end the action. :)


I agreed with all the input from others but not with this one:
I would not mix it and there is a too easy way to ask for club control so that you need to violate your system.



When playing Frivolous 3NT:
Isn't lesh saying that when one hand has limited and the other unlimited hand bids 3NT, there is no reason to bid a Frivolous-3NT when he would just bid 4M to play. Thus, he suggests that the 3NT is essentially "asking" for a 4C Ctrl , since you "never have 3NT 'to play' when playing Serious/non-Serious 3NT "
Don Stenmark
TWOferBRIDGE
"imo by far in bridge the least understood concept is how to bid over a jump-shift
( 1M-1NT!-3m-?? )." ....Justin Lall

" Did someone mention relays? " .... Zelandakh

K-Rex to Mikeh : " Sometimes you drive me nuts " .
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#14 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2013-February-23, 10:54

View PostTWO4BRIDGE, on 2013-February-22, 10:08, said:

When playing Frivolous 3NT:
Isn't lesh saying that when one hand has limited and the other unlimited hand bids 3NT, there is no reason to bid a Frivolous-3NT when he would just bid 4M to play. Thus, he suggests that the 3NT is essentially "asking" for a 4C Ctrl , since you "never have 3NT 'to play' when playing Serious/non-Serious 3NT "

In fact it is better than that. Say spades are trumps. When you are playing the normal "bid the suit shows a control" method, you can change to a one-under denial cue bid in all suits, not just clubs. For example, 4 necessarily shows both clubs and diamonds, but wants partner to show a control in hearts. Often in this situation the serious hand is open in only one of the suits, and this enables a missing control to be found "naturally" in any suit. It can also be useful where you have controls in all suits, but would really like to know of one in partner's hand to bolster, say, your Axx, before you commit to ace asking.

View PostMbodell, on 2013-February-21, 19:39, said:

I think this arrangement is less optimal from a "perfect system" point of view, but is easy to remember and will lead to less disasters than confusion over the 3 artificial call.


There isn't any confusion if it is consistent with your system. I play a non-serious 3NT which is 3 over 3 with 3NT as a serious spade cue, and have never had a problem with that. The rest of the system has 1 3 and 1 3 as weaker Bergen (ie 3M-2), 1 2 is GF 4 card support (ie "jacoby" 2M+1), so therefore 3M+1 = non-serious. It enables all the responses to be the same, whether in hearts or spades, in all your methods.
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#15 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2013-February-25, 07:31

In theory Frivolous is better. You hide the hand when there's the least chance you'll reach slam. You don't give away information needlesly.

Like others suggest, when you set as trumps at 3-level, I prefer 3 to be frivolous (3NT shows a cue). Combined with last train you can easily figure out if there's a missing cue or not.
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#16 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2013-February-25, 09:46

View PostfromageGB, on 2013-February-23, 10:54, said:

In fact it is better than that. Say spades are trumps. When you are playing the normal "bid the suit shows a control" method, you can change to a one-under denial cue bid in all suits, not just clubs. For example, 4 necessarily shows both clubs and diamonds, but wants partner to show a control in hearts.

This used to be called "scanning", right? Oh, no...that was bypassing the suit(s) controlled and stopping on the one we don't control. We thought about doing that, and decided it had too much baggage.
"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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#17 User is offline   PhilKing 

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Posted 2013-February-25, 09:49

View Postaguahombre, on 2013-February-25, 09:46, said:

This used to be called "scanning", right?


Sweeping, I believe. Scanning is when you ask for cards in a relay chain, missing out a step for each card you are not interested in and partner shows consecutive cards in the chain via steps. Some of us still play spiral scan after low level RKCB as per the Rosencrantz methods.
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#18 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2013-February-25, 10:16

View Postaguahombre, on 2013-February-25, 09:46, said:

This used to be called "scanning", right? Oh, no...that was bypassing the suit(s) controlled and stopping on the one we don't control. We thought about doing that, and decided it had too much baggage.

No, bypassing others but stopping on the one you don't control is simply called denial cue bids. I like them. My general preference for one-under denial is this, though:

When responder has made an unlimited bid, you can be in a mid range where you are too strong for non-serious, but not strong enough to commit to ace asking on your own, if control bidding shows that all suits are guarded. Take a typical 2 over 1 sequence with major suit agreement at 3 - both hands are opening values and you have 4 hcp more than you might. If both of you are like this and nobody shows it, you miss slam. But your 16 is not enough to ace ask if responder may be minimum for his bid. 3 is non-serious. If you can bid "one-under" a suit where you have a blank, then whatever the suit, if partner bids it, you are home and dry.

Say you are xx in diamonds, but have something in the other suits. Over 3 you bid 4 (serious, showing spades and clubs). Partner obligingly bids 4 to show that control. You could of course now bid 4 to ask for aces, but you are not really good enough (say scattered values but no solid side suit). You bid 4. The fact that you have already shown a serious hand by not bidding 3, and the fact that partner knows all the suits are controlled, puts him in a position where he can pass with a minimum hand, but happily ace ask if he has additional values too.

Playing straight denial cue bids, I don't think you can do this. (No doubt Zel or some other enthusiast for them will tell me how.)
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#19 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2013-February-26, 03:08

View PostfromageGB, on 2013-February-25, 10:16, said:

Playing straight denial cue bids, I don't think you can do this. (No doubt Zel or some other enthusiast for them will tell me how.)

If you are playing
3 = Frivolous
3NT = serious, spade control, no club control
4 = serious, spade and club controls, no diamond control
4 = serious, spade, club and diamond controls (but not enough extras for RKCB)

then it seems to me you have a non-frivolous problem on serious hands without a spade control. I assume that you are actually not playing Frivolous 3 but rather that you also bid this on these hands too. This is similar to a method played by at least one expert American pair (or was when I saw them on vugraph) except that they do not claim to be playing Frivolous, rather just that they resolve controls before strength. In order to judge your method, I would need to see how your follow-ups to 3 work. In principle you do not have enough space to do everything you are claiming here.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#20 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2013-February-26, 05:17

I found this in my files under "Serious/non-serious 3NT " .

There was a thread last April by wyman :

http://www.bridgebas...548#entry627548

On the subject of when are trump and after a 3H bid, I concluded that
according to Fred Gitelman ( in 2008 ) [ http://www.forums/to...bridgebase.com/ ] :

- - a 3S bid is a Ctrl-cue whether playing Serious or Not ;

- - and by-passing 3S would deny a -Ctrl whether playing Serious or Not .

[ It was then pointed out ( by phil ) that Fred's 2/1 article was 20 years old ] .
Don Stenmark
TWOferBRIDGE
"imo by far in bridge the least understood concept is how to bid over a jump-shift
( 1M-1NT!-3m-?? )." ....Justin Lall

" Did someone mention relays? " .... Zelandakh

K-Rex to Mikeh : " Sometimes you drive me nuts " .
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