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How to use Serious 3NT?

#1 User is offline   The Casual 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 04:02

I would like to incorporate the Serious 3NT convention into my partnership's bidding but I am having trouble finding a good source explaining what hands qualify as 'serious' and which don't. Does anyone know of a good site or want to have a crack at explaining it? Any info is appreciated, thanks.
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#2 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 04:45

Hi

In short, serious / non serious works similar to Lebensohl, it allows
you to introduce a upper / lower limit for a hand, that was still unlimited.
Opener fall in 3 brackets, min opener 12-14, mid size opner 15-17, max.
opener 18+, serious would basically allow you to differentiate, if a cue
was coming from a min. opener or a mid. size+ hand, the ranges for responder
are different.

If you play serious, a cue bypassing serious, is done by a min. opener.
If you play non serious, a cue bypassing serious is done by a mid size+ opener.
Non serious is theoretically a bit better, than serious, but it does not really
matter.
In some cases a serious 3NT can be used as an encouraging signal, as a time buying
waiting bid, similar to the more advanced convention Last Train, which is sometimes
handy to have.

The next thing is, to decide, when a 3NT is serious, and when not.
As we started with serious, if we had a major fit, we would play the major, hence
all 3NT bids became serious, when we had discovered a major fit, with more experience
you can tweak this rule.

With kind regards
Marlowe

PS: Another tweak, in case hearts is agreed, and 3NT would be serious, peoble swap
the meaning of 3S / 3NT, i.e. 3S would be serious, and 3NT the spade cue.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#3 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 04:59

If I am limited: serious means I would accept a slam try; frivolous would not.
If I am unlimited and partner is limited: serious means I am willing to commit to the 5 level if we hold controls in all side suits and frivolous is a slam try.
If we are both unlimited: serious shows significant extras and is effectively a slam try while frivolous shows a minimum.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#4 User is offline   The Casual 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 07:30

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2015-February-20, 04:45, said:

PS: Another tweak, in case hearts is agreed, and 3NT would be serious, peoble swap
the meaning of 3S / 3NT, i.e. 3S would be serious, and 3NT the spade cue.


I have seen this treatment around a little but at the moment just trying to implement the convention and become comfortable with it rather than the optimal version; improvements can come later :)
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#5 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 09:06

View PostThe Casual, on 2015-February-20, 04:02, said:

I would like to incorporate the Serious 3NT convention into my partnership's bidding but I am having trouble finding a good source explaining what hands qualify as 'serious' and which don't. Does anyone know of a good site or want to have a crack at explaining it? Any info is appreciated, thanks.


http://www.bridgeguy...anImprove21.pdf
"Genius has its own limitations, however stupidity has no such boundaries!"
"It's only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence!"

"Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one's view's and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one's valid opinion, I honestly believe that I completely forgot what I was going to say."





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#6 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2015-February-20, 09:07

http://andrebb.bridg...%94-the-sequel/
"Genius has its own limitations, however stupidity has no such boundaries!"
"It's only when a mosquito lands on your testicles that you realize there is always a way to solve problems without using violence!"

"Well to be perfectly honest, in my humble opinion, of course without offending anyone who thinks differently from my point of view, but also by looking into this matter in a different perspective and without being condemning of one's view's and by trying to make it objectified, and by considering each and every one's valid opinion, I honestly believe that I completely forgot what I was going to say."





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#7 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2015-February-21, 01:27

It is worth thinking of min and max in terms of suitability for slam given your auction to date. Very straightforward rules are 3nt is non-serious if, and only if:

1. We are in a game force.
2. We have agreed a major (bid and raised, or some other way of agreeing)

Then 3nt is non-serious. Making a cue that skips 3nt shows serious slam interest and demands cues. Bidding 3nt shows non-serious slam interest. When you are the partner of the person who bids 3nt non-serious if you cue, you are showing serious slam interest even opposite the minimum partner and demanding cues. Skipping 3nt and skipping cues is either fast arrival (a hand horrific for slam) or picture jump (a hand with all your values in the suits you've shown to date, no outside controls) depending on partnership agreement.

If you play serious, instead of non-serious, then reverse these (but if you aren't wed to one or the other, play non-serious).
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#8 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2015-February-21, 04:34

Maybe not standard but I would like to play it onlu when both partners have a reasonable wide range and only when the previous bid was 3M. Otherwise it is not necessary and 3nt can better be used for something else.
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#9 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2015-February-24, 07:03

When you have agreed a major beneath 3NT and it is your turn to bid, and you can see there are values for game (or a GF situation has been established), simply think "is partner unlimited?" This is the key factor. You need, if so, to describe whether you have extras above and beyond values you have already shown.

Non-serious (my preference) : 3NT = no extras, cue bid = have extras.
- or -
Serious : 3NT = have extras, cue bid = no extras.

In both, you do not just bid game when you have nothing beyond that you have shown, because partner may be very strong and want to cue bid to perhaps identify missing controls before ace asking or other slam moves. In fact you CAN just bid game, but this denies that you have any control that you could possibly show.

My preference is for non-serious (aka frivolous) because then if partner too has no interest in slam (the more common case), you have not given any suit information away by an unnecessary cue bid.

When partner is a limited hand, then obviously the game/slam decision is easier as you can just bid game immediately. Now can cue if you are interested in a slam, and use 3NT in an agreed way, either as a non-specific slam try, or a request for partner to make a cue bid if he has a control. (For example, in spades, you have all the controls bar clubs, and would like to hear of that control before you ace ask. Over 3NT he can bid or not bid 4)
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#10 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2015-February-24, 08:09

View PostfromageGB, on 2015-February-24, 07:03, said:


  • Non-serious (my preference) 3NT = no extras; cue bid = have extras. - or -
  • Serious 3NT = have extras, cue bid = no extras.


Over a 3-level suit agreement (especially majors) you might agree...
  • Cheapest bid = ART. NEG. Frivolous.
  • Other bids = CUE. Serious

e.g. Over
1 - 2 (G/F) -
2 - 3 -
??
  • 3 = ART. NEG. Frivolous.
  • 3N = CUE . Serious.

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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2015-February-24, 10:19

View Postnige1, on 2015-February-24, 08:09, said:

Over a 3-level suit agreement (especially majors) you might agree...

This is fairly standard but the OP already commented that they are not interested in additional artificiality at the moment. For the record I also find a Frivolous 3 and 3 bid useful in certain situations but that is definitely not standard and not generally recommended.
(-: Zel :-)

Happy New Year everyone!
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#12 User is offline   aguahombre 

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Posted 2015-February-24, 10:35

View Posthelene_t, on 2015-February-21, 04:34, said:

Maybe not standard but I would like to play it onlu when both partners have a reasonable wide range and only when the previous bid was 3M. Otherwise it is not necessary and 3nt can better be used for something else.

This is certainly a simplification which is workable. I would clarify for this approach, "only when the previous bid was 3M and it was the first bid by responder which showed true support for Opener's major."

We have found a "Serious 2NT" situation as well.

1S-2C
2x-2S
2NT...where 2S was not merely a preference bid, and either Opener or Responder can have significant extras at that moment.

With the normal S/NS starting at the 3-level when a fit has been established, there are three strata for opener.

1) Garbage Opener (just bids game).
2) Serious= significant extras.
3) Non-serious= decent hand willing to cooperate if Responder has significant extras.

With the Serious 2NT, a fourth stratum is enabled...Decent hand picture bid -- something like AKXXX XX AQXX XX. So, the non-serious 3-level bids can show pattern with decent values willing to cooperate further but not demanding a slam probe. Maybe there is a fifth...3NT.. although we haven't figured out a use for that, yet.

This post has been edited by aguahombre: 2015-February-25, 10:14

"Bidding Spades to show spades can work well." (Kenberg)
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