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Defense to NT - teams

#1 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 05:05

We are starting a team game series tomorrow, currently we play transfers over opponents 1nt, at any level.
X to if 2/2 we are showing both majors.
2 to 's
2 to 's
2 to 's

While this is fun playing in MPs at the club but I'm not so sure it will be the best defense in a team game, we have no method to penalize.
We are likely to face both 12-14 and 15-17 nt. I am considering switching to Multi Landy

X - penalties 16+
2 - both majors
2 6-11 , 6 cards 2 Pass/Correct
2 & 2 12-15 6 cards

Comments please?
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

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#2 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 05:56

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-04, 05:05, said:

We are starting a team game series tomorrow, currently we play transfers over opponents 1nt, at any level.
X to if 2/2 we are showing both majors.
2 to 's
2 to 's
2 to 's

While this is fun playing in MPs at the club but I'm not so sure it will be the best defense in a team game, we have no method to penalize.
We are likely to face both 12-14 and 15-17 nt. I am considering switching to Multi Landy

X - penalties 16+
2 - both majors
2 6-11 , 6 cards 2 Pass/Correct
2 & 2 12-15 6 cards

Comments please?

Multi-Landy is popular
Personally I prefer an extended version of Hello
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#3 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 06:02

There are a million different conventions for when the opponents bid 1NT, and most of them are fine. In my experience most partnerships don't bother discussing the strength of the bids or the followups (for example: the bidding goes (1NT)-2 (majors)-(X)-?, what do you do with 5 points and 4/4 majors? And 14 points with 4 spades, substitute a pass for the double if you will?). In that case it is prudent to stick with a simple and popular system.

There are many ways to incrementally improve on the most popular approaches, but all of the gains are dwarfed by a single bidding misunderstanding. I recommend Landy.
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#4 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 06:26

Whatever defence you adopt against a 1NT opening, you will soon pick up a hand where you wish you were playing a different one.
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#5 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 07:25

View PostAL78, on 2021-May-04, 06:26, said:

Whatever defence you adopt against a 1NT opening, you will soon pick up a hand where you wish you were playing a different one.


Agreed - which is why I play an extended version of Hello which allows a wider range of 2-suited hands to be bid if the desire is there
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#6 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 08:21

Firstly the methods you describe as Multi-Landy are not what I'd expect from the conventional name, as Multi-Landy uses 2M to show 5M and 4+ minor.

A lot depends on how sophisticated your partnership is and the amount of effort you want to put into the system. I advise my club players just to use Landy, so double for penalties, 2 shows the majors with a 2 relay for longer and 2/2/2 as natural.

Whatever you play, it is worth discussing what are the forcing continuations and what is non-forcing, especially over a double.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 08:27

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-04, 05:05, said:

We are starting a team game series tomorrow, currently we play transfers over opponents 1nt, at any level.
X to if 2/2 we are showing both majors.
2 to 's
2 to 's
2 to 's

While this is fun playing in MPs at the club but I'm not so sure it will be the best defense in a team game, we have no method to penalize.
We are likely to face both 12-14 and 15-17 nt.

I'm not keen on penalty even at IMPs, but then we rarely encounter weak NT.
If this is the only change you really want then couldn't you just play X as penalty and modify the transfer structure, either 2 to or 2 both majors and 2 an undisclosed minor (2N asks,3 p/c)?

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-04, 05:05, said:

I am considering switching to Multi Landy

X - penalties 16+
2 - both majors
2 6-11 , 6 cards 2 Pass/Correct
2 & 2 12-15 6 cards

I hope you really mean 2 6 cards Major and 2/2 5 cards.
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#8 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 10:43

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-May-04, 07:25, said:

Agreed - which is why I play an extended version of Hello which allows a wider range of 2-suited hands to be bid if the desire is there
Just make sure you have clear agreements on 'when the desire is there'. The old adage is that you should interfere often, because opponents are likely to find the right spot over 1NT if not. But the new wisdom is more conservative, as more and more players are ready to fight for the partscore with a significant information advantage.
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#9 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 11:27

Playing a system you know and partner knows and will get right is better than the alternative, no matter what the theory.

As a weak NT player, as I'm sure you know, I am a strong believer in double for penalty against a weak NT. But that's not because 1NTx is a moneymaker - it's not. Your opponents are much more familiar with their system over 1NTx than you are, and it's much better than it was in 1980. The key is for fourth hand to be able to work out whose hand it is when they run, and know how far to push them (could be "not at all"). Once they know that, they need to know how to continue. You need to know how far the double forces your side, and what doubles and passes (when forcing) mean, and what bidding rather than forcing pass means. And what the third double is. And how to offer game. And ...

If you're "starting tomorrow", stick with transfers. Partner knows how to bid this, they're not going to misbid, neither are you; sure you might miss a penalty or two (but that penalty might easily be -470 in 2x that either is magic or is 90% defended) or even a game or two; but you'll make it back just in the confidence you have in these (quite common) auctions. If the series goes well, and you want to play again with this partner, and you expect to see more weak NT and are uncomfortable with your results from the team series; switch over to something else, practise it for a month, and nail them next time.

Note that my weak NT system plays "rescue system on" over *all* meanings of double; "I have clubs" has met "that's nice. lead them, this is going down" before. I'm sure we're not the only ones.
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#10 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 11:39

I've always preferred Landy and the rest natural but then I am boring :lol:
"definitely that's what I like to play when I'm playing standard - I want to be able to bid diamonds because bidding good suits is important in bridge" - Meckstroth's opinion on weak 2 diamond
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#11 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 11:49

Landry is fine but I would encourage double to mean, I have a strong suit to lead and an entry, letís penalize 1nt
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#12 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 13:56

View Postpescetom, on 2021-May-04, 08:27, said:

I'm not keen on penalty even at IMPs, but then we rarely encounter weak NT.
If this is the only change you really want then couldn't you just play X as penalty and modify the transfer structure, either 2 to or 2 both majors and 2 an undisclosed minor (2N asks,3 p/c)?


I hope you really mean 2 6 cards Major and 2/2 5 cards.


No, It is perhaps a Southern Hemisphere treatment. The logic is that you can penalize when that's right, you can bid your major game or play in 2M, which is often a good spot against a weak nt which is more common here.
It could be the difference between Multy Landy and Multi Landy :)
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#13 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-May-04, 23:37

It is important to be able to enter the auction with shape. Landry simply doesnít cut it: the only 2 suited you can show is both majors.

Playing a penalty double against a strong notrump means giving up a useful call for the rare occasion when you hold 16+ AND partner holds more than does responder AND they donít have anywhere to go. Good luck with that: it wonít exactly come up very often.

Hereís what I currently play over strong notrumps and in direct seat:

2C. Both majors. Almost always 5-5 or better, and definitely always if red.

2D. One 6+ major suit

2M: 5 card major and side minor. Always 5-5 if red

2N: 5-5 or better, both minors

Double: 5+ minor and precisely 4 cards in a major


As for strength....playing that bidding shows an opening hand is losing bridge.

Even relatively weak players will have their best auctions after one of them opens a strong notrump. It behooves the defenders to disrupt the auction, obviously paying attention to the vulnerability and playing strength. HCP shouldnít be ignored, but requiring opening hands means youíre passing way too often, and are being very soft opponents.

KQ108xx AJx xx xx. I canít imagine passing a strong 1N with this hand even red v white.

Basically, make one-suited over calls with hands and suits that would be a sound vulnerable weak two bid


As for transfers: the problem is that you give responder two chances to bid and an easy cuebid. For example, if my rho over calls 2D, showing hearts, I now have a 2H bid to show a competitive hand short in hearts. Had you bid 2D instead, on the same hand and suit, what do I do with my 4=1=3=5 7 count?

I do play transfers, but over a weak 1N. Iím not convinced they are optimal, but I like to preserve a penalty-oriented double and game is more in the picture for our side than after a strong notrump, so it makes sense to lay a different method.

I used to play suction, which was sometimes a great deal of fun😜. Plus suction is probably the most difficult system for non-expert opponents to deal with. Unfortunately experienced tournament players eventually figured out how to exploit its weaknesses.
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#14 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 08:49

Suction is a great system[/s]. It works even better if you play it the way all my opponents have played it: "the next suit, or the other two; or the suit bid if partner forgot again."

Mike, I'm sure you would always get it right; I'm just mentioning what happened. Maybe this will die off in time, now that it's reasonable to always play Open(+) Chart games (where Suction is legal) the way it never was reasonable to always play Mid-Chart games (where Suction was legal).
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 08:50

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-04, 13:56, said:

No, It is perhaps a Southern Hemisphere treatment. The logic is that you can penalize when that's right, you can bid your major game or play in 2M, which is often a good spot against a weak nt which is more common here.
It could be the difference between Multy Landy and Multi Landy :)


Ok thanks. Sounds decidedly Multy to me :)
Multi Landy as most of us know it is the scheme described by Mikeh (although I don't think the meaning of double in Multi Landy is standardised).
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 08:56

View Postmikeh, on 2021-May-04, 23:37, said:

As for transfers: the problem is that you give responder two chances to bid and an easy cuebid. For example, if my rho over calls 2D, showing hearts, I now have a 2H bid to show a competitive hand short in hearts. Had you bid 2D instead, on the same hand and suit, what do I do with my 4=1=3=5 7 count?

I do play transfers, but over a weak 1N. Iím not convinced they are optimal, but I like to preserve a penalty-oriented double and game is more in the picture for our side than after a strong notrump, so it makes sense to lay a different method.

I used to play suction, which was sometimes a great deal of fun😜. Plus suction is probably the most difficult system for non-expert opponents to deal with. Unfortunately experienced tournament players eventually figured out how to exploit its weaknesses.


I agree with all you said about Multi Landy and transfers, but I think you have a 2D which should read 2H.

How do experienced players exploit the weaknesses of Suction? It's rarely seen here which would make it even more fun.
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#17 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 09:42

Not an answer (because I don't have a full answer, we use meta-agreements), but a hint: You will "always" get a second chance to call, overcaller "never" has the suit bid (unless they forget, see above), and both players potentially get a cuebid (because it will almost always go 1NT-2x-p-2x+1 (advancer can only bypass the relay with a superaccept in anything bypassed). Also, you can use the relative frequencies of touching two-suiters vs one-suiters (especially when the overcall is 2 or higher, where the "two-suiter" may have to play at the 3 level) in developing your agreements.

I used to play transfers (strong NT only, direct only), which has a lot of these same issues (but is counterbalanced by putting the strong hand on lead T1, which is why "strong NT only, direct only"). Of course we played it very aggressively. Frequently, we had auctions like 1NT-2 ("hearts")-p-p ("what does that mean?" "His diamonds are better than my hearts"); and part of that was explicitly to hamstring pairs whose defence relied on "knowing" they're going to get two calls.
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#18 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 11:41

Charles and Vi Outred have had considerable success with a simple method
  • Double = 10+ HCP 2 or 3 suited.
  • Overcall = single-suited

My partnerships have agreed a version of Crowhurst (sometimes rechristened Mult-Landy)
Double = ART RAPTOR 10+ HCP 5+ m 4 M (Then 2 = P/C, 2 = ART ASK for M. 2M = Suggestion to play).
2 = ART STAYMAN MM (Then 2 = You choose).
2 = ART MULTI 6 M. (Then 2 = ART P/C, 2 = ART s)
2M = NAT 5+ M 4+ m.
2N = ART UNT mm

A 2N rebid by advancer is an enquiry with standard responses 3m = MIN, 3M=MAX.

e.g. after (1N) 2 (P) 2N = ASK
  • 3 = MIN 6
  • 3 = MIN 6
  • 3 = MAX 6 (to right-side contract)
  • 3 = MAX 6 (ditto)
  • 3N = MAX 6 stop.


e.g. after (1N) X (P) 2 (P) 2 (P) 2N = ASK
  • 3 = MIN 5 4
  • 3 = MIN 5 4
  • 3 = MAX 5 4
  • 3 = MAX 5 4
  • 3N = MAX 5 4 stop

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#19 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 14:26

Ok, thanks for your replies. I know there are a multitude of treatments over nt, perhaps we will try something new over this 8 week teams series, or we will just leave it as is. I don't think it's going to make much difference, we are a pickup team playing against NZ's best.

I do like how they run their teams games here. Everyone (12 teams) sits in a circle and pass boards around. Everyone plays the same boards, no one is jumping up and passing boards at the end of rounds, or waiting for boards. We enter the boards in a bridgemate, there are hand records and full results online after the game.
Just what I have been asking for in North America!

We are sitting in close proximity to others. It did not pose a problem, people are not discussing boards. It was actually very relaxing, players were very helpful and friendly. This, I think, is a due the setup and the quality of players, you don't get the crap you do in club games.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#20 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-May-05, 15:03

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-05, 09:42, said:

Not an answer (because I don't have a full answer, we use meta-agreements), but a hint: You will "always" get a second chance to call, overcaller "never" has the suit bid (unless they forget, see above), and both players potentially get a cuebid (because it will almost always go 1NT-2x-p-2x+1 (advancer can only bypass the relay with a superaccept in anything bypassed). Also, you can use the relative frequencies of touching two-suiters vs one-suiters (especially when the overcall is 2 or higher, where the "two-suiter" may have to play at the 3 level) in developing your agreements.

I used to play transfers (strong NT only, direct only), which has a lot of these same issues (but is counterbalanced by putting the strong hand on lead T1, which is why "strong NT only, direct only"). Of course we played it very aggressively. Frequently, we had auctions like 1NT-2 ("hearts")-p-p ("what does that mean?" "His diamonds are better than my hearts"); and part of that was explicitly to hamstring pairs whose defence relied on "knowing" they're going to get two calls.


Got that, thanks, we have pairs who play transfers over strong NT and that scenario is familiar.
I think they have a right to know without asking further that "hearts" is non-forcing, but that is another issue.
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