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1NT = weak 6 cards and other mods

#1 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 05:53

Hello everyone,

Recently I had some thoughts on the followings (some of them are drawn from precision-based systems):

1) 1NT = 6+ cards (very) weak hand. Partner respond with 2 asking for the suit. Any other bid is at least invitational to game

2) 1 = 15-17hcp balanced (or semi balanced) [replacing the conventional 1NT]. Now the responder has the following choices:

A. 1 = 0-7hcp with an unbalanced hand. Opener responds with 1 asking for the longest suit in transfer-style format (e.g., 1NT = , 2 = , etc)
B. 1 = 0-7hcp with a balanced hand
C. 1NT = 8+ hip balanced with no 4c in majors
D. staman, transfers, etc, but now responder promises at least 8hcp.

Any thoughts on these modifications?
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 06:29

My apologies for being negative, but I think these are significant downgrades from standard approaches. I'll try to explain my thoughts in more detail below:

  • 1NT as an artificial preempt gives the opponents quite a bit of room to enter the auction. In fact, each opponent gets two bids unless opener happens to have clubs, and if partner is not sure what level we belong at (maybe they have an invitation in hearts but not in spades) the situation will get even more complicated. Generally when you make a weak bid the primary focus is to put pressure on the opponents, even at the cost of some of our ability to have a constructive auction. Having nonforcing bids is much more effective than forcing ones for that purpose, or at least when you use artificial transfer preempts it helps if partner is put in a position where they rate to better be able to judge what is going on than the opponents (the goal being to distribute information which is asymmetrically more useful to partner than to the opponents). As an aside I am not sure that this treatment would be legal.
  • The 1 opening seemingly gives up on the notrump ladder, the backbone of most bidding systems. Typically we split the notrump ranges into 12-14, 15-17, 18-19, 20-21 and 22+ (or some other changes by a point or two). If you wish to open 1 with 15-17 you need some other way to show 12-14, mushing them together creates a serious amount of problems. This is one of two ways in which natural NT openings win big for the system - not only are they high frequency and very descriptive when they come up, they also enable the response structures over other opening bids by excluding particular balanced hands. In fact, even Meckwell Lite (/Standard Modern Precision) has a 20-21 2NT opening in part because the rebid issues over 1-1 and 1-1 are awkward with that hand type. I can't tell if you have a good solution for your entire NT ladder, but I would be very concerned with shifting this around. I'd rather invert that - choose the NT ladder first, then build the rest of the system around it.
  • The responses to your 1 are completely backwards. We need most bidding space with the strong hands, and least with the weak hands. In addition Stayman and Jacoby transfers already cater to stopping at the 2-level on a wide range of weak hands, a functionality you seem to be giving up for no gain. The 1 is also vulnerable to interference.

Systems exist where 1 is limited and (as good as) balanced, e.g. SCUM. But I do not think that this particular set of agreements is the way to go about it.
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#3 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 08:57

View PostDavidKok, on 2023-October-13, 06:29, said:

As an aside I am not sure that this treatment would be legal.

IIRC for WBF it must guarantee at least 8 HCP, otherwise it is a HUM (so limited possibility to play it).
Same in RAs that essentially adopt the same systems policy.
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#4 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 17:36

View Postgiorgis_di, on 2023-October-13, 05:53, said:

Any thoughts on these modifications?

As DavidKok noticed, how do you handle 11(12)-14 HCP balanced hands? You mentioned Precision Club in your post. Still playing 5 card majors? Is 1 strong, artificial and forcing? Or 11(12)-14 artificial? Or what? 12-14 point range is much more common than 15-17.
What are opening 2-bids?
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#5 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 18:16

View Postjohnu, on 2023-October-13, 17:36, said:

As DavidKok noticed, how do you handle 11(12)-14 HCP balanced hands? You mentioned Precision Club in your post. Still playing 5 card majors? Is 1 strong, artificial and forcing? Or 11(12)-14 artificial? Or what? 12-14 point range is much more common than 15-17.
What are opening 2-bids?


In my OP I said that I use/borrow some stuff from precision... My intent here was not fully to describe "my system" bit rather to take some comments for these thoughts.

Now, to answer your question. 1 can also be 12-14 depending on your style on 1nt opening.

1 is an unspecified opening bid, ranging from 11-21... I still use 2 as strong opening bid.

Finally, 2// are simply "better" weak hands, promising some value on a particular suit
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#6 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 18:24

View PostDavidKok, on 2023-October-13, 06:29, said:

My apologies for being negative, but I think these are significant downgrades from standard approaches. I'll try to explain my thoughts in more detail below:

  • 1NT as an artificial preempt gives the opponents quite a bit of room to enter the auction. In fact, each opponent gets two bids unless opener happens to have clubs, and if partner is not sure what level we belong at (maybe they have an invitation in hearts but not in spades) the situation will get even more complicated. Generally when you make a weak bid the primary focus is to put pressure on the opponents, even at the cost of some of our ability to have a constructive auction. Having nonforcing bids is much more effective than forcing ones for that purpose, or at least when you use artificial transfer preempts it helps if partner is put in a position where they rate to better be able to judge what is going on than the opponents (the goal being to distribute information which is asymmetrically more useful to partner than to the opponents). As an aside I am not sure that this treatment would be legal.
  • The 1 opening seemingly gives up on the notrump ladder, the backbone of most bidding systems. Typically we split the notrump ranges into 12-14, 15-17, 18-19, 20-21 and 22+ (or some other changes by a point or two). If you wish to open 1 with 15-17 you need some other way to show 12-14, mushing them together creates a serious amount of problems. This is one of two ways in which natural NT openings win big for the system - not only are they high frequency and very descriptive when they come up, they also enable the response structures over other opening bids by excluding particular balanced hands. In fact, even Meckwell Lite (/Standard Modern Precision) has a 20-21 2NT opening in part because the rebid issues over 1-1 and 1-1 are awkward with that hand type. I can't tell if you have a good solution for your entire NT ladder, but I would be very concerned with shifting this around. I'd rather invert that - choose the NT ladder first, then build the rest of the system around it.
  • The responses to your 1 are completely backwards. We need most bidding space with the strong hands, and least with the weak hands. In addition Stayman and Jacoby transfers already cater to stopping at the 2-level on a wide range of weak hands, a functionality you seem to be giving up for no gain. The 1 is also vulnerable to interference.

Systems exist where 1 is limited and (as good as) balanced, e.g. SCUM. But I do not think that this particular set of agreements is the way to go about it.


No reason to apologise. These are some thoughts and any comment from more experienced players are more than welcome. I haven't tested these thoughts in practice so, I don't know how effective actually are.
Also. regarding the other ranges, just to repeat that I am using 1 as a general opening bid and 2 as a strong opening bid. The only difference that I implement here compared to the SAYC is that 1 replaces 1nt, whereas 1nt shows a very very weak hand
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#7 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2023-October-13, 19:18

In addition to David’s post, and perhaps merely amplifying or supplementing it, and appreciating that you’re not claiming to be setting out a comprehensive structure, I’d be concerned that you may not have fully thought out how these changes impact other possible opening bids. For example, assuming that your 1N was legal and a good idea by itself (which I don’t think is even remotely true), what would a 3 level opening show and how does 1N gain or lose compared to traditional preempts, and (assuming you have a use for 3 level openings) how do they gain or lose compared to traditional openings?

Also how do your ideas work in competition? So 1D could be normal or a strong 1N. How does responder or opener know what to do against various levels of interference? After your 1N opening, how does responder find out what suit opener holds after interference?

Given that 2N allows for entry by the opps at the 2 level, how and when do you gain by letting them do so? Since giving opps bidding space when one has a weak hand is a very bad idea, what benefits do you get that might offset the undoubted cost?

It’s one thing to come up with ideas that seem to be good when the ‘right’ hands come up (not that I see many here) but it’s an entirely different and far more important thing to ensure that the losses on ordinary hands that aren’t ‘right’ for the methods don’t equal or exceed any gains
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#8 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 01:13

View Postmikeh, on 2023-October-13, 19:18, said:

In addition to David’s post, and perhaps merely amplifying or supplementing it, and appreciating that you’re not claiming to be setting out a comprehensive structure, I’d be concerned that you may not have fully thought out how these changes impact other possible opening bids. For example, assuming that your 1N was legal and a good idea by itself (which I don’t think is even remotely true), what would a 3 level opening show and how does 1N gain or lose compared to traditional preempts, and (assuming you have a use for 3 level openings) how do they gain or lose compared to traditional openings?

Also how do your ideas work in competition? So 1D could be normal or a strong 1N. How does responder or opener know what to do against various levels of interference? After your 1N opening, how does responder find out what suit opener holds after interference?

Given that 2N allows for entry by the opps at the 2 level, how and when do you gain by letting them do so? Since giving opps bidding space when one has a weak hand is a very bad idea, what benefits do you get that might offset the undoubted cost?

It’s one thing to come up with ideas that seem to be good when the ‘right’ hands come up (not that I see many here) but it’s an entirely different and far more important thing to ensure that the losses on ordinary hands that aren’t ‘right’ for the methods don’t equal or exceed any gains


To answer your question, 3-level bids are usual weak, with exactly 7 cards. In my view, the advantage of 1NT is exactly the same as opening weak 2. Plus, your partner knows that don't have any values on any particular suit. In such a set up, opening 2 weak is also lead directed in case that you end up being the defender.
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#9 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 01:56

On 2) You could play in a similar way to over a Power X. I play
1 as Herbert negative or wanting to play in 2m.
1 natural 5-7ish
1NT 5-7ish
2 upward as per usual strong 1NT opening.

On 1) A Weak NT is a preempt of sorts and removes a layer of bidding, but you can get X and struggle to escape, but with your suggested approach there is a natural get out (absent the question of legality). As others have pointed out it depends what you use the 2-level bids for.
The argument that "1NT as an artificial preempt gives the opponents quite a bit of room to enter the auction" doesn't hold for me. Strangely they have a lot more room if you Pass!
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#10 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 02:24

If 1 may contain both 12-14 balanced hands as well as (all?) 15-17 balanced hands and possibly 11-21 unbalanced hands with long diamonds it is unsound to play 2 and up as if partner had opened a strong 1NT. You will get too high on a large number of deals and be unable to resolve shape.
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#11 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 04:07

I never said that 1 serves as a multi for various ranges. I play 1nt as 15-17 and so, 1d is 15-17. If someone else plays 1nt as 12-14, then he can adapt 1d to be 12-14.

As I said before 1c is unspecified opening bid, 1d is 15-17 and 2c strong opening
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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:28

You still don't seem to have registered that your proposed agreement for 1NT is illegal in most tournaments in the world. It would need to promise 8+ HCP for the WBF and 10+ for ACBL as I read the charts (even if they agreed to consider *promising* a six card suit as natural NT, which I somehow doubt).
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#13 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:31

View Postpescetom, on 2023-October-14, 06:28, said:

You still don't seem to have registered that your proposed agreement for 1NT is illegal in most tournaments in the world. It would need to promise 8+ HCP for the WBF and 10+ for ACBL as I read the charts (even if they agreed to consider *promising* a six card suit as natural NT, which I somehow doubt).

I doubt it would raise any objections if I played it locally
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#14 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:32

View Postgiorgis_di, on 2023-October-14, 04:07, said:

I never said that 1 serves as a multi for various ranges. I play 1nt as 15-17 and so, 1d is 15-17. If someone else plays 1nt as 12-14, then he can adapt 1d to be 12-14.

As I said before 1c is unspecified opening bid, 1d is 15-17 and 2c strong opening
Could you please explain your notrump ladder and set of openings then? I am saying that normally 1 contains many more hand types than 15-17 balanced, and all of those have to go somewhere now. I think you intend to open 1 on all of them, eliminating the pressure on 1 but overloading 1 even more. As I mentioned before a natural 1NT is a very useful part of bidding systems. You are giving this up, and I'd like to discuss the costs by tracking the rest of your opening bids.
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#15 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:33

I don’t see why it is illegal? Which is the difference between 1nt= 6c unspecified weak hand versus a weak 2 opening bid? (Which can contain even less than 5hcp)
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#16 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:38

View PostDavidKok, on 2023-October-14, 06:32, said:

Could you please explain your notrump ladder and set of openings then? I am saying that normally 1 contains many more hand types than 15-17 balanced, and all of those have to go somewhere now. I think you intend to open 1 on all of them, eliminating the pressure on 1 but overloading 1 even more. As I mentioned before a natural 1NT is a very useful part of bidding systems. You are giving this up, and I'd like to discuss the costs by tracking the rest of your opening bids.


1 = 11-21 unspecified suit, either balanced or unbalanced
2 = 22+ unspecified suit
1 = balanced 15-17
1/ = 11-21 with at least 5c
1nt = very weak 6c unspecified suit
Other 2 = a “good” 6c weak hand (promises some values on that suit)

Continuations:

A. After 1nt
Partner bids 2 = asking for the suit. Any other bid promises at least 16hcp

B. After 1
Partner has the following options:

I. 1 = unbalanced with 0-7. Opener rebids 1 asking for the longest suit

Ii. 1 = 0-7, but balanced. Opener rebids is sign off

Iii. 1nt = 8+ without 4c in majors
IV. Stayman, transfers, etc but all of these hands promise at least 8+ hcp
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#17 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 06:55

View Postgiorgis_di, on 2023-October-14, 06:38, said:

1 = 11-21 unspecified suit, either balanced or unbalanced
2 = 22+ unspecified suit
1 = balanced 15-17
1/ = 11-21 with at least 5c
1nt = very weak 6c unspecified suit
Other 2 = a "good" 6c weak hand (promises some values on that suit)

Standard Weak 2 methods can find game or not opposite as low as 5hcp so is your definition of very weak under this?
Even if it is you can be undisciplined and psyche/bid at the 2-level.
1 feels overloaded if 1 is solely 15-17 or 12-14
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#18 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 07:07

My definition of a very weak hand is 0-5. But most importantly, it denies values on the longest suit (max of the value of an A)

I rarely open 1d. Mostly with 5c in diamonds, so I don’t think I give to much on these
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#19 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 07:21

The difference is that 1NT does not specify a suit and is an artificial preempt. Those are subject to narrow restrictions. A natural weak two bid less so.

Your 1 opening is extremely fragile, both in and out of competition. In addition it is going to be the main opening by far and contains the weakest opening hand types (minimum balanced as well as minimum unbal with a long minor). You will be tested on this very often, and I think as a result this is a very weak system. You've given the continuations over the rest of the openings, but by frequency those are marginal compared to your 1 opening.
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#20 User is offline   giorgis_di 

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Posted 2023-October-14, 07:29

But as I said before I rarely open 1d (mostly with 5c and sometimes with 4c).
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