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Balanced hands too strong to open 1NT

Over a one of a suit opener with partner responding at the one level a rebid of 1NT = 15 to 17, 2NT = 18/19.
If partner bids 2 over 1 then 2NT = 15 to 19 and is game forcing. If partner's response is at the one level and there is interference at the 2 level from the fourth seat what now is the value of opener's 2NT rebid? Is it 18/19 game forcing as the 1NT bid showing 15 to 17 is not available? If so what should opener rebid?


  • This situation is the biggest disadvantage with the weak NT. Double by opener can be either a strong NT or a shape-suitable minimum.
  • Playing a weak NT, you can carry on and rebid 2NT with a suitable stop in the opponent's suit and 15+ points and a balanced hand. If you hold 15+ points and no stop in a balanced hand, you can double. With shape you can rebid your suit (showing a six-card or longer suit) or bid a second suit if you can do so at a convenient level (i.e. only reverse if you hold sufficient values). With no convenient bid, you can always PASS. Partner is still there and will have a further opportunity to bid.

    Actually I think that the Five-card Major / Strong No Trump systems are at a disadvantage in this type of auction, because they will often open a minor with a weak hand and a concealed four-card major. For this reason most people playing that system use Support Doubles to distinguish three-card an four-card support for partner.

    Playing Acol, there is no need for Support Doubles and a double can be better employed to show the Strong No Trump hand without a stop.
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