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Weak take out after 1NT opening

edited August 2010 in All Things Bridge
With various partners I play Stayman and Transfers over a weak 1NT opener, however, a few nights ago I ran into a problem regarding the right way to show a strong hand with a Club suit.

I have always played 2C (Stayman) followed by 3C over opener's response as a weak sign off, whereas a direct raise to 3C is a positive (game going) bid showing a Club suit.

A few evenings ago, my partner opened 1NT to which I responded 3C, with a solid six card club suit with definite slam potential after my partners opening. To my amazement, partner passed, as he interpreted the bids the other way round! Consequently we missed out on a stone cold 6 Clubs.

So what is the current "accepted" way of differentiating between weak sign offs and forcing bids in the minors when using Stayman and Transfers?

The logic behind my approach is that when using transfers, the best sequence for a weak take out in Diamonds is to use Stayman, which allows you to stop in 2D when opener does not have a four card major.

So, if using 2C as the route to a weak diamond take out, it seems to make sense to be consistent (and try to avoid confusion) and use the same bid as the route to a weak take out in both minors. Direct jumps to 3C or 3D then become positive, forcing bids.

My further reasoning is, what is the value in giving the opponents information about the shape of partner's hand by having to use stayman as the route to show a game going minor suit hand with no interest in the majors.


  • edited 6:02AM
    I don't think there is an accepted way. I think the logic behind trying to stop in 2D when partner has no major is flawed because if you have a diamond fit and subside at the two level then your opponents will find it easy to protect and find their fit.
    One way to play is that 2D/2H/2S/2NT are transfers resepctively to H/S/C/D, 3 level bids are six card suits and slam tries and bidding Stayman and then 3C or 3D shows a hand worth game but uncertain as to where the best game is.
  • edited 6:02AM
    Like you we play Stayman and transfers - but slightly modified. 2d/2h/2s are transfers thus leaving 2nt natural. The bids of 2d/2h should be transferred to 2h/2s as normal - but the 2s transfer request shows 2 x 5-card minors allowing opener to choose his better minor. Like you we use Stayman to get to 3c as a week transfer and straight to 3 of a suit is strong response showing a 6-card suit.
  • edited 6:02AM
    PS we also use the sequence 1nt - 2d - 2h - 3d to do a weak transfer to diamonds
  • edited 6:02AM
    Pommers, I am sure you are aware of this, but for other readers I would like to point out that the 2D bid, when playing the above treatment, must be alerted instead of announced.
  • edited 6:02AM
    The problem with using transfers like that is twofold:
    1. The 1NT bidder cannot afford to "break" the transfer by bidding 3H on a suitable hand.
    2. The sequence shows a hand at least 5-4 in the red suits and forcing to game
  • edited 6:02AM
    *2. The sequence shows a hand at least 5-4 in the red suits and forcing to game*

    Where did you get this idea? Pommers has told how he plays it, and it is not like this.
  • edited 6:02AM
    Natural and Game Forcing is one way to play it
    Natural and forcing only to 3H is another way that was more popular some years ago.
    Some do indeed play it as transfer to hearts or just diamonds however they are never able to explain what they do with lots of both red suits and a good hand or what they do opposite a 2D transfer with 4 hearts and a really good hand although, of course, there are plenty of pairs who have never considered a transfer break.
    What is certainly right, IMO, is that to play 2D as hearts or just diamonds is a mighty inferior way of addressing this hand type and you can do better without being remarkably complex about it.
  • edited 6:02AM
    Playing stayman and transfers we use an immediate response at the 3 level to show a good suit and slam interest. This sets the trump suit and allows the 1NT opener to commence cue bidding or simply raise to game if minimum. Further action would depend on responders hand
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