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Red transfers vs Weak take out

Hello. Newbie poster, beginner/improver.
We were taught to respond (to 1NT) at the 2level of any 5 card suit, with 0-10 points. Our teacher advised that we were better placed bidding at this 2 level, rather than pass and potentially leaving ourselves in 1NT. (Even with no points) We understand this and are comfortable playing with it.
However, this precludes us using red transfers.
What is the general consensus about this ? Is using transfers a better option ?


  • edited February 2017
    Playing red suit transfers means that you cannot play at the 2 level in  diamonds, and if you also play Stayman (highly recommended) you can't play in clubs at the 2 level either. Overall  the many  advantages of Stayman and transfers with the majors outweigh the disadvantage with the minors. 

    For example, just considering transfers (hope I have got this right), 

    If responder is weak with 5+ H/S, transfers allow the contract to be played by opener, so the stronger hand is hidden from the opponents, which is an advantage. 

    If responder has a very strong hand with slam potential in a major, the transfer puts responder in control of the auction -  and he will be declarer. He has a very good idea of opener's shape and strength, but opener has very little idea of responder's hand. 

    With 11-12 HCP responder can invite partner to bid game if he is maximum (14 HCP) after the transfer has been completed, by raising the major (6+ cards) to invite game in the suit,  or bidding 2NT (5 cards), giving partner a choice of passing (not max, no 3+ card support), bidding 3H/S ( not max, 3+ card support), or bidding 4H/4S (max. 3+ card support) or bidding 3NT (max, - no 3 card support.) 

    If instead responder bids a natural 2H/S or 3H/S over partner's 1NT, partner has no idea about the strength of responder's hand and will most likely pass. 

  • edited 4:39PM
    Thanks for taking the time to respond Killeavey buddy. I will digest your comments.
    The more we play, it does seem that very few players use the weak take out. The major point for our teacher was to avoid declarer being left in 1NT with responder having, say, nil points. As you illustrate, the advantages seem to outweigh this situation. (Occurring in responder holding a minor suit)
    Thanks again.
  • edited February 2017
    As far as I am aware, everyone at my (3) clubs will make a weak takeout of 1NT with a 5 card suit.
    This link takes you to an article by the late Sandra Landy on the EBU site. (She is the author of the EBU's Standard Acol system file). This article is one of a series written for beginners so the examples given are direct takeouts rather than transfers, but you will note at the bottom of the page that she says more advanced players will make the takeout by using transfers. One way or another, you should take out. 
    With a 7+ card minor, or a good 6 card minor (two of the top three honours) many players will take out partner's 1NT at the 3 level. There are several methods. I have tried more than one of them , but have usually found that I would have done better to leave partner's 1NT in. I might go two or three off but opps will usually have missed game so my minus score will give us a good result. . More often than not fourth seat will bid a suit and you will be off the hook. If instead your opponent doubles for penalties you can then make a direct takeout into your 5 card minor ( transfers are 'off' after the double). 

    Your biggest problem comes when you are weak and have no 5 card suit, you pass partner's 1NT and are then doubled, especially when you are vulnerable. When you are a lot more advanced you should consider using one of several 'wriggles', aka 'escapes from 1NT doubled'. 

    If you occasionally go down in flames, remember that this is considered an acceptable risk for those who play the weak 1NT, which is a mini-preempt designed to get in your opponents' way. They have to enter the bidding at the 2 level. For every time you go down in flames there will be at e least as many times where  you end up with a good score, even if you go off one or two tricks. And in duplicate, going off 800 is still just a bottom. 
  • edited 4:39PM
    Thanks again Killeavey. We (me and 'she who must be obeyed') are now committed to using Stayman and red transfers. I will study Sandra's article.
    Essentially, we are comfortable with the concept of the weak take out ( now to be achieved in H/S via transfers) and will sit tight with the minors, and pray !
    Kind regards.
  • edited 4:39PM
    I meant to add that our teacher did provide a session on Stayman, wherein the responses were...
    4 H bid 2H
    4 S bid 2S
    No 4 card major bid 2D
    Both 4 card majors bid 2NT

    This latter bid seems out of kilter from articles on Stayman. Have you come across it ?
  • edited 4:39PM
     It's not  standard Stayman . 1NT- 2C- 2H shows four hearts, and maybe 4 spades. If responder  does not  have four hearts he bids 2NT. Now opener knows that responder must have four spades (otherwise why did he bid Stayman) and can then choose 3NT or 4S. 

  • edited 4:39PM
    Yes, I had the same problem when I missed the game. It is better to wait until the last
  • edited July 2017
    Andrew Robson wrote an article in the November 2013 EBU magazine advocating the use of Stayman with weak (0-10) hands other than the two well known weak Stayman optons, i.e. when 5-4 in the majors, or Garbage Stayman with a rare hand such as 4441 with a singleton club or 5440  with a club void, where responder can pass any response. 
    One of Andrew's examples that comes to mind is when you are 4-4 in the majors and 0-6 HCP - there is a high likelihood that 4th seat will double, so you need an exit.  Responder bids 2C (Stayman), and opener bids his 4 card major if he has one (which responder passes), otherwise he bids 2D. Responder then bids 2H, and if opener has one more card in spades than in hearts he bids 2S, otherwise he passes. Opener must be 3-2 or 3-3  in the majors for his 2D response, so a 7 card major fit is guaranteed. 
    This approach requires an agreement between partners, as it replaces the standard 5-4 major system where after opener's 2D responder bids his 5 card major and opener passes.  Without the agreement opener would pass with two hearts and three  spades resulting in a 6 card fit. 
    I am pretty sure the 2H bid should be alerted. 
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