Responding to 1NT with 10-12 points

Being left to play in a 1 No Trump contract can be difficult to play, often the opposition ends up with more points than you, so when your partner opens 1NT you must think about the difficulty s/he will be in if you leave them to play there. If you have good minor suits it is much better usually to be in 3NT than game in a minor suit.

Responding with a medium hand 10-12 points

Look at your own hand and add your points to partners take the shape of your hand into consideration as well, is it balanced or do you have singletons or voids and long suits? Distributional points cannot be counted when you bid notrump.
If your partner opened 1 NT they are saying that they are balanced with at least two cards in each suit and they have 15-17 HCP 

Your hand is medium and balanced

Your Points    Your NoTrump Bid
10 -14 HCP3NT

*Invitational Bids If game is possible (8-9 points), responder bids 2NT (2 No trump). This is called an “invitational bid” as it invites opener to bid game with maximum point count; opener will pass with a minimum point count.

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Your hand is unbalanced

If the shape of your hand is unbalanced with more than one doubleton, singleton or void it is much more suitable for the partnership to be in a suit contract.
If you bid 3H or 3S opener must not pass. You have shown 15-17 HCP and with 8-9 HCP game can be bid has not been reached. With three or more cards in responder’s suit, opener should raise to four hearts or four spades.

Your hand is medium and unbalanced

Longest Suits
Suit Bid
10-12 TP6+ cards4♠, 4♥
10-12 TP    two four card majors suits    2♣ – Stayman Convention*
10-12 TPtwo 4-5 card minor suits3NT

Exercise: Your partner opens 1 NT – with this hand what should you bid?

Your Hand

  • ♠A 3
  • ♥J 10 6
  • ♦6 4 3 2
  • ♣A Q J 5

Answer: Your bid is 3 NT. your partner has 16-18 HCP and with your 12 HCP you have enough points for game. You shouldn’t use the Stayman Convention since you don’t have a 4 Card Major.

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