Responding to a Strong 2NT

This section does not deal with Slam, Grand Slam Bidding or Ace asking – these are covered in different lessons.

Choose the correct bid

Responding to 2NT is similar to responding to other NoTrump bids, with your partner having 20 – 22 HCP you can recognise that 4 – 5 TP is enough for game in No Trumps, and 5 – 6 TP is enough for a game in a suit

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Responses to 2NT opening

  • Bid 3NT directly with a balanced hand;
  • Bid 4♠ or 4 ♥ directly with a 6-card major
  • Bid 3 ♥or 3♠ with a 5-card major and less than game points.
  • Bid 3♣ which is the Stayman Convention this is an artificial bid saying “partner, I want to know about any 4 card major suit holding you have!”

Stayman Convention

With two four card major suits an unbalanced hand and enough points for game bid 3♣ the Stayman Convention If the notrump opener responds and names a major suit and the responder has four cards in that suit, the responder then bids three of the notrump bidder’s suit
If the no trump bidder bids a major suit in which the responder does not have at least four cards, the responder may bid 3NT 5 or more HCP.
If however the responder has 5 cards in the unnamed major, he may bid that suit at the level of 4 in an effort to find a 5-3 fit.
If the no trump opener responds 2♦ which is denying a 4-card major the responder can then bid 3NT with 5+ HCP.

Exercise Hand 1:Your partner Opens 2NT, what do you respond with the following hand?

Your Hand
♠ Q 5 4 3
♥ K 4 3
♦ 3 2
♣ J 5 4 3
Answer 1:
3NT. You have 6 HCP’s so you should bid game directly.

Exercise Hand 2: Your partner Opens 2NT, what do you respond with the following hand?

Your Hand
♠ A 9 8 7 6
♥ K 8 7
♦ 8
♣ J 7 6 4
Answer 2
3♠ Shows your partner your 5 card major suit AND that you have more than 5 TP

Exercise Hand 3: Your partner Opens 2NT, what do you respond with the following hand?

Your Hand

  • ♠ A 8 4
  • ♥Q J T874
  • ♦ 10 7
  • ♣ J 4

Answer 3:Bid 4♥ to show your 6 card heart suit and not enough points to go on bidding for a slam. Bidding game is a shutout, discouraging partner from bidding more, it tells partner you have just enough points for game

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