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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

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!”

This lesson is a short extract of our interactive Bridge lesson.
Click here for full Bridge lessons or free Hand of the Day.

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