Responses to 1 No-Trump

You mostly control.  Partner has 16 points (+/-) and fairly balanced distribution.  You decide what level you will play at, AND whether you will play NT or in a suit.  Your partner may accept your invitation to game or slam IF he has a strong 1 NT opener, ie 17 points and some tens and nines - better in sequence.

Points:  Partner has 16, plus what you have will pretty much decide.

  1. You have less than 6 (ie partnership total is less than 22), you have to stop it very soon.  Your trouble is deep enough.
  2. You have 10 or more, you are going to game!
  3. You have 14 or more, you want to explore Slam possibilities.
  4. Between 7 and 10, you poke around and may “invite” for possible game if partner opened a strong 1 NT.

Distribution:  The closer your hand is to “flat”, (4,3,3,3), the more you want to end up in NT.

  1. Flat less than 6 points, pass.
  2. Flat 8 points, invite by bidding 2NT
  3. Flat 10 points, 3NT
  4. Flat 14 points, 4NT inviting slam.  Not Blackwood!!

Unbalanced Distribution

  1. If you have 4 cards in a major suit, use Stayman to try to find an 8 card fit with partner.
  2. If you have 5 cards in a major, use Jacoby Transfer to try for 8 card fit.
  3. If you have 6 cards in a major and no slam interest, use Texas Transfer to game.

It’s Your Decision:  When Opener has answered your question (Stayman or Transfer), you pretty much know how many points the partnership has, and whether or not there is a fit.  If you’ve got game, bid it. If you’re a couple of points shy, invite partner to go to game with strong hand.

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