Advanced Bridge


Lesson 9




     Whenever a partnership is utilizing a 5-card Major suit opening system, it is useful, in conjunction with a 2/1 (two-over-one) Game Force, to also use a Forcing 1NT response system.   This pattern helps to narrow the ranges of other bids by the responder and thus helps in otherwise difficult situations.    In general, the 1NT response to an opening of 1H or 1S is forcing, and alertable, and usually exhibits a range of between 5-11 HCP’s.  (Note: In some situations, the responder’s HCP range may exceed 15; that is, may be unlimited.)    Opener must make a rebid, even if it be a 3-card Minor or a 4-card Heart suit.  Opener’s rebid then shows both distribution and point count.     Responder, then becomes the team captain, and can then place the final contract, or invite to game, or slam.


Opener’s Rebid following Responder’s 1NT Force


  Opener:   AKXXX  AXX  KXX  XX      1S      1NT

                                     2D (Minimum Opening)


            AQXXX  KXXX  XX  AX      1S      1NT

                                     2H (Minimum Opening)


            AQXX  KQXXX  AQ  KX      1H      1NT

                                     2S (Hand is strong enough to reverse)


            AQXX  KQXXXX  XX  X      1H      1NT

                                     2H (Minimum Opening + 6-Hearts)


            AXXXX  AKX  AK  QXX      1S      1NT

                                     3H (Jump shift, Game Force)


            JXX  AXXXXX  AKX  A      1H      1NT

                                     3H (One Trick Better than Minimum +

                                                       6 or more Hearts)


            AXXXX  AQX  AX  KXX      1S      1NT

                                    2NT (A 16-18 HCP hand inviting to 3NT)



     Thus, since the 1NT force usually exhibits 5-11 HCP’s, then any 2-level response of a new suit by responder shows 12+ points and is forcing to game in all but the following sequences where both opener and responder repeat their suits evidencing a misfit:


                   (a)  1H   2C                   (b) 1S   2D

              2H   3C (Not Forcing)         2S   3D (Not Forcing)


          (c) 1S   2D

              2S   3C (Game Force)

- 23 -



     Normally, under conditions where forcing NT is not employed the following response shows a wide range of between 5-10 HCP’s.


       1H      2H (Support and 5-10 HCP’s)


With the use of the forcing NT, however, one can differentiate the following responses as:


      (a)     1H      1NT

              2C      2H (Support with 5-7 HCP’s and 10 Losing Tricks; 

                           i.e., a hand weaker than (b) below, else a hand

                           holding only two trump support pieces)



(b)     1H       2H  (Support with 8-10 HCP’s)(9-Losing Tricks)


        -------------------------------------------------  or


(c)    1S      1NT

       2D       3S (Limit raise with only 3 Supporting pieces)


    NOTE: Responder would have jumped to 3 Hearts directly with the   

          same values, but with 4 Pieces in support of Spade suit 



(d)   1S     “2NT” (Jacoby 2NT evidencing Support for Spades with

                    Opening values. Forces partnership to game or 

                    higher if opener has extra values.)


NOTE: Some partnerships have a non-standard “Multi-2NT Response”   

      Bid showing a Specialized bid.  This Requires Partnership

      Agreement as an alternate “2NT” response.)


       -------------------------------------------------   or


   Responder holds:       XXX  XX  KQXXXX  XX


(e) 1H   1NT (Forcing)

          2C   2D (A “Drop Dead” bid evidencing a 6-card or longer suit.




                                X  AJXXXX  JXX  XXX


          1S   1NT (Forcing)

          2D   2H (A “Drop Dead” bid evidencing a 6-card or longer suit.


-------------------------------------------------   or


   Responder holds:       AXX  KQX  KQXX  AXX


(e) 1S   1NT (Forcing – with intent to either jump to 4H should opener

               show a minimum hand with a rebid of 2H, 2S, 2C, or 2D;                  

               else proceed onward to a possible slam should opener

               evidence a better than minimum opening values with a

               rebid of 3S, 2NT, 3C, 3D, 3H, or 4S)

                                           - 24 -