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Showing Stiffs Over Partner's 1NT
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There's not a lot new here, but this is a simple, well-integrated way to show many hand patterns containing a short suit. In particular, auctions beginning 1NT - 2 ; 2x 3m give the partnership many opportunities to avoid a bad 3NT contract.

2 is Stayman and may be a game-forcing 3-suiter. Opener bids a 4- or 5-card major if he has one (bid 2 with both), else 2. Responder bids:

-- 2M over 2 with 5 of the bid major, 4 of the other major, and a weak hand. (Some partnerships may prefer to play Garbage Stayman, especially over a weak 1NT.) 

-- 2 over 2 with 4 spades, a long minor, and invitational values. Opener's 3 asks responder to pass or correct.

-- 2NT to invite. (Responder must have a 4-card major to bid 2, so opener may correct 2NT to 3/4 of the unbid major.)

-- 3m to look for the best game or slam, usually with Jx or less in the bid minor. Opener bids the other major with both, 3NT with Kx, Qxx or better in the bid minor, otherwise 3M with a 5-card major or 4 without one.*

-- 3M over 2 with 5-4 in the majors, game forcing (shorter major if playing Smolen).

-- 3M to invite over 2M.

-- 3oM to show a fit, slam interest, and any shortness. Opener may then bid 3/NT to ask (stiffs are shown as the partnership prefers).

-- 3NT to play; opener corrects to 4oM if 4-4 in the majors.

-- 4C as RKC.

-- 4D as a balanced slam try in opener's major.

-- 4M to play.

-- 4NT to invite slam without a fit in opener's major.


* Responder may bid 3m with many hand patterns, all showing 4 cards in an unbid major and denying 4-card support for a major bid by opener: 44(41) or 44(32) over 2, (43)(42), (42)(52), (42)(61), or (41)(62). Responder may also bid 3m with a long minor, planning to bid 3NT or a minor-suit game or slam depending upon whether responder shows a high honor there.

2 and 2 are standard major-suit transfers.

2 shows either 6+ clubs, any strength or a balanced invite to game/slam. Over 2NT (minimum) or 3 (extras), responder’s new suit shows shortness. Opener’s 4 then shows club support and slam interest, 4NT is a balanced slam invite (keeping in mind opener has already bid 2NT/3), 5 is to play, 5NT is pick-a-slam, and 6/NT is to play.

2NT shows either 6+ diamonds or 5-5 in the minors, any strength. Opener bids his longer minor (with equal length, he bids 3 with a minimum, 3 with extras). Over opener’s 3m, responder passes or bids 3 to play, else bids 3M with shortness in the bid major (and either minor-suit shape), 3NT as a slam try with 6+ diamonds and no stiff, 4m with slam interest in the bid minor, or 5m to play. Using 2NT to show either 6+ diamonds or 5-5 in the minors enables responder to show a major-suit stiff with either holding.

3 is Puppet Stayman. Opener bids a 5-card major if he has one, else 3. Over 3, responder's 3M shows 4 cards in the other major.

3 shows at least 5-5 in the majors, invitational or better. Opener may try to sign off in 3 or 4 of either major or in 3NT. Responder may pass, raise 3M to game, bid a stiff minor with slam interest, or bid 4NT as RKC in opener’s preferred major.

3M shows a stiff with a (31)(54) pattern, a hand-type that's especially useful to show if frequently opening 1NT with a 5-card major. Opener's cuebid of the short major is a slam try in the other major, usually with a 5-card suit. Opener's 3NT, 4oM, or 5m is to play, 4m is a slam try in the bid minor, and 4NT asks responder to bid his longer minor.

3NT is to play.

4 is Gerber. (If you don't find Gerber very useful here, an option is to play 4/ as transfers to hearts/spades while 4M is to play from responder's side. Over 4m, opener could bid the intermediate suit with a very good hand for slam.)

4/ shows 6 or more cards in hearts/spades. Then responder's 4NT is RKC and a new suit is exclusion RKC.

4 shows a strong balanced slam try that opener refuses only with a very minimum hand (a Bergen suggestion).

4NT shows a slam try with 22(54) (bid 2, then 4NT if more balanced). Opener’s 5/6m or 6NT is to play, 5NT asks for responder’s longer minor.

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