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Responding to a bid of 1NT

If your partner has opened with a bid of 1NT you know they hold 12-14 points (in acol bridge) or 15 – 17 points (in American Standard bridge) and have a balanced hand.

How you respond, depends on the number of points in your own hand and the type of hand you hold.

There are three basic types of responses.  Sign off (partner must not rebid), Invitational (partner can bid again if appropriate), Forcing (partner MUST bid again)

Acol Bridge

Your hand contains 0 – 10

Your hand is weak – even if partner holds 14 points (the maximum for a 1 NT opening bid) your combined hands will not hold more than 24 points.

Your responding bid has to tell your partner that your combined hands are weak and they MUST NOT bid again.  Your bid will be a Sign off bid (colour coded red below)

  • Your hand  is balanced with NO 5 card suit – PASS
  • Your hand contains a 5+ card minor suit – bid 2 Diamonds
  • Your hand contains a 5+ card major suit – bid the suit – 2 Hearts or 2 Spades

Your hand contain 11 – 12 points

  • AND is balanced with no 5 card suit – bid 2NT – invitational
  • AND a 5 card minor suit – bid 2 NT – invitational

Your hand contains 13 – 18 points

  • AND is balanced with no 5 card suit – bid 3NT – Sign off
  • AND a 5 card minor suit – bid 3 NTSign off

Your hand contains 11 – 18 points

  • AND a 5 card major suit – bid the suit – 3H or 3S – forcing – partner must bid again
  • AND a 6+ card major suit – bid the suit – 4H or 4S – Sign off.

What does your bid tell your partner?

A pass or bid of 2 D/H/S tells your partner your hand is weak and between you there are not enough points for game.  Partner must not bid again.

A bid of 2NT  tells your partner that your hand contains 11 or 12 points and is either balanced or contains a 5+ card minor suit.  They can rebid if they want.

A bid of 3H/S tells your partner that you have 11 – 18 points and a strong major suit.  They must bid again – to tell you whether or not they can support your suit.

A bid of 4H/S tells  your partner that you have 11 – 18 points and at least 6 cards in a suit.  They must not bid again.

American Standard Bridge

Responses are calculated using Total Points (ie High Card Points plus Long Suit Points)

Your hand contains 0 – 7

Your hand is weak – even if partner holds 17 points (the maximum for a 1 NT opening bid) your combined hands will not hold more than 24 points.

Your responding bid has to tell your partner that your combined hands are weak and they MUST NOT bid again.  Your bid will be a Sign off bid (colour coded red below)

  • Your hand  is balanced with NO 4 or 5 card major suit – PASS
  • Your hand contains a 5+ card major suit – bid the suit – 2 Hearts, 2 Spades 
  • Your hand contains 5+ clubs – PASS (as 2C is Stayman)
  • Your hand contains 5+ diamonds – bid 2D

Your hand contain 8 – 9 points

  • AND is balanced with NO 4 or 5 card major suit – bid 2 NT
  • AND has a 5+ minor suit – bid 2 NT
  • AND has a 4 or 5 card major suit – use stayman and bid 2 Clubs
  • AND has 5+ card major suit – bid 2 NT

Your hand contains 10 – 15 points

  • AND is balanced with No 4 or 5 card major – bid 3 NTSign off
  • AND a 4 card major suit – use stayman.  Bid 2C
  • AND contains a 5 card major suit – bid 3S or 3H – forcing, partner should bid again
  • AND contains a 6+ major suit – bid 4S or 4H
  • AND the longest suit is a minor – bid 3 NTSign off

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