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Slam seeking after 1NT opening

#1 User is offline   Polixenes 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 11:37

I had a BBO hand last night with 17 HCP and a 5 card spade suit, AJxxx. Pard opened 1NT (15-17) and it went
1NT - 2
2 - 4.

I intended the 4C as Gerber but partner didn't see it that way. I had enough QJT power elsewhere that I just felt I needed to know about Aces and Kings.

What would be the standard way of bidding to slam after a transfer or stayman?

1NT - 2
2

....at this point is it usual to have 4 Gerber and 4NT Quantitative?

1NT - 2
2/2/2

....same question

1NT - 2
3 (super-accept)

....same question....in this case would the presence of a known fit make 4NT be Blackwood? If that is the case is 4 a control cue bid?

1NT - 4
4

....again....I think the trumps are "set" as spades by the Texas transfer, so I assume 4NT pretty much has to be used as Blackwood?

I know there are probably some sophisticated agreements available but for now I would be happy to get straightened out on a sensible approach, something I can talk over with partner for next time.
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#2 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 11:57

I play 4 after the transfer as keycard with 6+M.
Any reason not to bid 5NT - pick a slam?
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#3 User is offline   Polixenes 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 12:30

View Postmw64ahw, on 2021-October-20, 11:57, said:

I play 4 after the transfer as keycard with 6+M.
Any reason not to bid 5NT - pick a slam?


Is this standard? How would you ask for aces with only 5M?
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#4 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 12:55

If you have a 6 card suit and all you need to do is find out about keycards then you can Texas transfer then bid 4NT.

With a 5 card suit, it makes no sense to transfer then ask for aces. If that's all you need to know - which is extremely rare - then you bid 4 directly over 1NT. There's no point in transferring first as partner's 2 response doesn't tell you anything at all, and you're captain so partner doesn't need to know about your spades.

If you have a 5 card suit and want to know if partner has 3 card support before looking for slam, you can transfer and bid 4NT (quant), a new suit, or 5NT (pick a slam).

For me 4 after a transfer is a self splinter, showing 6 spades and club shortness.

After a super accept all further bids would be slam seeking in that suit, including Blackwood.

After Stayman, if partner has 4 card support for you, then standard is for 3 of the other major to be artificial (it can't possibly be natural), confirming the fit and showing slam interest.

If partner responds 2 and you had bid Stayman with 5-4 in the majors, then you can bid Smolen (jump to 3 in your 4 card suit to promise 5 in the other) to see if partner has support. If you had bid Stayman with 6-4 in the majors, you can jump to 4M-1 as a delayed Texas transfer. In other cases you normally have a quantitative followup, or can just bid a minor to continue forcing if you have a long minor.
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#5 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 12:57

Gerber is only used after partner opens 1NT/2NT. if you have transferred or bid a suit after partner opens 1NT/2NT it is no longer the control bid, rkcb is as far as I know. if you were 54xx shape you could bid the four card suit at the three level as forcing; if you were 5332 with 17 points I would bid 5NT pick a small slam here. 32-33 points are usually enough for 6/6NT.
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#6 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 15:06

Noting that this is in the novice or beginner forum, I think the advice to play 5NT as "pick a slam" is good.
Alternatively as smerriman says 1NT-2-2-4NT means "I have five spades, a fairly balanced hand (usually 5-3-3-2) and want to be in a slam if you have 17 points or a good 16."
I'm assuming that with four trumps, opener would break the transfer. As they haven't broken the transfer, bidding no trumps makes sense.
I'd rebid 4NT on a balanced 17.
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#7 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 15:11

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-October-20, 12:55, said:

If you have a 6 card suit and all you need to do is find out about keycards then you can Texas transfer then bid 4NT.

With a 5 card suit, it makes no sense to transfer then ask for aces. If that's all you need to know - which is extremely rare - then you bid 4 directly over 1NT. There's no point in transferring first as partner's 2 response doesn't tell you anything at all, and you're captain so partner doesn't need to know about your spades.

If you have a 5 card suit and want to know if partner has 3 card support before looking for slam, you can transfer and bid 4NT (quant), a new suit, or 5NT (pick a slam).

For me 4 after a transfer is a self splinter, showing 6 spades and club shortness.


All good sense, but beware that in much of Europe (at least) 4 is more likely to be a natural second suit than a self-splinter.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 15:14

View PostDouglas43, on 2021-October-20, 15:06, said:

I'm assuming that with four trumps, opener would break the transfer.

Around here, they teach Novice and Beginner to break the transfer only with four trumps *and* a maximum (much as I prefer your assumption).
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#9 User is offline   Polixenes 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 15:46

Plenty to unpack here...I thank you all for your help.
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#10 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 16:31

What Sherman said is a good method. I try to encourage partner to use the same methods.
As with all things agreements with partner are important.
This particular situation it is common not to have follows-ups given specific meanings
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#11 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-20, 18:31

On a related note if you are not aware, after Stayman and a major suit response 3 of the unbid major is used as an artificial slam try confirming the major suit fit.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#12 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 13:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-October-20, 18:31, said:

On a related note if you are not aware, after Stayman and a major suit response 3 of the unbid major is used as an artificial slam try confirming the major suit fit.


That seems to be fairly standard in US, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.
We would play 1N - 2; 2 - 3 as a control-bid confirming hearts (but showing control of spades, not just generic slam invite) and 1N - 2; 2 - 3 as a natural misfit (invitational to slam).
The bottom line is that after either major one has 3 possible bids to confirm the major *and* show a control.
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#13 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 13:13

Hmm, I'm not following - what are the three bids to show a control? Do you mean 3 and 3 are both control bids? What do you bid in the more likely case you have no fit but want to show a minor?

And what's the 3rd bid over 2 if 3 isn't one?

By natural misfit do you mean basically a replacement for quantitative 4NT?
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#14 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 13:13

View Postpescetom, on 2021-October-21, 13:00, said:

That seems to be fairly standard in US, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.
We would play 1N - 2; 2 - 3 as a control-bid confirming hearts (but showing control of spades, not just generic slam invite) and 1N - 2; 2 - 3 as a natural misfit (invitational to slam).
The bottom line is that after either major one has 3 possible bids to confirm the major *and* show a control.

It's pretty odd to me to have 1nt-2c-2s-3h as natural misfit. If you had 5H and spade misfit, why wouldn't you start with a transfer to hearts?

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#15 User is online   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 14:39

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-October-20, 18:31, said:

On a related note if you are not aware, after Stayman and a major suit response 3 of the unbid major is used as an artificial slam try confirming the major suit fit.

Similar, after 2NT bidding 4H in the seq.

2NT - 3C
3S - 4H (*)

is a forcing raise for hearts.

I am not 100% sure, if this is also the case, when 3C is puppet,
but this should be the case with regular stayman.

With kind regards
Marlowe

PS: It is also possible, that the forcing heart raise in the seq.

1NT - 2C
2H -

is 2S instead of 3S.
But I would trust Winston more than myself, if it comes to the question,
what is the more common agreement.
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#16 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 14:58

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-October-21, 13:13, said:

Hmm, I'm not following - what are the three bids to show a control? Do you mean 3 and 3 are both control bids? What do you bid in the more likely case you have no fit but want to show a minor?

And what's the 3rd bid over 2 if 3 isn't one?

No I don't mean that.
3/3 are natural 5+ GF and the three control-bids are 3/4/4 over 2, 4/4/4 over 2.

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-October-21, 13:13, said:

By natural misfit do you mean basically a replacement for quantitative 4NT?

No. 4NT is quantitative. 3 is natural 4= with slam interest and some reason not to bid differently (with 5+ would start with transfer). I don't remember it coming up when I played this Stayman. I imagine it was chosen at least partly to be coherent with the rest of the system.
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#17 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 18:09

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2021-October-21, 14:39, said:

Similar, after 2NT bidding 4H in the seq.

2NT - 3C
3S - 4H (*)

is a forcing raise for hearts.

I am not 100% sure, if this is also the case, when 3C is puppet,
but this should be the case with regular stayman.

With kind regards
Marlowe

PS: It is also possible, that the forcing heart raise in the seq.

1NT - 2C
2H -

is 2S instead of 3S.
But I would trust Winston more than myself, if it comes to the question,
what is the more common agreement.

There is no reason 2S can't be used for slam - but those I knew and played with used 3H/3S for consistency and because those bids had unassigned meanings.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 18:38

View Postpescetom, on 2021-October-21, 14:58, said:

3/3 are natural 5+ GF and the three control-bids are 3/4/4 over 2, 4/4/4 over 2.

Ah, right. Is there an advantage in doing it this way? It seems you're giving up the ability to use the 4 level bids as splinters, without gaining too much in return as you can still go through a control bidding sequence either way.

View Postpescetom, on 2021-October-21, 14:58, said:

No. 4NT is quantitative. 3 is natural 4= with slam interest and some reason not to bid differently (with 5+ would start with transfer). I don't remember it coming up when I played this Stayman. I imagine it was chosen at least partly to be coherent with the rest of the system.

I guess all that it could really be is 1444 looking for a minor fit.
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#19 User is online   apollo1201 

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Posted 2021-October-21, 22:41

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2021-October-21, 14:39, said:


PS: It is also possible, that the forcing heart raise in the seq.

1NT - 2C
2H -

is 2S instead of 3S.
But I would trust Winston more than myself, if it comes to the question,
what is the more common agreement.


This bid gains more as a natural 7-8 HCP hand with 5 spades, and potentially an unbalanced shape, where you can’t naturally invite, after a classical 2H transfer, either with 2NT because of your singleton or 3M with only 5, and where a GF bid of 3m with so limited resources is clearly exaggerate.
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#20 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-October-22, 02:58

View Postsmerriman, on 2021-October-21, 18:38, said:

Ah, right. Is there an advantage in doing it this way? It seems you're giving up the ability to use the 4 level bids as splinters, without gaining too much in return as you can still go through a control bidding sequence either way.
There are advantages, but they are slight. And there are costs too. This treatment caters to hands with 4M5(+)m and slam interest, if a new suit is not natural you would have to start with a transfer to the minor (if you even play those) instead of Stayman and then bid 3M to show this hand. If you do not have slam interest it is typically better to just bid 3NT after hearing partner has the wrong major, although some pairs prefer to show their full shape to give partner a choice of 3NT, 4M in the 4-3 fit or possibly 5m.
A somewhat popular alternative is to play a bid of 3oM over 1NT-2; 2M as a generic slam try confirming a fit, and higher jumps as splinters (note that there is no spade splinter over 2 without bypassing 4).

Stayman followups are a mess, and most partnerships have their own rules and exceptions. For example, assuming the approach outlined above, what if partner hits your 4cM? Do you still bid your 5(+)-card minor, or does that 100% promise the other major? Does that mean you can never pattern out but have to initiate control bidding? 6m might well play better than 6M. Or is partner left guessing about the major suit fit?
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