*TONT Transfers Over Opponents 1NT Opening Page 6

*TONT Transfers Over Opponents 1NT Opening Page 6

Conventions with an * have a separate page. See page number. Others follow this page.

Note: This document only explains how to open and respond to conventions.How to use them in competition isJanuary’s agenda. Read through this document until you remember how to open, respond and use all of them.


*TONT – Transfers over opponents’ 1NT Opening–Page 6.

Garbage Stayman response to a1NT opening

Systems on at 2 & 3-level after interference over our 1NT opening

CATEGORY:2-Level Openings& Competition vs Opponents’ Weak Two Preempts

*Mini -Roman 2♦ Opening - a 3- suited Preempt. Page 7.

*Flannery 2♥Opening - A Spades and Hearts preempt. Page 8.

Lebensohl 2NT after partner’s double of a weak two opening

CATEGORY: Multi-Suit Cue Bids

*Michaels*Unusual 2NT, Page 9. *Tops & Bottoms. Page 10.

CATEGORY: Other Conventions

All direct raises in competition are weak

Western Cue bid

New Minor Force

Weak Jump Shifts in Competition

4th Suit Forcing – to game or for one round

CBLR – Cue Bid Limit Raise - with or without guarantee of trump support

*DRURY – a weak 3rd or 4th hand major suit 1-level opening. Page 11.

Inverted Minors in competition

Support Double or ReDouble after [1m – P – 1M – X - ???]

Jordan 2NT & ReDouble Limit Raises after double of our major

CATEGORY: Interference by opponents over our 2♣ opening

Response after interference over our 2♣ opening



Systems on at 2 & 3-level after interference over a 1NT opening. [1NT - 2♦…]
The systems we use after partner opens 1NT include Jacoby Transfers and Stayman and Stolen Bid Doubles, when an opponent bids something our responder was going to bid: [1NT - 2♣ - Dbl* …] “I was going to bid Stayman 2♣, but she bid it. My Double means I’m bidding Stayman, looking for a major suit from opener”. Similarly, if opponent bid 2♦ and responder doubles, it means a Jacoby Transfer to Hearts. But over the 2♦ overcall, responder couldalso bid 2♥ as a Jacoby Transfer to Spades. So, “On” means we can keep our transfers and Stayman conventions almost regardless of interference. So far, this has referred to interference and responses at the2 – level. What if the opponent bids 2♠ or 3♣?
Is “it” still “On”?

That’sa Partnership Agreement: should we keep “it on” at the 3-level? Possibly, but a “Systems on” bid at the 3-level shows game-going values. Look at the 2-level “on” writeup above: there’s no HCP values stated because 2-level Stolen Bids, etc. can be very weak: they may beonlycompetitive. A responder can make, then pass a 2♠transfer with 5 HCP, non-vulnerable. Not at the 3-level, however: her bid must show 10+ points as it’s game forcing. Suggestion: use “Systems On” at the 2-level until you’re comfortable with it, then try it at the 3-level: it comes up far less often, of course, but you can’t let the opponents shut you out with their interference bids.

Garbage Stayman. [1NT – P - 2♣ - P 2♦ - P - 2♠ …]

Garbage Stayman is used by a very weak but shapely responder to partner’s 1NT opening. Usually it will hold 5 – 4 in the majors, and sometimes Diamonds too. Using a Stayman 2♣ response, responder will pass either major rebid, and maybe even pass 2♦. Sometimes, he will bid a major over a 2♦ rebid, showing 5 of that suit and 4 of the other major, but too weak to transfer without first trying for a fit.
[1NT - P - 2♣ - P 2♦ - P - 2♥ …]Opener passes 2♥.
[1NT - P - 2♣ - P 2♦ - P - P …] Bailing out in Diamonds.
Playing Garbage Stayman, we cannot Super Accept a Jacoby Transfer:
[1NT - P - 2♦# - P 3♥ …] No. 2♦# can be a very weak, so never bid 3♥.Agreement.

CATEGORY: Competition vs Opponents’ Weak Twos

Lebensohl 2NT* after partner’s double of a weak two. [2♥ - Dbl – P – 2NT*…]

In this auction, the doubler has an opening hand+ with Spades. 4th seat could be really weak or have only a long minor, but is forced to reply.EnterLebensohl 2NT*. It means, “Partner, I don’t have much and no Spade fit, so please bid 3♣.” If Clubs is her suit, she then passes; if it’s Diamonds, she bids 3♦as a closeout. 8 HCP or less is “weak” using Lebensohl 2NT*.

She can also bid2♠ if she has a Spade fit, but it still means she is weak because she is bidding at the2 – level. With 9 – 10 or so dummy points and a fit, she can raise to the 3-level, and with 12+, she can bid game. [2♥ - Dbl – P - 2♠ …] [2♥ - Dbl – P - 4♠ …]

CATEGORY: Other Conventions and Partnership Agreements

All direct raises in competition are weak. A Partnership Agreement.

A direct major suit raise in competition shows only a fit; not many HCP.We have bids for strong hands. The level of the weak raise shows the number of trumps held. Knowing the degree of fit, and that partner is weak in HCP, the bidder seeshow high he can go to fight off the competition; maybe with a sacrifice?

[1♠ - 2♣ - 2♠ …] 3 Spades. [1♠ - 2♦ - 3♠ …] 4 Spades. [1♠ - 2♥ - 4♠ …] 5 Spades.

Western Cue Bid

If opponents have bid & raised a suit, a cue bid of that suit asks partner to bid3NT with a stopper. [1♣ - 1♦ - 2♣ - 2♦ 3♦ - P. . .]3♦ is an “Ask” bid byopener.If responder doesn’t have a Diamond stopper or two,she can bid 4♣ as a safe escape, knowing there is a Club fit. You should have an escape to bid a Western Cue.

New Minor Force

Opener will raise responder’s major with 4 pieces, of course. But after a 1NT rebid by opener, a bid of the “Other Minor” asks opener if he has3 of responder’s major suit, because she has 5 of them.
[1♣ - P - 1♠ - P 1NT – P - 2♦* - P 2♠…] “Yes, I have 3 Spades for you.”
If “No”, opener bids anything else. [1♣ - P - 1♠ - P 1NT – P - 2♦* - P 2♥ …] “Nope”.

Weak Jump Shifts in Competition. A Partnership Agreement.

Weak Jump Shifts can be used or not used in competition.
[1♣ - P - 2♠ …] Not alerted, or [1♣ - 1♦ - 2♠* …] Alerted in competition only.

4th Suit Forcing – to game or for one round.A Partnership Agreement.

Bidding the 4th suit can’t be a serious try for a fit, so it can be used as a1- round forcing bid or as a game-forcing bid, or not at all.Usually game-forcing if used.
[1♣ - P - 1♠ - P 1NT - P - 2♥ - P 3♦* …] Not a Diamond suit; a Game Force. Alerted.

Inverted Minors in competition. A Partnership Agreement.

Some play Inverted Minors with“everything off” if there is competition.
[1♣ - 1♠ - 3♣ ...] A strong Jump Raise: not preemptive.

Others play it as always on; in that case, there are 3 Club raises, not the usual 2:
(1) A single raise is a simple 6 – 9 point raise,not forcing. [1♣ - 1♠ - 2♣ ...]
(2) A jump raise is preemptive, as it iswithoutcompetition: [1♣ - 1♠ - 3♣* ...] but
(3) A Cue Bid ofthe overcaller’s suit isa Cue Bid LimitRaise, forcing, and the strongest raise, with 9 to 11+. [1♣ - 1♠ - 2♠ …]. Always “On” isrecommended.

Support Double or ReDouble after [1m – P – 1M – X ?*]

New Minor Force bids let responder “ask” opener if he has 3 of her major suit because she has 5 and 10+ HCP. Support Doubles and Redoubles let opener “tell” responder without being asked. Opener does that by Doubling or Redoubling if 4th seat interferes: [1♣ - P - 1♠ - 2♦ Dbl*…] or [1♣ - P - 1♠ - Dbl ReDbl*…]. Both alerted.
A Double or a ReDouble show exactly 3 Spades: with 4 Spades, openerwould raise, of course. Lacking 3 Spades, he will pass or bid anything else. This is a way to enforce our reluctance to raise responder with just 3 trump: a poor, ambiguousthing to do.
(A Partnership Agreement – “any raise guarantees 8+ pieces”, so don’t raise a 1-level response of a major with just 3 trump.)

Jordan 2NT & ReDouble LIMIT RAISES after a double of a major. [1♠ - Dbl…]

If responder has a Limit Raise after partner opens in a major that is not doubled, we have a couple of ways to show it: a direct raise to 3 with 4 trumps, [1♠ - P - 3♠ ...] or a forcing1NT first, then a raise to 3 with 3 trumps. [1♠ - P - 1NT# - P 2x - P - 3♠ ...]

We also have direct ways to show Limit Raises over doubled major openers:
With 4 trump and 9 – 11+ points, bid 2NT* (The Jordan Convention – NOT Jacoby 2NT). [1♠ -Dbl – 2NT* …]. With the same dummy strength hand but only 3 trump, ReDouble instead: [1♠ -Dbl - ReDbl* …]. Both are alerted as “a Limit Raise”.

CATEGORY: Interference by opponents over our 2♣ opening.

Response after interference over OUR 2♣ opening.

If opponents bid anythingover partner’s 2♣opening, use “Double Denies”: i.e.,
aDouble denies any Ace or King and a Pass shows an Ace or King(s) bid.
[2♣ - 2♠ - Dbl* ...] “No Ace or King”. [2♣ - 2♠ - P* …] “I have an Ace or King(s)”
A D0P1 Partnership Agreement.

CATEGORY: Other Conventions

CBLR – Cue Bid Limit Raise - with or without guarantee of trump support

A Cue Bid can be several things, one of which is a bid of opponent’s bid suit to show Limit Raise support, meaning 3+ trump and 9 – 11+ dummy points. Not alerted.
[1♠- 2♣ - 3♣ …] 3♣ here is a Limit Raise+ in Spades.

[1♣ - 1♠ - P - 2♣…] This is a Cue Bid Limit Raiseafter a Spade overcall. Some play that CBLR’s by advancer (4th seat) like this don’t guarantee trump support after an overcall – just 10+HCP. The trump guarantee is easier to incorporate into your bidding portfolio, so start with it for quite a while: Recommended.



TONT – Transfers Over opponents’ 1NTopening.

A 6-card suit occurs 3 times as often as a 5 – 5 shaped hand, statistically. TONT emphasizes competing with 6-card suits, and some 5 – 5 combinations as well. (Hamilton can do 6-card suits too, but awkwardly.)

Using TONT, any suit bid at the 2-level is a transfer to the next higher suit:

[1NT - 2♣ to 2♦; 2♦ to 2♥; 2♥ to 2♠ and 2♠ to 3♣. Notice the big advantage of TONT over Hamilton: the hand with the known long suit is on the table – it’s the dummy. The hidden hand (declarer) is the hand it should be – the partner of the long-suited hand. It’s the opposite of Hamilton, where the long-suit hand is always the declarer: not good.

Additional TONT bids: a Double of a 1NT opening by a TONT bidder shows both majors: not an “equal hand”as most conventions do. [1NT – Dbl* …] But when is the last time you actually played a [1NT – Dbl …] contract? You may never see another one played: everyone nowdays has escapes with transfers, etc.

And, as usual, a 2NT bid shows both minors. [1NT – 2NT …] Not alerted.

TONT can be played in both Direct and Passout seats or only in Direct seat; a Partnership Choice: [1NT - 2♠# …] or [1NT – P – P - 2♠# …]. If not played in Passout, then Double for both majors and 2NT for minors should still be played; suit bids are natural 6+ card suits. [1NT - P - P - 2♠ …] To play. [1NT - P - P - 2NT …] Minors.

TONT can do two 5 card suits, too, and again the right hand is the dummy. On the first round, transfer partner to the higher ranking of your two suits: [1NT - 2♥# …]
On the 2nd round, bid the lower ranking one: [1NT - 2♥# - P – 2♠ P - 3♣…]

Partner than passes 3♣ or chooses 3♠. The contract is at the 3-level, the same as with Hamilton, but 50% of the time, the TONT hand is the dummy- with the5 – 5 shape - and the the hidden handis declarer, as it should be.

Strength? A typical competitive bidding answer, but considering that most of your opponents will have opened with 15 – 17 HCP, game your way will be quite rare.

Not Vul, 8 to 10+ HCP? Vul 10 to 12+ HCP? These are about the same answers for any 2+ level competitive bid: a Partnership Choice, but TONT hands are shapely.

CATEGORY: Conventional 2- Level Openings

Mini -Roman 2♦ Opening - a 3-suited hand opener – not a preempt.

Ever tried to accurately bid a hand with 3 suits and 11 HCP? Tough, Eh?

Enter Mini-Roman 2♦* openings. They are 11 – 15 HCP, with a 4-4-4-1 or 4-4-5 shape, but no 5-card major. You would open hand1♥ or 1♠.
With the above shape and count, open 2♦* (Alerted). It’s then up to partner to find the best contract. Partner is either weak or invitational or game-going in strength as in any bidding system.

Weak Responder: If responder directly bids a suit in response to your 2♦* opening, he is trying to bail out as low as possible. (With 6+ Diamonds, he can even pass 2♦). If you, the 2♦* opener, have his suit, pass. If you don’t have it, bid the next highest suit, whichyou do have. If he can live with that suit, he will pass. If he can’t, he knows which 3 suits you have, so he will pick the longest fit there is at the lowest possible level. It’s even possible for him to pick a 4 – 3 fit at the 2- level, not going to the
3-level. [2♦* - P - 2♥ - P 2♠ - P - P - 3♦ …]Opener doesn’t have 4 Hearts, so bids 2♠. Responder can’t stand that, so goes to the known fit in Diamonds, but he could pass 2♠ with 3 of them. [2♦* - P - 2♥ - P 2♠ - P - P…]

Strong Responder: a game-going or Invitational strength responder will respond 2NT* as an artificial inquiry about opener’s shape. [2♦ - P - 2NT* …], Opener then tells responder where her shortage is: [2♦* - P - 2NT* - P 3♦* - P …] Short in Diamonds,
but with both majors. Responder can then bid game or 3NT, or bid 3♥ or 3♠ to invite game. [2♦* - P - 2NT* - P 3♦* - P - 4♠ - …] or [2♦*- P- 2NT*- P 3♦* - P - 3♥ - …]
A minimum HCP opener will pass an invitation, and a strong one will go to game.

Many users of Mini-Roman 2♦* guarantee that one of the 3 suits is Spades. This is OK, as it may keep the bidding from getting too high, butit takes away 1 / 4 of the possible 2♦*openings. Maybe guarantee Spades until you’recomfortable with Mini Roman, then try it a few times when you don’t have 4 Spades? A good choice.

Flannery 2♥ Opening - A Spades and Hearts hand

A 2♥ opening can be a Flannery bid: it shows exactly 4 Spades and 5 Hearts and
11 to 15 HCP. The original Flannery opening was a 2♦ bid, but we now use 2♦* for Mini Roman, so we have moved Flannery to 2♥. It can be passed with a Heart fit, as it is a real Heart opening.

Modern Flannery is a variation that youshouldplay: 2♥* shows 5 or 6 Hearts, 4 Spades and 11 to 15 HCP. This is an occasional hand that keeps the Flannery 2♥* bid alive.Remember, you can’t open a Weak 2♥ with 6 Hearts, playing Flannery.

Responses: A responder with a 4+ Spade fit or a 2 or 3+ Heart fit can place the contract immediately: pass 2♥ or bid 2♠ with a weak hand or raise one with an invitational hand. [2♥* - P - 3♠ …] or Game or bid 3NT if that’s right. [2♥ - P - 3NT…]

But maybe slam is a possibility? How can you find out if opener has 5 or 6 Hearts and has 11 or 15 HCP? As usual, a 2NT* response is the answer: [2♥* - P - 2NT* …]

Flannery rebids after 2NT* are sophisticatedas they show both shape (5 or 6 Hearts) andopener’sHCP range. There are 4 pre-defined rebids after a 2NT* inquiry:

[2♥* – P – 2NT* - P ?

  1. 3♣* is min – min: 5 Hearts and 11 to 13 HCP.
  2. 3♦* is min – max: 5 Hearts and 13 to 15 HCP.
  3. 3♥* is max – min: 6 Hearts and 11 to 13 HCP, and
  4. 3♠* is max – max: 6 Hearts and 13 to 15 HCP

After one of these rebids, the 2NT* responder can place the contract confidently:

[2♥* – P – 2NT* - P 3♣* - P - 3♥ …] [2♥* – P – 2NT* - P 3♠* - P - 4NT (1430) …]

CATEGORY: Multi-Suit Cue Bids

Michaels: [1♣ - 2♣ …] or [1♥ - 2♥ …]

A Michaels Direct Cue Bidis a direct cue bid ofopponent’s opening bid. There’s 2 different meanings, but it always shows a 5 – 5 hand.

  1. A cue bid of either minor shows both majors: [1♦ - 2♦ …] No alert.

Partner then picks her better major: [1♦ - 2♦ - P - 3♥ …] An invite.

  1. A cue bid of a major show the other major and an unknown minor:

[1♥ - 2♥ - P - 2♠ …] A minimum response with 3+ Spades.

[1♥ - 2♥ - P - 4♠ …] A good hand and good Spades? Preemptive?

  1. If responder can’t stand the other major, she can ask “What’s your minor, partner?” How? No surprise: bid 2NT*, asmany conventions do.

[1♥ - 2♥ - P – 2NT* P - 3♣ …] Clubs is the 2nd 5-card suit.

Strength? not Vul, 8 to 10+ HCP? Vul 10 to 12+ HCP? These are about the
same answers for any 2+ level competitive bid: a Partnership Choice.

Unusual 2NT: [1x – 2NT …] A 5 – 5,lower 2 suits overcall

There’s not much to say about the Unusual 2NT Overcall: it’s the same wherever it’s used: meaning the 2 lower unbid suits; not always both minors.

[1NT – 2NT …] Minors. [1♣ - 2NT …] Diamonds and Hearts.

Strength? Not Vul, 8 to 10+ HCP? Vul; 10 to 12+ HCP? These are about the same
answersfor any 2+ level competitive bid: a Partnership Choice.

Tops & Bottoms: A better multi-suited Direct Cue Bid. [1♥ - 2♥ …]

It looks like a Michaels bid, but it shows a different combination of two 5-card
suits; specifically,the top and bottom unbid suits. [1♥ - 2♥ …] Spades Clubs.Unlike Michaels, responder knows immediately which of the two suits to choose from: no going through the 2NT* “Ask” routine.

If the bidder wants to show two suits that are not Tops and Bottoms, can she bid the higher oneon round one and the other one later?
[1♣ - 1♠ - P - 1NT P - 2♦…] But these are the Top and Bottom suits!
[1♦ - 1♠ - P - 1NT P - 2♣…] And so are these two!
[1♥- 1♠ - P - 1NT P - 2♣…] And so are these two!
[1♥- 2♦ - P - 2♠ P - 3♣…] But these are the two lower suits: bid 2NT, not 2♦!
[1♣- 1♠ - P - 2♣ P - 2♥…] Finally: a 2 round sequence that shows the 2 tops.

Seems like there should be an easier way to show the Top Two unbid suits, like
2NT shows the lowertwo unbid suits. (Michaels shows only both majors. [1♣ - 2♣])
There is a direct way using Tops and Bottoms: it’s a jump bid to 3♣*, called Tops & Tops – showing the top 2 unbid suits.

[1♦ - 3♣* ...] Majors.
[1♣ - 3♣* …]Majors.
[1♥ - 3♣* …] Spades & Diamonds.

And 4th seat knows whichtwo suits are shown without going through a 2NT* “Ask” sequence, and declares at the 3-level, just like Michaels.

As 4th seat becomes the Declarer, it’s always a good thing with 5 – 5 shown in any two
suits. These shapely handsshould be the dummy; not the Declarer, as we’ve
seen before. Defenders know what suits are held; why show them any more?

Strength? Not Vul, 8 to 10+ HCP? Vul 10 to 12+ HCP? These are about the
same answersfor any 2+ level competitive bid: a Partnership Choice.

CATEGORY: Other Conventions

DRURY – a weak 3rd or 4th hand major suit opening: [P – P - 1♠ …]

Opening a 1-level major in 3rd seat can be played as Drury. It is a way to get into an auction where the opponents – specifically 4th seat– clearly havemost of the HCP.
Drury hands can be as weak as 8 HCP with a chunky major. Usually they are only played in 3rd seat, although they can be played in 4th seat.

[P - P - ??? …] If you have 8 or so HCP, where’s all the HCP? – in 4th seat, of course. But if you get a major suit bid in first, you take away a LOT of bidding choices from
4th seat: she can’t open a minor or 2♣; she may not be ableto bid1NT or double without the right shape, etc., etc. She might have no appropriate bid at all.

Responses to possible Drury hands:(“Possible” because a 3rd seat could have an 18 HCP hand. Responder doesn’t know on her first bid, so it’s not alerted.)

If 4th hand passes, responder (the passed-hand dealer) responses are artificial if
she can Limit Raise the major suit or natural to bid 1NT or a simple raise or Pass.

[P – P - 1♠ - P ???]
DRURY BIDS (All alerted) NO Negative Doubles are allowed.

[P – P - 1♠ - P 2♣* . . . ] 3 Spades; limit raise strength (9 – 11)
[P – P - 1♠ - P 2♦* . . . ] 4 Spades; limit raise strength (9 – 11)
If 4th hand bids too high, Dbl* shows eithera 3- or 4-card Limit Raise:
[P - P - 1♠ - 2♥ Dbl* …] A Limit Raise of Spades.

If 4th hand bids what 1st seat was going to bid, a Stolen Bid Double is used:

[P - P - 1♠ - 2♦ Dbl* …] A 4-piece Limit Raise, as a 2♦* responsewould be.

If 4th hand Doubles, ignore it:

[P - P - 1♠ - Dbl …] 1NT, 2♠, 2♣*, 2♦* or Pass
The Drury 3rd seat player sets the contract. A minimum rebid shows an 8 HCP hand. A raise shows a real opening hand, and a game bid is a strong hand.