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12-14 pt NT 2/1 ACBL

#41 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2011-August-17, 06:01

View PostGerben42, on 2011-July-06, 16:13, said:

I think 12-14 NT and 5-card majors are a strong combination. The reason is that in this case, a 1m opening bid either shows 15+ or a real suit (5 cards or 4441). This is a powerful inference.

What is so powerful about this compared to what strong notrumper's infere:

1m opening either shows 12-14 or 18+ or a real suit (5 cards or 4441)

Rainer Herrmann
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#42 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2011-August-17, 08:11

View Postrhm, on 2011-August-17, 06:01, said:

What is so powerful about this compared to what strong notrumper's infere:

1m opening either shows 12-14 or 18+ or a real suit (5 cards or 4441)

Rainer Herrmann


If you have either some shape or 15+, then you will have a nice surprise one way or the other for partner when your cards come down on the table. When partner competes just to find you had 12 flat, he will be less happy. And so on.
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#43 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2011-August-22, 08:02

View Postrhm, on 2011-August-17, 06:01, said:

What is so powerful about this compared to what strong notrumper's infere:

1m opening either shows 12-14 or 18+ or a real suit (5 cards or 4441)

Rainer Herrmann


The difference is that when the auction becomes competitive, the weak notrumper's partner knows that his partner has either a real suit or extra values for his minor opening. The strong notrumper's partner knows that his partner could have a short suit in a weak notrump hand, so is not able to compete as freely.
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#44 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-20, 14:12

I am joining this thread 10 years late but I think it contains a lot of good discussion and I think we have touched on this in other threads.

I am hearing a number of queries from good players here in NZ who believe you can't play 2/1 with a weak nt.
Has anything changed, or have we learned any more?
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

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#45 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2021-May-20, 18:12

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-20, 14:12, said:

I am hearing a number of queries from good players here in NZ who believe you can't play 2/1 with a weak nt.


What rationale do they give, or do they not give one.

Some very good pairs have had success playing weak nt and 2/1 (or 2/1 GF not 100% of the time but a lot of the time). E.g. Martel-Stansby back in the day when they were still partners.

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#46 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-May-20, 23:22

If you play a natural 5533 system with a 12-14 NT, you might not want the auction
1-2
to be a game force. Since the 1NT response is limited to a modest 9 (opener will pass with 16), playing the 2 response as gf would mean that (9)-10-11-(12) hands would have to make some kind of jump response.

So I think that if you want to play 2/1 with a weak NT, you either
- don't apply the 2/1 principle to the 1 opening
- play the 2 raise as semi-inverted, something like 9-11 with 2+ diamonds
- open 1 with all balanced 15-16 hands without a 5-card major
- play some artificial responses to the 1 opening, maybe reversing 1 and 1NT or something like that
- just accept that the non-1M responses to 1 are a weak spot in the system

As for the responses to the 1M opening, the notrump range doesn't have to matter, as plenty of pairs don't open 1NT with a 5card major anyway.
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#47 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 02:29

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-May-20, 23:22, said:

If you play a natural 5533 system with a 12-14 NT, you might not want the auction
1-2
to be a game force. Since the 1NT response is limited to a modest 9 (opener will pass with 16), playing the 2 response as gf would mean that (9)-10-11-(12) hands would have to make some kind of jump response.

So I think that if you want to play 2/1 with a weak NT, you either
- don't apply the 2/1 principle to the 1 opening
- play the 2 raise as semi-inverted, something like 9-11 with 2+ diamonds
- open 1 with all balanced 15-16 hands without a 5-card major
- play some artificial responses to the 1 opening, maybe reversing 1 and 1NT or something like that
- just accept that the non-1M responses to 1 are a weak spot in the system

As for the responses to the 1M opening, the notrump range doesn't have to matter, as plenty of pairs don't open 1NT with a 5card major anyway.

Hi Helene, thanks. You have given me many good points to consider.
What is a 5533 system, 5 card major and best minor?
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#48 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 03:34

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-21, 02:29, said:

What is a 5533 system, 5 card major and best minor?

Yes, because the 1, 1, 1 and 1 openings promise 5+, 5+, 3+ and 3+ cards, respectively.

Another example is standard 2/1, where 1 can be 3c only if 4=4=3=2.
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#49 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 03:43

I think Scott's approach for handling 1-2 (post #17 in this thread) looks very solid. I imagine 2 is GF unless responder rebids 3 (or some artificial call indicating the weak club-diamond version). Or you could even play that a 2 rebid by opener shows any minimum, so responder can pass.

5533 system is usually either better minor or "open longer minor, with equal length 1 if 3-3, 1 if 4-4 (or longer). Begrudgingly open 1 on 4=4=3=2 (only shape where 1 does not contain 4+)".
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#50 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 08:19

I don't know, I've only played it for 20 years. If it's unworkable, it's less unworkable than my declarer and defence play.

Sure, it's harder to play 1-2 GF, but 20 years ago that would have been surprising to the point of oddity in Strong NT, 2/1 circles (about then, 1-2 had given up the fight and was now GF commonly).

Sure, you have to have agreements about 1m-p-1M-(bid), and they're not as easy as with a strong NT, but they exist.

Sure, 1-1NT(F1) is not as comfortable (as long as you open 1NT with "all" 5M332s in your NT range), but Kaplan Interchange exists where it's legal.

But competitive auctions in general (sure, exceptions, see above) when we open 1m are more comfortable than when they open 1NT (or 1m, for that matter). 1NT is a pretty good preempt, too. Swings and roundabouts.
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#51 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 09:18

View PostStephen Tu, on 2021-May-20, 18:12, said:

What rationale do they give, or do they not give one.

Some very good pairs have had success playing weak nt and 2/1 (or 2/1 GF not 100% of the time but a lot of the time). E.g. Martel-Stansby back in the day when they were still partners.

I haven't had the chance to discuss their rationale, hopefully I will during this teams series we are in.
Searching for your own mistakes is the only way to learn this game. - Fluffy

And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly. - MikeH

SLOW DOWN! This is not a speedball :)
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#52 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-May-21, 16:37

View Postmycroft, on 2021-May-21, 08:19, said:


Sure, 1-1NT(F1) is not as comfortable (as long as you open 1NT with "all" 5M332s in your NT range)

In a way it is more comfortable as responder can safely raise 2m on 4card support. The Flannery hands will have to pass 1nt then.
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#53 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-June-17, 12:58

(I normally play Acol, weak NT)
I would suggest that in pairs, weak NT is better. It gains on frequency, successful doubles are rare. If you mostly play teams, strong NT is better because it needs a lot of small gains to make up for the rare -800. Even in the UK, the top team-of 4 players use strong NT.
As others have said, KS and Flint-Pender used strong NT and 5cM with forcing no-trump response. Personally I'm not a huge fan because I don't like prepared minors, but chacun a son gout and all that.
One other advantage of weak NT - you can forget Smolen!
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#54 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-June-17, 15:26

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-20, 14:12, said:

I am hearing a number of queries from good players here in NZ who believe you can't play 2/1 with a weak nt.

You can (and some pairs do) but I am convinced that 14-16 is significantly better if you want to retain a natural framework.
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#55 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2021-June-17, 17:34

I find it a bit strange that 5-weak has so little following, since it seems to me to be the best combo.

- 5-strong has the dilemma whether to play Walsh or not. And the high frequency of nebulous minor suit openings make the system toothless, and vulnerable to interference. Besides, responder can't safely raise opener's 2m rebid after a forcing 1NT unless they have 5-card support

- 4-strong makes a nonforcing 2NT-rebid after a 2/1 to be 12-14, so we play 2NT with 14+11 but 3NT with 12+12. Yes there are solutions but the cure seems worse than the disease.

- 4-weak makes you play 1M in 4-1 fits when opps can't make game, and you really don't want to hold a 15-17 balanced hand when partner responds 1NT to your 1M opening. And 2/1 auctions become inaccurate because we can have a misfitting combined 21-count so lots of bids have to nonforcing.
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#56 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-June-17, 23:50

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-June-17, 17:34, said:

I find it a bit strange that 5-weak has so little following, since it seems to me to be the best combo.

- 5-strong has the dilemma whether to play Walsh or not. And the high frequency of nebulous minor suit openings make the system toothless, and vulnerable to interference. Besides, responder can't safely raise opener's 2m rebid after a forcing 1NT unless they have 5-card support

- 4-strong makes a nonforcing 2NT-rebid after a 2/1 to be 12-14, so we play 2NT with 14+11 but 3NT with 12+12. Yes there are solutions but the cure seems worse than the disease.

- 4-weak makes you play 1M in 4-1 fits when opps can't make game, and you really don't want to hold a 15-17 balanced hand when partner responds 1NT to your 1M opening. And 2/1 auctions become inaccurate because we can have a misfitting combined 21-count so lots of bids have to nonforcing.

5 strong works well, as far as Im concerned. As with any basic method, one has to spend some time and memory work to bid effectively.

T-Walsh is a powerful method. Bart works reasonably well after 1M 1N 2C, especially if you use both 2D and 2H artificially. Meanwhile, its common to play 1M 1N 2D as 4+, making it ok to raise diamonds on 4 card support.

Also, playing 1C as 2+ and 1D as 4+ makes 1C nebulous but 1D simple.
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#57 User is online   AL78 

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Posted 2021-June-19, 11:02

View Postnullve, on 2021-May-21, 03:34, said:

Yes, because the 1, 1, 1 and 1 openings promise 5+, 5+, 3+ and 3+ cards, respectively.

Another example is standard 2/1, where 1 can be 3c only if 4=4=3=2.


Or as one of my partners plays, 5542. One pair at my club plays 5551.
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#58 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-20, 00:46

View PostAL78, on 2021-June-19, 11:02, said:

Or as one of my partners plays, 5542. One pair at my club plays 5551.

Playing 5cM in Europe, I think 5542 (with occasional 5551) is pretty much standard nowadays. Southern Europe (but not France) basically bypassed 5533 and went straight from 4444 to 5542.
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#59 User is offline   TMorris 

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Posted 2021-June-20, 05:21

View Posthelene_t, on 2021-June-17, 17:34, said:

I find it a bit strange that 5-weak has so little following, since it seems to me to be the best combo.

- 5-strong has the dilemma whether to play Walsh or not. And the high frequency of nebulous minor suit openings make the system toothless, and vulnerable to interference. Besides, responder can't safely raise opener's 2m rebid after a forcing 1NT unless they have 5-card support

- 4-strong makes a nonforcing 2NT-rebid after a 2/1 to be 12-14, so we play 2NT with 14+11 but 3NT with 12+12. Yes there are solutions but the cure seems worse than the disease.

- 4-weak makes you play 1M in 4-1 fits when opps can't make game, and you really don't want to hold a 15-17 balanced hand when partner responds 1NT to your 1M opening. And 2/1 auctions become inaccurate because we can have a misfitting combined 21-count so lots of bids have to nonforcing.


I think you are most likely right. I play 4 and weak but like many in this area nowadays I open the minor with a (4432) hand so am in fact very close to playing 5 and weak. I resisted this for some time but it works ok and being able to raise the monir knowing it is a real suit has some advantages. When one sees a strong & 5 person opening 1nt on a 13 count with a broken 6 card minor one wonders exactly what "disclosure" is really about.
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#60 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-June-20, 15:04

View Postjmcw, on 2011-July-17, 11:06, said:

I play 12-14 with 1 partner of modest bridge ability. (he is uncomfortable with strong)

He insists on rebidding 2NT over a 1NT response with 15/17 and 3NT with 18/19 when a minor OR Major is opened, I do not like this and would hearitly support the other posters who suggest rebidding the better minor over a forcing NT.

Some would say playing a weak NT has the beneficial effect of pre=empting the opponents. I think this is a false claim! It may be true in some cases, but, it is also true that when opening 1 minor with 15/17 points the opponents can just as easily overcall because the hand was NOT opened a strong NT. So a net push IMO

Additionally, I would never agree to play weak NT unless a solid agreement is in place to handle interference. I would reccommend modified SWINE or a DONT variation.


I would expect to raise a 1NT response to 2NT with a 17 -18 count and bid 3NT with 19.

Yes, an agreement on escaping when doubled is useful. Most Acol players use some form of wriggle. (Personally I like escape transfers but they are not theoretically very good). It's also useful to play takeout doubles over opposing overcalls.

As to 5-3-3-2 with the 5 card suit in a major, practice amongst Acol players splits three ways. Some always open 1NT, some only when the suit is poor, soem always open the suit. I'm in the middle group
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