This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

When is 4NT Quantitative?

I received a question today asking for some rules of when 4NT should be 
Quantitative (non-forcing slam invite) or not.

Here's my reply:

One should start with these basic rules:

4NT is always quantitative directly over any NT
4C is always Gerber directly over any NT
4NT is always ace/keycards asking if not over NT, and the opponents have not bid at the 4 level at some point
4NT is takeout if over 4 of a major by the opponents
4NT is to play if over 4 of a minor by the opponents
If the opponents have bid at the 4 level at some point, but are not the last person to make a non-pass, 4NT is natural

Then add in new rules for when 4NT can be quantitative over suit bids

For example:

4NT is quantitative if the 4NT bidder could have easily set trumps, and then asked for aces/keycards

Example: 1NT-4D(transfer);-4H-4NT asks for aces/keycards, and thus 1NT-2D(transfer);-2H-4NT is quantitative

a subset of this rule:

4NT is quantitative if there is a bid that shows a game forcing hand/slam try in the last suit, and it is forcing.  Thus if 1NT-2C;-2H-3S would be an artificial slam try in Hs, 4NT instead of 3S would be quantitative.

Only put these detailed types of rules in if you are playing at top levels - not required for clubs and small tourneys.

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Memphis mojo comments:

If it goes:

3C dbl pass 4NT,

what does 4NT mean given your rules?


By my simple rules, it is ace/keycards asking, however you define it for your partnership with no suit agreement.

Here this is another case where a partnership can implement a detailed rule, such as:

When opponents have opened a preempt, a bid of 4NT by opener or responder is natural, if neither player has cuebid, and there is no suit agreement.

Then 3C-Double-Pass-4NT would be natural, a hand too good to just bid 3NT, non-forcing but having slam interest.


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