Methods Vs. Notrump

Introduction

 

Everyone seems to have yet another method of bidding over the opponents notrump.  Here are three more that can be used against all types of notrumps and in direct or balanced seat.  DONT NO is a version of DONT and is best used in direct seat against strong notrumps.  CANT is best used in balance seat against all notrumps.  WONT is best used in direct seat against weak or mini notrumps.  If you just want to use one, DONT NO is recommended for general use.  Here is a summary of the three approaches:

 

 

DONT NO

CANT

WONT

Best Use:

Direct vs. Strong NT

Balance vs. All NT

Direct vs. Weak NT

Double

Both majors, any strength, the more HCP held the less shape necessary

Non-distributional 18+ hand or Values and either Cs OR Ds OR 4+ major & 4+ other suit.

Non-distributional 18+ hand or Values and either Cs OR 4+ major & 4+ other suit.

2C

Cs & either another suit or long Cs & extras

Ss and either Cs OR Hs

Ds OR Hs & another limited & distributional

2D

Ds & either another suit or long Ds & extras

Ds & either another suit or long Ds & extras

Hs

2H

Hs

Hs

Ss

2S

Ss

Ss

Ss & a minor, limited & distributional

2NT

Any strong two suiter

Hs & Cs distributional hand or distributional strong hand

Minors, any strength

3X

Preemptive

Preemptive

Preemptive

 

 

DONT NO Vs. Notrump

Overview

 

DONT NO is a method of bidding after the opponents open the bidding with notrump.  It is called DONT NO (“what is that?” – “don’t know” etc.) as it is partly based on the popular DONT method.  It has it roots in the MECKWELL methods used over strong notrump, where double is either both majors or a single minor suit hand.

Use

 

DONT NO can be used against all notrumps, both direct and in balance seat – but if their notrump is relatively weak, the minimum required for each bid goes up a bit.

Details        

Double:  Major(s) 4-4, 5-4, 5-5 etc. general rules: the weaker their notrump the better the hand has to be, and the less distributional the hand the more points necessary.  Can even be 4-3 in majors with a super strong hand needing a bid to make.

 

2C:          Clubs and another OR just clubs with extra values & length

2D:          Diamonds and a major, OR just diamonds or both minors with extra values & length.

2H, 2S:    To play.

2NT:       Big major/minor two suiter hand.

3X:          Preemptive, but the weaker the notrump bid, the better the preempt is.

3NT:       Big hand based on long minor.

4X, 5X:   Preemptive, to play

 

After majors showing double:

Pass:       lead your best major.

Double:  (if they bid), penalty, but if of minor, partner is to pull with weak 5-5.

2m:          pass if at least partial fit, otherwise bid.

2M:         (or cheapest major suit bid) to play.

2NT:       asks for further description.

3m:          forcing, natural.

3M:         GI, good fit.

3NT:       to play based on longer minor, stopper in other minor.

4m:          4C transfers to 4H, 4D transfers to 4S.

4M:         to play.

 

After 2C or 2D, cheapest bid is pass or correct, other bids natural NF, 2NT asks, jump bids natural & F below game.  If opponents bid a suit at any level, double is negative, passable if suit is the other one held, but otherwise overcaller to show hand type, bidding cheapest notrump to show no extra values and highest possible second suit that cannot be bid on current level.

Example: 1NT-2C-2S-Double-Pass – overcaller passes with spades, but bids 2NT with hearts without extras, or 3C with just clubs (thus extras) or 3D with diamonds, or 3H with that suit and extras.

1NT-2C-2H-Double-Pass-2NT would show Ds, since Ss can be bid on two level.

After 2C or 2D, if responder bids 2NT Lebenshol, double by advancer shows interest in overcaller’s second suit.

 

After 2C or 2D, if advancer raises first suit, then overcaller next suit bid is either natural and/or value showing for notrump.

Example: 1NT-2D-Pass-3D-Pass-3S: spades or spade values for notrump.

 

After 2 and 2 overcall is doubled by opponents, advancer:

Redouble is takeout, but overcaller can pass holding only that suit (since extra values/length promised then).

New suits are natural, long.

2NT asks for further description.

 

Over 2NT showing strong two suiter, responder usually bids 3C or 3D best minor.  Now the 2NT bidder bids a major showing that suit and another, or raises the minor bid with both minors.

 

Vs. 2NT and 3NT natural, not gambling:          as over 1NT, but suit quality better.

 

CANT Vs. Notrump

Overview

 

CANT is another method of  Competing After a NoTrump opening bid by the opponents.  It is designed to allow for a value showing double to find penalties and offers plenty of opportunities for the bidder to end up as declarer.

Use

 

While CANT can be used against all notrumps, both direct and in balance seat, it is best used in balance seat against any notrump.

Details        

 

Double:

a)       14+ with a 4+ major and another 4+ suit

b)       18+ any not super distributional

c)       good minor suit and sure entry

 

2C:          Spades and either Hearts or Clubs

2D:          Diamonds and another suit or long diamonds & extras but not appropriate for double

2H, 2S:    Natural

2NT:       Clubs & hearts distributional or any two suiter strong hand

3X:          Preemptive, but the weaker the notrump bid, the better the preempt is.

3NT:       Big hand based on long minor.

4X, 5X:   Preemptive, to play

 

Over Double:

Pass:       We got them (until they run away)

2C:          Waiting but not strong, doubler then passes with clubs, bids 2D with diamonds, bids 2M with 14-18 and 4+ in M, bids 2NT with 18-20, bids 3X with 18+ and a suit.

2D:          Pass or correct. doubler pass with Ds, bids 3C with Cs, and all other bids as over the waiting 2C response

2H, 2S:    Natural, long suit, weak

2NT asks for description:  3C or 3D with minor, 3H or 3S with 14-18 4+ in M, 3NT+ with 18+.

If the opponents bid over the double, the next double by either player is takeout but passable.  Any third or subsequent double is for penalties.  Rule: second double passable takeout, third or later doubles penalty.

 

Over 2C:

Pass:       long clubs or knows this is best spot

2D:          to play in partner's second suit

2H:          transfer to spades

2S:           to play in spades

2NT:       asks: 3C and 3S show Cs & Ss, 3C with weak hand.  3D and 3H show Hs & Ss, 3D with weak hand.

 

These methods are to get the NT bidder on lead, usually more appropriate the weaker the notrump bid – however if memory is a problem alternatively over 2C:

2D:          long diamonds

2H:          to play in partner's second suit

2S:           to play in spades

2NT:       asks.

 

Over 2NT:

3C, 3H:   Choice between Hs and Cs.  Now suit bids show that suit & another with a strong hand.

3D, 3H:   Long suit, constructive but not forcing.

4C: Game invite in Cs.

4H: to play in Hs opposite Hs and Cs.

Other game bids:  to play opposite Hs and Cs.

 

 

Over 2D and higher bids see DONT NO above.

 

 

WONT Vs. Notrump

Overview

 

WONT is another method of bidding after the opponents open the bidding with notrump.  It is called WONT since it is often used after the Weak Opponents Notrump (either the Notrump or the Opponents are weak!).  It is designed to use transfers to get partner as declarer much of the time, and provides a value showing double.

Use

 

While WONT can be used against all notrumps, both direct and in balance seat, it is designed for direct seat against weak and mini notrumps.  The transfer methods are designed to make partner declarer in many circumstances – often the weak or mini notrump hand has to lead away from broken honor combinations so this provides considerable advantage.

Details        

 

Double: Values, and either:

a)       a two or three suiter not super distributional and 14+ HCP

b)       a club one suiter with a decent suit and an entry

c)       18+ any or the hand that has NT usually beat on the lead

 

2C:          Either Diamonds OR Hearts & other and a limited distributional hand

2D:          Hearts, if minimum either one suiter or 4Hs & 6+Cs or 5+Ss

2H:          Spades, if minimum either one suiter or 4Ss & 6+Cs

2S:           Spades and a minor and a limited distributional hand

2NT:       Both minors, any strength

3X:          Preemptive, but the weaker the notrump bid, the better the preempt is.

3NT:       Big hand based on long minor.

4X, 5X:   Preemptive, to play

 

 

Over Double:

Pass:       To play

2C:          Waiting, not strong, doubler now bids:

                Pass:       Club one suiter, less than 18 HCP

2D, 2H:   Transfer to major with 4+ in major, 4+ in another suit, 14-18 HCP.  When less than 3 is held in the major, the transfer is not completed, but instead the bid above the major is made to find the second suit.  So, for example 1NT-Dbl-Pass-2C-Pass-2D(showing Hs)-Pass-2S to play in second suit. 

                2S & higher:          18+, 2NT showing 18-20

 

2D, 2H, 2S:             long suit, weak hand

2NT:       asks, rebids as over 2C response but one level higher (3C show Cs, 3D & 3H transfers, etc.).  All bids but 3C establish a game force.

If the opponents bid over the double, the next double by either player is takeout but passable.  Any third or subsequent double is for penalties.  Rule: second double passable takeout, third or later doubles penalty.

 

Over 2C:

Pass:       rare, long clubs, very weak hand

2D:          not 11+ or great D fit.  Over 2D, 2H shows Hs & other (2S is bid now to play in second suit), while with 6+Ds and a four card major 2S shows 4Ss and 2NT shows 4Hs.

2H:          too good for 2D, wants to play in Hs opposite Hs and other.  If 2C bidder bids again shows Ds & bid suit.

2S:           like 2H but wants to play in the other suit opposite Hs and other.  Now 3C or 3D show Hs and bid minor.  2NT shows Ds and is non-forcing but can be distributional.  3H and higher all show Ds and suit bid.

2NT:       3C shows Ds, while 3D, 3H and 3S all show Hs & other, 3H showing Hs and Ds.  3NT shows Ds and extras, no second suit.  After the 3C rebid showing Ds, 3D is not-forcing but only passed with poor minimum with no second suit.

3C:          long clubs, constructive but not-forcing.

3D:          game invite in Ds, asks partner to bid 3H if Hs and other (then 3S is to play in second suit).

3H:          game invite in Hs, asks partner to pass or bid 4Hs if Hs and other, otherwise bid 3S, 3NT or higher with Ds.

Game bids:             to play in contract bid.

 

Over 2D:

Pass:       rare, long Cs, very weak hand

2H:          to play in Hs if one suiter.  Over 2H:

                2S:           5+Ss, 4Hs, NF.

                2NT:       6+Cs, 4Hs, minimum hand.

                3C, 3D:   5-5 or better with values, NF but constructive.

                3H:          6+Hs, extras.

2S:           natural, long suit, weak hand

2NT:       asks:

3C: long Cs & only 4Hs not strong hand

3D: Ds & 5+Hs, values

3H: 6+Hs, minimum hand

3S: 5+Ss, 4+Hs

3NT: Cs & 5+Hs, values

4 level: natural with values.

3C, 3D:   long suit, constructive but not-forcing

3H:          4+Hs, GI

3S, 4C, 4D:             fit showing for Hs, values in bid suit

Game bids:             to play.

 

Over 2H:

Pass:       rare, long Ds, very weak hand

2S:           to play in Ss if one suiter.  Over 2S:

                2NT:       6+Cs, 4Ss, minimum hand.

                3C, 3D:   5-5 or better with values, NF but constructive.

                3H:          5+S & 4+Hs values, NF but constructive.

                3S:           6+Ss, extras.

2NT:       asks:

3C: long Cs & only 4Ss not strong hand

3D: Ds & 5+Ss, values

3D: Hs & 5+Ss, values

3S: 6+Ss, minimum hand

3NT: Cs & 5+Ss, values

4 level: natural with values.

3C, 3D, 3H:            long suit, constructive but not-forcing

3S:           4+Ss, GI

4C, 4D:   fit showing for Ss, values in bid suit

Game bids:             to play.

 

Over 2S:

Pass:       to play.

2NT:       asks best minor with some game interest, so with good hand 2S bidder can bid 3H to show maximum with Cs and Ss, 3S to show maximum with Ds & Ss.

3C:          to play in partner’s minor, no game interest.

3D, 3H:   long suit, to play.

3S:           game invite in Ss.

4C, 4D:   fit showing with Ss.

Game bids:             to play.

 

Over 2NT:

3C, 3D:   Best minor.  Now major suits show values and/or shortness in other major.

3H, 3S:    Long suit, constructive but not forcing.

4C, 4D: Game invite in minor.

Game bids:             to play.

 

DONT NO Vs. Stayman


When the opponents bid Stayman, the DONT NO structure is recommended:

Double:  Cs & another or long Cs & extras

Other: as playing DONT NO

With both majors, pass first, then bid later if appropriate, so

1NT-Pass-2C-Pass-Any-Pass-Pass-Double shows both majors, values and is often passed.

 

 

 

Vs. Transfers

 

Bidding against transfers will be covered in another section.