Saturday, March 31, 2012

4 suit transfers over 1NT

When I first learned 4way transfers over 1NT, I learned that transferring to a minor and then bidding a new suit (such as 1NT-2S; 3C-3H) shows a 6+ clubs and shortness in hearts. 3H in this auction should not be natural because you would start with stayman to show 6 clubs and 4 hearts. Over a 2S or 2D response to stayman, you could bid 3C, natural and forcing, while implying having a 4 card major, just not one that fits with partner. Why do we need two ways to show game forcing hands with 4-6 shape? I thought this was standard but in the last month, 2 different fairly experienced players I was playing with on different deals expected the auction to show 4-6 shape rather than a 6 card minor and shortness in the other suit. This led to playing bad 3NT contracts.

There is a lot of utility in being able to show shortness after showing your long suit. A lot of the time opener will have something like AQJ in your short suit and just sign off in 3NT, but a significant part of the time, opener will have something like 3 small in the suit and the bid will help get you to a good minor suit slam or get you to game in the other major on a 4-3 fit.

Yes, Sean and I do play that a transfer to 3m followed by 3M shows 4-6 but we also play a version of puppet stayman that pretty much no one else plays, especially over 1NT.

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