Examples NT response

Partner has opened one of a suit, which you cannot support, nor do you have a suitable alternative suit. Since you have a balanced hand a No Trump response could be your answer.

1] With 14 points North opens with his only biddable suit, 1. South has a perfect balanced hand but little support for the minor suit. He bids 1NT to show 6-9 points and no biddable suit.

♠ A 7
K 8 2
A K 7 4
♣ 8 6 3 2

♠ A 6 3
Q 8 5
7 5 4 2
♣ Q J 9


The partnership cannot have more than a combined 23 points. North raises to 2NT on his rebid to stop below Game.

2] In the next hand, North again has 14 points, and bids 1♠, correctly showing his longer suit. He plans to bid s for his promised rebid. South responds 1NT to show 6-9 points and no support for trumps. If he had a 5-card minor he might have shown this suit instead (and in a suit response he can add an extra point for his doubleton).

♠ K Q 9 6 3
K Q 7 5
A 9
♣ 6 4

♠ J 8 2
9 4
K Q 7 2
♣ K 8 6 4


North now shows his other suit, with a bid of 2s. South correctly interprets that North is not keen for a No Trump contract (he must have two doubletons, based on him showing two major suits). So South puts his partner back to his original suit with a response of 2♠s. North will no bid, having established insufficient combined points to consider Game.

Remember, there is no point raising to 3♠s, because it is not enough for Game. Better to clinch a 2♠ contract than risk an undertrick and lose a potential 60 below the line. It is important to understand the signals during the auction. Unless you have a strong chance of making Game on one deal (requiring a 3NT, 4-major, or 5-minor contract) you may as well stop at the two level. Whether you make eight tricks or nine tricks in a major contract is immaterial, so long as you get points below the line. Either way you will only reach Game with a second deal. When the signals are clear you do not have enough combined points for Game sign off as soon as possible.

South will Pass.

In this chapter we have dealt with a response to the single suit opener at below Game level. Responses by partners with stronger hands are discussed in Chapter Ten.

Response to one suit opener – summary for a raise or negative bid
NorthSouth responds as follows:
Opening bidRaiseNegative bidRaiseNegative bidRaiseNegative bid
Raise any suit to the 2 level
1NT 6-910-12 raise any suit to the 3 level2NT
13-15 raise any suit to the 4 level3NT
11NT 7-9
1♣1NT 8-10

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To continue reading go to: Takeout response

By Nigel Benetton – based on the UK Acol Bridge Bidding System
Last updated: Monday, 12 April 2021