The Forcing Notrump

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1NT Forcing is a cornerstone of the 2/1 (“Two Over One”) bidding system.

By Ana Roth
On 12 November, 2012 At 18:27

Category : Advanced @en, Conventions

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1NT Forcing (aka el NT Forcing Notrump) is a cornerstone of the 2/1 (“Two Over One”) bidding system. After partner opens 1/, a 1NT response shows 6-12 HCP and is a one-round force.

In standard bidding methods, a 1NT response shows 6-10 HCP. Playing 2/1, however, this range must be widened to include the game-invitational 11-12 point hands that are ineligible for a game-forcing 2/1 response. Note that a natural 2NT response is unavailable as well; it is reserved for the Jacoby 2NT convention that shows a game-forcing raise.

Examples of hands that would bid 1NT Forcing in response to 1:

Q52
93
A432
J987
 

 

Balanced, 7 points. A 1NT response in any system.

K98
J5
532
AK986
 

  

With 11 points, this hand is too weak to respond 2 in the 2/1 bidding system.

95
A52
54
T97652
 

    

This one is a matter of partnership discussion. Some players like to stick crummy raises (4-5 points) into 1NT Forcing. In this case, responder plans to rebid hearts at the cheapest level.

K95
A52
K5
JT987

    

1NT Forcing can also be used to show a 3-card limit raise with 10-12 points. In this case, responder plans to jump-raise hearts next.

Opener’s Rebids

Frankly, this area is a weakness of the 2/1 system. A 1/ opening bid may be made on a wide variety of hand patterns between 11-20 points. Opener may not have a descriptive rebid available.

After 1 : 1NT

2

May be as short as two clubs, e.g. 4-5-2-2 shape with insufficient strength to make a2 reverse.

2

May be as short as three diamonds, e.g. 4-5-3-1 or 3-5-3-2 shape.

2

Shows six hearts, may have a four-card side suit.

2

Shows four spades, rarely five if opener is 6-5 in hearts and spades. This is a reverse showing at least 16 points.

2NT

Balanced, 18-19 points. Invites partner to bid 3NT.

 All other bids are natural and/or a matter of conventional agreement.

After 1 : 1NT

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