March 27, 2015


After a simple auction of 1NT – 2club (Simple Stayman) – 2diamond (No major) – 4NT, it is clear that this is a quantitative bid, inviting partner to 6NT.

However, what if partner bids 2heart or 2spade showing four of the respective major? Is 4NT still quantitative or is it asking for key cards? It is best to play 4NT as quantitative – otherwise, what else are you supposed to bid with a 16 or 17 count with a balanced hand and no fit for partner’s major?

A 3-minor bid would show a game-forcing hand with 5+minor and 4-other-Major, and 2NT would be invitational to game, you have no other available bids but 4NT. If 1NT – 2club – 2M – 4NT is quantitative, how do you ask for key cards?

The solution is quite simple. Bid 3-of-other-major as an artificial bid to set partner’s major as trumps.

1NT 2club (Simple Stayman)
2heart 3 minor 5+m, 4spade, Game-force
3spade Artificial, sets hearts as trumps
4club/4diamond Splinter
4NT Quantitative
1NT 2club (Simple Stayman)
2spade 3 minor 5+m, 4heart, Game-force
3heart Artificial, sets spades as trumps
4club/4diamond/4heart Splinter
4NT Quantitative

This does give up the ability to bid 3spade as splinter when opener shows four hearts with a 2heart response. You can get more technical if you don’t have any use for a 2spade rebid after 1NT – 2club – 2heart – 2spade. For instance, you can use 2spade as an artificial gameforcing bid (may have balanced hand with support for hearts) so this way, you can keep 3spade as a splinter raise.] With 3-of-other-major as an artificial bid to set partner’s major as trumps, if you want to ask for key cards you start with that bid, then bid 4NT later. This allows the direct 4NT bid over a 2-major response to Stayman to be used as quantitative, as suggested above.