Gambling 3nt

Should a gambling 3nt opening be alerted?

Comments

  • I would say yes - this bid does not mean balanced hand with game values, but rather a long solid minor. So this is a conventional bid and by definition is within the 1st round of bidding and up to and including 3NT - so by all accounts, yes, alert is needed.

  • Most definitely alerted. The bid isn't saying, "I think I can make 9 tricks in NT", nor is it saying, "I have a huge, balanced hand". It's saying "I have a long, solid minor, partner. Work out where we should be".

  • Definitely alertable, although it might be difficult to persuade me that an experienced opponent was damaged by a lack of alert :)

  • Certainly in the UK - where Acol is the default system. In the USA (or bridgebase to be precise) 3NT indicates 27/28 points.

    However suppose you have the auction

    1D : 1H: 3NT where 3NT is often based on a running minor rather than 18-19 balanced. Should that be alerted as well?

  • However, that isn't then a Gambling 3NT, weejonnie, at least not as we understand it.

    With one partner, I play that 1D-1H-3NT shows a big hand with hearts support and no splinter, which should be alerted.

  • Isn't it a gambling 3NT - you are gambling that the suit will run and you haven't 5+ losers elsewhere - Since opponents might be expecting a stronger hand (and thus fail to compete) then it has a potentially unexpected meaning - and hence alertable.

  • It may be "a gambling 3NT" but its not "the gamblng 3NT".
    A 3NT rebid based on a long suit is much more likely to be left in and much more likely to make.

  • The rebid is to play. It will generally only be taken out into responder's long major and/or in search of a slam. I see no reason for an alert.

    The opening is not to play. It is "to play if responder has a nice lot of stuff in the other suits"

  • A team mate of mine had the auction 1C 1H 3NT all pass. The 3NT was alerted and explained as usually having a long solid or nearly solid minor (2NT would have been 18-19). The opening leader was rather disconcerted when he discovered that the opener had 7 diamonds for the 1C opening!
    A Gambling 3NT opener is clearly alerted as already said. I would always alert 1x 1y 3NT if it showed a hand with a long running or near running suit. Why? Because I know something my opponents may not and to me they are entitled to know so I tell them.

  • @Jeremy69 said:
    A Gambling 3NT opener is clearly alerted as already said. I would always alert 1x 1y 3NT if it showed a hand with a long running or near running suit. Why? Because I know something my opponents may not and to me they are entitled to know so I tell them.

    The problem with this is that it conflicts with the alerting rules and leads to over-alerting. In most sequences you know something the opponents may not and are entitled to know. If you go down that path you would get the following natural Acol sequence:

    1C alerted "we open 1C with 4Ds and 4Cs unless the clubs are very poor"
    1H alerted "we sometimes skip over a diamond suit but not always
    1NT alerted "occasionally we have a singleton heart"
    2NT alerted “we have a weaker game try as well (Crowhurst)"
    3NT no alert!

    The actual rule says
    4B Basic alerting rules
    4B1 Passes and bids

    Unless it is announceable (see 4D, 4E, 4F and 4G), a pass or bid must be alerted if it:
    (a) is not natural;
    (b) or is natural but has a potentially unexpected meaning.

    This is rather tighter (deliberately) than something they may not know. It means something they are unlikely to know. All the above meanings in the sequence I constructed are perfectly normal so a pair needs to ask if it needs to know. But if it is something off the wall, such as 1NT in the sequence above often having a void heart, that is potentially unexpected and alertable.

    So back to 1X 1Y 3NT showing an unbalanced hand with a long suit: is it alertable? I am sure it is for two reasons:

    1) I do not think it is natural for the same reason a Gambling 3NT opening is not natural: it is known to be severely unbalanced.

    2) If you convince me it is natural then the use as an unbalanced hand is not common enough yet for the average player to consider it, so it is potentially unexpected.

  • I see we are all agreed on both a 3NT opening and this 3NT rebid.

    But in the auction 1C-1H-1NT-2NT, if I had two ways of inviting with 2NT and one was stronger than the other, I certainly think 2NT should be alerted.

  • @Frances said:
    I see we are all agreed on both a 3NT opening and this 3NT rebid.

    But in the auction 1C-1H-1NT-2NT, if I had two ways of inviting with 2NT and one was stronger than the other, I certainly think 2NT should be alerted.

    That is interesting because I don’t. I think this will over-complicate matters because I cannot believe it will affect the opponents' bidding. However if they ask questions then I always proffer the information. If they are not interested in what 1N shows then I do not see the need to explain 2N.

  • It's very common to play that after an opening 1NT, both 2!s and 2NT are available as invites (typically with 2NT stronger). 2!s is of course alerted, but most people don't alert 2NT in this situation (after all, it's non-forcing and shows willingness to play in no-trumps).

    I don't see how the 1!c, 1!h; 1NT, 2NT example is any different. If 2NT is a balanced invite, then it's natural. The fact that another balanced invite may be available doesn't change that unless the division of duties between 2NT and the other possibility is really weird (e.g. I'd probably alert 2NT if it invites partner to bid game with a diamond stop and pass without, because although that's a balanced invite, it's not the sort of invite most people would be expecting).

  • It all comes down to degree of difference doesn't it? In 99%+ of the time there is probably going to be no damage anyway - but sooner or later someone will hold a hand where they might have taken action if they knew that the opponent's hand was potentially weaker (A weak invitational raise, as opposed to a strong one). e.g. doubling the final contract.

    I play 1!s - 2!s as a weak pre-emptive raise, rather than traditionally 6-9 points. Should I alert it? It is natural. In practice I do since I know something my opponents do not and it has a 'potentially unexpected meaning'. Although I think 'potentially unexpected' should indicate 'potentially unexpected given the constraints of the basic bidding sysem'. If I play Acol - then many bids are defined ipso facto - and Acol (in this country) is probably 'General Bridge Knowledge'.

  • @bluejak said:

    So back to 1X 1Y 3NT showing an unbalanced hand with a long suit: is it alertable? I am sure it is for two reasons:

    1) I do not think it is natural for the same reason a Gambling 3NT opening is not natural: it is known to be severely unbalanced.

    2) If you convince me it is natural then the use as an unbalanced hand is not common enough yet for the average player to consider it, so it is potentially unexpected.

    I didn't notice a reference to "unbalanced" in weejonnie's 22 March post which brought up the question of the rebid. When I said I didn't think the rebid was alertable, I was assuming that the hand-type was the relatively common:
    Good, long suit originally opened.
    Semi-balanced or perhaps short in responder's suit.
    Probably one unbid suit stopped and at least a partial stopper in the other.
    Fewer points than a 2NT rebid.

    If it is known to be severely unbalanced, then of course bluejak is right on both counts, but I don't think that was the hand type weejonnie had in mind.

  • @bluejak said:

    @Frances said:
    I see we are all agreed on both a 3NT opening and this 3NT rebid.

    But in the auction 1C-1H-1NT-2NT, if I had two ways of inviting with 2NT and one was stronger than the other, I certainly think 2NT should be alerted.

    That is interesting because I don’t. I think this will over-complicate matters because I cannot believe it will affect the opponents' bidding. However if they ask questions then I always proffer the information. If they are not interested in what 1N shows then I do not see the need to explain 2N.

    I prefer bluejak's view here.

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