# NT Range announcement

A book came out a few years ago about a method for evaluating NT hands. Banzai was in the title. A partner and I have adopted Banzai evaluation and this is on our convention card. However it means that sometimes we open 1NT with an 11 or 15 point hand, pass with a 12 point hand and sometimes bid one of a suit on a balanced hand with 14 points even though our stated range is 12-14 points. Someone suggested we should announce it as 11-15 points. On another occasion when we announced it as nominally 12-14 points and explained our upgrade/downgrade method they said that announcing it as nominally 12-14 is not necessary as everyone upgrades/downgrades in one way or another. I always use Banzai to evaluate my NT bids of which most partners aren't aware. In the interests of full disclosure what should we do?

For those interested, Banzai evaluation of balanced hands can be summarised as:
Count Ace as 5 points, King as 4, Queen as 3, Jack as 2 and 10 as 1. Holding a 5 card suit add 2 to the total. To make life easier for us we take two thirds of the resulting total to give an equivalent Milton work point count. It may sound complicated but a little practice makes this an automatic and easy calculation - and it works to a large extent. With 10 or 16 points we don't open 1NT even if the Banzai equivalent comes within the 12-14 range.

• edited August 2019

This is just my opinion, but I think you should announce it as 11-15 and say on your convention card that you use a different evaluation method to decide what to open and some 11-15 hands are opened one of a suit.

The reason why I think this is that although 'everyone' upgrades/downgrades one way or another (well actually they don't but most good players do), your upgrades/downgrades will be very different compared to what I would think of as 'standard'.

You are absolutely entitled to use your own method of hand valuation, but most people would not even consider opening a 12-14 1NT with

QJx
Qxxx
QJx
QJx

(which I believe comes to 12 i.e. 2/3 * (43+32) )

and, similarly, neither would they consider opening a 12-14 1NT with

Axx
Axx
AK98x
xx

(which I think is 14 i.e. 2/3 (35+4+2) )

By the way, I'm interested in the fact that your partners 'aren't aware' of your evaluation method. Don't they notice that you open 1NT on hands other people wouldn't?

Would it be OK for me to put on my convention card that my style of opening is to upgrade some 11 and 14 points and downgrade some 12 and 15 point hands using a non-standard method of evaluation since most of my partners don't use Banzai? The problem is partnerships are supposed to have identical convention cards although a player's style can be shown as being different from partner's.

I would have no problem with opening 1NT with the first hand you show. One would expect partner to have 9 or 10 points on average and that would in most cases enable 1NT to be made. On the second hand I would open 1D since Aces are invaluable in suit contracts. I would not respond 1NT to partner's 1H bid (say).

I think partners don't notice my method since most of the time Banzai gives the same result as Milton.

Here's a hand from this year's Surrey Men's pairs where Banzai enabled us to get most of the MPs. You'll need to look it up as copying it across doesn't seem to work. It's board 17 and a pass by me gained most of the match points. Having used it for 6 or 7 years I've found that on balance it seems to give good results. I don't always use it when playing against weaker players.

https://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwom/bw.cgi?pid=display_rank&event=20190407_2&club=surrey

The book on Banzai can be bought on Amazon (and probably other sites). Here's the title.

Better Balanced Bidding: The Banzai Method (MASTER BRIDGE) by David Jackson and Ron Klinger

• edited August 2019

Swap the E and W hands so the finesses make and it's a different story.

I would also likely pass the N hand as I routinely downgrade 4333 hands by a point, unless there are compensating tens.

I too have used Banzai, generally to give a second opinion on borderline hands. The approach I take is to say "upgrade hands with 5 card suits and tens, and downgrade 4333s" which is essentially what Banzai does. I don't think I'm then violating full disclosure, but then banzai ias not my primary hand evaluation method.

Frances's QJx hand would get pass from me, as an 11 count 4333 as not borderline. But make it:
QJT
QJT
QTxx
QJT
...and I'd be getting interested. Opening would likely get a top or bottom, and rarely a middle, so likely a "state of the match" decision. At IMPs I'd pass, but dredge up a 1c in 3rd hand and pass whatever partner bids. I might then get challenged for opening a 3 card minor whilst playing Acol, but I'd hope it's OK to do so.

• I think you are saying that sometimes you use different methods to your partner - and you don't want to say this on your convention card because it's illegal.

Alan

• @16248 said:
I think you are saying that sometimes you use different methods to your partner - and you don't want to say this on your convention card because it's illegal.

Not entirely:

"3 D 3 Members of a partnership may play a different style from each other, for example the strength or suit quality of an opening pre-empts. Any relevant information about style should be explained in answer to a question, and, where appropriate, disclosed on the system card."

• Everyone uses different evaluation methods to their partner's.

• I don't actually play it, but a system I was working on a while ago used different evaluation methods for the low and high end of an NT range! (1NT had a minimum of 16 HCP and also a minimum of six losers, which limited where the top end of the range was.)

It's unclear what the announcement for something like that would look lke.