Slightly Odd 2NT opener

My partner and I are thinking about only opening 2NT if we have a 5 card suit (finding an alternative bid if not). It's still a natural 2NT opening, so according to 4G1 it should be announced. However, opponents have a right to know about the restriction.

To announce it and say "must contain a 5 card suit" is making up our own announcing rules. To announce and alert goes against 4H3a, and to just alert against 4G1.



  • Well over 90% of those playing "bridge" in North Devon do not understand/do not care about/cannot fathom out when/what to announce and when/what to alert. Even TDs with "Distinction" in their Club TD assessments fall foul of the regulations.
    I am looking forward to some advice from Gordon and Robin (as well as answering Jeremy's question above) about how we achieve some sort of return to sanity without alienating those who announce a Benji 2D as "Strong" and announce the response of 2H as "Relay" and think that they are doing right.

  • Jeremy: I suggest announcing the range and "but there's more to say". But I don't suppose opponents really care about the range or the distributional constraints - when has the precise nature of a natural 2NT ever affected whether the opponents will bid. Announcing 2NT was only introduced for uniformity when introducing announcing of transfer responses to 2NT.

    TawVale: There are a number of suggestions for improving announcements to be considered by the Laws & Ethics committee before August this year.
    1. Allow more detail in announcements - whatever you are dying to tell opponents even if the don't ask.
    2. Require announcements for all artificial calls on the first round of the auction (and natural NT opening bids)

  • I suppose you could alert it - "20-22 points with an undisclosed 5-card suit" as per 7C1a rather than 4C1b

    (a) Any meaning or meanings as long as they all show a strong hand (16+ HCP, or 12+ HCP with at least 5 controls), and/or

    (b) A bid of no trumps which is prepared to play there and which conveys no unusual information about strength or suit holdings; it must not be forcing unless a forcing auction has already been created. Note that ostensibly natural no trump bids are permitted to allow a shortage by agreement

  • Never forget that the whole point of alerting and announements is to let the opponents know relevant information about your agreements.

    So either announce as "20-21 with a 5-card suit" or alert and thereby invite the opponents to ask so that you can explain your methods.

  • @JeremyChild said:
    To announce and alert goes against 4H3a, and to just alert against 4G1.

    It might be in contradiction of 4G1, but it seems consistent with 4B1(b) to alert rather than announce. & indeed, 4C1b might suggest that it is NOT in contradiction of 4G1.
    I'd be happy with an appropriate announcement, though.

    @Robin_BarkerTD said:
    when has the precise nature of a natural 2NT ever affected whether the opponents will bid.

    I agree that it is unlikely (though not impossible) that this will affect the auction. But it is important for the opposition to know before play starts.

    I've always wondered about the issue of "need to know", and especially in the case where you are more likely to pass information (UI) to partner than to help the opposition, I would advocate volunteering as little information as necessary during the auction, and then at the end of the auction filling in all the gaps: "Before you lead, you might need to know..."
    But this approach is not supported anywhere in the laws / regulations!

  • The whole bit about people not being able to understand/remember is a myth. 98% fail to follow the procedure because they can't be bothered, disagree with it or very occasionally forget. To give a couple of examples the regulations about alerting doubles date back around 14 years and those about announcements date back nearly as far although there was an update more recently.

    How hard is it, for example, to remember that if you open 2 of a suit then if natural partner announces and if artificial partner alerts? If nothing happens then something is wrong! Similarly with doubles if you are doubling a natural bid suit then x for take out requires you to do nothing and any other reason requires you to alert.
    I don't think any of that is at all difficult (or unreasonable).

    In the case which started this thread I think announcing is sufficient but you also ought to put it on the front of your card in a contrasting colour and/or point it out. If you play in a club where conventions cards are rare then announcing it as 20-21 and guarantees a five card suit is to my mind perfectly acceptable.

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