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A Game Force on 4 Points

I don’t expect that there would be any bidding on this hand until it comes round to West, but that is not a given, especially if you’re playing in a more adventurous session.

Board 17 from Wednesday 13/02/2019
Dealer N Nil Vul

Board#17 13/02/2019

North should certainly pass but East may open with some sort of weak bid to show both majors. Forget that. Then, South might also open with a fairly frisky weak 2D. Again, let’s not go there, let’s just look at how the bidding should go when West opens 2C.

That is a game force bid UNLESS East bids a negative 2D AND West rebids 2NT, which shows a balanced 23-24 point hand. That is what should happen, and when West does bid 2NT in that sequence, East should know that the hand belongs in game but not in No Trumps. It belongs in 4H or 4S, whichever is better. That is easy to decide, because, without transfers, East bids 3S with the intention of bidding 4H if West does not raise spades. West of course raises 3S to game, no need to know about the hearts

However, EW may be playing transfers, which is what many of the more advanced pairs, even at a junior level, now do. East bids 3H as a transfer to spades and if West bids 3S, East now bids 4H, which is NOT saying “I made a mistake partner” but “I have spades and hearts and the contract should be 4S or 4H.” West may look at East’s 3H transfer bid and decide that, no matter how weak East’s hand is, with East having at least five spades to want to transfer to spades, even a Yarborough in East’s hand will probably be enough to make 4S, and West might this time override East and bid 4S the moment East makes the transfer bid of 3H. Replay this board by clicking here.

Important note: It is absolutely vital that you have agreed what you do when you open 2NT as well as 1NT. If playing transfers, they should still apply over a 2NT opener or 2NT rebid after a 2C opening. As should Stayman though some may prefer “Baron” over 2NT.