RESPONDING TO 1NT
SAYC by Ned Downey

HAND EVALUATION: Responding hands containing long suits should be upgraded, as they contain more trick-taking power than flat holdings. Add one point for the fifth card in any suit longer than four cards, and at least one more for the sixth, seventh, etc.

2C is non-forcing Stayman
the partnership is not committed to game. Stayman normally requires at least invitational values of 8+ HCP. However, Stayman may be used when responder is much weaker, in hopes of securing a better contract. In those instances, responder is willing to pass any response by opener (e.g. responder holds 4-4-4-1 distribution). Stayman is employed with all hands containing one four-card major, two four-card majors or one four-card major and one five-card major. Exception: holding 4-3-3-3 or 3-4-3-3 distribution, responder will usually pass or raise to the appropriate level of notrump because the hand is flat and appears to lack ruffing values.

In response to Stayman, opener shows a four-card or longer major suit if he holds one. With four cards in both majors, opener bids hearts first. Thus if the bidding goes 1NT - 2C - 2H - 3NT and opener holds four spades as well as four hearts, he will now convert 3NT to 4S. With no four-card major, opener bids 2D
Assuming responder has bid Stayman with invitational values or better:

Continuations when opener rebids 2H:

  • Holding four or more hearts, responder raises to 3H (invitational) or bids game in hearts. If the former, opener will raise to game with suitable values.
  • Holding four spades but less than four hearts, responder bids 3NT or 2NT (invitational). Opener may correct to spadeswhen holding four cards in both majorsand will raise to game in either denomination with suitable values.
  • Holding five spades and four hearts, responder rebids 2S with invitational values and 3S with game forcing values.
    • A minor suit rebid shows at least five cards in the bid minor and slam interest [e.g. 1NT 2C 2H 3C/3D].

Continuations when opener rebids 2S:

  • Holding four or more spades, responder raises to 3S (invitational) or bids game in spades. If the former, opener will raise to game with suitable values.
  • Holding four spades and five hearts, responder may rebid 3H with game forcing values.
  • A minor suit rebid shows at least five cards in the bid minor and slam interest [e.g. 1NT 2C 2S 3C/3D].

Continuations after a 2D rebid:

  • Holding 5-4 in the majors, responder bids the five-card suit at the two level with invitational values and at the three level with game forcing values. Opener corrects to notrump if appropriate and will raise an invitation to game when holding suitable values.
  • When not holding 5-4 in the major suits, responder will bid 2NT with invitational values or 3NT with game forcing values.
  • A minor suit rebid shows at least five cards in the bid minor and slam interest [e.g. 1NT 2C 2D 3C/3D].

2D and 2H are Jacoby Transfer Bids.
2D transfers partner to 2H. 2H transfers partner to 2S. Transfer bids are made on all hands containing a five-card, or longer, major suit except as noted above (see Stayman) for 5-4 major suit holdings. When opener holds four-card support and 17 HCP he is permitted to accept the transfer by jumping to the three level. When responder holds a long major suit, it is appropriate to transfer with no strength, planning to pass when partner accepts the transfer.

  • Continuations:

Except as noted below, a new suit by responder is natural and game forcing.

Holding a five-card suit and invitational values, rebid 2NT. Opener will pass, correct to three of the major, bid 3NT or bid 4 of the major suit.

Holding a five-card suit and game forcing values, rebid 3NT. Opener will pass or correct to 4 of the major.

Holding a six-card or longer suit, raise to the three level when invitational and the four level when holding game values.

Holding 5-5 in the majors: With invitational values, transfer to hearts and then rebid 2S. With game forcing values, transfer to spades and then bid 3H.

2S is a puppet to 3C. Responder holds a long minor and a weak hand. Responder passes when holding clubs. Responder corrects to 3D when holding a long diamond suit.

2NT is invitational to 3NT.

3C and 3D are invitational to 3NT. Responder shows a six-card suit or longer and normally will hold 2 of the top 3 honors in the suit. Opener passes or bids 3NT depending on his holding in the minor.

3H and 3S show a six-card suit or longer and slam interest.

4C is Gerber. 4C is also Gerber over a 2NT opening bid and over any rebid of 1NT or 2NT by opener.

4NT is a quantitative raise inviting partner to 6NT when partner opened a maximum. 4NT is also quantitative over a 2NT opening bid and over any rebid of 1NT or 2NT by opener.