~Unusual Notrump

This is a great bidding tool if used correctly and with discipline. The 2NT overcall of opponent’s 1-level opener always shows 5/5 or better in the two lowest un-bid suits. There are two point ranges for this bid
~Weak: less than 13 points.
~Strong: 17+ points.
~With 13-16 points, always overcall in one of the suits with the intention of bidding the second suit on another round, if reasonable. Vulnerability is important here. These same point range also apply to Michaels, with the same bidding procedure for the 13-16 point hand.
~If the LHO passes and partner selects one of the suits, the 2NT bidder can show the strong hand by cue-bidding a feature in one of the enemy suits if that can be done at the 3-level.
Opp    You    Opp    Partner
1D        2NT   P          3H
P           3S*    P
*This shows a spade feature. Your 2NT bid showed clubs and hearts; by default, the enemy suits are diamonds and spades. You have accepted hearts as trumps and are showing 17+ points. Any other bid by responder other than 4H would be exploring SLAM. In rare instances, partner may bid 3NT. (NOTE: play that the 2NT bid always shows the two lowest unbid suits; i.e., 1D-2NT shows clubs and hearts.)
*I have 17+ points and am going to make a GAME/SLAM TRY hoping you have 8+ points minimum. I have a feature in spades.

Another sequence
Opp    You    Opp    Partner
1H       2NT    3H      P
P          Dbl     P          4C
All Pass

~The 2NT bid showed clubs and diamonds. Partner’s pass of 3H showed a less than strong fit and point count–the unusual NT bidder will have another chance to bid. The double announced a strong hand. With a weaker hand, you would have passed or bid the cheapest of your 2 suits so partner could make a choice. After the double, partner chose clubs and still avoided game; he’s probably weak with short support for either suit. If the bidding continues, partner should make the next partnership bid, if practical. He may have a trump stack against the opponents. The double shows 17+ points and gives partner the chance to pass if sitting on hearts (THE DOUBLE DEFINITELY IS NOT FOR PENALTY).
~You would not have used the Double to show the strong hand if the opponent had not bid 3H. Partner would have bid one of the two promised suits at some level or could have shown a very strong third suit needing little or no support from partner. Instead of a double to show the extra strength, the 2NT bidder could have bid 4C to give partner a choice of suits and levels; HOWEVER, he would have lost the value of the double should partner be sitting on the opponents.
~Note: Responder does not have the option of passing the 2NT bid except under very unusual circumstances, holding length/strength in both enemy suits and less than 3-card support (or 2-card support with a top-three honor) for either of partner’s suits.
~Use a jump in one of partner’s suits to a level below game as a preemptive bid. Use a jump to game in one of partner’s suits as a closeout, either a game-try or a preemptive raise.
~As responder, use a bid in one of the enemy suits to invite game. Partner (the 2NT bidder) can then bid the cheaper of his two suits to reject game and responder will leave the contract in that suit or bid the other of partner’s two suits to show where his fit is.


One Response to “~Unusual Notrump”

  1. betty bibbings Says:

    south opened 2 hearts west passed north bid 4 hearts east bid 4NT is this the unusual NT or does he think he can make 4NT ?

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