~Why Play 1NT as Forcing?

Partner opens 1H. These hands would qualify for a 1NT response:

1.
S KJ3
H Q2
D T954
C T932
The hand holds 6 HCP and only 2 hearts. A bid is indicated. With 4 spades, this hand would respond 1S; with only 2 hearts, the 2/1 bid is a forcing 1NT. Why forcing? Because opener could hold up to 21 points bit not the shape for a 2C or 2NT opening bid. In addition, computer modeling has shown that playing the hand in a 5-2 fit in a major rather than at 1NT will often produce a better score.

2.
S KJ3
H QT3
D A 952
C QT8
Bid 1NT. After opener re-bids either 2C, or 2D, jump to 3H. This jump in partner’s suit shows invitational values (11-12 total points) and three hearts. With four hearts and invitational values, responder would jumped to 3H on the first response.

Why not just jump to 3H on the first bid? In most cases. 4H will be the final contract, and an initial 3H bid will get you there. However, in some cases, knowing responder has 4-card trump support may be just enough for opener to bid 4H. In a few additional cases, knowing about the fourth trump may be enough for a slam try.

An additional reason to bid this way with only three trumps: the finest bridge players in the United States recommend this 2/1 approach!

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