Structure 7G76 Main
by Richard Pavlicek
I never liked the gambling 3 NT and I dont like waiting for 25+ HCP, so I invented my own 3 NT opening. Essentially its an ace-asking bid (forcing) based on a strong one-suiter able to win at least 9 tricks. Suit is usually a major because 3 NT is eliminated as a contract, but it could be a minor with extreme shape unsuitable for notrump.
The bid has no upper bounds. Many hands that would normally be opened 2 are better candidates for 3 NT, especially with a major, provided opener has no doubt that his suit should be the final strain.
An opening bid of 3 NT is forcing, showing any self-sufficient suit with 9+ playing tricks. If suit is a minor, shape is usually extreme since 3 NT is ruled out as a contract. Strength is typically 11-16 HCP but unlimited; many one-suiters usually opened 2 are better opened 3 NT.
|exactly 1 ace, F|
no aces (assumed) or 2 aces, F
7+ cards (strong 6), at most 1 ace, NF
3 aces, F to slam
|strength ask (slam possible)|
asks which ace (responder bids it)
5 5 5
much extra with A
much extra with that ace
Opener then places contract or bids 4 NT to ask which ace.
|4 4 |
|real suit, NF|
strength ask* (slam possible if aceless)
real suit, NF
*3 steps: nothing, something, much
If responder has 2 aces, he must continue by bidding a non-ace suit to pinpoint locations. Opener then signs off without control in that suit, bids slam, or uses the cheapest available other bid as a 3-step strength ask.
analogous for 4 response
|Blackwood (bid major key)|
real suit, NF
|no ace, no likely tricks|
1 ace + defensive strength
*allows stopping in 4 or 4 if opener bids it
analogous for any overcall
5 NT jump
trump stack, penalty
2 aces, F
3 aces, F
*Opener must always compete at 4 level but may elect not to risk 5 level.
|Structure 7G76 Main||Top Three Notrump Opening|
© 2019 Richard Pavlicek