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The power of the Unusual Notrump





Some are disciplined, others not


Use caution when the air gets thin

The opposition have their bag of tricks, too


Do you need a minimum bid to make an Unusual Notrump? I was under the impression you needed 10-15?

First, with two-suited overcalls such as the Unusual Notrump, Michaels Cuebid, etc., do not necessarily require a specific point range such as 10-15 points.  However, some partners do have agreements based on ranges for these bids. One popular treatment is to use a "bi-nodal" range, either less than 12 HCP or more than 15 HCP.  They figure with the in-between range of 12-15, the player should bid the higher suit naturally and rebid the lower suit later -- assuming the player still gets the chance on their next bid.  Incidentally, a variation of Unusual Notrump incorporates the Tops and Bottoms Cuebid, promising an "anchored" lower suit - no ambiguity for those players.

However, most players do not have such a point restriction and some even bidding two-suited hands with perhaps only 4 cards in the higher suit.

Most partners would agree not to make a two-suited bid without adequate values and unfavorable vulnerability.  Let's say the bidding goes something like:

P - (1S) - 2N

The Unusual Notrump bidder commits the partnership to the 3 level. When vulnerable and the partnership has a misfit, this could spell certain disaster.  Advanced opponents use counter-conventions such as the Unusual Versus Unusual convention to severely penalize opponents who make unwise bids such as this one.



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