Polling You #63, Jacoby Transfer to Minor Suit, Part 3

 
Using Jacoby Transfers in the major suits is straight forward enough.  Partner opens 1 Notrump and regardless of the suit quality or strength, we begin by transferring to 2 Hearts or 2 Spades.   Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple when holding a minor suit.

Visitors – Click here to view Part 1 of the video commentary

Is the suit at least 6 cards in length?  Is the hand weak, invitational or slam going?  What about the suit quality – are the honors in the 6+ card suit?  Should we be playing in the minor suit or a Notrump contract?   After opener bids 1 Notrump, when responder makes a transfer bid the bidding level is getting a bit lofty – 3 Clubs or 3 Diamonds.  This, along with the fact that it requires 11 tricks to make a 5 level minor suit contract, requires us to use different bidding strategies when transferring in major and the minor suits.

Okay, if we haven’t scared you away and you’re ready to sink your teeth into minor suit transfers, we have a special treat for you!  Unlike other somewhat dry Bridge instruction that just tells you “what,” our instruction includes statistical percentages to illustrate the odds and benefit of makes transfer or Notrump bids with a variety of hand patterns!   So if nothing else, please tune in to Part 2 and 3 where we “crunch the numbers.” In our commentary we illustrate how to effectively evaluate assorted hand patterns with minor suit length.  We think you’ll be surprised how after partner opens 1 Notrump, certain 13 HCP hands can make a slam contract!

Review: Jacoby Bid/Rebid Strategy

Responder – Jacoby Rebids

  • 1N – 2H Rebids
    2
    S – ?    Less than 8 points – Pass
    With 8 – 9 distribution points…

                 – If 5 Spades, Invite 2 Notrump

                 – If 6 Spades, Invite 3S 

                 With 10-14 distribution points…

                 – If 5 Spades,  Rebid 3 Notrump

                 – If 6 Spades,  Rebid 4S 

Minor Suit Transfers are Different

  • 5+ card major – easy to transfer at same bidding level (2 level)
  • Minor suit transfer must be at 3 level
  • Therefore, transfer to minors requires a 6+ card suit (Opener might hold 2 cards)
  • 29+ points to make a 11 tricks – 5C / 5D
  • 3 Notrump preferred  with 25+ points


Responder Unbalanced/Minor

  • 1N – 2S;  Transfer to minor suit…
    When? Why?
  • 1N – 3C; Invites 3 Notrump with 6 Clubs
  • 1N – 2C;
    2x – 3C/D; Slam try or …? (more later)
  • Unlike 5+ card major with unbalanced hand benefit,
    making 5C / 5D has little benefit from 6-3-3-1 shape (need 6-5-x-x)

Transfer to a Minor Suit

  • 1N – ?
  •      2 Diamonds –>  2 Heart
  •      2 Heart –>  2 Spades
  •      2 Spades –>  3 Clubs                           
  • 1N – 2S;
    3C – P;  Club signoff
1N – 2S;
3C – P
 2
4 3 2
4 3 2
Q J 9 8 3 2
 
   Hand #1  
Club tricks = Percentage
7 = 93 percent
8 = 73 percent
9 = 38 percent
10 = 11 percent
15 – 17 HCP, balanced Notrump Tricks / Percentage
7 = 17 percent
8 = 8 percent
9 = 0 percent

 

1N – 2S;
3C – P

2
4 3 2
4 3 2
K Q 9 8 3 2

Note: signoff with 5 HCP plus 1-2 distribution points.  Lacking Ace, opponents will hold back Club Ace.

 

 Hand #2

 

Club tricks = Percentage

7 = 99 percent
8 = 94 percent
9 = 70 percent

10 = 22 percent

15 – 17 HCP, balanced

Notrump Tricks / Percentage
7 = 64 percent
8 = 38 percent
9 = 12 percent

1N – 3C;
3N – AP;

2
4 3 2
4 3 2
A Q 9 8 3 2

Note: With strength, do not transfer and signoff, instead invite game with 6 HCP plus 2 distribution points

 

 Hand #3

 

Club tricks = Percentage

7 = 100 percent
8 = 98 percent
9 = 73 percent

10 = 44 percent

15 – 17 HCP, balanced

Notrump Tricks / Percentage
7 = 77 percent
8 = 56 percent
9 = 30 percent

 

Minor Transfer or Invite 3 Notrump

  • 6+ card minor suit, 0-5 HCP, Transfer and Pass
    1N – 2S; –>
     3C (Pass or correct to 3D)
  • 6+ card minor suit, 6-7 “good” HCP,
    1N – 3C/3D (Pass or rebid 3N with extras)
  • 6+ card minor suit, 6-7 “good” HCP and outside King or Queen

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Happy Bridge Trails and Tales,

BridgeHands

Comments

  1. Steve Klein says:

    I’m not crazy about the idea of using transfers for rescue with a weak hand and a minor. I’d rather bid 2C, then 3C or 3D over partner’s reply. This has the advantage that if your suit is diamonds and partner doesn’t have a major, you get out at the 2 level. It also lets you use the 2S response to 1NT for something else, like minor-suit Stayman or 4-suit Stayman.

    • BridgeHands says:
      Hi Steve,
      .
      If I understand you correctly, rescue bids are made after a penalty double like this:
      1N – (X) – ?
      In this situation, most play 2C is still Stayman asking opener to bid normally (2H/S up the line, otherwise 2D). This bid is typically made when responder is short in Clubs – the long suit held by RHO who also has 16+ points). However if responder holds 5+ Diamonds, the auction uses SOS redouble as:
      1N – (X) – XX – (P);
      2C – (X) – 2D
      This is a very dangerous auction for opponents to leave in a double, which may be intrepreted as either for takeout, cooperative or penalty. Particularly for those of us who have played weak Notrump opening bids (13-15, 12-14, 11-14, and I’ve also played 10-12), we are quite comforable with various escape sequences including the basic SOS method.
      .
      At any rate, if you’re talking about alternative treatments to transferrring to 3C/D, with 4-5 HCP you probably won’t lose too much by passing 1 Notrump when declarer is a good player. As we’ve demonstrated in our statistical analysis, it’s the weaker responder hands where the partnership clearly profits by transferring to a 6+ card minor suit.
      .
      Finally, four suit transfers do indeed have several advantages including having the stronger hand play, supporting “pre-acceptance” support bids when 1 Notrump opener has extras, etc. Yet methods like this and Minor Suit Stayman are best saved for players with years of playing experience with regular partners.
      .
      Warm Regards, Michael
      • Steve Klein says:

        I guess my use of the word “rescue” confused the issue. I meant “signoff”, like the first hand in today’s poll. Rather than transfer to 3C and pass, I’d bid 2C and rebid 3C. Rescue bidding after 1NT is doubled is a whole separate topic.

        • BridgeHands says:
          Rehi Steve,
          .
          In the auction:
          .
          1N – 2C;
          2x – 3C;
          .
          Indeed, the classic/legacy style was to use this method as a signoff bid, where the modern style is:
          .
          1N – 2S;
          3C
          .
          One of the reasons the newer style is popular is to allow the first style to be used to easily show responder hands with strong interest in slam when holding a long/strong minor suit (forcing to at least game). For instance, responder might hold:
          .
          xxx
          KQ
          xx
          AKQxxx
          .
          In part 3 of the video we discuss the odds/percentages for slam when responder has hands preceded with AKQxxx and various side suit primary honors.
          .
          Regards, Michael

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