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3. 1H OPENING
REQUIREMENT: 10-14 HCP, 4+ S, 0-3 H, may have longer minor suit
The relay structure retains the essential
symmetric nature of the 1C relay structure, but uses one step to
give a first-round minimum/maximum indication. Opposite a
minimum, a minimal invitational relay hand will consider signing
off or making a further invitational natural bid. The appropriate
Minimum hand: any 10-12 HCP hand that does not have a 7-card suit, or at least 10 cards in its two longest suits (i.e. the hand is 5332, 6322, 6331, 5422, 5431, 4441 or 5440 shape).
Maximum hand: any 13-14 HCP hand or any hand with a 7-card suit, or any hand with at least 10 cards in its two longest suits (i.e. including all 55, 64 and higher shapes).
After the minimum response the relay structure is adapted to reflect the reduced number of shapes available to the hand. Thus it is important not to judge to downgrade one of the "maximum" hand shapes. There is no subsequent minimum/maximum response in the relay structure.
With maximum hands a game-force is established and the relay structure is identical to the 1C relay structure. The minimum/maximum response is still given for maximum shapes (55, 64, 7-card) because their HCP range is still 10-14, however for the less shapely hands, there is no later minimum/maximum response since the hand is constrained to 13-14 HCP already.
|Pass||To play in hearts|
|1S||RELAY - at least invitational to game|
|1NT||Balanced or semi-balanced, forcing, 0-11|
|2C||Natural, 5+ C, non-forcing, 0-11|
|2D||Natural, 5+ D, non-forcing, 0-11|
|2H||Natural 5+ H, non-forcing, 0-11|
|2S||6-10 HCP, 3 or 4 S|
|2NT||At least 5-5 minors, 0-11|
|3C||Fit showing jump with clubs, invitational in spades|
|3D||Fit showing jumps with diamonds, invitational in spades|
|3H||Fit showing jump with hearts, invitational in spades|
|4C||Pre-emptive with at least nine cards in S + C|
|4D||Pre-emptive with at least nine cards in S + D|
|4H||Pre-emptive with at least nine cards in S + H|
After 1H-1S (R)
|1N||Any minimum hand.|
|2C||Maximum, 4+ D|
|2D||Maximum, 4+ C, 5+ S|
|2H||Maximum, reverser, 5+ C, 4 S|
|2S||Maximum, high shortage (S), 5+ S, etc.|
Note: The normal relay structure continues, subject to the constraints on minimum/maximum responses as discussed above.
Responder will pass, or may make a signoff attempt (2D+) which opener may pass or correct to a better alternative (e.g. decent 6-card suit). Further bidding is not constructive.
After 1H-1S-1N-2C (R)
2C is a forcing relay, but does not quite force
to game, since opener's shape is still nebulous. The relay
structure is roughly symmetric but shifted up two steps. The
single-suited (and three-suited) relay structures are simply
shifted up two steps and truncated at 6331 shape. In the
two-suited structures, some steps are omitted because 55, 64 and
74 hands are impossible. These structures do not make
"symmetric" bids, but use the same order of
shape-showing as the normal two-suited structures.
Any subsequent non-relay bid by responder is invitational in the context of the auction.
|2H||4 C, 5 S|
|2S||Reverser, 5 C, 4 S|
|2NT||High shortage (H), 5-6 S|
|3C||Middle shortage (D), 5-6 S|
|3D||Even shortage, 6322 shape|
|3H||Low shortage (C), 5332 shape|
|3S||Low shortage (C), 6331 shape, 0-2 controls, etc.|
After 1H-1S-1NT-2C-2D-2H (R)
|2S||Reverser, 5 D, 4 S|
|2NT||High shortage (H), 5143|
|3C||Even shortage, 5242|
|3D||Low shortage (C), 5341, 0-2 controls, etc.|
After 1H-1S-1NT-2C-2D-2H-2S-2NT (R)
|3C||High shortage (H), 4153|
|3D||Even shortage, 4252|
|3D||Low shortage (C), 4351, 0-2 controls, etc.|
After 1H-1S-1NT-2C-2H-2S (R)
|2NT||High shortage (H), 5134|
|3C||Even shortage, 5224|
|3D||Low shortage (D), 5314, 0-2 controls, etc.|
After 1H-1S-1NT-2C-2S-2NT (R)
|3C||High shortage (H), 4135|
|3C||Even shortage, 4225|
|3D||Low shortage (D), 4315, 0-2 controls, etc.|
After 1H-1S-2C-2D (R)
|2H||Reverser, 5+ D, 4 S|
|2S||5+ S, 5+ D|
|2NT||5+ S, 4 D, high shortage, etc.|
|2S||5+ S, 5+ C|
|2NT||5+ S, 4 C, high shortage, etc.|
After 1H-1NT (R)
1NT is a natural forcing bid made by a balanced
or semibalanced hand with no clear fit for spades and no clear
suit to bid. Opener is expected to correct to any 5 or 6-card
suit, which responder is likely to pass.
In particular limited balanced hands with potential moysian spade fits should respond 1NT rather than 2S as any eight card fit will always be found after the 1NT response. For example with 4351 with opener and 3334 with responder, the auction 1H-1N-2D is superior at IMPs to 1H-2S. Responding hands such as 3226 with a weak suit are often best treated with 1NT also.
Further bidding is not constructive.
|2NT||Inquiry (not used by ces and mabraham)|
|3C||minimum with clubs, 3 spades|
|3D||minimum with diamonds, 3 spades|
|3H||minimum with hearts, 3 spades|
|3S||minimum with 4 spades|
|3NT||maximum with 3 spades|
|4S||maximum (9 or 10) with 4 spades|
|3C, 3D, 3H||Long suit trials|
|3S, 4S||Preemptive re-raises, not constructive|