What's our all-time favorite opening bid? 1NT, of course, because it immediately tells partner how many points we have (15-17).
What's our all-time favorite contract? A major suit contract, because it allows us to have ruffing power. To play in a major suit contract, the partnership must first locate their "golden fit" - eight cards in hearts or spades.
We know that we can find our 4/4 major suit fits when partner opens 1NT by using Stayman; but there is another wonderful way to locate a magic eight-card major suit fit.
It's time to enter the world of Jacoby transfers. We use Jacoby transfers when partner opens 1 NT and we have five or more cards in a major suit.
How do we use it? After partner opens 1 NT, you bid the suit below your real suit; if your suit is hearts, bid 2 diamonds; if your suit is spades, bid 2 hearts.
Why use it? You use Stayman and Jacoby transfers so that your partner can bid your suit and still be the declarer. Having the strong hand concealed can give you and partner extra tricks.
So, if partner opens 1 NT, and if you bid 2 diamonds, the opener will bid 2H; and if partner opens 1 NT and you bid 2 hearts, the opener will bid 2 spades.
Your next bid will tell the opening NT bidder if you have five or six of the major and how many points you have, so that the opener can decide the best final contract. You will pass if you have 0 to 7 points; you will invite game with 8 to 9 points; and you will make sure that game is reached with 10 or more points.
This special bid must be announced to your opponents. That means once the responder bids 2 diamonds or 2 hearts, the NT opener must say "transfer."
Let's try some responder rebids (in all of these exercises, the bidding has proceeded 1NT by opener, 2H by responder, 2S by opener and now it's time for the responder's rebid):
1. QJ9753 1096 95 76
2. KJ987 K87 A 9876
3. K8763 K76 Q43 98
4. K98654 A53 32 87
5. Q98765 K54 Q9 A8
To learn all the details about this amazing bid, responder's and opener's rebids and the reason for announcing the bid, join us at the bridge workshops this winter at the Hilton Head Island Bridge Club on Friday mornings at 10 a.m.
Kathie Walsh, accredited by ABTA, teaches all levels of bridge at Hilton Head Island Bridge Club. email@example.com