A reply of 4 NT to 1 NT is called “quantitative.”
In the last column we saw that four clubs over partner’s Notrump bid asks for aces.
What does a 4 NT reply mean? Four NT directly over a Notrump opener asks partner to bid 6 NT with a maximum and pass with a minimum.
Rule of Thumb:
When partner opens 1 NT showing 15 to 17 high card points, responder may invite him to slam with any 17 points as well as a good 16 points. With 18 points, responder just bids 6 NT and with 15 points, he just bids 3 NT. Slam is not possible with two flat hands totaling 32 points.
What is a good 16 points?
Any hand with a five-card suit is probably a good 16 points and any 4-3-3-3 hand (a flat hand) is a poor 16 points. With hands in between, one looks at touching honours and the present of intermediate cards (tens and nines). Honours in short suits tend not to be useful, unless in partner’s long suit.
North with a balanced 16 points opens 1 NT and South with 17 points, bids 4 NT inviting partner to slam. North deems his 16 points to be good and raises partner to 6 NT.
Note that if North’s hand is changed by one card (the four of diamonds becomes the four of hearts), North’s hand would become a flat 16 points. As a result, North would pass 4 NT.
North has three spades, two hearts, two clubs and four or five diamond tricks.
6 NT makes for +990
4 NT makes plus one for +460.
Warren Watson is an American Contract Bridge League silver life master and accredited teacher.
The Warfield resident created the Kootenay Jewel Bridge Club with duplicate games on Mondays at noon.