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Convention of the month: Serious 3NT

The Hague (The Netherlands) , December 15th, 2010

Today this website publishes its Topic No. 04: 'Serious NoTrump' written by Eric Rodwell. Eric designed this convention for better slam exploration. He defined three ranges after a found fit in a major suit: a weak, an intermediate and a strong variation. These ranges apply to opening hands and to responding hands as well.

An example. You open 1S on

S: AKxxx  H: Kxxxx  D: x  C: Ax.

Your partner answers 2C and you rebid 2H. Now partner bids 3H. That is good news. As you play 2/1 game forcing you know he has opening values himself. You also know about a nine-card fit in hearts. So slam is likely. Even a grand might well be possible. You are much too strong for 4H (weak range) or a cuebid (intermediate range), therefore bid 3NT, a serious slam attempt.   

Subscribe to our Topics Collection and read more on this great device in Topic 04, where Serious NT is dealt with in depth.



Non-serious 3NT

I think it is better to switch 3S, 3NT and the cuebids (spades trump):

  1. ...;3S-3NT: Non serious slam try,
  2. ...;3S-4C/D/H cuebid and serious slam try,
  3. ...;3S-4S: good trumps and no outside control.

And with hearts trump: 3S Non serious slam try, 3N/4C/4D cuebid H/C/D, 4H good trumps.

Advantage #1: if partner isn't interested either over a non-serious try, you bid game without telling the opps where your controls are.

Advantage #2: Over 3S NSST, one has all cuebids available (over 3NT NSST (or SST)) with H trumps, you don't).

serious 3NT

I understand the principle of serious 3NT , but it seems more
logical to me to play cue = serious and 3NT = intermediate.
Then you avoid giving information to opponents about (lack of)
controls in case partner has a minimum ; this is more dangerous
with a intermediate hand then with a strong hand

Hearts trump? (Against the Non-Serious version of 3NT.)

Using a bid of 3NT to indicate degree of slam interest (after a major-suit fit has been found at the 3-level) works fine if the suit is spades, but if the suit is hearts the 3NT bid precludes a control-bid of 3S. That suggests (mildly) that it is better to use 3NT as Serious rather than as Non-Serious: a seriously interested hand is more likely itself to contain a spade control, and (even if not) is more likely to be able to push beyond game looking for one.

serous versus non serious

yes 3NT is good and I have no club control, let's see if partner controls club
4 clubs would be I do not control next step > diamond
but in this case 3NT serious would be a slam try, could be but only for experts


3NT can be slam try without shortness- 4D may be ok- short in D and cue S and Cl:)

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