Last month, we discussed 1-of-a-Major Openings. Now we delve into the follow-ups by a Passed Hand.
Passed Hand Responses to Opening 1 or 1
Let's examine the following auctions:
In each case, the 3rd or 4th seat opening was 1-of-a-major. For the responder, what should change? Last month, when responder was an UPH ("unpassed hand") there were all sorts of strong possibilities (such as a Jacoby 2NT raise, Splinter bids, 2/1 Game-force responses). Now, the responder has at most 11, maybe 12 points. Everything is different. Everything, that is, except a single raise. 1-2 and 1-2 should retain the same meaning as by an UPH.
New suit on 2 level
A 2/1 response in a new suit should be natural (other than a Drury 2 bid, discussed later on). So,
Shows hearts. What strength? About 9-11 HCP. It is natural (5-card suit), and not forcing. It will usually not be a 6-card suit (no weak two-bid). It should be a decent five-card suit, as a 1NT response to 1 would be preferable with something like:
Q 8 7 6 4
Q J 2
A J 3 2
For a passed-hand 2 response to 1, I'd have something like:
A Q J 9 4
K 5 3 2
Responses of 2NT or Higher
A 2NT response can no longer be a Jacoby 2NT raise (game forcing). You can use it as natural (11-12, balanced, probably a doubleton in support). Or, you could define it as something special. Rather than use anything complex, I'd recommend that most intermediate players leave it as undefined. I prefer a passed-hand 1NT response to be up to 11 (maybe a terrible 12) points.
I like to play jumps in new suits as fit-showing. They promise 4-card support and a concentration in the suit jumped into. For example:
I would bid 3 with:
Q 10 9 8
A Q J 5 4
If you play Bergen Raises, be sure to discuss if they are on by a Passed Hand (I recommend NO—preferring PH jumps to be fit-showing).
Jump raises by a passed hand (if you are using Drury) are a strange animal. I recommend that a 3-level raise is 4-5 trumps and weakish (at most 9 points in support).
I'm not a convention pusher, but this one is in my top dozen. After a 3rd- or 4th-seat major-suit opening, I strongly recommend using 2 as an artificial raise. It shows 3+ trumps and 10+ points in support (counting shape). This allows your partnership to stop on the 2-level if the opening was light. Without Drury, the responder would have to make a limit 3-level raise and get your side to the three-level (too high) when opener is on the light side.
How does opener respond to Drury? Modern day methods dictate that opener "signs off" in 2-MAJ with a minimum (no game interest). So:
2= No game interest. (Could be a very light opener, or just some minimum)
Anything by opener other than 2 is naturalish and shows game interest (or more!). Technically, this is called "Reverse-Drury" since it is opposite of how it was first invented. However, this is the way everyone plays it today.
Some players use 2-way Drury. Two clubs is described as above, but shows exactly 3-card support. With 4-card support, the Drury bid is 2. This forfeits a natural 2 response, and also adds some memory strain (not a good one to forget).
Drury is not used after a minor-suit opening, and should not be on in competition (if they double or overcall)—be sure to discuss this!
In the next article, we will discuss handling interference after our 1 or 1.