Tuesday, August 06, 2002 4:53 PM
Hand Evaluation – Q bids ( Serious 3NT )




        Subash was telling me that among world class players "serious 3NT" has replaced the principle of fast arrival in 2/1 auctions & Jacoby 2NT with major suit fits. I have leaned so heavily on that “fast arrival “ principle & that Q bids show extra for so many years it is a drastic change for me. The new way of thinking has the jump to game virtually extinct . Q bids no longer  show extra because the other hand is unlimited . The 3NT bid with a fit  has replaced the "slow arrival" trump raise to show the serious slam try . Advocates of this way of bidding says it drastically cuts down futile slam tries at the 5 level & partner does not pre-empt you out of slams by jumping to game . Experts who play this also play the Italian style of Q bidding where the Q bid can be 1st or second round control when initially bid . We have discussed this Serious 3NT style  in many articless before but as a review let’s review the basics :


1.    3NT is never to play once a major fit has been established . It makes the raise below game now just a "noise" where before it showed extra. 3NT asks for a Q bid


1.    The jump to game still exists but it is a real dog showing no outside controls. Fast arrival is virtually extinct.


2.    Q bids do not show extra when the other hand is unlimited


3.    3NT in Jacoby or splinter auctions does not mean duplication of value – fast arrival does mean duplication of value





    Lets bid a few hands some the old way and some the new way with serious 3NT understandings .


                                OLD WAY                                                                              NEW WAY


    1♠                 2               xx AKxxxx Ax KQx                               1♠                             2

                                                                                                       3                            3NT

     4 ( minimum old way)      ?                                                         4                            4  ( did duty with 3NT )

                                                                                                        4♠  ( good  min )      4NT   (0K )

    AKxxx Jxxx Kx xx                                                                        5♦                            6



    1♠                        2                   xx xxxx AKJxx Ax                      1♠                                2                      

    2                        4 ( minimum old way )                                      2                               3

     ?                                                                                                 3NT                             4♣

    AKxxx AKxx Qx xx                                                                       4  ( did duty)              5  ( good minimum )

                                                                                                         6  (OK ) 



            On both these hands the minimum's took the push as the serious slam try was made with the 3NT bid by partner. These minimums could have been a lot worse so if the big hands were pushy at the 5 level disaster could have occurred . All the bids the new way were bid below game.



    One thing I was worried about is that these auctions give too much information to the opponents for opening lead purposes. However , you have an inference that partner did not bid a serious 3NT so you can leap to game or sign off in game with a minimum armed with that information.



1♠               2

2♠               3♠

4♣               4♠      ( partner did not bid 3NT and you are minimum ) 



    A Fred Gittleman innovation to this style of bidding . He is so sure that enough information has been given in these auctions that he forbids Q bidding at the 5 level ! . He prefers to use the 5 level Q bid as exclusion Blackwood in that suit . Comments ?