The Big NT system

This is a system that can be played without conventions (not even Stayman!), so it it particularly good for beginners.
1 12-20 HCP, 2+
1 12-20 HCP, 4+
1 12-20 HCP, 5+
1 12-20 HCP, 5+
1NT 21 (24)+, any distribution. Partner MUST bid! CONVENTION 2 = 0 - 3 HCP
2 Weak Two in
2 Weak Two in
2 Weak Two in
2 Weak Two in
2NT 21 - 23 balanced
In this system, 1NT is the only forcing opening bid. Opening bids are generally made with 12 HCP, approximately using the rule of 20.

Opening bid rules
  • You are allowed to open 1/ if you have at least 5 cards in the suit.
  • You are allowed to open 1 if you have at least 4 cards in the suit.
  • If more than one suit is allowed, open the longest of these suits.
  • If still more than one suit is allowed, open the higher of these suits.

    5 3 0 5: Open 1, the highest of and .
    5 1 6 1: Open 1, the longest of , and .
    1 4 4 4: Open 1, the highest of and .
    4 3 3 3: Only is allowed. Open 1.

    Further bidding. Both players find out in what range they are. Opener's ranges are:
  • 11 - 15: Weak
  • 16 - 17: Medium
  • 18 - 20: Strong
    Responder's ranges are:
  • 6 - 10: Weak
  • 11 - 12: Medium
  • 13+: Strong
    Weak hands try to stop as low as possible, medium hands make a game try and strong hands force to game. Opposite a game try, a weak hand tries to see if he has something extra, which is needed for the game.

    Bidding with fit

    Weak hands establish the fit on the 2-level, medium hands on the 3-level and strong hands bid game.

    Bidding without fit

    Responding to 1-bids
  • Weak hands have to stay on the 1-level, so they either bid a new suit (forcing) or 1NT. If you have a good 6-card suit that you could instead bid at the 1-level and a weak hand you can bid a Weak Two as response to partner's opening bid.
  • Medium hands can go to the 2-level, so they bid their long suit (forcing) or bid 2NT.
  • Strong hands bid their suit or bid 3NT.

    Opener's rebid
  • After a possibly weak bid, the maximum level for weak hands is returning to the opened suit.
  • With medium hands, one can bid a new suit even if it is higher than two in the opened suit. If no suits are worth mentioning, bid 2NT, or 3 in the opened suit.
  • With strong hands, one can also jump to the 3-level to show a suit if it is lower than the opened suit. Therefore a sequence like 1 - 1 - 2 can be passed, although responder must be aware that it could have been bid on a medium hand. Suits bid on the 1-level are always forcing. One can also bid 3NT without anything else worth mentioning.

    After a new suit on the 2-level (medium or better), the game try can be declined with 3 bids: Bidding one of the two known suits as cheaply as possible or 2NT. Anything else accepts the invitation and is forcing to game.


    1 (better minor) - 1 (forcing)
    2 (minimum with fit) - 4 (still want game)

    1 (better minor) - 1 (forcing)
    2NT (medium balanced) - 3 (another suit)
    4 (then your spades must be longer) 1