Minor Suit Slams

22nd March – Board 1: Love All. Dealer North.
Bidding minor suit slams after a 2NT opening is notoriously difficult, but the following scheme seems to fit the bill well enough:
a) 3S shows at least 4-4 in the minors and with no interest opener rebids 4NT.
b) 4D shows a six-carder or more and is a single-suited slam try. Again with no interest opener signs off with 4NT.
c) 4C shows a six-carder or more and is a single-suited slam try. Again with no interest opener signs off with 4NT.


When North jumps to 4D opener is charmed and shows support by cue-bidding in hearts. With a minimum hand for his jump I dare say North would retreat to 5D but South is clearly determined to bid a small slam at least and paints a further picture by now cue-bidding in spades. This would give North the chance to show second round club control but by now opener has probably done enough and would leave the final decision to partner. The play is trivial and with the king of trumps well-placed thirteen tricks will come rolling in. Again 6NT is the big winner but as South I would be scared that North holds a singleton club.

I’m afraid that with this clever addition to your armoury Gerber must be dispensed with, but no loss there. If, as responder, you want to know immediately how many aces your partner holds bid 4NT. If you have a quantitative raise to 4NT just bid 4S, which is a redundant bid you will have noticed. (You can play these two bids the other way round of course. I just find it easier that 4NT is RKCB.)


  1. 1) in the scheme you mention presumably 3C, 3D, 3H still means Stayman and transfers?
    2) How does North know he is showing second round control in clubs? I know South will know that from his own hand but when North bids 6C if South didn't have the club ace how would he know North is not showing first round control?
    3) Are there any other occasions (apart from a quantitative raise of 1N or 2N) when it is sensible to use 4N as not Blackwood?

  2. 1) Yes they do. Nothing changes there.

    2) North would have bid 5C over 4H if he had the ace, so now he is showing the
    king or a singleton.

    3) Yes, whenever a suit has not been agreed. For example 1S - 2H - 2NT - 4NT
    Most people play 2NT as game-forcing and showing between 15 and 19 points
    so 4NT here would be quantitative. There are similar situations elsewhere I am


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