Friday, April 8, 2011

When to bid NT slams

This blog is an extension of my earlier entry Somehow we Landed in 6NT, inspired by David Bird's excellent book of that name.  That article reflected on the decision to bid a notrump slam rather than a suit slam.  I've now distilled my thinking into a set of simple rules:
  • if it's IMP scoring, play in your best suit;
  • if you're bidding a grand slam, play in your best suit;
  • if your best suit is a minor, play in it;
  • if you know you have a 4-4 fit, play in your suit;
  • if you have fewer than, say, 30 hcp, play in your best suit.
If you're still with us, bid notrump, assuming of course that you have stopper(s) in their suit which will be protected from the opening lead.  There, it couldn't get much simpler than that!

Of course, there are always exceptions, such as you can count 13 top tricks, or you have a long running suit, but generally I think these are good guidelines.  See the previous article for more explanation of why these rules are suggested.  But the general idea is that, at matchpoints, you want to earn that extra 10 points provided that you expect to take the same total number of tricks and you expect most of the other pairs to be in the same contract.

Happy slamming!

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