Bridge & other card games/Respose to 1NT
QUESTION: Opener opens with a 1 NT bid followed by a "Pass". Partner then bids "3 Clubs" (this was NOT intended to be a Stayman). When questioned, the partner said she had 8 points, 3H,3S,2D,and 5C. and simply wanted her partner to know about her 5C suit. Is this way of bidding the "old way" when people simply "bid their hands"? Had I been opener's partner I would not have known what she was doing, or should I?
I believe the response should have been "2NT".
You are correct, partner should simply bid 2NT invitational showing a 9 point hand or an 8 point hand with a five card suit.
In Standard bidding 1NT-3C could show, depending on partnership agreement, either a weak hand with 6 or more clubs, opener should pass, or else an invitational hand with 6 or more clubs including 2 of the top 3 honors and 7 or 8 points...partner could either bid 3NT with a top club honor or pass 3C without one. A third treatment could show a stromg club hand looking for a possible slam.
All three of these treatments at least strongly suggest playing in clubs rather than in NT. With the hand you gave, the final contract will not be clubs. It will be either 2NT or 3NT. There is no reason on earth for responder to care whether or not opener knows that she has five clubs. They are not going to play in a club contract. Anyway, opener might have a minimum with two small clubs. The only option opener needs to have is to pass 2NT with a minimum or bid 3NT with a maximum.
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QUESTION: Exactly what do you mean by "Standard bidding"? Is this how bridge players played in years gone by?
By Standard bidding I was referring to the basic bidding structure that American players are currently taught when they first learn the game and then utilize until they become more advanced players. It is the basic system that is currently in use. It includes Stayman, Jacoby Transfers and negative doubles through 2S but does not incorporate more advanced concepts such as 4 suit transfers, Inverted Minors or Forcing 1NT responses. The term Standard American bidding is also used to distinguish it from other systems such as the Precision Club. It is described by the Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC).
Standard bidding has evolved over the years to include concepts that have been added as time went by, such as Jacoby Transfers and negative doubles, but are almost universal today. Its basic structure, though, is similar to what it was 30 years ago. The 3C response that partner made to 1NT would never have been made with that type of hand, either now or in the past.