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Wide NT range?

#1 User is offline   enigmisto 

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Posted 2022-January-10, 21:56

I've noticed that pretty much universally across every bidding system I've seen, NT bids are limited to a narrow 3-4 pt range.

Is there an underlying bidding-theory reason why it needs to be this way, or is this just to comply with an ACBL rule?
Are there any bidding systems out there that have embraced a wider NT range?
What sort of tinkering would be required to make a wider range work?
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#2 User is offline   HardVector 

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Posted 2022-January-10, 22:22

The main reason is so that the partner of the nt bidder can make better decisions. When you open nt, typically your partner is the decision maker from that point on in determining how high and in what strain you should be playing. If the range is too great, then that decision becomes more complex and more complex methods are needed to discover where you should play.
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#3 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 01:11

The scoring system strongly disfavors being in 2nt rather than 1nt, or 3M instead of 2M. If you make enough tricks you get no bonus for being higher, since it isn't game yet. But if you are one off you lose a lot vs those that can stay lower and make. But missing game is also a big penalty. With a wider range, inevitably you end up overboard in partials more often if you try to find more of your games, or you miss more games by not investigating.
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#4 User is offline   Kungsgeten 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 01:33

The earliest published version of Carrot Club (Morotsklövern in Swedish) used a 13-17 NT range. One of the inspirations of the system was Blue Club, they also used a 13-17 NT.

- Carrot Club 1NT is any 15-17 NT, or 13-14 without a four card major. The sysem used 4 card majors, so opened 1M with 12-14 NT and 4M. I've seen variants where the range is lowered to 12-16 instead.
- Blue Club is any 16-17 NT, or 13-15 NT with 3=3=3=4 or 3=3=2=5.

I know of one pair who plays an 11-16 NT range, similar to the Carrot Club: any 14-16 NT or 11-13 NT without major. They also use 1 as 8-10 NT or any 16/17+.
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#5 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 03:00

I played

1N = 7-12*, (4432)

with two friends a very long time ago. The idea, iirc, was to make it easier to scramble to a playable spot opposite MIN = 7-9 or if opps started doubling.

I believe the original structure included something like

1N-?:

2 = relay (GF opposite MAX = 10-12)
...2 = 7-9, 4D(432) (=> 2 = P/C)
...2 = 7-9, 4H4B(32) (=> 2 = P/C)
...2 = 7-9, 4S4C(32) (=> 3 = to play)
...2N+ = 10-12 (don't remember the details)
2 = ART INV, usually (always?) with a 5c or longer major
...2+ = P/C
2M = to play
3x = to play (I think)
other: not sure

* Today the 6-point range would have to be at least 8-13 (with MIN/MAX = 8-10/11-13) to make the system non-HUM.
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#6 User is online   Douglas43 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 03:56

As I recall back in the 1970s the EBU used to limit the range of a 1NT opener to three points, but they stopped (possibly because nobody wanted to do it except in Blue Club, which might have had a get-out).
I tried the Crowhurst 1NT rebid for a while (12-16) and it drove me up the wall. I'd raise and partner had a 12 count; 2NT -1. Next time I'd pass, and partner had 16; 1NT+2. Now I play 12-14, 15-17 rebid, 18-19 jump rebid.
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#7 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 04:15

View PostDouglas43, on 2022-January-11, 03:56, said:

As I recall back in the 1970s the EBU used to limit the range of a 1NT opener to three points, but they stopped (possibly because nobody wanted to do it except in Blue Club, which might have had a get-out).
I tried the Crowhurst 1NT rebid for a while (12-16) and it drove me up the wall. I'd raise and partner had a 12 count; 2NT -1. Next time I'd pass, and partner had 16; 1NT+2. Now I play 12-14, 15-17 rebid, 18-19 jump rebid.


For a while I played 11-16 in first and second position, 14-19 third and 4th, it worked really well and we only stopped because my partner left the area. We played a very different scheme of responses (inv or better 4 card major suit transfers and a bucket 2 bid) and also both 2N and X as different ranges of lebensohl. The former range meant 1x-1y-1N was 17-19 so there were also hands where we stayed out of 2N when others were in it. The associated 15-20 1N overcall also seemed useful amd particularly the 11-16 passout seat overcall.

12-16 Crowhurst never appealed, we play 15-bad 19 Crowhurst in a weak NT context and this seems to work.
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#8 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 04:58

A variable NT range seems to have some popularity in Australia - although in may be an import.
I don't know if it is part of a recognised system.
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#9 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 05:14

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-January-11, 04:58, said:

A variable NT range seems to have some popularity in Australia - although in may be an import.
I don't know if it is part of a recognised system.


Variable either by vulnerability or position has been around for years in many systems.
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#10 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 07:49

It's not just ACBL that still limits this range, FIGB for instance sets a maximum range of 4 hcp in pairs competition.

Which begs the question of 'why?'. It doesn't sound particularly difficult to defend against a wide range, and usually the range has to be announced and the minimum is regulated. Perhaps the fear is that people will disclose a range wider than what they really play. Or have an illegal signal to split the range.
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#11 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 07:52

View Postpescetom, on 2022-January-11, 07:49, said:

It's not just ACBL that still limits this range, FIGB for instance sets a maximum range of 4 hcp in pairs competition.

Which begs the question of 'why?'. It doesn't sound particularly difficult to defend against a wide range, and usually the range has to be announced and the minimum is regulated. Perhaps the fear is that people will disclose a range wider than what they really play.


It provides problems at pairs, the auction goes 1N (11-16)-P-P-P and dummy decks a flat 8, you have no idea if you're trying to take this off or prevent the second overtrick.
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#12 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 09:33

So what?
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#13 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 10:12

1. I have a pair locally that plays Precision with an 11-15 NT, so their 1D is 4+ and usually unbalanced. It works for them, wouldn't work for me.

2. I played a third seat "8-we don't have game" (15, give or take) 1NT for a few years, with the required natural responses, in an EHAA base. It literally never came up (when you preempt with 50% of your hands, and open with the real ones, the chance of partner and RHO passing is really quite low).

3. The reason for the "wide-range NT restrictions" in the ACBL at least is "in our experience, you can't successfully play a wide range (or a broken range) without 'help'.
At least, that's what we've found with everyone who's tried it so far. We don't want to deal with all that happens while proving 'help' any more, so we're just banning it." Arguments on whether that is a reasonable use of convention restriction regulations are welcome. Please send to "1060 W Addison St., Chicago, Illinois, 60613".

I'm not sure if the Blue Club "usually 15-17, but could be 13-14 with awful shapes for system" works. I do know that the responses my local BC players play are convoluted because of it. I assume the answer is "no, but it would be worse if they were in the other obvious call".
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#14 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 14:44

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-11, 10:12, said:

I'm not sure if the Blue Club "usually 15-17, but could be 13-14 with awful shapes for system" works. I do know that the responses my local BC players play are convoluted because of it. I assume the answer is "no, but it would be worse if they were in the other obvious call".

There is a belief by some that Blue team members had a way to show hand shapes not thru bidding.

I have seen complaints about their off-shape takeout doubles working out miraculously and
helping with canape sequences

I haven't seen complaints about fielding the wide range 1N but it isn't hard to imagine.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#15 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 20:34

No matter the issues - or not - with the original players of this system, I guarantee "my local" players of the system do not have "help" - or if they have it, they "carefully avoid" using it.
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#16 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2022-January-11, 22:49

The Romex 1NT opening is artificial and forcing and includes both unbalanced and balanced hands. The latter are 19-20 with six controls (19 and 5 controls would open one of a suit, 20 and 7 controls would open 2).
The opener's NT ladder looks like this:

12-16: open one of a suit, rebid 1NT (Two Way Checkback Stayman after 1NT - not the XYNT or XYZ flavor; 2 works like Stayman, it's not a puppet to 2).
17-18: open one of a suit, rebid 2NT
19-20: open 1NT
21-22: open 2, rebid 2NT (this opening may include unbalanced or semi-balanced game forcing hands with primary diamonds, or balanced hands with 27-28 HCP). Seven controls for the 21-22 balanced.
23-24:open 2, rebid 2NT (this opening may include suit oriented game forcing hands (not primary diamonds) or balanced hands with 29-30 HCP). 8 controls for the 23-24 balanced.
25-26: open 2NT (game forcing). 9 controls.
27-28: open 2, rebid 3NT. 10 controls.
29-30: open 2, rebid 3NT. 11 controls.

Rosenkranz said that a 2NT bid showing a balanced hand should have at most a two point range because there's no room to invite game. He also said that he found that the number of controls is crucial in slam bidding.
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#17 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 02:22

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-11, 10:12, said:

I'm not sure if the Blue Club "usually 15-17, but could be 13-14 with awful shapes for system" works. I do know that the responses my local BC players play are convoluted because of it. I assume the answer is "no, but it would be worse if they were in the other obvious call".

Blue Team Club 1NT was 16-17 balanced, or 13-15 balanced with 4+ clubs with some other restrictions. In some cases, you would open 1 with 3 diamonds. I never adapted the BTC 1NT because I thought it was a terrible system bid.
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#18 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 04:04

View Postmycroft, on 2022-January-11, 10:12, said:

1. I have a pair locally that plays Precision with an 11-15 NT, so their 1D is 4+ and usually unbalanced. It works for them, wouldn't work for me.


I play this in my occasional porecision partnership, but 12-15 with normal responses, I wouldn't want to do this with 11-15 unless using unorthodox responses like I outlined with 11-16.
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#19 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2022-January-12, 09:11

Blue Team Club, Calgary Casual said:

An opening 1NT in Blue Club shows, in principle, a balanced hand of 15-17 HCP. However we also admit, by the back door as it were, a group of balanced hands in the 13-14 HCP range where no other opening bid is available. These hands have only one long suit, clubs, and in most cases only two diamonds. When three diamonds are held we usually open 1i with 13-14 HCP, unless the diamonds are very weak. It follows that when we open 1NT with 13-14 HCP the hand always contains three cards in each major. The only distributions possible are 3334 and 3325. This precision, combined with our system of responses and rebids,
makes the wide range practical.

Sorry John, don't play it, just play against it, listening to what the people who do play it say in their explanations.

(Not linking to the system notes here, don't need to deluge for a trivial confusion. You should be able to find the (quite decent, from my memories reading it) notes with the breadcrumbs I have put here.)
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#20 User is offline   avonw 

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Posted 2022-February-12, 00:09

Chiaradia's Neapolitan Club had a 1NT opening as 12-17, with clubs as the only 4+ card suit. He worked on that from 1948 to its appearance at the 1956 EC.

Garozzo tidied up Neapolitan, making Blue Club with a 13-17 1NT... 13-15 with clubs or 16-17 bal.
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