Major Suit Raises – JACOBY 2NT

I. Responding to partner’s one of a major opening

When partner opens one of a major and you have three cards or more in support then you know you have an eight card fit. When you first learned bridge your teacher undoubtedly told you to raise your partner immediately when you know you have a golden fit and show your point range at the same time as follows:

 

Point Range

Category

Raise to the

6-10

Minimum

2 level

11-12

Medium

3 level

13-16

Maximum

game

This is all well and good, but for slam bidding, having a nine card or longer fit is more likely to produce the extra tricks. Also when you have four card support, you have more trumps to ruff with, so a trump lead can no longer hurt you. Thus more advanced players change their stronger responses to discriminate between having 3 or 4+ card support. This means a limit raise, the raise of the major to three, requires at least four trump. So with only three card support, you bid a new suit first and then jump raise.

II. Making a Game Forcing Raise: Jaoby 2NT

With game going values or better and four card trump support, we use a special convention called the Jacoby 2NT. It was invented by the great games player Oswald Jacoby. The bid of 2NT in response to partner’s opening bid of one of a major shows at least 4 trump and 13+ points in support. This leaves the whole three level and much of the four level for exploring for slam. Now you can use the immediate raise to four of the major for preemptive hands, hands with five or more trump and not the high card points for game

 

Point Range

Category

Number of trumps

Action to take

6-10

Minimum

3

Raise to 2

6-10

Minimum

4+

Raise to 2

11-12

Medium

3

New suit then jump raise to 3

11-12

Medium

4+

Raise to 3

13-16

Maximum

3

New suit then jump raise to 4

13-16

Maximum

4+

Jacoby 2NT

17+

Slam Zone

3

Strong jump shift in new suit

17+

Slam Zone

4+

Jacoby 2NT

 

  1. Partner opens 1 and you hold the following hands, make a bid:

 

A. B. C. D. E.
543 AQ67 9865 K76 KJ98
87 QJ107 KQ54 84
2 K432 K7 K532 AK96
K542 J98 J87 75 K65
Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______
Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____
F. G. H. I. J.
KQ3 AK673 K8652 A76 KJ9
AKQ87 87 QJ1072 A54 84
2 K432 7 64 AK96
KJ42 Q8 J8 K8532 K653
Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______
Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____

 

III. How does Opener respond to the Jacoby 2NT?

Well, the bid of 2NT over a one of a major opening says ” We have game in your major suit and maybe slam depending on your hand partner.” So opener?s first responsibility is to indicate whether or not slam is possible. The jump to four of the agreed major says “Partner, I have a dead minimum and no compensating distribution, so slam is really unlikely.” All other bids leave the door open for further exploration.

Because of the ability to ruff losers, singletons are a very important factor for slam bidding. Also since tricks plus controls are often the key to slam, long side suits are also important. So we show these aspects of our hand in response to Jacoby. The table below shows the standard responses to 2NT Jacoby raise of a major:

After 1 – 2NT:

Response

Meaning

3

Singleton Club

3

Singleton Diamond

3

Singleton Heart

3

Good Trumps, not minimum

3NT

Good high cards 14+

4

Side suit of 5+ Clubs

4

Side suit of 5+ Diamonds

4

Side suit of 5+ Hearts

4

Slam Negative, 12+ to bad 14

 

You open 1, partner bids 2NT, and you hold the following hands, make a bid:

 

A. B. C. D. E.
A43 75 86 KQ6 QJ8
AK987 AQ687 KQJ107 K9854 AK642
2 KJ43 K7 K82 K962
K542 Q9 AJ7 A5 3
Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______
Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____

 

F. G. H. I. J.
3 4 K86 A76 KJ9
AK987 AKJ73 QJ1072 AQ854 Q9874
87 KQ32 Q97 64 AK9
KQ942 KQ8 KJ K85 Q3
Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______ Pts ______
Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____ Bid _____

IV. What does Responder do next?

With a minimum and no interest based on Opener?s response, Responder can jump to game in the agreed suit. All other bids show at least some slam interest. Responder?s new suit bids are now cue bids looking for slam

9 thoughts on “Major Suit Raises – JACOBY 2NT

  1. Ed Hicks

    The previous question about interference reminded me of a related question:

    In bridge writings, is there any clear distinction between “interference” and “competition” (or “in competition”)?

    I have searched, but haven’t yet found anything conclusive. There seems to be some opinion that an opening preempt is “interference” without being “in competition”, but that’s a pretty fine line — its main intent is to forestall competition, and in any case it isn’t where either term is primarily used.

    Thanks for your attention to this.

    Reply
    1. Kitty Cooper

      The term competition refers to an auction where the enemy have Interfered, so interference generally refers to a single bid while competition to an auction

      Reply
  2. Ed Hicks

    Thanks for your response. I think I understand the gist of what you’re getting at, but it doesn’t seem to be entirely clear. An auction can occur without competition, the simplest example being that if opener’s bid is passed by everyone, an auction has still occurred but there has been no competition; opener won the auction “by default”. One example I have in mind with my question is this: “in competition, system X is off” versus “when there is interference, system X is off”. I think that usually they mean the same thing, but sometimes they may not. For example, I would say that 1NT — (Dbl) — 2H involves competition, but not (for most players) interference with using the 2H bid to transfer to spades, but 1NT — (2D) — 2S definitely involves both competition and interference, since the 2D bid has (again, for most players) interfered with the (presumably) preferable transfer bid. In other circumstances, such as limit raises, a double can have an interfering effect as well as being competition. I guess it’s too much to expect complete clarity or consistency — especially on the Internet, there are many writers, not all of whom are particularly careful about such terminology. Thanks again for your assistance.

    Reply
  3. Andrea Pavani

    Hi Kitty, I read that the 4 major answer by opener with minimim hand, can bring to some problem. Simplifying on some hand there is the slam and on others not : responder (if strong) doesn’t know if the 5 level is sure to explore slam. Sorry for my bad english…

    On Larry Cohen web I found this interesting scheme, what do you think about ?

    MODIFIED Jacoby 2NT

    After our 1-MAJ opening and 2NT response (Game-Forcing 4+-card raise):

    4 of our MAJOR = the absolute worst dreck imaginable (always 5-3-3-2)
    3♣ = any other minimum (could be 5-3-3-2, but at least some redeeming feature)
    3♦ = non-minimum, with a side singleton or void somewhere
    3♥ = non-minimum, any 5-4-2-2 distribution
    3♠ = non-minimum, 6+ trumps (no singletons or voids)
    3NT = non-min., 5-3-3-2 (you can use this to show a HCP range such as 18-19)
    4 new suit = decent 5-card side suit (nat.–should have ace or king)

    Follow-ups:
    If responder ever jumps to game in the major, it is a sign-off–no further interest.
    If responder still has slam interest, he can ask further as follows:

    AFTER opener’s 3♣ :

    Responder bids 3♦ to ask, then (note the similarity to the original responses by opener):
    4 of our MAJOR = 5-3-3-2 min., but not total dreck (maybe nice controls)
    3♥ = minimum, with a side singleton or void somewhere
    3♠ = minimum, any 5-4-2-2 distribution
    3NT = minimum, 6+ trumps (no singletons or voids)
    4 new suit = min., decent 5-card side suit (natural–should have ace or king)
    (After opener’s 3♥ or 3♠ answer to 3♦, next step asks, using same schedule as below)

    AFTER opener’s 3♦:

    Responder bids 3♥ to ask, then:
    Step 1=A VOID somewhere
    Step 2= singleton in lowest side suit (♣)
    Step 3 = singleton in next side suit (♦)
    Step 4 = singleton in highest side suit (other major)
    After Step 1 (VOID)
    Next bid asks where and S1=♣, S2=♦, S3=other major

    AFTER opener’s 3♥:

    Responder bids 3♠ to ask, then:
    Step 1= 4 cards in lowest side suit (♣)
    Step 2 = 4 cards in next side suit (♦)
    Step 3 = 4 cards in highest side suit (other major)

    This looks a bit complex, but there isn’t too much memory. The first set of answers to 2NT must be memorized. After that, the same principle covers all the memory: Next step asks, and answers are “up-the-line.”

    source → https://www.larryco.com/bridge-learning-center/detail/45

    Reply
  4. Kitty Cooper

    Andrea
    Yes all good but …
    Head over to bridgewinners.com to discuss topics like this which are way too advanced for this site.
    Beginning bridge players and their teachers are my expected audience

    Reply

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