ABTA Applebasket Award Winner

The American Bridge Teachers Association collects teacher tips from the members every year which are voted on by the members attending the annual convention.  I won the award in 2012.
Kathy (on the left) receiving her crystal apple for the 2012 winning teacher tip.

Applebasket Entry, 2012

Submitted by: Kathy Rolfe

First Place Winner, 2012

When I teach how to respond to an opening bid of one of a suit with 6 to 9 points (or 6 to 10) depending on which book I’m teaching from, I list the priorities to respond and 1NT is always the last choice.  I call that choice the bid of desperation!  It does not mean responder has a balanced hand.  It does not mean you actually want to play Notrump, although you may end up doing so!  It simply means, “Partner, I have to bid and this is the only bid available!”

So:

How to respond to 1 of a major with 6 to 9 points:

1)    Raise partner to 2 of the major, (must have at least 3 card support)

2)    Can’t do that?  Then bid a suit of your own at the 1 level.

3)    Can’t do that?  Bid 1NT!

How to respond to 1 of a minor with 6 to 9 points:

1)    Bid a suit of your own at the 1 level.

2)    Can’t do that?  Raise partner to 2 of the minor, (must have at least 5 clubs, 4 or 5 diamonds)

3)    Can’t do that?  Bid 1NT!

When my students are practicing this concept, I’ll let them struggle with what to bid and if they can’t come up with the response, I’ll ask, “Are you desperate yet?”  Then they laugh and say, “Yes!  1NT!”