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Strong gambling 3NT Edit
This opening is also known as Acol 3NT. The original requirement for a gambling 3NT opening was 2 stoppers in outside suits in addition to the long solid minor.
Medium gambling 3NT Edit
This opening is very rarely used, but has some effectiveness in 3rd or 4th seat. The requirement for a long solid minor still exists, but the Gambling 3NT bidder has an outside entry, either an Ace, King-Queen in the same suit, or even King-Jack-10 in the same suit if the partnership agrees on it.
Weak gambling 3NT Edit
More recently, people have begun opening 3NT preemptively without any outside suit stoppers, as a pre-emptive type bid to obstruct the opponents. In this case, the recommended treatment is that the opener must have no outside king or ace. Obviously this treatment puts the burden on partner to respond if the outside suits are not stopped.
- Pass --- sign off: for the weak variant, responder should have stoppers in all other suits or at least 2 Aces. Note: many partnerships now pass even with only 2 side suits stopped, making a gamble that the defenders don't find the unstopped suit to lead.
- weak variant: escape --- responder has no stoppers in side suits (pass or correct)
- strong variant: slam interest
- 4♦ --- ask for voids or singletons --- indicates slam interest
- 4♥/4♠ --- sign off
- 4NT --- I can count 11 tricks, bid 6NT if your minor is 8 cards.
- 5♣/6♣/7♣ --- sign off in minor suit game/slam (pass or correct)
- 5♦/6♦/7♦ --- sign off in minor suit game/slam
When gambling 3NT is played, the best lead is often an ace (even when unsupported!) or a king, in order to see the dummy. Usually defenders need to get the 5 tricks before the declarer can run the minor.
Recovering the natural 3NT opening Edit
When gambling 3NT is doubled Edit
In the weak variant, the 3NT contract is always played from the wrong side of the table. 3NT might also be played from the wrong side of the table using the medium variant. With the strong variant, the ideal contract might be 6 of the long minor rather than 3NT, but it is near impossible to find it after opening 3NT.
A natural non-forcing preemptive bid (e.g. 4♣) may be used instead.
Gambling 2NT Edit
2NT opening can also be played as a preempt in a fashion similar to 3NT opening, but shows a weaker hand (i.e. if the strong variant of 3NT is used, 2NT is the medium variant). The usage of this convention existed from the auction bridge era.
- 3♣: escape (correctable to 3♦)
- 3♦: stopper ask, 3NT interest
- ↑ Page 27, Auction of Today (1913)