Reply – Transfers
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— by Clinton Scott Clinton Scott
So I was thinking, it could be good if people posted here conventions in ACOL or their crazy systems like Cranberry Club. It might help people improve their bidding or even defense, with something other then a quick conversation at the bridge table.

So transfers over a 1NT (12-14 HCP balanced) are something most people play as their first new convention or addon to ACOL, playing a very basic thing like:

2D -> 2H
2D -> 2S
2S -> 2NT "I have 11-12 or 11" - Some people like myself play 3NT with any hand over 24 HCP
     -> 3NT
2NT -> 3C "Minor Transfer which is pass or correct"

So the idea behind this basic system is that the strong hand plays and the weak hand is visible on the table. Also leading into the stronger hand can in some cases result in an extra trick being made that the other hand could not make if they were declarer.

What is happening, well the 2D is saying I have 5+ hearts bid 2H. 2H saying I have 5+ spades bid 2S. With the 2S bid however we are saying I have either 11 or 12 points, where are you on the 12-14 scale, depending on weather you play for a 25 or 24 HCP 3NT determines your response. If you can see enough for game or you maybe missing a point but have a solid 5 card suit then you should go to 3NT else escape to 2NT which you should make given you have at least 22 HCP. Last a 2NT transfer which a transfer to the minors which the 1NT is expected to bid 3C and then you pass or correct, as they wont know which it is, you should only do this with a 6+ card minor though.

In response to the transfer say 1NT - 2D -2H - ?, there are more options then pass. Which I think not people know about or play. (I did not)

2NT can be invitational to play a part score or game in either the transferred suit or NT.
3H promising 6H now, the idea being that if you 7+ game is probably on the cards just from distribution.
A new suit say 3D shows 5H-4D or 5H-5D and you want to be in game. 3NT I want be in game but you choose 3NT or transferred suit.
Game in transferred suit is promising at least 6 and a good hand this is where we should be.

Note: You can use a 2S range finder to also find out if you should be in slam, remembering that the 1NT opener is forced to bid you can find out weather they are strong or weak in response to your hand.

There are of course extensions to this convention, like super accepts. This means when the person bids 2D and you are sitting there 4 heats and 14 or a good 13, then you respond 3H not 2H. This tells your partner hey I have something here we could be in game. Helps you find some games you otherwise would not find.

There are more then just this to transfers, some of this is just what I see people playing in the Wellington region at least anyway. I have learned something about transfers in looking this up so hopefully this can help you too. Next time I need to figure out how to get this laid out better and with symbols.