Transfers to the Minors

LESSON NOTES

Transfers to the Minors 

1NT p 2♠ (transfer) asks opener to bid 3♣
1NT p 2NT (transfer) asks opener to bid 3♦

Responder could have any number of points for a transfer, from 0 - 20+. Mostly you just accept the transfer, but if you particularly like the suit (you have two or three cards to a top honour), "super-accept" by bidding the suit in between, NOT the suit partner has asked you to bid via the transfer. This sometimes gets you to a good 3NT when you would have stopped in 3 of the minor. 

North   East     South   West
1NT      P          2♠        P
2NT (not bidding 3♣) is a super accept to clubs, showing something like ♣Kxx

NB: Using four suit transfers, you lose the ability to make an invitational raise in no trumps, i.e. 1NT p 2NT. Because this is now a transfer to diamonds, the way to invite with a balanced hand is 1NT p 2♣ (Stayman) p 2? p 2NT (showing a balanced 8,9 point hand).   

When should responder not transfer to a minor?

Because you don't gain a lot by playing in a minor when you could have been in no trumps, think twice about transferring to a minor! If your hand is semi- balanced, e.g.  
   ♠ 54   
   ♥ 32   
   ♦ 65   
   ♣ AKJ9765
DON'T transfer to clubs here, just bid 3NT. You were always going to play no trumps anyway, so don't give extra information to the opponents. 

Don't transfer to a minor and bid a major, as this should be described via Stayman. Therefore to transfer to a minor would deny a four-card major. e.g. 
   ♠ Q1042
   ♥ KQ
   ♦ 10
   ♣ KQ9752  1NT p start with 2♣ Stayman, and then if necessary bid clubs.      

Therefore, to transfer to a minor and bid a new suit shows a singleton in the bid suit. 1NT p 2♠ p 3♣ p 3♦ = something like
   ♠ Q104
   ♥ KQ9
   ♦ 10
   ♣ KQ9752       

When would responder actually transfer to a minor?

If partner actually wants to play in three-of-a-minor!  Responder has at least a six-card minor and thinks that 3♣ or 3♦ would have a better chance than 1NT.  
   ♠ 2   
   ♥ 542  
   ♦ 32  
   ♣ J987654
When you have a weak hand and a six+ card minor, it's better to play 3 of the minor than 1NT (the weaker you are, the less likely partner can cross to your hand in 1NT,  but much easier if your long minor is trumps).

Also sometimes you might want to try for slam in the minor, and opener will know this if you actually do transfer and then bid no trumps. They will understand that you could have simply bid 3NT but didn't. 

Summary

If you have no interest in playing in the minor, don't transfer! Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, transfer to a minor.


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