The Next Step: Strong Balanced Hands

Quick Tips

  • Be precise about high card points when describing strong balanced hands

  • 33+ points (not fewer) are required for 6NT

  • 37+ points (not fewer) are required for 7NT

  • Because big balanced hands don’t have long suits, it’s mainly the high card points which will allow contracts to make

  • 4NT is not Blackwood in balanced hand (no trump) auctions

  • 4NT is “quantitative”, meaning partner is asking whether you have maximum or minimum points within the range you have shown

  • If there are enough points for a slam in no trumps, just bid it

  • Length points may be added if you have a good five-card suit

  • When defending 6NT, do NOT lead away from an honour (eg fourth highest) because it may provide the twelfth trick that declarer didn’t have

  • Instead, make a “neutral” lead, eg top of a doubleton or from three small cards

Here’s a video from an earlier lesson if you would like to do more revision on Strong Balanced Hands

Test your knowledge

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