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

The quiz below may not work properly on some mobile devices. If you are having trouble using it, please click here to open the quiz in its own window.