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Kamikaze NT

#1 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2021-May-22, 18:14

I've been having so much fun since switching from a 15-17 to a 12-14 nt , I would like to try 10-12 1st and 2nd seat, NV

We have what I think it a good run out;
1nt (X)
- any bid is a 5 card suit to play
- pass denies a 5 card suit
- XX claiming the hand

-- any bid is a 5 card suit
-- XX starts a 4 card runout

I'm interested to hear of other's experience with the 10-12 nt and, if you play other than the "standard" 12-14 or 15-17 ranges, why.
Mike, I know you play 14-16, why?

"And no matter what methods you play, it is essential, for anyone aspiring to learn to be a good player, to learn the importance of bidding shape properly." MikeH
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#2 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2021-May-22, 23:33

jillybean. you need system that when opps. X in both 2nd and 4th seat imo. I like convention where XX by opener puts opps. under pressure whether to pass or bid (run?). if you use smaller nt range (12-14, 10-12 :o) then you will open 1Nt more and give opps. more problems.

it is good to have safety in mind, but not that many times the opps. will have the chance to X as they need 15+. one bad result is not disaster if you have ten good results using a smaller nt range.

imo 12-14nt is like a pre-empt bid. partner knows what you have in a limited range and the opps. are in a more difficult position to counter its bid, even with conventions like landy, multilandy, brozel...

#3 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-May-23, 01:47

I play 10-13 only at favourable vulnerability 1st and 2nd seat ('Chicken NT') and 14-16 at all other positions and vulnerabilities. I think it's wonderful. Compared to modern expert standard I think 14-16 is arguably closer to the field than 15-17. Also 17 point balanced hands tend to land on their feet regardless (opponents are often silent or you have a clear call to make), bundling the 14 in the 1NT makes the bid more effective. Historically 14-16 is an adaptation from Precision, I think.

I play the same runouts you describe, because they are easy to remember. If you want something more effective I recommend either Meckwell runouts (I have no idea if this is played by Meckwell, this is just the name I found it under):
  • XX business
  • 2/2 promise the bid suit and a higher suit (can be 4-4)
  • 2/2 natural and to play
  • pass forces XX after which the other runout hands can be bid (2/2 single suiter, 2 both majors).

I've personally also become rather infatuated with something called 'Dig-out Spelvic' because it gets the spades in early, but I won't play it because of the memory load (although I do play Lionel defence over strong NT, which is somewhat similar). There is a good overview of (51!) different runout schemes on

If the 4th hand doubles for penalties everything is a lot more complicated. This is where the natural runouts shine - opener bids a 5-card suit or, missing one, leaves the decision to partner. If you happened to have 11 opposite 12 and the opps managed to steal from you, tough luck. I would not be surprised if there is some clever pass/redouble methods for this exact situation (maybe one shows any 5-card suit and the other denies), but I haven't run into them.

Lastly I wanted to add that a lot of my local opponents play penalty doubles 'from the top of the NT range', so starting at 13 points for me (I personally require 15+ for a penalty double regardless of the weak NT range). In this situation opener's hand is limited and the opps have to double on a wide range of shapely hands. If you have a runout system where pass/XX are two frequent calls this really puts it to the opponents, because their hands are so unlimited.

#4 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2021-May-23, 06:32

View Postjillybean, on 2021-May-22, 18:14, said:

if you play other than the "standard" 12-14 or 15-17 ranges, why.

12-14 and 15-17 NTs are meant for systems with rule of 20-ish openings, like (book) standard 2/1.

I play a 14-16-ish NT in a system with rule of 19-ish openings, like modern Precision. A 11-13-ish NT would also fit rather well. A 15-17 NT (10-12 NT), on the other hand, would result in an uncomfortably big 11-14 (13-16) NT range deeper in the system. A 12-14 NT would just be unplayable.

#5 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2021-May-23, 13:16

I have played 10-12, 11-13, 11-14, 13-15, 15-17, and now (in one partnership) 10-12 1st/2nd nv and 14-16 otherwise, with 14-16 always, in my other partnership.

As to why 14-16, it’s because we have, in both partnerships, adopted a style of opening virtually all 11 counts. This makes 1D - 1M - 1N 11+, and 11-14 is (in our view) too wide. We like 3 point ranges for opening and rebid notrump calls.

An additional, useful point is that most regular pairs and all expert pairs have very good methods over a strong 1N opening, which closely defines opener’s hand type immediately. Balanced 14 counts occur far more often than do balanced 17 counts, so 14-16 arises more often than does 15-17.

As for rescues from 10-12:

If doubled directly:

Pass forces redouble. Responder has one of a desire to play redoubled, a two suiter without hearts being one of them, or both majors with hearts equal or better than spade

Xx forces 2C, responder having a single suit

Bid of 2m shows that suit and hearts

2H shows both majors, spades better than hearts

2S shows a decent hand, no game interest but willing to be raised in competition

2N is a marked gf two suited hand, that doesn’t want to risk 1N xx because they may be running one or both of the short suits

3x is natural, preemptive

After 1N P P x:

Opener can run to a long suit

If it goes x P P

Redouble shows a one suited minor (can’t hold 5M and pass 1N)

2C is clubs and a higher

2D diamonds and higher

2H majors
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#6 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-23, 13:29

Warning: playing 10-12 NT feels closer to 15-17 than to 12-14. The benefits of sound minors go out the window, for a more preemptive 1NT. You also, barring a strong club system or the like, have to distinguish 13-19 somehow; whether it's divide the balanced hands into the minor openings, or play wider ranges (EHAA plays 13-bad 16 1NT rebid, good 16-bad 19 2NT, good 19-20 3NT, 2NT openings are 21-24 or so (If you play a strong 2C, you don't need that wide a range!)).
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#7 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2021-May-23, 17:31

Yes you have to have runouts, but really don't worry about them. Against non-expert opponents, the best runout system is the one that is mostly likely to get them to bid something and take you off the hook. Beyond that consideration, everything is just about almost equal.

For simplicity, the one I like best is to have everything natural except psycho-2C, where 2C shows either clubs or a SHD 3 suiter or majors. If partner has 3 or fewer clubs, they assume you have clubs and pass. If partner has 4 or more clubs, they assume you don't have clubs and bid their best other suit at the 2 level, and you further correct to 3C with clubs or correct 2D to 2H with majors. If you end up in 3C in a 5-4 fit, it can't be bad. If you end up in 2C in a 3-2 fit - well it's not worse than 1N, and they can't double you without giving you a chance to run! It's basically never bad to go down nonvulnerable at 50 a trick; vulnerable you might take some licks.

But against non experts, this doesn't give them enough chances to be tempted to bid, so I prefer something more complicated.


Mycroft is right - 10-12 1N is more like 15-17 because you don't have the benefit of sound 1m openings. Distinguishing between 13-19 is a serious problem. You have to play coded minors (1D=diamonds or 13-15 bal, 1C=clubs or 16-19 bal, or the like) or play Mexican 2D (18-19 bal, with 1m-1M-2N=16-17, both a bit shaky).

Another option you might consider is playing 10-13 1N. It's uncomfortably wide for constructive bidding, so you end up in a lot of no-hope 24 hcp 3N (and no-hope 22 hcp 2N), but a good declarer can steal a surprising number of these. Now you can manage with 14-16 1N rebids, 17-bad19 2N rebids, and good19-21 2N openings. Also, you get to open 1N even more often, and the wider range makes it harder for opponents to place your cards when declaring or defending.

#8 User is offline   perko90 

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Posted 2021-May-24, 16:39

I think you have a good runout. You're wise to keep XX by Responder as business for weak (and less) 1NT. The ones that advocate that Pass forces a XX have 2 weaknesses:
1) If you have a business XX, it's hard to communicate it when - inevitably - 4th seat bids
2) You let 4th seat off the hook because they now have an easy pass when they have no shape & weak hand
(sometimes 4th seat can't tell who has the balance of the HCPs and may run before your side, which is a victory)

I would also recommend that Opener doesn't auto XX with anything not having a 5-card suit. With 4333 shape, it's likely no worse to just play 1NTX than scramble to a likely 4-3 fit. So, in my partnership XX by Opener shows 2 4-card suits.

For adjustments when 4th seat doubles, I recommend that Responder uses the XX to show the scramble hand and 2 = 4/4 in the majors (assuming you're always trying to play 2M when Responder has 5). For Opener, I recommend that XX is a scramble, too, but shows an anchor suit (like s).

BTW, I've never played 10-12 1NT, but I have played 12-14 and 15-17 and currently play 14+ to 17-.
Glad you're having fun experimenting!

#9 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-May-24, 17:03

I’ve not tried it but always thought DONT would make a good runout system
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#10 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2021-May-24, 19:53

We played 10-13 hcp 1NT first and second not vulnerable.

Our run out methods were:

Two of any suit showed a five-card suit.

Except 2 could be made on any hand that wanted to run but did not have a five-card suit. That is 2 could either be five or more clubs or anything down to 4=4=4=1 without a five-card suit. If the opponent doubled, whether takeout or penalty, opener was expected to run or redouble with fewer than three clubs and responder was expected to run or redouble with fewer than four clubs. Most of the time we could find at least a 4-3 fit if we ran.

Redouble was saying we had the balance of strength. Many people double 1NT light when it is 10-13 which has the consequence that we more often have the balance of strength when they double. Which means we should try and cater to those situations where they double but the hand still belongs to our side. Given that some also choose, unbelievably, to not play penalty doubles, I believe makes a strength showing redouble a big winner. After the redouble we play the next double as takeout. I think of the redouble as encouraging the 1NT opener to come back into the auction in a sensible way.

In addition, we play jumps to the three level as preemptive.

I suppose 2NT could be a strong two suiter that does not want to go through the redouble. These hands do occur. Once when playing another method, we had the ignominy of failing in 1NT XX off the entire spade suit when we were cold for seven of either minor. It was some sort of perfect storm - our flawed methods; the opponent doubling with little more than AKQJxxx; and the partner of the doubler sitting for the double with a near yarborough.
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#11 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-May-25, 09:18

I play DONT runouts with one player I play 10-12 (1,2,3 NV) and they are simple and successful. I actually play DONT runouts with one partner I play 15-17, and they're possibly even better (thought not as much experience with it yet).

I don't like a runout system that doesn't allow me to play 1NTx NV. 1NTx-1 is -100, and beats their 2M=, never mind if they make overtricks. It is really hard to get 1NT 2 tricks opposite a hand that is willing to try to play there, and any defensive slipup or a lucky lie is +180 which is almost always almost the same top as +560. Even -300 frequently beats game their way in the way that -600 doesn't. (in fact, the 10-12 runout we couldn't play 1NTxx, but could pass out 1NTx)

But of the systems that don't allow playing both 1NTx and 1NTxx, DONT is simple and effective and doesn't involve artificial bids that get doubled for "cards".
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