~New Minor Forcing
New Minor Forcing
New Minor Forcing fills a valuable niche when responder needs to make a forcing bid to invite game but doesn’t have the cards for a traditional forcing bid. After responder has bid a major suit and opener bids 1NT, responder makes the auction forcing and seeks specific information by bidding in a minor suit new to the auction. When this happens, opener knows that responder’s bid is conventional and must alert the opponents. Two examples are
This new minor after 1NT by opener shows 10+ points and is, therefore, invitational and forcing one round. The bid can be used with a variety of holdings, the most common is when holding a 5-card major to inquire about 3-card support. Failure to use New Minor Forcing or some other strength showing bid appropriate for the situation, by default, shows a weaker hand of 6-9 points.
Opener’s Third Bid When Spades are Responder’s First-Bid major
Listed below, in exact order of priority, are the available options from which opener can choose:
1. Two hearts (the unbid suit) shows a 4-card suit.
2. Two or three of responder’s major shows 3-card support and either a minimum (12-13 HCP) or a maximum (14+ HCP).
Jump with 14+ HCP.
3. Two or three no-trump confirms a stopper in the unbid suit (or the artificial suit) and indicates a minimum (up to 13 HCP) or maximum (14+ HCP).
4. Rebid of the original suit or raise of responder’s minor is natural and denies the ability to make any other rebid.
If opener bids 2H, showing four hearts, responder may rebid 2S, showing a 5-card spade suit with game-invitational values–opener may pass or continue, having received this information. If partner had held 6S, he would have rebid spades to show length and strength (minimum or invitational).
A jump to 3S shows a 6-card suit and slam interest. With a 6-card spade suit, responder would have jumped to 3S over the 1NT bid (instead of using New Minor Forcing) with an invitational hand or to 4S (just to play game).
Opener’s Third Bid When Hearts are Responder’s First-bid Major
In this example, opener has denied four spades (by bidding 1NT), so an eight-card spade fit cannot exist (with 5/5 in the majors, responder would have bid spades first).
~Here, opener’s first responsibility is to show a 3-card heart fit. A 2H bid now would show 3-card support and a minimum opener, while a jump to 3H would show 14+ HCP and 3-card heart support.
~Holding only two hearts, opener bids 2NT with minimum values and a spade stopper, but will jump to 3NT to show greater values and a spade stopper. An exception is that when opener’s first suit was diamonds, and the New Minor Forcing call has been 2C, opener will rebid 2D when holding only two hearts and five diamonds.
~Opener also has available a call of 2S. This cannot be showing a spade suit (already denied). It follows that when opener bids 2NT over the NMF call to show a minimum and only two hearts, that the 2NT bid also shows a spade stopper. When opener does not hold a spade stopper, he makes the “impossible” bid of 2S. Both the 2NT call and the 2S call promise two hearts.
Since either minor suit would be NMF, make the most natural call.
Responder may hold neither 4 hearts nor 5 spades and may only need to create a forcing auction. Subsequent bidding will reveal that fact.
~Any jump bid is natural and forcing to game.
When partner opens 1C, 1D. Or 1H and you hold a 4-card major and a 6-card minor, use NMF to force the bidding, then show the minor. If the hand is too weak for NMF, bid the major and then jump in the minor. This shows 6-4 shape and less than 10 HCP.
Over partner’s 1C, 1D, or 1H, bid 1S. Over partner’s subsequent 1NT bid, jump to 3C.