Hazel Nutt — and all the other Nutts

Holiday Blog #10 – The Nutt Convention

Recently I was barred from playing strong two bids at my local club.  The NBL (Nutty Bridge League) has apparently banned this convention since it is never played, is entirely too natural and would be confusing to participants.  I did offer to provide a defense (don’t bid – opener has a lot of high card points) but this was turned down by the league.

So I have come up with an alternative that I am sure won’t make anybody happy anyway.

We bid our distribution starting with the shortest suit.  So one club shows one club, two diamonds shows exactly two diamonds and no shorter suit.  We do this regardless of high card points although with a very weak hand and some distribution we will open at the three level.  Pass is used to show an unspecified void.  With no suits shorter than three cards (meaning we are 4-3-3-3 or we have 14 or more cards, which does happen at our club) we open 1NT if we have 10-14 and 2NT with any other point count.  We call this the Nutt Convention.

The NBL was desperate to bar this convention but has yet to find a suitable ground so we have at least until the next board of directors meeting after the snow melts.  Here is the Nutt Convention at work.  Sitting South I held not vulnerable against vulnerable.





So naturally I opened 1.  North checked the back of his cards and then bid 2.  Jumping to the two level shows around opening values and interest in playing game opposite a hand with short clubs.  I rather liked my hand now so I raised diamonds.  Since I would not bid diamonds on more than two, partner now knew that I had to have at least ten cards in the majors (with 2-2 we open the higher ranking short suit).  Since I had raised a short suit we were now in a game force.  Partner’s 3 bid set the suit and showed slam interest.  After bidding Blackwood we were soon in slam.  Partner held





Anyone interested in more details of this wonderful system need only write me for a full description.   Someone said I should call the system Santa Claus.  I am not sure if this is in the spirit of the season or something else related to gifts.

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