How To Beat Your Opponent By Mastering The Gambling 3NT

Posted 24 June 2009 by Ron


This shows a solid minor, 7 playing tricks, and little else.
A typical hand looks like this : 72  AKQ9865  852. It is permissible to hold a queen outside the long suit but a king or ace would be too much. With that, start with a 1-bid.
Partner is expected to pass with stoppers in the outside suits and potential for two tricks or better. With a weaker hand or with no cover in one or more suits, bid 4. Opener will pass with clubs or correct to 4.

3NT : 4 asks opener to pass with diamonds or bid 5 if clubs is the suit held. Responder has good support for clubs but is not worth as much opposite diamonds. You will know which minor suit opener has when you hold a top honour in the other minor.
3NT : 5/5/6 asks opener to pass if holding the minor bid or correct to the other minor.
3NT : 4/4 = to play.
Defence against the Gambling 3NT
Double = Strong hand. Suggests doubling for penalties if they run to 4-minor.
4 = Takeout for the majors with preference for hearts.
4 = Takeout for the majors with preference for spades.
4/4 = to play

Defensive Play

If their 3NT is passed out and you are on lead, it is often good  to start by leading an ace. This is usually not a sound move against a no-trumps contract but it works well against the gambling 3NT. As the opener has little outside the long minor, the ace lead does not set up extra winners in declarer's hand. The ace lead allows you to see dummy and you can almost always then find the best continuation. Dummy's strengths and weaknesses will be revealed and declarer is known to have little outside the long minor. If it is clear that there is no value in continuing the suit led, partner should signal suit preference (high card = high suit, low card = low suit) on this trick.

Countermeasures by the Gambling 3NT side

After 3NT : (Double)
All actions have the same meaning including No Bid. Redouble does not ask partner to run. It indicates great confidence that 3NT will succeed and a desire to penalise them if they run.
After 3NT : (Suit bid)
Doubles are for penalties. Minor suit bids = Pass or correct.

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