M J Bridge
As with Stayman everyone (I exaggerate only slightly) plays transfers over 1NT.
However, these common features mask an infinity of differences.
Many pairs play only red-
When transfers were first introduced it was in the American game where the strong no trump held sway. It was not desirable to play a weak take-
From this historical situation have arisen two common misconceptions:-
i) that transfers are a kind of weak take-
ii) that the purpose of transfers is to ensure that the strong hand becomes declarer.
These are, indeed, two important aspects of transfer bids, but they fall far short of the whole story.
The principle strength of transfer bids is their versatility.
With a weak hand you can transfer and then pass -
They give you two bids for the price of one.
So, the idea that a transfer is little more than a form of weak take-
As for transferring the declarer play to the stronger hand, this is little more than a side bonus. (Apart from anything else, the argument about the strong hand declaring is persuasive when responder is extremely weak, but when responder holds anything in the way of values the disparity is much less pronounced facing a weak no trump.)
Another common by-
This is rarely the correct option on a weak hand.
Are you really certain that you can make two more tricks?
With a poor seven-
With a stronger hand you will be with the majority if you choose to retain the six-
Note that when you adopt any transfer system you will lose your weak take-
Fear not -
Putting your system together
are probably the most common implementation of the concept in everyday club play.
In this section (improvers’ methods), as we encounter transfer bids for the first time, I shall recommend what I call
Following that there will be a complete page of examples showing how four-
There is much to be said for mastering this versatility before trying more advanced variations.
This page last revised 1st Nov 2019
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