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Old 04-12-2019, 07:13 AM
amarone is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Savannah, GA
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Originally Posted by merrick View Post
1S - 3H is a game-forcing raise in every natural system I've heard of, and it works fine here: 1S - 3H, 4H - 4NT, 5H - 6S (if you're playing RKCB, that 5H will be 5S, but it matters not).

Jacoby 2NT, if you're playing it, is better (and it works over an opening 1H, while 1H - 2S gets risky if partner raises Spades), but a lot of Acol players play 1H/S - 2NT as an invitational raise rather than an unconditional force.

Or there's a straight Blackwood 4NT, as septimus suggested.
Whatever the system, 4S is a serious underbid - you have a 4-loser hand and a massive fit.
Do you really mean that 1S - 3H is a "raise", i.e. guarantees spade support, or just that it is a game forcing bid? I have played ACOL, Standard American and 2/1 and have never come across 3H being a raise in any of those systems, but in all it would be a game-forcing jump shift showing hearts.

I agree with the rest of the post and comments by others about Jacoby 2NT and splinters (limited in high cards) being the way forward with game-going hands, leaving a direct 4S for weak, distributional hands, e.g. Qxxxx x Axxx xxx.

For splinters, I like a style where there are two levels of splinter - 9-11 HCP and 12 - 14. You show the former by bidding one over the trump suit, i.e. 1S - 3NT and 1H - 3S. These say "I have a game force, 9-11 HCP and a singleton/void somewhere." If opener has no interest in slam, he signs off in 4 of the major and you have not given away the information to opponents about where the shortage is. An immediate splinter shows 12 - 14 HCP.

Traditional Jacoby 2NT has some flaws, principally that the sequence 1S - 2NT - 4S (showing a minimum) preempts responder if he has a very good hand, so now has to make slam tries at the 5-level. Experts generally use modified responses to J2NT.

On the actual hand, no matter what you play, 4S is way too wimpy with that mountain.