The Part 3 of this series is here. Now we will wrap up the other bids available after 1m-1M-1NT.
If responder does not bid 2 Clubs or 2 Diamonds, his suit bids at the 2-level are natural. If it is not a reverse, it is weak, and opener does not have the right to support. 1C - 1S -1NT - 2H allows for only two reactions from opener, pass or 2 Spades (if he prefers spades to hearts). Responder's rebid is weak and does not invite any raise.
2NT is an artificial bid, asking opener to bid 3C. It is the only way in which we can play a club partscore. (Remember that any invitation based on power begins with 2 Clubs. A natural 2NT bid bids 2 Clubs, then 2NT over 2 Diamonds). You should have at least 5 clubs (6, if partner opened 1 Diamond) to try to play 3 Clubs rather than 1NT.
This bid is not used exclusively to play in clubs, though. It is also used to describe your game-forcing two-suiters. If you look again at previous installments, you'll see that we recommend that 2 Diamonds (ART, GF) does not include true two-suiters (5-5 or more in both suits), because you won't be able to describe your hand below 3NT. So, we take advantage of this ART 2NT to show those hands. After 2NT-3Clubs, if you bid again, you are showing a game-forcing two-suiter with at least 5-5 in your two suits.
The most natural way to show your side suit is to just bid it. If you rebid your suit rather than bidding a new suit over 3 Clubs, your side suit is clubs (5 of your major, 5 clubs). Over this bid, opener is well positioned to offer his opinion on the best game (3NT, 4 of your major, 5 in your minor), and after he voices that opinion, you will be well positioned to explore for slam if your hand merits that.
3 of a minor over 1NT is not forcing, and not an invitation based on power. (If you had that hand you would go through 2 Clubs or 2 Diamonds). What kind of a hand is that? It is a distributional invite, which is often aimed at 5 in the minor rather than just at 3NT. Typically 4 of your major and 6 in the minor, some 8-9 high card points. A normal hand would be Axxx xx x KJxxxx, after partner opened 1 Club. You have an easy game if he has xx Axxx Axx Axxx; and he knows to pass with xxx KQx KQx KJxx. As you see, partner's evaluation will be aimed at how his hand fits opposite a 4-6, not whether his hand is min or max.
The jump rebid of your major is not invitational. Since it doesn't make sense for it to be weak, it is game forcing. I suggest you play it as a game force without slam interest, i.e., you want partner's input to decide whether you will play 3NT or four of your major. This shows at least a nice 6-card suit. (Check our Part 2 to remind yourself that if responder has 5332 and wants to offer a choice between 3NT and 4M, he bids 2C-2D-3NT).
The jump rebid in hearts after responder originally bid 1 Spade shows a 5-5 game-forcing hand, but with merely choice-of-games strength. (With slam interest, he would bid 2NT-3C-3H). 3NT is also a possibility here.
Jumps to new suits at the 4-level (and to 3 Spades if the response was 1 Heart) are powerful major one-suiters, showing shortness in the bid suit (auto-splinter).
And that wraps up our summary of 2-way checkback Stayman. If you are comfortable with all that, you are ready to tackle XYZ. There are some important differences between the two situations, which will be examined in the following article .