This method devised and developed by Mr. Terence Reese and Mr. Jeremy Flint is part of the Little Major System and was subsequently adopted by several American bridge experts to distinguish between a strong and a weak Minor suit game preempt.

Principle of the Concept

Any opening bid of 4 No Trump indicates a weak preempt of 5 Clubs or 5 Diamonds. Such a holding shows fewer than 5 controls by counting an Ace or Void as 2 controls, and a King or a singleton as only one control. An opening bid, conversely, of 5 Clubs or 5 Diamonds would indicate a stronger preempt with five or more controls.

The requirement of the 4 No Trump bid lies in the fact that it shows absolutely no slam interest on the part of the player making the bid. In the case that the partner of the opening bidder has aspirations, then the responder can continue the bidding to reach a slam contract.


Examples of the Concept

4 No Trump Preempt as Weak Minor Preempt

South   North   Meaning
4 NT       The opener promises a long Minor suit.
    5   The responder relays to Clubs. If Clubs is the suit of the opener, then the opener passes and the responder becomes the declarer.
5       If Clubs is not the suit of the opener, then the opener corrects to Diamonds and becomes the declarer.

Note: In the case that the responder holds about 2-3 cover cards or winning tricks, then the responder will continue the bidding to a slam contract.

Five Level Preemptive Opening

By introducing the 4 No Trump opening bid the partnership retains the conventional method of making a preemptive bid on the five level in either 5 Clubs or 5 Diamonds. The following illustration should clarify this difference.

South   Meaning
5   Promises a solid Diamond suit of 7-8 card length with traditional opening values.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.


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