Jacoby 2NT

The Jacoby 2NT conventional raise was invented by Oswald Jacoby (who also invented Jacoby Transfers). To use this convention, your partnership agrees that after you open 1 or 1 and your partner is an unpassed hand, his jump to 2NT shows:

  • Forcing-to-game strength (12+ points)
  • Good trump support (4 or more cards)

The 2NT response forces you to at least game level. It is not a suggestion to play in notrump; it shows support and asks the 1 or 1 opener to further describe his hand.

Note that the Jacoby 2NT convention is "on" only if responder has not previously passed in the auction. If you are a passed hand, your jump to 2N is natural, showing a balanced hand of 11-12 points.

If you are playing Splinter Bids, then you Splinter to show a game force with 4+ trumps and a singleton or void, and use Jacoby 2NT for hands with no singletons or voids.

Opener's rebids

If you open 1 of a major and partner responds 2N, the first responsibility is to show a singleton or void, no matter what your strength:

  • Bid 3 of a suit where you have a singleton
  • Bid 4 of a suit where you have a void.

If you have extra values, but no singleton or void, describe your strength as follows:

  • Bid 4 of your suit with <14 HCPs and no slam interest.
  • Bid 3N with 14-15 HCPs.
  • Bid 3 of your suit with 16+ HCPs.

For example, after you open 1 and partner responds 2N, the meanings of your rebids are:

  • 3, 3 or 3 = Singleton in the suit bid.
  • 4, 4 or 4 = Void in the suit bid.
  • 4 = <14 HCPs, no singleton or void
  • 3N = 14-15 HCPs, no singleton or void
  • 3 = 16+ HCPs, no singleton or void.

This theme of jumping to game with a weak hand and bidding smaller and smaller steps with stronger and stronger hands is repeated in many conventions, so it's worthwhile remembering that after an asking bid, a jump to game (called "fast arrival") is virtually always a sign-off while the smaller the increment of the next bid, the stronger the hand.

(Source for the above specifications: Bridge Conventions Complete by Amalya Kearse. Other meanings of rebids by opener can be found in other sources.)