Beginners’ Course
January 2, 2017
Gerber 4♣
February 14, 2017

Transfers

Bid the suit underneath your real suit

A transfer is made by bidding the suit below your actual suit. If you have a 5-card heart suit, you bid 2. If you have 5 spades, you bid 2. This may seem odd, but the bid is actually a command to partner to bid the suit above the one you bid.

Your second bid shows the strength of your hand.

Practice hands for 15-17 1NT opening

Play

Practice hands for 12-14 1NT opening

Play

Weakness takeout using transfers



You don’t have enough for game, and your suit is pretty horrible, but your hand is much more suitable for spades than notrumps. Transfer to 2 and pass. The great thing about transfers with a weak hand is that partner, who is stronger, often becomes declarer.

Choosing the best game



You have enough for game with this hand so tell partner. The beauty of this convention is that you can now bid 3NT. First tell your partner that you have 5 spades by bidding 2, then tell partner that you have enough for game. It is up to partner to choose the final contract. – 3NT or 4.

Weak Minor Hands

If you have a very weak hand and a 6 or 7-card minor you should bid 2. This does not show spades as you would have bid 2 remember! 2 demands that partner bid 3. You now bid your minor suit and partner must pass.

Don’t transfer with a 5-card minor. You can call that a balanced hand. You need a 6-card suit at least.



South shows a weak hand with long diamonds.

Other times to use transfers

Transfers can be used over 1NT overcalls as well as 1NT openings.

They can also be used over 2NT openings. This is great as the strong hand is declarer.

When not to use transfers

Transfers show a 5-card major.
Stayman asks for a 4-card major.
This difference is very important. Don’t use Stayman to show 5-card majors.

If your opponents overcall or double your 1NT opening transfers no longer apply. Just bid naturally.

10 Comments

  1. Profile photo of wazzup wazzup says:

    As a beginner to Bridge, and reading all the comments about your Bridge games left by previous players, I could never understand what was meant when transfers were referred to. Your explanation and examples of play were easy to follow, and much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  2. Profile photo of jeanne jeanne says:

    A very clear explanation…..thank you

  3. Profile photo of sbc24983524 sbc24983524 says:

    As responder having 8 points , (not 10 p) on the second bid I bid 2NT telling partner point count (8-9 points) and partner then bids 3 NT (she has 3 spades!) Is that right?
    I didn’t go to 4 S as I didn’t know opener had 3 spades.

    • Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

      Opener would normally support your spades rather than bid notrumps again. If it happens again please make a comment at the end of the hand and I’ll check it out for you.

  4. Profile photo of graeme graeme says:

    Hi @pwrogers,
    Sorry about that! – please have another go now and you should be ok.

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  6. Profile photo of glendadavis glendadavis says:

    The overcalls,Gerber lessons and Transfers were really concise and helpful.
    As a point of clarification, when overcalling with 12 or more points, is a jump bid no longer played. i.e.” better to go slow”

  7. Profile photo of crickett46 crickett46 says:

    Practice hands on transfers say no post and there is nothing there.

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