Opening Bid: Two Notrump
5-5 in the Majors
The agreement described here is not commmon to most Forcing Club systems, but it does fit well with the style. We no longer need an opening bid of 2NT to describe a balanced hand with 20-21 points so we can use the bid for a hand that is sometimes difficult to bid. Consider using an opening bid of 2NT for hands that have at least 5-5 in the majors.
How often do you hold a hand with two 5-card majors? The mathematicians of the game say that we hold such hands approximately 5.5% of all hands. That's actually pretty often.
Most of the hands that fit this agreement should be in the 13-16 point range but you can open with as little as 10 points if you have better distribution such as hands that have 6-5 or 6-6 in the majors. Also, you are not limited to 16 or fewer points with this particular call. Be careful with light openings because you are committed to play at the 3-level or higher.
The bid is not only descriptive for your partner but it is also preemptive for the opponents. If you open 1 hoping to rebid your heart suit later, you will give the opponents a lot of bidding room before you get the opportunity to bid again. By the time the bidding returns to you, you might be too high to show the heart suit.
Most of the time these two responses should be passed. Partner is assuming you have fewer than 17 points However, you can open 2NT with far more than that and if partner tries to stop at the 3-level you can push it to game. If you have a strong hand and partner wants to play game, you can explore for a slam.
Responder Bids Either 3 or 4
A 3 response, which is the lower minor, indicates an interest in a heart slam, the lower major. Conversely, a response of 3 shows an interest in a spade slam.
If you open with 10-17 points you should pass partner's 3-level or 4-level response in either major.
If partner shows an interest in slam by bidding eithe 3 or 3 and you have a minimum point-count of 10-13, just jump to game in the agreed suit. Partner might still push on, but now he knows more about your hand.