Video by Maggie Hadley – Article by India Leeming

Responder’s 1NT, often called the “Dustbin 1NT”, often causes confusion in bridge learners. Many people remember the bid to mean “6-9 HCP”, “no fit in Partner’s suit” or “any old rubbish”. The truth is that these are all part of the answer: but not the whole answer! The bid should not be thought of in terms of what it shows but what it denies. It simply means “I couldn’t do anything else”. No wonder it’s so difficult to get your head around!

So let’s decide on an order of priority for what you should do if your partner opens 1 of a suit:

  1. If you only have 0-5 HCP, pass.
  2. If your partner opened 1 of a major and you have support, support the major.
  3. If you have a 4+-card major, bid the major. Exception: If you have a game-forcing hand opposite a rebid of 1NT by Partner, you can bid a longer minor first.
  4. If you have support for Partner’s minor, support the minor.
  5. If you can bid your longest suit at the next available level, bid that suit.
  6. If you cannot do any of the above, bid 1NT: it’s the only bid that’s left!

Notice that the 1NT response is right at the bottom of the pecking order! It should be a last resort if you are unable to make any other bid. 

Let’s look at some examples:

  1. 1– 1NT

1NT says “I do not have support for your ; and I only have 6-9 HCP, so I was not strong enough to bid my longest suit at the 2-level”.

  1. 1 – 1NT

1NT says “I do not have support for your ; I do not have 4 ; and I only have 6-9 HCP, so I was not strong enough to bid my longest suit at the 2-level”.

  1. 1 – 1NT

1NT says “I do not have 4 or ; I do not have support for your ; and I only have 6-9 HCP, so I was not strong enough to bid my longest suit at the 2-level”. 

  1. 1 – 1NT

1NT says “I do not have 4 , or ♦; I do not have support for your ; and I only have 6-9 HCP, so I was not strong enough to bid my longest suit at the 2-level”. 

Now have a go at the following question:

Q. Which hand/hands match this auction: 1 – 1NT?

  1. ♠ 5432 ♥ KQ6 ♦ 64 ♣ JT95
  2. ♠ K72 ♥ 5 ♦ Q53 ♣ Q87632
  3. ♠ 843 ♥ A86 ♦ T75 ♣ QJ82
  4. A86 974 KT4 KT98