TEXAS
TRANSFER

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As the name indicates, this convention deals with transfers after a 1 No Trump or 2 No Trump opening by the partner. The Texas Transfer convention was independently developed by Mr. David Carter of St. Louis, Missouri and Mr. Olle Willner of Sweden. It also is part of the optional conventions used in the Acol Bidding System.

The purpose of the Texas Transfer is to have the stronger hand concealed during the play, thus the responder transfers the No Trump bidder to the intended suit by bidding the suit ranking lower than the intended suit. These transfer bids are used only when the partner realizes that he holds enough values for game or slam, not partscore. This difference is the fundamental key of the Texas Transfer convention.

The bids of the responder are as follows:

Opener

Responder

Meaning

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Heart suit.
transfers opener to Hearts.

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Spade suit.
transfers opener to Spades.

The Texas Transfer convention is normally limited to the Major suits. However, bridge players have taken the Texas Transfer one step further:

Opener

Responder

Meaning

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Diamond suit.
transfers opener to Diamonds.

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Club suit.
transfers opener to Clubs.

There is also a South African version of the Texas Transfer convention:

Opener

Responder

Meaning

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Heart suit.
transfers opener to Hearts.

1 NT

4

shows a hand justifying game.
shows a 6-card Spade suit.
transfers opener to Spades.

Since the opponents enjoy bidding after a 1 No Trump opening, some bridge partners have agreed to use the Texas Transfer even after an intervening overcall. If the intervening call does not exceed Three Spades, then the Texas Transfer is still in effect. If the intervening call is on the Four Level, possible but unlikely, then all bids by the responder should be considered natural bids.

This explains the Texas Transfer convention, and if you wish to use it owing to the space-consuming element of the transfer, thereby prohibiting your opponents to even consider making an intervening bid, then we urge you to make it part of your partnership agreement. There are elements of the Texas Transfer which do not allow you to use other conventions, such as the Gerber convention to explore for slam possibility, and this may be too high a price to pay. On the other hand, if you are willing to surrender this and other conventions, then add the Texas Transfer convention to your list on the Convention Chart, informing your opponents.

It has become the general partnership understanding that Texas Transfer bids are employed well together with the Jacoby Transfer convention. This understanding results in a binding partnership agreement, which eliminates a certain ambiguity regarding the interpretation of the bid of 4 No Trump. It is a foregone conclusion that the values of the responder are at least minimum for a game contract.

1. After a Jacoby Transfer bid, the consensus is that a bid of 4 No Trump is quantitative, and partner may pass.

2. After a Texas Transfer bid, the consensus is that a bid of 4 No Trump is any variation of Blackwood, normally Roman Keycard Blackwood. The partner may not pass since it is considered Ace-asking.

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.

Claus and Raymond

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