Also written as Gambling Three NT, Gambling Three No Trump, or Gambling 3NT. It lies within the nature of humans to gamble. Bridge is a competitive game, a gambling game, although it is generally considered unmannered to play for money. To take guessing out of the equation and the auction, conventions and logical treatments, etc., have been invented, devised, and created. However, the Gambling Three No Trump convention is used to obstruct the opponents because it takes up so much bidding space.Any competition must be accomplished on the four level.

This conventional method is part of the British Bidding System. This feature is also used by bridge players using any style of Precision. The Gambling Three No Trump bid is also a feature of the Acol System and has been adopted by bridge players using the Two Clubs Strong Artificial Opening bid.

The Gambling Three No Trump bid is an opening bid based on a long, solid Minor suit, with at least one, preferably two, outside stoppers. The general consensus is that the Minor suit should contain at least seven cards, which are solid in honors from the top Ace down to generally the Jack. This guideline, however, has been relaxed to include holdings which contain only five Losing Tricks and a 7-card Minor suit.

Note: Partnership agreements exist, which do not require any outside stopper(s).
Note: Regarding the quality of the Minor suit partnership agreements exist, which have been adjusted to include holdings which contain only five Losing Tricks and a 7-card Minor suit.
Note: The so-called classical version of this concept requires that the opener have stoppers in two side suits in addition to the solid 7-card Minor suit. This version is sometimes referred to as the Strong, Gambling 3 No Trump Opening.
Note: The second version is referred to as the Modified Version, devised by Mr. Terence Reese. In this version the Minor suit is still the solid to semi-solid 7-card Minor suit with the difference being that only one outside King or Queen be present. This version is sometimes referred to as the Weak, Gambling No Trump Opening. See also: Gambling 2 No Trump.
Note: Partnership agreements may include the condition that a Gambling 3 No Trump opening bid may only be employed in the First, Second, and Third Seat, but never the Fourth Seat. This understanding means that all continuances described below are in effect following a Gambling 3 No Trump opening bid in the first three positions. However, any and all described continuances below may not be employed after any opening bid of 3 No Trump in fourth position. The agreement is that any opening of 3 No Trump in fourth position guarantees a minimum of 8 winning tricks, such as a Minor suit holding of: AKQxxxx and an Ace in any side suit.
Note: Although the Gambling 3 No Trump opening, in the accepted and original version and by consensus, shows only a long Minor suit, there is no limitation placed on a Gambling 3 No Trump opening in a Major suit.

The following illustrations of the Classical versus the Modified Versions should clarify this concept of Mr. Terence Reese.

Classical   Modified
K7
86
AKQJ874
A7
 
6
Q73
AKQ9654
75
3 No Trump   3 No Trump

With either of these holdings the opener should open the auction with 3 No Trump.

Optional Responses and Continuances

Pass: To play.
4 : Shows weakness and indicates a desire to play in opener's long Minor suit. The opener either passes or corrects to 4.
4 : An artificial bid, asking for a singleton.
1. If opener has a singleton in a Major suit, the opener bids that suit. A 4 rebid shows a singleton in Hearts and a 4 rebid shows a singleton in Spades.
2. If opener bids 4NT, this shows a singleton in either of the Minor suits.
  Note: An alternate meaning is that a 4 No Trump rebid shows no shortness in any suit. This strongly implies a 2-2-2-7 distribution or a 2-2-7-2 distribution.
3. If opener bids 5 or 5, then opener has a singleton in the other Minor suit and the bid establishes the long, solid Minor suit.
  Note: An alternate meaning is that a rebid in a Minor suit following 4 No Trump shows shortness as opposed to a singleton. Employing this agreement the responder will know the short Minor suit.
4 : This bid is natural and indicates a self-sufficient 6-card Heart suit or better. The opener is required to pass.
4 : This bid is natural and indicates a self-sufficient 6-card Spade suit or better. The opener is required to pass.
4 NT: This is a conventional bid. Opener has already shown an Ace, and therefore the responses are downgraded.
5 : Promises 1 Ace.
5 : Promises 2 Aces.
5 : Promises 3 Aces.
5 : This bid shows a desire to play in the Minor suit of the opener. This can be a possible preemptive bid.
5 : This bid is natural. With a high honor in Clubs, the responder has logically deducted that the suit of the opener is Diamonds. The opener should pass.
5 NT: A forcing response asking opener to bid a grand slam if opener has additional values such as an 8-card Minor suit, or King/Queen in a side suit.
  Note: An alternate agreement is that the bid of 5 No Trump asks the opener to bid a grand slam if he can play opposite a void.
6 : Shows a desire to play a Minor suit slam. The opener can correct to Diamonds if Diamonds is the long, solid Minor suit.
6 : If the responder knows that partner's long Minor suit is Diamonds, then the responder will simply bid the small slam with sufficient values (or evaluation based on the number of losing tricks).

Defense mechanisms are solely based on the partnership agreement. Following are several suggestions. In general, any defense mechanism is decided by the individual partnership. Possible defense methods are presented below, but they are not to be considered etched in stone. The following bids generally apply to the immediate seat after a Gambling 3 No Trump opening, but may also apply if the partner of the opener passes in rotation.

Double: Double is for penalty.
If the suit of the opponent bidding the Gambling 3 No Trump can be deduced, then:
4 : Promises specifically Hearts and (to partner) an unknown Minor suit. This overcall is similar to the Astro convention and/or possible variations.
4 : Promises specifically Hearts and (to partner) an unknown Minor suit. This overcall is similar to the Astro convention and/or possible variations.
4 : Promises specifically Spades and an unknown Minor suit. 4NT by partner asks for the Minor suit.

As the defense must bid on the four level, the defense is generally a concept of simplicity. This applies to all other bids, which are deemed natural and are non-forcing in nature. As an alternative method, a bid of 4 in this defense mechanism may be employed by the partnership as wished, even natural if not the suit of the opponent.

Another alternative is that this variation can also be varied so that the overcaller may actually bid the deduced suit of the player bidding the Gambling 3 No Trump in order to be obstructive to the partner of the No Trump bidder. The variation would be to actually bid the suit of the No Trump bidder to show shortage in this suit, length in the other Minor suit and promise Hearts or Spades according to the partnership agreement.

Alternative Defense Method 1

Double: Any double is for penalty and partner must pass.
4 : This is a Takeout Double of Clubs, and shows balanced distribution in the other three unbid suits, namely Diamonds, Hearts, and Spades.
4 : This is a Takeout Double of Diamonds, and shows balanced distribution in the other three unbid suits, namely Clubs, Hearts, and Spades.
4 : This bid is natural, strong in values, and explicitly promises Hearts. Note: Some partnerships require approximately 8.0 to 8.5 winning tricks for such an overcall. This overcall is not a sign-off. If advancer has additional values, perhaps even a Minor suit void, then a slam try is also possible.
4 : This bid is natural, strong in values, and explicitly promises Spades. Note: Some partnerships require approximately 8.0 to 8.5 winning tricks for such an overcall. This overcall is not a sign-off. If advancer has additional values, perhaps even a Minor suit void, then a slam try is also possible.

Although generally employed in the immediate position following the opening bid of 3 No Trump, explained as a Gambling 3 No Trump opening, this defense method may also be applicable in fourth position if the responder passes in rotation.

Alternative Defense Method 2

The attempt to compete on the four level normally requires simplicity in the applied and employed defense method. The following method is preferred by many partnerships.

Double: Any double is for penalty and partner must pass.
4 : This overcall is employed as the only possible Takeout Double. The advancer may pass with insufficient values if the responder competes in any manner. Otherwise the bid is forcing.
4 : The partnership employs this bid with an individual assigned meaning. The understanding can perhaps show both Major suits with a 5-5 distribution since the Gambling 3 No Trump opening bid shows an unspecified Minor suit. Another option is that the bid shows Diamonds and a higher-ranking suit, etc.

Alternative Defense Method 3

Another possible defense mechanism is based on the Ripstra conventional method, which is as follows. The overcaller is showing:
1. both Major suits.
2. minimum 4-4 distribution in both Major suits.
3. the stronger of the Minor suits.

In both instances, the overcaller is showing at least an 8 card distribution in both Major suits. The overcall must base the decision on the assumption of adequate values based on high card points, sufficient distributional values defined by shape of the holding, and the expectancy of partner holding at least one or more winning tricks. Therefore, the bid of four of the better Minor suit is Takeout for the Major suits, which also gives the partnership the added advantage of providing the partnership with additional bidding space to find its best suit and best fit.

Variation of Gambling 3 No Trump

There are several other variations of established first responses to an opening of a Gambling 3 No Trump. One variation is presented below, which employs the so-called Rescue Bid. The origin is unknown.
Response Meaning
4 : A Rescue Response asking partner to 1. Pass with Clubs, or 2. correct to 4 with Diamonds.
4 : A Rescue Response asking partner to 1. Pass with Diamonds or 2. correct to 5 with Clubs.
4 : Promises a good 6-card Heart suit or longer, but denies any outside Ace. This first response is generally considered to be non-forcing in nature.
4 : Promises a good 6-card Spade suit or longer, but denies any outside Ace. This first response is generally considered to be non-forcing in nature.
4 NT: An Asking Bid for trump quality. The general view is that the opener bids:
1. 5 when holding the equivalent of: AKQxxxx. This bid shows lower quality and normal length.
2. 5 when holding the equivalent of: AKQJxxx. This bid shows higher quality and normal length.
3. 5 when holding the equivalent of: AKJxxxxx. This bid shows lower quality and additional length.
4. 5 when holding the equivalent of: AKQxxxxx. This bid shows higher quality and additional length.
5 : To play in the Minor suit of the opener. If the suit is Diamonds, then the opener corrects.

 

 

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.

 


     
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