Soon after the natural responses method gained popularity, especially since it was easy to learn and remember, Mr. Marshall Miles of California, United States, proposed a change and developed a different version. The intention of this version is to make it even more easy for the responder to communicate the pertinent information to and for the strong, artificial 2 Clubs opener. See: Natural Responses.

Reversed Meanings

This altered version, as proposed by Mr. Marshall Miles, reverses the meanings of the 2 Spades and the 2 No Trump first responses. In order to show and present this version, the original conventional method is shown first, followed by the altered version.

     

Original Method of Natural Responses

Opener Responder Meaning
2 Artificial. Strong. Forcing.
2 Artificial and negative showing fewer than 6/7 high card points.
2 A suit at the lowest level shows a 5-card Heart suit plus with 7 plus high card points.
2 A suit at the lowest level shows a 5-card Spade suit plus with 7 plus high card points.
2 NT Shows a balanced to semi-balanced holding with a range of 7 to 9 high card points, and no 5-card suit.
3 Shows a minimum of a 5-card Club suit and 7 plus high card points.
3 Shows a minimum of a 5-card Diamond suit and 7 plus high card points.

Marshall Miles Altered Version of Natural Responses

Opener Responder Meaning
2 Artificial. Strong. Forcing.
2 Artificial and negative showing fewer than 6/7 high card points.
2 In contrast to the 2 Diamonds first response, this bid is artificial and positive. The responder promises a minimum of 2 Kings, or 1 King and 2 Queens. The responder also denies a 5-card suit.
2 Promises at least 2 of the top honors (Ace, King, Queen), and at least a 5-card plus Spade suit. Values are a minimum of 7 high card points.
2 NT Promises at least 2 of the top honors (Ace, King, Queen), and at least a 5-card plus Heart suit. Values are a minimum of 7 high card points.
3 Promises at least 2 of the top honors (Ace, King, Queen), and at least a 5-card plus Club suit. Values are a minimum of 7 high card points.
3 Promises at least 2 of the top honors (Ace, King, Queen), and at least a 5-card plus Diamond suit. Values are a minimum of 7 high card points.

Since the 2 Hearts first response in this version conveys the information that the responder holds no 5-card suit, then the distribution of the responder is possibly 4-4-4-1, 4-3-3-2, or 4-3-3-3. The first distributional pattern is not balanced or even semi-balanced. Therefore, the responder is unable to show a balanced to semi-balanced holding with a minimum of 6/7 high card points as in the original version.

As in the original version, all higher first responses above 3 Diamonds communicate the same information. It is only the inclusion of at least a 5-card suit plus the requirement that this suit contain two of the top honors, which defines the altered version.

 

 

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.

 


     
Email Conventions Bridge Sites
     
Home Page I Glossary Home Page II
     
   
  Response Methods