This is a method of showing strong support for an opening major bid. I gave a set of Friday seminars on the system called Supporting Majors (parts 1-5). These can be found in the Friday Live Archive (060-064).

When the auction starts 1♥︎ – PASS – ? (or 1♠︎ – PASS - ?)

The traditional method was to use a 2NT response to show 11pts balanced, but any hand that wants to bid this can usually respond with 2-of-a-minor allowing the auction to progress naturally. This frees up the 2NT response to be used as a convention to show support for the major.

After 1♥︎ – PASS -

2NT shows 4+ hearts and enough strength for game (12+)

Note: if you play splinters, then you still use these to show your singletons & voids, so most often the 2NT bidder is balanced or semi-balanced.

The idea of the bid is to allow the partnership to investigate a slam with plenty of bidding space. After the 2NT response the opener describes his hand.

The standard responses to the Jacoby 2NT are:

3-level bids = SHORTAGES

4-level bids = STRONG second suit

3-trump suit, 3NT & 4-trump suit = balanced or semi-balanced – the Stronger the hand the lower the bid (of the three choices)


1♥︎ – PASS – 2NT* – PASS

1♠︎ – PASS – 2NT* – PASS



3♣︎ singleton (or void) club

3♣︎ singleton (or void) club

3♦︎ singleton (or void) diamond

3♦︎ singleton (or void) diamond

3♥︎ strong balanced hand 17-19

3♥︎ singleton (or void) heart

3♠︎ singleton (or void) spade

3♠︎ strong balanced hand 17-19

3NT semi-strong & balanced 15-17

3NT semi-strong & balanced 15-17

4♣︎ strong club suit

4♣︎ strong club suit

4♦︎ strong diamond suit

4♦︎ strong diamond suit

4♥︎ weak balanced hands

4♥︎ strong heart suit

4♠︎ strong spade suit*

4♠︎ weak balanced hands


  • These are the STANDARD (original) set of responses which I believe are the best. Some players might use other methods (e.g. reversing the order of the responses).

  • Jacoby is not used when there is an interfering bid (overcall or double).

  • A strong suit is a five-card suit with two honours – if it is strong enough then bid this ahead of showing shortage, with a weaker suit, show your shortage instead.

  • After the opener describes their hand – responder can cue-bid, or use Blackwood if he likes the news, or sign off in game if he dislikes the news.

  • *A 4♠︎ response after 1♥︎-2NT- takes the bidding beyond game. It is very rare because to hold 5 spades would mean you have 6-5 shape.

  • With a void you show shortage and then can cue-bid the suit again – this is one of the advantages of showing shortages at the lower level.

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