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The 3NT Specific Ace-Asking opening bid is very important for handling  a rare but powerful hand dubbed as a “Golden Snake Hand” (GSH). However, If you are not familiar with the term, kindly read this article first for a better appreciation and understanding.

As the name suggests, this opening is directly asking the responder of what kind of Ace that the responder has. The suit of the Ace is very crucial. Sometime, having the Ace in another suit will not improve the situation. So, the responder have to answer with the suit of the Ace the responder has.

Therefore, this opening hand is a “forcing” opening (responder cannot pass). 

The bidding is simple and straight-forward.

Characteristic

  • For any balance, 1-suiter, 2-suiter, 3-suiter of a strong hand (Golden Snake Hand)
  • A forcing opening (responder cannot pass)
  • This opening is alertable 
  • Also, 3NT opening bid should not be used or described as preemptive. Otherwise, the bid that can be weak and strong with no “anchor” suit is a “brown sticker” category and will not be allowed to be used in local/regional tournament.

Responder’s Bid

3NT?
4:Sorry, I have no Ace
4:I have Ace of Diamond
4:I have Ace of Heart.
4:I have Ace of Spade
4NT:I have Ace of Club
5:I have more than 1 Ace, Ace of Club and Ace of higher suit
5:I have more than 1 Ace, Ace of Diamond and Ace of higher suit
5:I have more than 1 Ace, Ace of Heart and Ace of Spade

Opener Re-bid

Any bid from the opener is a sign-off and “to play”. The opener can set the final contract at any level and responder is not supposed to bid again.

Visualization

Strong and unique hand – just need info about Ace to bid the correct contract
Opener hand can be 1-suiter, 2-suiter, 3-suiter or balance

Subsequent Bid

There is no subsequent bid. This opening consists just one bid from responder and final contract by opener.

Defensive Bidding

  • Upon opponent’s double: all system on (i.e ignore the Double)
  • Upon opponent’s overcall (below level 6): 
    • Pass: no Ace
    • DBL:  replacement bid: you have the Ace of the suit – Doubling NT=2+ Aces
    • Bid lowest suit:  Have the Ace of that suit (below level 6 only)
  • For level 6 and level 7: DBL = penalty

Competitive Bidding

  • If the opponent is using this opening, use these below as your competitive means:

    • In Direct position DOUBLE as “general double” (not a take out double). This means you just telling the partner you have 10+ HCP but has no long suit to overcall (balance-ish). The idea is to help partner decides whether your side can do a sacrifice bid or making penalty double.
    • After an answer, DOUBLE = directing lead of the suit. Overcall=Natural (Sacrificing type)

3NT-Specific Ace-Asking Bid

Alternatively, for the same exact reasons, you can also use 4NT Specific-Ace Asking instead. Just choose one of them who you be the most connected.

3NT Specific Ace-Asking Bid