Flannery

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Description:
Flannery is a bridge convention using an 2 opening bid to show a hand of minimal opening bid strength (11-15 high card points) with exactly four spades and five (or sometimes six) hearts. It is invented by American player William L. Flannery.

This convention was introduced because of the awkwardness of describing such holding, especially with four-card major systems. For example, with the hand , if the bidding starts 1-1NT (denying four spades), the opener cannot rebid 2, as it would be a reverse bid showing a stronger hand, 2 shows a six-card suit, and 2 of a minor would show 4 or at least good 3 cards. Thus, the opener cannot safely seek for a 5-3 fit in hearts. Five-card major openers are somewhat better placed, because 1NT denies both 3 hearts and 4 spades, so opener may safely pass. However, this convention is also useful when playing five-card majors in conjunctions with forcing notrump, to prevent opener from having to respond in a nonsuit after 1 – 1 Notrump when not strong enough to reverse.

Responses

Responder has only 2NT as the forcing bid, and all other bids are natural. The bidding proceeds as follows:
  • Pass, 2, 2, 3, 3 – to play
  • 3NT, 4, 4 – to play
  • 3, 3 – invitational
  • 2NT – forcing bid. The opener describes his hand more precisely:
    • 3, 3 – 3 cards in the bid suit (i.e. 4=5=1=3 and 4=5=3=1 distribution)
    • 3 – 4=5=2=2, 11-13 points
    • 3 – 4=5=2=2, 14-15 points with weak minor-suit doubletons
    • 3NT – 4=5=2=2, 14-15 points, but good minor-suit......
    • ...
    ...

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