This convention is announceable in ACBL regulations.[1]

Forcing 1NT is a convention used in the 2/1 game forcing system. It applies to an unpassed partner in the following auctions:

It is not used after a minor suit opening.

In standard bidding, it is a catch-all bid for all hands with 6-9 HCPs, without support for partner's opening and not able to bid 1. With 10+ HCPs and no support for partner's opening, a responder bids their 4-card suit at the 2-level, or 2NT if the hand is 10-12 HCPs balanced and there are stoppers in all unbid suits (unless Jacoby 2NT is used).

However, in the 2/1 game forcing system, a 2/1 response promises game-going strength (i.e. 12+ HCPs) by an unpassed partner, therefore, the original 2-level responding cannot be used by hands with 10-11 HCPs. Therefore, the 1NT response is expanded to all hands with 6-11 HCPs, without support for partner's opening and not able to bid 1. It is now forcing for one round.

As a passed hand cannot force to game, some plays a variant called semi-forcing 1NT if the responder has passed which allows opener to pass with a balanced hand and a bare minimum.

Opener rebids Edit

  • With 6 cards in the original major, bid it again at the 2 level (jump to 3 level if holding a strong (18+) hand). [2]
  • With 4 s and opened 1, bid 2 if weak to intermediate or 3 if strong.
  • After a 1 opening, a 2 responses promises 5 s (since responder would have been bid 1 if holding 4 s).
  • Otherwise, bid the longest minor. If they are of equal length, bid 2 if 3-3 or below in the minors, 2 if 4-4. Therefore, a 2 response promises only 3 s (all 5-3-3-2 shapes with doubleton in ), a 2 response promises only 2 s (4=5=2=2)![2]
  • With a balanced hand and stoppers in all suits, bid 2NT if invitational and 3NT if strong. If the semi-forcing variant is used, opener may pass with a minimum.


  1. [1] Responses to One-Level Opening Suit Bids : State "Forcing" if a 1NT response to a major is simply forcing
  2. 2.0 2.1 Some may bid again at the 2-level with 5 cards only in order to prevent bidding a 2-card minor.