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The PARROT convention


Puppet and Relay Responses Over Two no-trump rebids


All of the bidding sequences in this document assume no intervention.

Terminology: m = any minor, M = any Major, oM = the other Major
  NMF = New Minor Forcing

Consider the bidding sequences:

  1 - 1 - 2NT and 1 - 1 - 2NT

With both of these sequences (and the two similar ones, i.e. 1m 1M 2NT) the 2NT rebid shows a balanced 18-19 count (17-19 in some systems) and may or may not have 4 cards in the unbid major.


Now responder may wish to do one of a number of things: -

1. Sign off in 3 or in three of his major.
2. Find out if there is a 5-3 fit in his major.
3. Find out if there is a 4-4 fit in the unbid major.
4. Show specific hand types such as 6-5, 5-5, 5-6, 4-6 and 6-4 in the majors (game forcing).
5. Show 6 cards in his major (game forcing).
6. Agree opener's minor and ask for keycards in that suit.

Now some of these are covered by existing conventions. For example, signing off (1) is covered by the Wolff Sign Off, but then that sometimes excludes the use of NMF or Checkback Stayman to find 5-3 and 4-4 major suit fits (2 & 3).


Basically, we need a convention that combines the resources of the Wolf Sign Off and NMF / Checkback and also allows responder to show the shapes as in (4 & 5).


The concept really is quite simple. All sequences are game forcing except the specific sign-offs. After the sequence 1m 1M 2NT :-

a. 3 is a puppet to 3 and is used by responder to either to sign off in 3, or to attempt to sign off in 3M, or else to show 6-4, 4-6 or 5-5 (i.e.10 cards) in the majors.
b. 3 is a relay which asks opener to define his major suit holdings and is used when responder is 5-4, 4-5 or 4-4 in the majors or simply has a 5-card major.

3M shows 6 cards in the major bid already bid and denies 4 cards in the other major.

d. 3oM shows 6 cards in the major bid already bid and 5 cards in the other major.
e. 3NT is to play!
f. 4 is Gerber
g. 4 and 4 agree 's and 's resp. and ask for keycards (i.e Kickback).
h 4NT is quantitive (probably only of use if the range is 17-19, playing something like Acol).

Clearly some of these need further explanation: -

a. 3 is a puppet that demands that opener bid 3. Continuations are:
pass = to play in 3
3M = to play in responder's major (*), presumably a 6-card suit.
3oM = 6-4 in the majors (obviously 6 M and 4 oM)
3NT = 5-5 in the majors (responder presumably bid 1 first unless he elected
    to bid 1 with something like xxxxx AKQxx xx x).

Note that if opener has good three card support for M, then he can raise 3M to 4M. If you play Weak Jump Shifts then responder should have 6 points.


3 is a game forcing relay that asks opener to clarify his major suit holdings, the responses depend upon whether M was 's or 's: -

After 1) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3 = 3 's, may also have 4 's
  2) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3 = 4 's and denies 3 's
  3) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3NT = not 3 's and not 4 's
  4) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3 = 4 's, may also have 3 's
  5) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3 = 3 's and denies 4 's
  6) 1m - 1 - 2NT - 3 3NT = not 3 's and not 4 's

For sequences 1-3, responder may be 4-4 or 4-5 in the majors or just have 5's.


For sequences 4-6, responder may be 5-4 in the majors or just have 5's.


Note that after sequence 1) responder should normally bid 3 if he has 4 's. Even if a 5-3 fit has been established there may also be a presumably superior 4-4 fit.


After sequence 4) responder will bid 4 if he has 4 's, else 3. In this second case he obviously wants to play in the 5-3 fit if there is one as otherwise he would have bid 3NT directly over 2NT rather than invoking the PARROT 3.

  c, d ,e, f, and h need no further explanation.  

In all of the auctions, the trump suit is fixed at or below the level of 3NT or 4 of the agreed major. Responder is the Captain and it's usually up to him to settle for game or try for slam via cue bids and/or RKCB.

g. After 1m 1M 2NT 4 = RKCB for 's    

4 = RKCB for 's


Of course the RKCB (Kickback) bid will normally be for opener's minor but this is not mandatory and it is just possible that responder may wish to know about keycards for the other minor. Be wary of these Kickback bids! For example in the sequence: -


1. - 1 - 2NT - 4 , 4 is NOT to play (fast arrival), it is asking for keycards in . 's. There is no need for 4 in a natural sense as responder is the captain and he can always bid 3 followed by 4 to play. These Kickback bids are optional and you need not play them if you so wish.

  This page will be updated as and when examples of PARROT occur in play  
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