The Carrot 1NT is a contract bridge convention, in which a 1NT opening bid shows a balanced hand 13-17 hcp. With 13-14 hcp, the opener may not have a 4-card major. With 15-17 hcp, all balanced hands (including 5-card major) may be opened 1NT.
While originally developed for the Carrot Club system, this opening bid can easily be adopted in any system with a 15-17 1NT-opening (or extend a 14-16 1NT-opening to 12-16 hcp).
It combines the preemptive advantage of a weak 1NT-opening when opener lacks majors, with the constructive character of a strong 1NT-opening.
To manage the "wide" hcp-range, a special response-structure has been designed, which distinguishes between weak invitational bids (ca 7-9 hcp, inviting the 15-17 hand only) and strong invitational bids (10-11 hcp, inviting the 13-14 hand and game-forcing to 15-17).
Responses to 1NT
- 2♥/2♠ are natural weak (7-9) invitations with a 5-card major.
- 2NT is a strong (10-11) invitation, which may also contain 4-card major(s) (opener will only pass with 13-14, in which case he cannot have a 4-card major).
- 2♣ is Stayman on most other hands (7-9 weak invitational, or game-forcing strength) but is also used with a 5-card major and strong invitation, 10-11.
- 2♦ is a relay to 2♥ with sign-off hands or certain game-forcing hands.
- 3♣/♦ are natural invitation to 3NT with a long suit, 6-9. If minimum, the suit should have 2 top honors.
- 3♥/♠ are natural invitation with 6-card suit, 9-11.
- 3NT natural to play.
- 4♣/♦ are transfers to 4♥ and 4♠ ("South African Texas").
- 4♥/♠ natural to play.
- 4NT is Blackwood 4 Aces.
Continuations after 1NT - 2♦ - 2♥
- Pass/2♠ = Sign-off in major.
- 2NT = New relay to 3♣ after which:
- Pass/3♦ = Sign-off in minor.
- 3♥/♠ = Game-force showing 3-card suit, singelton in other major, and 5-4 or 4-5 in the minors.
- 3NT = 5-5 in the minors. Non-forcing with game-values.
- 3 of a suit = Natural slamtry with 6+suit.
- 3NT = Forcing slamtry with 5-5 or better in the minors.
Continuation after 1NT - 2NT
Opener will only pass with 13-14 hcp, thus denying a 4-card major.
With 15-17, opener can bid a 5-card major naturally, 3NT to play with no major, or use 3♣ to ask for a 4-card major. Over 3♣, responder bids 3♦ with 4♥, 3♥ with 4♠ or 3NT without major.
After opponents overcall 1NT
- Double is negative, ca 8-11 hcp, and forcing to 2NT (or penalty-double).
- 2 of a suit is constructive to play or possibly mildly invitational.
- 2NT is Lebensohl-style and relay to 3♣. Responder can pass or correct to a suit lower than the overcall (or the suit overcalled, if overcall was artificial)