Baron 3
     
 
  this page was last updated: 24-June-2006
 
     
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The Baron Three Clubs Convention

 
  When partner opens 2NT (or it goes 2 - 2 - 2NT etc.) then we need a mechanism to find our 4-4 or 5-3 major suit fits etc. as over a 1NT opening. Now over 1NT everything is pretty easy, but over 2NT there is not so much room and it really is important to play a combination of things that actually works! For example, with hands that want to go no further than game we need to be able to locate 4-4 and 5-3 major suit fits. And there are a few problems. For example, suppose partner of the 2NT bidder has 5 's and 4 's should he bid 3 Stayman or transfer?  
     
  There are numerous combinations around and I cover a number of them in the Responding to 2NT section. Now in the States and other countries, 3 is usually played as some form of Stayman (either normal Stayman or Puppet Stayman are quite common). But another very good scheme, popular in the UK , is Baron 3 . There are two common combinations: -  
     
 
1-

Baron 3 together with Flint 3. 3 and 3♠ are natural and forcing.

2-

Baron 3 together with Transfers.

 
     
  Baron 3 asks for 4 card suits and they are bid up the line. If the 2NT bidder bid 3NT directly over the Baron 3 then he denies a 4 card / / suit and so he must have a suit. Flint 3 was basically a fore-runner of Jacoby transfers. It was a weak bid which asked the 2NT bidder to bid 3 which the Flint bidder would either pass or correct to 3 . There really is no point in playing Flint these days and transfers are to be preferred. So let's cover: -  
     
 
 

Baron 3 clubs together with Transfers.

 
 
3 is Baron. Baron 3 asks for 4 card suits and they are bid up the line. If the 2NT bidder bid 3NT directly over the Baron 3 then he denies a 4 card / / suit and so he must have a suit.
 
 
 
3 transfer to 3
3 transfer to 3
3 Minor suit Stayman or a transfer to 4♣. Up to you.
3NT
to play * note
4 Gerber
 
     
 
* Note : There is the problem with a hand with 4 's and 5 's. If you start with Baron 3 then you cannot subsequently show a 5 card suit. And if you transfer with 3 into 3 then you are up at the four level when you show your suit.
 
 

With 3 as Puppet Stayman in the Neimeijer complex this problem is solved by using a direct 3NT to show 4 's and 5 's and to play in 3NT one goes via 3 . You can also adopt this philosophy here (so go via 3 Baron) even though you have no intention of finding a 4-4 fit.

 

Thus with this alternative approach we have: -

   
 
 
3NT shows 5 's and 4 's
 
     
     
 
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