Jacoby Transfers

A Jacoby Transfer is a response bid to a Partner’s NT opening.  A NT opening hand is guaranteed to have at least 2 cards in each major.  No points are necessary to use this convention!


  • When holding a 5- AND a 4-card major –  Use Stayman!
  • When holding two 5-card majors, bid down the ranks.

This convention is used to determine if the partnership’s bid is better in a suit or in NT contact.   The responding partner sets the contact level by communicating a limit bid:

  • 8 points or less, the contract should be at the 2-level
  • 9 points at the 3-level
  • 10+ points at Game.  10 + 15 = 25

With Responder’s 5-card major, bid the suit directly below your suit so that Opener can declare the suit, and have their high point hand hidden, with the weaker hand as the dummy.

  • Bid 2 , communicates to your partner to rebid 2
  • Bid 2 , communicates to your partner to rebid 2

Opener’s Re-bid:

  • This is a forcing bid for Opener, they must accept the transfer no matter their suit holding.  Opener should hold at least two of every suit.
  • With 17 points AND 4 card support for suit, super accept – bid 3 of major.
    • Responses are features up the line.

Responder’s Re-bid:

  • Bid your point count:
    • With weak hands, <=7 points – pass.  
      • Weak hands lack HCPs needed for taking tricks in NT; therefore they play better in a suit contact where they can trump.
    • 8+ points – Bid 2NT – Invitation to game.
    • 10+ points – Bid 3NT  (3 tricks – 25 points with Opener’s 15-17 points)
      • This sequence communicates 5 of your suit and your point value for Opener to select the best contact. (See 6+ card holding below.)
    • Bid a new 4+ card suit (naturally); which is forcing to game and communicating game value.
      • 4 tricks – 26 points
      • 5 tricks – 29 points
  • Holding 6-card major, you are guaranteed a fit, consider bidding game.
    • Evaluate hand shape and trick taking ability.
    • Re-bidding 3 of a major is invitational, guaranteeing 6-cards and with minimal value (9 pts). 

Opener’s 3rd-bid:

Contract priority:

  1. Suit Contract  (the best)
  2. No Trump
  3. Minor contract (least preferable!)
  • Holding 3+ of partner’s suit – bid game from their 3NT response.
  • Pass with minimum values.


An excellent Youtube discussion of Jacoby Transfers: