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Bidding is most accurate when a player limits & well describes their hand.  Their partner becomes the “Captain of the Auction.”   The captain places the contract or asks for more information to place the contract .  The “Captain of the Auction” can invite game.  The partner who limited their hand cannot invite game.  Opening 1NT limits your hand and makes your partner, the responder, the "Captain of the Auction."  

You should strain top open 1NT when feasible because it immediately makes responder the "Captain of the Auction," positioning you to use your 1NT bidding structure to find the right strain and the right level.  If you don't open 1NT with a balanced hand in your notrump range, you will not have another chance to show a 1NT opener.  If you open 1-of-a-suit and rebid 1NT, you will be advertising a hand too weak to open 1NT.  If you rebid 2NT, you will be advertising a stronger hand than you have. 

Here, are the recommended responses to a 1NT opening:  

Response Meaning
2♣ Stayman, artificial, asking for a 4-card major
2 Jacoby transfer, artificial, 5+ hearts
2 Jacoby transfer, artificial, 5+ spades
2♠ Artificial, Range Ask.  Shows a hand which wants to know whether opener has a maximum or a minimum, or a hand of any strength with long clubs.
2NT Transfer to diamonds, artificial
3♣ Low Information Puppet Stayman, artificial, game force with at most one 4-card major
3 Game force with both minors
3 Splinter bid, game force with 3-1-(54) distribution
3♠ Splinter bid, game force with 1-3-(54) distribution
3NT Natural, to play
4♣ Gerber, artificial, Ace asking bid
4 Texas transfer, artificial, game force, 6+ hearts
4 Texas transfer, artificial, game force, 6+ spades
4NT Natural, quantitative invitation to 6NT
5NT Natural, quantitative invitation to 7NT

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