0. TABLE OF CONTENTS:
B-1. NOMENCLATURE & DEFINITIONS/TERMS
B-2. GENERAL GUIDELINES
C-1. THE BIDDING SYSTEM - OPENING
C-2. THE BIDDING SYSTEM - RESPONDING
C-2a RESPONDING TO 1C
C-2b RESPONDING TO 1D
C-2c RESPONDING TO A MAJOR
C-2d 2ND ROUND REBIDS AFTER SUIT OPENING:
C-2e RESPONDING TO NO TRUMP
C-2f RESPONDING TO 2C
C-2g RESPONDING TO 2D
C-3. CONTENTION BIDDING
C-4. OPENING PAIR COUNTER-MEASURES
C-5. ACE ASKING
This is the culmination of years of work in sorting out the best bridge bidding conventions,
while at the same time creating new or modifying old conventions. Many existing bidding
conventions are good & provide good information without jeopardizing the entire system.
Others are good up to a point, but then fail to take advantage of more efficient bidding.
These are the ones that need modification.
And then there are those which take up too much bidding room or have the wrong goal in mind.
Finally, there are areas in the bidding for which there is no desirable existing convention.
With so many conventions and with so many head-strong partners, it has been very difficult
to piece these conventions together in a non-conflicting, meaningful manner and test them.
Nevertheless, I have been able to do so under live playing conditions.
CLARIFICATION ON TWO-OVER-ONE RESPONSES (aka 2/1):
I am no fan of 2/1 which was introduced in the 1980s as an adjustment to what
was otherwise a perfectly good bidding system. There was much done to contort
the existing bidding system to make room for 2/1, specifically, the increase in
the point range from 6-9 to 6-12 points of the 1NT response and making it a forcing
bid, where it had been one of the weakest responses possible. This change is
most objectionable for the following reasons.
- 2/1 responses do not apply when there has been interference or when the opening
is in 3rd or 4th seat, in which case a 1NT response is not forcing &
reverts back to being non-forcing 7-9 points.
- The 2/1 1NT/1D FORCING response denying a 4-card major & showing 6-12 points conflicts
with the 2D INVERTED MINOR response which shows 10+ points and is forcing 1 round.
The only difference between the two responses is the placement of one minor card, ie,
(3-,3-,3-,4+) vs (3-,3-,4+,3-). To play overlapping forcing point counts is a ridiculous
- There is no point to 2C/1D being game forcing & denying a 4-card major with 13 points, because it takes
29+ points to make game at the 5-level in a minor. "Oh" you say. "You might have a 3NT contract". Hog wash.
If you don't have both majors stopped, you are committed to 5 in a minor. with only 26 points. Therefore,
2/1, if played, should only apply to the majors and for less than superior fit responses.
EXAMPLE: Opener (Jx,Qx,AKQJT,xxxx) = 13 points , Responder (Qx,Jx,xxxx,AKQJT) = 13 points
1D -> 2C Game Forcing -> 3C -> 4C -> 5C DOWN 2.
Better the bidding go 1D -> 2C Forcing 1 Round -> 3C -> Pass
There has been only one time that I could ever justify playing 2/1 and that was where a strong
responder seeking slam needed to EXPLICITLY confirm the suit agreement before asking for key cards.
But this is such a rare occurrence it is hardly worth mentioning. Besides, the default suit
agreement being the last suit bid is said to fulfill that need.
If there is a real need for a game forcing response I would say let it be 2D/1H or 2D/1S.
This returns to the old system of 1NT being a bare response & 2C & 2H being forcing 1 round.
No matter, with the exception of the 1C opening, 2/1 & any such game forcing bids are not included herein.
But do not misunderstand. Certainly it should be acknowledged that in any bidding system
a 1st or 2nd seat "passed" hand has limited their subsequent bids to less than opening points.
We just don't need a special game forcing system to remind us of that.
That being said,
If you want TWO-OVER-ONE I would refer you to Max Hardy's book.
Meanwhile, I continue to strongly advocate the use of INVERTED MINOR RAISES & INVERTED BERGEN
RAISES, in conjunction with 2NT LEBENSOHL WEAK JUMP SHIFTS. In addition, I continue to
press the solutions I have for the forcing 1C and 2C opening, eliminating the free-for-all
bidding that occurs when 2C is opened.
With regard to the 2C opening, I have made it a limited bid showing 19-24 high card points,
ie, no longer 22+ points. This change impacts the point range of the 1D, 1H, or 1S opening
now limiting those openings to no more than 18 points. The same holds true for the 1C opening,
except for when opener has 25+ points, ie, game in hand. Where before any suit opening
followed by a 19+ jump shift (after a non-pass response promising 6+ points) was game forcing
because the combine point count was 25 or more, the positive responses are now up to 7+ points,
ie, 18 + 7 = 25 points. However, for those old timers we remind them that a "good 6 points" is
rounded up to 7 points. Any opener jump rebids, be they raises, shifts, or reverses, are now no
more than 18 points, except for the 1C opener making an extraordinary jump.
This gives much greater bidding ability to the unbalanced 16-18 point hand.
With regard to strong balanced hand openings, I revert back to the days before Weak-2 Openings were introduced.
1NT = 16-18 (not 15-17).
The 19-21 point range is accommodated by the 2C opening.
2NT = 22-24 (not 20-21).
Note the direct relationship between points and relative bid value.
I believe the reader will eventually see how the pieces fit together like a jig saw puzzle
in a most efficient manner & the consistency in logic in how this suite is constructed.
To those who do adapt to it, I say "HAPPY BIDDING".
B-1. NOMENCLATURE, DEFINITIONS & TERMS.
1] SYMBOLS, ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS:
"C" = Clubs.
"D" = Diamonds
"H" = Hearts
"S" = Spades
"NT" or "N" = No Trump
"M" = Major
"m" = Minor
"=" = "same" Example: =M means the same or supported major.
"~" or ":" = "not" EXAMPLE: :m means not the same minor.
">" = "greater than"
"->" = "next bid"
"<" = "less than"
"/" = "over" or "after"
"\" = "before"
"#" = any numerical value.
"@" = any word or letter.
"#@" = "some bid"
#"+" = "or more". Example: 10+ means 10 or more.
#"-" = "or less". Example: 7- means 7 or less.
#"-"# = a range. Example: 7-9 means 7 to 9.
@"-"@ = connector of words. Example: LIMIT-RAISE.
"PTS" = points
"QT" = Quick Trick
"VUL" = Vulnerable
"DLR" = Dealer
"RHO-O" = Opener Right Hand Opponent
"LHO-O" = Opener Left Hand Opponent
"RHO-C" = Contender Right Hand Opponent
"LHO-C" = Contender Left Hand Opponent
"RESP" = Responder
"RHO-R" = Responder Right Hand Opponent
"LHO-R" = Responder Left Hand Opponent
"DBL" = "X" = DOUBLE
"RDBL" = "XX" = REDOUBLE
"A" = ACE, "K" = KING , "Q" = QUEEN, "J" = JACK, "T" = TEN, "AK" = ACE KING in same suit.
2] The term "FORCING" means that partner is required to bid if no intervention.
"1RF" means "ONE ROUND FORCING" for 1 round.
"NF" means "NOT FORCING" (normally not specified)
"GF" means "GAME FORCING" which requires not passing until game is reached.
3] BIDDING SEQUENCE REPRESENTATION:
A bid is shown as "#@" (a number & a letter).
An opener & responder descending sequence without interference is shown as
#@ / #@ / #@ / #@ . wherein the "/" means a bid after without intervention.
Example: 2H/1S/1D/1C means the opening was 1C, responder bid 1D,
opener rebid 1S, responder rebid 2H.
A double forward slash, "//", means there is an unidentified intervening bid.
Example: 1S//1C means responder overcalled a contender's lesser bid.
An opener & responder ascending sequence without interference is shown as
#@ \ #@ \ #@ \ #@ . wherein the "\" means a bid after without intervention.
Example: 1C\1D\1S\2H means the opening was 1C, responder bid 1D,
opener rebid 1S, responder rebid 2H.
A double reverse slash, "\\", means there is an unidentified intervening bid.
Example: 1C\\1S means responder overcalled a contender's lesser bid.
Another way of showing a bid sequence is 1C-> p-> 1D,
meaning 1D/pass/1C or 1D//1C or 1C\pass\1D or 1C\\1D.
4] HAND DISTRIBUTION is represented as (S,H,D,C).
EXAMPLE: (3,5,4,1) means 3 spades, 5 hearts, 4 diamonds & 1 club.
If not enclosed in parentheses, then no order is indicated.
EXAMPLE: 4,4,3,2 means "balanced" regardless of specific suits.
5] BIDS will be capitalized. CONVENTION NAMES should be capitalized on 1st occurrence.
We assume the reader is familiar with some basic bridge terms.
Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that even the most expert player
review the definitions herein.
1] The "OPENER"
is the 1st player to bid,
& his partner automatically becomes the
2] The "CONTENDER"
(aka, "overcaller") is the 1st opener opponent to not "pass".
His partner automatically becomes the "ADVANCER" or "SPOILER" or "RESPONDENT".
3] "SEATING POSITIONS"
are numbered 1-4 relative to the DEALER.
4] A "TRICK"
is the collection of 4 cards played in rotation
by each player. There are 13 ticks in a deck of 52 cards.
refers to the number of tricks over the first 6.
6] A "CONTRACT"
is the bet made by a partnership that they can
take a specified number of tricks in playing the hand.
The construct of their contract is the same as the construct
of their bids, wherein the number specifies the number of tricks
to be taken in excess of a book of 6 tricks, & the suit designated
is the indicated trump suit.
A "PARTIAL" contract is a contract less than "GAME", wherein 7 to 9- tricks must be taken.
A "GAME" contract is a contract of 3NT, 4M or 5m, wherein 9 to 11 tricks must be taken.
A "SLAM" contract is a contract at the 6+ level, wherein 12+ tricks must be taken.
is one of the top 4 cards in a suit, ie, Ace King Queen Jack.
For the purposes of bidding, a point value is assigned to every
honor card in the deck.
A=4, K=3, Q=2, J=1
Each player will compute their total points to determine hand value.
8] A "CONTROL"
is an ace or a "protected" king. (aka. FEATURE, STOPPER, etc)
"Protected" means it wont fail if the ace of that suit is led.
For the purpose of bidding a No-trump contract, It becomes a
"feature" or "stopper" if it is backed up by 2+ other cards in
the same suit.
9] A "QUICK-TRICK"
(abbrev-QT) = one ACE or KQ in a suit.
It is almost guaranteed to take 1 trick.
A King by itself is 1/2 a quick trick.
10] HAND TYPES BASED ON POINTS:
"BUST" refers to a hand with less than 4 points.
"SUPER-WEAK" refers to a hand with 4-6 points.
"WEAK" refers to a hand that is 7-9 points.
"WEAK-2" refers to a hand that has a 6+ card suit with 5-11 points.
"INVITATIONAL" refers to a hand that is 10-12 points.
"OPENING" refers to a hand that is 13-15 points.
"STRONG" refers to a hand that is 16-18 points.
"SUPER-STRONG" refers to a hand that is 19-24 points
"GAME" refers to a hand that has 25+ points.
11] SUIT LENGTH CATEGORIES:
"LONG SUIT" = 7+ CARDS IN SUIT.
"NOMINAL LENGTH" = 5-6 CARDS IN SUIT.
"SUPPORTIVE LENGTH" = 3-4 CARDS IN SUIT.
"DOUBLETON" = ONLY 2 CARDS IN SUIT.
"SHORT SUIT" = "SINGLETON/VOID" = 0 OR 1 CARDS IN SUIT.
12] HAND TYPES BASED ON SHAPE:
"BALANCED" = 4,4,3,2 or 4,3,3,3
"SEMI-BALANCED" = 5,3,3,2
"3-SUITED" = 4,4,4,1 or 5,4,4,0
"2-SUITED" = 5+,5+,3-,3-
"COMPANION-SUITED" = "SEMI-2-SUITED" = 5+,4,2-,2-
"1-SUITED" = 6+,3-,3-,3-
"5+" means 5 or more. "3-" means 3 or less.
13] "INVERTED", "REVERSED" , "UP-SIDE-DOWN"
"INVERTED" means a player's bid sequence contrary to the
standard, normal or desired sequence.
"INVERTED" & "REVERSED" can be used interchangeably.
When applied to relative suit lengths, it means a lower ranking suit has
more cards than a higher ranking suit.
Such a holding can lead to "REVERSE" bidding, where the longer suit
is bid first, followed by a bid in the shorter suit. In the past, people
have used the term "REVERSE" to mean a much more specific type of individual
bidding. No matter, a REVERSED HOLDING leads to REVERSE BIDDING.
When applied to bidding sequence, it can refer to point count.
where a smaller point count is bid at a higher level than a
stronger point count.
Examples: INVERTED MINOR RAISES, INVERTED BERGEN RAISES.
"UP-SIDE-DOWN" pertains to a defensive playing of cards, wherein
a higher card is played before a lower card to show a dislike for
the suit led.
14] "DISPARATE INVERTED SUIT LENGTHS or SHAPE"
This refers to a COMPANION-SUITED hand when the lower ranking suit is
7+ cards long & the higher ranking suit is only 4-cards long. It is
a particularly troubling hand for responder.
(Refer to GENERAL GUIDELINES section- RESPONDER PRIORITIES.)
pertains to the distribution of cards in one suit. Between partners it is
described as #1-#2 where #1 is one partners holding in the suit & #2 is his
EXAMPLE: 5-3S says one partner has 5 spades and the other partner has 3 spades.
pertains to the combined number of cards in a suit held by a partnership
wherein one partner has dominance over the subordinate partner who is considered the
supporting hand with a supporting number of cards. There are 4 levels of support:
for partner's suit only assures a 7-card trump suit. It is normally
typified by 4-3 & 5-2 fits in a suit.
for partner's suit demands that it assures an 8-card trump suit.
To an opening bid that promises a 5+ card suit, 3-card support is nominal.
To an opening bid that promises a 4+ card suit, 4-card support is nominal or adequate.
To an opening bid that promises as few as 1 card in the suit, 7-card support is nominal.
for partner's suit assures an equal number of cards. It is normally
typified by 4-4 in a suit.
for partner's suit assures a 9+ card trump suit. It is typified by
4+ card support for partner's 5+ card suit.
17] A "FIT"
pertains to a partnership"s combined holding of at least 7 cards in a suit.
If a partnership winds up in a trump suit contract, they want to be sure they have
more cards in the trump suit than the opponents. Since there are 13 cards in a suit,
having at least 7-cards in the trump suit guarantees having more trump.
There are different types of fits corresponding to the tpes of support:
MARGINAL-FITS. 4-3, 5-2, 6-1
ADEQUATE-FITS. 5-3, 6-2.
When it comes to a FIT with partner, 5-4 is the best, 4-4
is next best, no-trump is next & finally the 5-3 fit,
albeit the 5-3 fit is more of a semi-fit.
The better the fit with your partner, the fewer points
you need to make a good contract.
18] A "MISFIT"
is where there is no 7+ card suit agreement between partners.
19] A "RAISE"
is a bid of partner's suit which may be immediate or delayed.
Standard raises without conventional systems include:
is a bid of partner's suit at the next level up,
promising 3+ card support & 7-9 points.
first makes a TEMPORIZING Bid then bids opener's
suit at the 3-level promising 3-card support with 10-12 points.
AN "IMMEDIATE LIMIT-RAISE"
is an immediate jump bid in opener's suit promising
4+ card support & 10-12 points.
Conventional raises include:
20] "BIDDING UP-THE-LINE".
This is the opening pair's initial biding at the 1-level trying to find a 4-4 major suit fit.
In the absence of opponent bidding & assuming responder has 7+ points, if the opening
is 1C or 1D, then responder must bid 1H having 4+ hearts and no more than 4 spades.
But if responder has 5+ spades & 4+ hearts, responder must bid 1S & only bid 2H with 10+ points.
Or if he also has 5+ hearts with less than 10 points he can bid 2H. If there was an intervening
bid of 1D/1C, responder could safely "DOUBLE" with 5 spades and only 4 hearts, giving opener
the chance to take his pick.
If the opening is 1H & responder does not have 4+ card support, but has 4+ spades,
then responder must bid 1S.
In either case, if opener has 4 cards in responder's major suit, he must not bid up-the-line &
raise opener's suit according to his points. (Refer to GENERAL GUIDELINES for more.)
21] A "BIDDING CALL"
is a condition stated by a player during the bidding stage.
The following are the different types of calls:
"PASS" is not a bid. It is a No-Bid.
is a call made by a player who intends to win the contract specification
& make it. The specification is expressed as a combination of bid-level & suit.
Example: 3H says "I intend to take 3(+6) or 9 tricks with hearts as trump.
However, a "double" is a "call" that might also be considered a "bid", although
technically it is not.
is a call made by the opponent of the last bidder with the intention of
defeating the contract. The bidder says "I can make it". The Doubler says "No way".
It should be noted that the "DOUBLE" at low levels is used to convey information
to the "DOUBLER'S" partner with no intention of leaving the double in. When
used in this manner, it is "FORCING" upon partner to bid should opponent "pass".
It should be noted that there are different meanings to the "double" depending
upon who says it and at what point in the bidding it occurs.
is a contender's call, usually conveying a hand containing at least 13 points and
probably an unbid 4-card major or a 16+ point hand regardless of shape. If a 16+
point hand, the contender will bid again, even if spoiler "passes".
is a responder's call, usually conveying 6+ point hand with 4-cards in the highest
unbid suit .
is an advancer's (or spoiler's) call similar to a NEGATIVE DOUBLE.
is an opener's call indicating only 3-card support for responder's
1H or 1S bid.
is made in countering a Double & can take on meaning similar to the NEGATIVE DOUBLE,
or showing dislike for partner's suit.
is a bid that does not skip over the same bid available at a lower level.
is one that skips over the same bid available at a lower level.
is an immediate jump bid where the bidder has a long suit,
but very few points. It is intended to disrupt the opponents' bidding.
This is a player's 2nd bid after in the second round of bidding.
It may be a "REPEAT BID" of his previous suit.
is a call that passes up a possible NT bid, especially 1NT & 2NT.
ARTIFICIAL BIDS: Are generally forcing 1 round.
"1C & 2C OPENING"
A 1C opening (alertable) may be as few as 1 card in the clubs suit.
A 2C opening (alertable) describes a hand containing 19-14 points.
"2C DRURY" (alertable)
is a 10-12 point limit-raise in response to a 3rd seat major suit opening.
is a forcing low-level bid in opponent's bid suit describing a stronger than normal hand
with nothing in opponent's suit. Examples of cue-bids include MICHAELS, responses
to TAKE-OUT DOUBLES, 3-card LIMIT-RAISES, & WESTERN-CUE asking for a stopper in opponents
"UNUSUAL 2NT BID"
is a contender JUMP-OVERCALL describing a 2-suited hand containing 5-5 in the lowest unbid suits.
Do not confuse with responder's LEBENSOHL 2NT.
is a responder's bid of 2C/1NT opening or 3C/2NT opening that forces
opener to bid a 4+ card major if he has it or deny by bidding diamonds.
is a bid in a suit that is directly under the bidder's real suit in
which he promises at least 5 cards. Compare to "LEBENSOHL" Relay.
is a 2-suited overcall to opponent's 1NT opening.
"INVERTED MINOR RAISES"
NORMAL MINOR RAISES are 2C/1C or 2D/1D = 7-0 points & 3m/1m = 10+ points
INVERTED MINOR RAISES (alertable) are 2C/1C or 2D/1D = 10+ points & 3m/1m = 7-9 points
used herein means the INVERTED BERGEN MAJOR SUIT RAISE system.
NORMAL BERGEN RAISES (alertable) are 3C = 7-9 points & 3D = 10-12 points.
INVERTED BERGEN RAISES (alertable) are 3C = 10-12 points & 3D = 7-9 points.
is a responder's bid of 2NT that forces opener to bid 3C.
It is a "relay" that promises nothing in clubs. Compare to "TRANSFER".
"TEMPORIZING DELAYED BID"
The idea of responder "temporizing" entails making a forcing bid that is lower than
where you intend to wind up. It is a delaying bid, the intent usually being to give
opener a chance to further describe his hand. Past methods of temporizing include
1S//1H, the 2/1 forcing 1NT, the new suit forcing (1RF), DRURY, & the forcing cue-bid raise.
Example: Not playing 2/1, partner has opened 1S. You have (3,4,3,3). You want to know if partner
has 4 hearts. So you "temporize" by bidding 2C forcing even though you don't like
Example: Playing BERGEN RAISES, partner opens 1S. You have (3,2,4,4) with 11 points &
want to show an invitational hand with only 3-card support as opposed to 4+ card support.
Your temporizing bid is
the LEBENSOHL 2NT RELAY to 3C followed by bidding partner's suit at the 3-level.
"OGUST" (alertable) is a WEAK-2 opener's reply to responder's 2NT forcing response.
3C = weak hand, weak suit
3D = weak hand, strong suit
3H = strong hand, weak suit
3S = strong hand, strong suit
ACE-ASKING BIDS are all artificial.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
B-2. GENERAL GUIDELINES:
a. INDIVIDUAL HAND EVALUATION:
COUNT YOUR LOSERS:
With big hands it is easier to count losers. If you have a
4-loser hand with a 7 card suit, consider opening at the 4-level
hoping to catch your partner with just 1 QT.
POINT COUNT ASSIGNMENT TO HONOR CARDS:
Ace = 4 points, King = 3, Queen =2, & Jack = 1
Given these card values, each player will compute the total point value of their hand.
It should be noted that on this basis, there are no more than 40 high card points
in the entire deck. So the question becomes, "which partnership has 20+ points?".
The assumption is if a partnership has 20+ points, then they should take 1/2 the
tricks or more.
DELAY COUNTING SHORT SUITS:
In first evaluating their point count, players should
not count any points for shortness in a suit until they
have determined a fit with partner. In a fit with partner,
the player can count his singleton/void as a king, ie 3 points.
Dounletons are worthless.
POINT COUNT QUALITY.
It behooves the partnership to consider the content of their individual
point count, especially at the higher bid levels. In the absence of having a
quick trick, I suggest deducting 1 point.
b. THE POINT-COUNT SCALE & DIVISION INCREMENTS:
For the purposes of partnership communication, the entire range of 40 points
must be divided into specific increments no greater than 4-point spreads at
levels above 25 points & no greater than 3-point increments at levels below
Charles Goren originated the point-count system wherein the entire range of
40 points was more or less uniformly divided. His reasoning went thus:
If a partnership had all the 40 points less a king, ie 37 points, they could
take all of the tricks.
With one less ace, ie 33 points, they could take 12 tricks.
With a second less ace. ie, 29 points, they could take 11 tricks.
And with a third less ace, ie, 25 points, they could take 10 tricks.
From this point on, he started deducting kings, ie, 3 points for each king,
right on down to zero. And that was it. So from 24 to 0 points, this range
is broken into equal 3-point increments.
However, in the last 35 years, the tidiness of Goren's 3-point increments has
been completely messed up by arguments over 1-point differences. So we now see
players opening 1NT with 15-17 points instead of 16-18 points as Goren originally
posited & 2NT with 20-21 points instead of 22-24 points. The apparent reason for
this seems to stem from these players not being able to deal with 3-points increments
when it comes to invitational bidding. So what they have created is a hodge-poge
mix of 3-point increments with 2-points increments. Very messy.
So, here is the answer to their 3-point dilemma.
DEALING WITH 3-POINT SPREADS:
Point ranges being in increments of 3 can present a
problem when in the middle or at the top of the range.
Players in this situation should check their hand for
tens & round up their points if they have one or more tens.
c. COMBINED POINTS TO BID-LEVEL TABLE:
Once the partner's have evaluated their individual hand's total point count,
they now attempt (through their bidding) to determine their combined strength
to see how many actual tricks, & hence bid-level, they might be able to take.
The following equates combined point-count to trick-taking-ability to bid-level.
21-22 points = 7 tricks = 1-level contract
23-24 points = 8 tricks = 2-level contract
25-28 points = = 9-10 tricks = 3-4-level contract = GAME LEVEL if 3NT or higher.
29-32 points = 11 tricks = 5-level contract
33-36 points = 12 tricks = 6-level contract = SLAM LEVEL.
37-40 points = 13 tricks = 7-level contract
d. OPENING BID POSITIONS & HI-CARD POINT REQUIREMENTS:
Simple opening bids at the 1-level in 1st or 2nd seat require 13-18 points.
However, a 1C opening may have 25+ points.
Simple openings in 3rd seat may begin at 10+ points with a 5-card suit.
Simple openings in 4th seat may begin at 10+ points with 4+ spades if partner's agree.
But just because 3rd or 4th seat might open light does not negate the upper
limits placed on 1st & 2nd seat openings.
1st through 3rd seats may open preemptively.
There is no justification for 4th seat to open preemptively.
e. WEAK PREEMPTIVE BIDS:
For the purpose of disrupting the opponents' bidding, any player may preempt
the bidding to a higher level, based upon reasonable criteria. Such bids are
considered "contention bids" in that they are preliminary sacrifice bids.
An opener may open with a WEAK-2 bid at the 2-level with 5-11
points and a 6 card suit having 3 of the top 5 cards in the suit.
With a 7+ card suit he can open at the 3-level. But he
must not go any further than the 3-level unless forced by partner.
Too many people make the mistake of going to the next higher level
just because they have more cards in their suit.
The same bid is allowed for the contender, only it is a WEAK-JUMP-OVERCALL.
In playing INVERTED-MINOR-RAISES, responder's jump raise with 7-9 points is
a WEAK-JUMP-RAISE & serves as a preempt. By the same token, in playing BERGEN
RAISES, responder can give a SUPER-WEAK-JUMP-RAISE with 4-6 points & 4+ card support.
EXAMPLE: 3D//1D = inverted minor jump raise ...... 3S/1S = super-weak jump raise
If not raising partner's suit, a responder can make a SUPER-WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT
to the 2-level in a new suit in which he has 6+ cards & 4-6 points.
EXAMPLE: 2S//1H = super-weak jump shift.
f. RESPONDER BIDDING TO PARTNER'S OPENING IN A SUIT AT THE 1-LEVEL:
1] PRIORITIES IN THE ABSENCE OF OPPONENT INTERVENTION:
a] RESPONDING TO 1H OR 1S OPENING WITH 4+ POINTS:
WITH 4+ CARD SUPPORT, RESPONDER MUST RAISE OPENER'S SUIT IMMEDIATELY.
WITH ONLY 3-CARD SUPPORT, RESPONDER MAY CHOOSE TO NOT RAISE THE MAJOR.
RESPONDING TO 1H OR 1S OPENING.
b] RESPONDING TO 1C WITH 0+ POINTS.
WITH LESS THAN 6 POINTS, RESPONDER MUST BID IF PARTNER OPENED 1C.
RESPONDING TO 1C.
c] RESPONDING TO 1D OPENING WITH 7+ POINTS:
In the absence of a 7+ card minor & with a 4+card major,
responder must BID UP-THE-LINE as described in the DEFINITIONS SECTION.
If responder has 5+ spades he must respond 1S disregarding all else.
With 5 spades & 6 hearts, responder should bid 1S, then bid hearts on his 2nd bid.
If responder has 4+ hearts & exactly 4 spades, then he should respond 1H.
Otherwise, with no 4-card major,
RESPONDING TO 1D.
d] DISPARATE INVERTED SUIT LENGTHS.
THE 7+CARD MINOR VERSES THE 4-CARD MAJOR:
Opener begins with 1C or 1D.
There should be no question that when responder has a 5+ card major or two 5+ card majors,
then responder should first bid the highest ranking major.
"But," you ask. "what if responder has 7+ cards in a minor & a only a 4-card major"?
Well, in the first place, we observe that there can be only 2 cards in the other suits.
Secondly, if responder's long minor is the same suit as opener's, the question
becomes moot, and responder should just ignore his 4-card major, because obviously
their strongly held long suit will be trumped by the opponents if it is not trump.
But if responder's long minor is not the same as opener's minor, then
the question becomes whether or not to bid UP-THE-LINE or bid his minor.
Certainly, if the partnership has a 4-4 major suit fit & if that major becomes
trump, there is a near certain risk of one of the opponents trumping the minor.
So a key question becomes, "How good of control does he partnership have over
the 4-4 major fit?, Does it have 1st round control" . And another question is,
"does the partnership have 1st round control of the long minor?".
These are questions that cannot be answered in the bidding unless responder has
the answers in his hand already? So if it appears that responder does have
1st round control in both his minor and major suits, then he can bid the
major. Otherwise he should bid his minor as if he has no 4-card major.
Assuming the latter case, over 1C responder with 10+ points and 7+ diamonds,
responder should bid 1D forcing followed by a rebid in diamonds. Otherwise,
he should preempt using LEBENSOHL by bidding 2NT followed by 3D.
But over 1D, with 10+ points & 7+ clubs, responder should bid 2C.
Otherwise, he should preempt bidding 3C.
Another point to consider is whether or not the partnership can make 3NT.
If responder has AK in the minor suit & another quick trick somewhere,
it might be possible to make 3NT. If that appears to be the case,
then responder should bid his 4-card major, if for no other reason than
to show length in the major.
e] OTHER RESPONDER CONSIDERATIONS: :
With less than 7 points, responder must "pass" unless opener began with 1C,
in which case responder must be 1D or bid a WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT to a 6+card suit that
he has. Otherwise, responder will only bid 1D if he has 6+ diamonds with 10+ points
& no 4+ card major. If responder has 7-9 points with 6+ diamonds, he will bid a
LEBENSOHL 2NT RELAY TO 3C, followed by bidding 3D.
With 7+ points, any new suit responder bids is forcing upon opener unless opponent intervenes.
This includes 1D over 1C, ie, 1D/1C.
If there is an opponent intervening bid in a suit at the 1-level, then responder can "DOUBLE" to
show an unbid 4-card major. But if responder has 5+ cards in that major, then he should bid it at
the 1-level if not prevented by opponent's bid. Otherwise, with less than 10 points, responder can
"DOUBLE" even though it is longer than 5 cards.
With less than 10 points & in the absence of having a major suit & no support for anything opener
has bid, responder can bid 1NT assuming he is able.
With 10+ points, responder can bid his 5+card major at the 2-level without jumping over
any opponent's lesser bid. Or he is safe to invite opener to game.
With 10-12 points & a balanced hand with no 4-card major, responder can first bid
a new minor suit forcing followed by bidding 2NT.
With 13+ points responder should definitely force opener to game by changing suits
or by jump rebidding his first bid suit.
2] CONSERVATION OF BIDDING SPACE. RESPONDER AVOID JUMPING IN NEW SUITS:
If your partner opens the bidding with a 1 level suit bid, unless your are raising
opener's suit or bidding no-trump, keep the first round of bidding low to enable
complete communication. Far too often a new player will jump shift because he has a
lot of points. WRONG!
" RESPONDER- DO NOT PREEMPT YOUR PARTNER'S OPENING BID UNLESS YOU ARE SUPER-WEAK & WANT OPENER TO PASS!".
Responder, your first job is to listen, not tell. Unless you are raising opener's suit,
giving a jump bid in a new suit disrupts your opener's ability to give a jump on his
2nd bid to show you a 16-18 point hand as opposed to having only 13-15 points. It is
sufficient that you give a non-jump bid in a different suit to force your partner to
bid again. Bidding UP-THE-LINE at the 1-level to find an immediate 4-4 major suit fit
is an absolute must. It makes no difference how big your hand is. There is no excuse
for cutting off your opening partner's ability to describe his point count and shape
on his 2nd bid. After opener's 2nd bid you are then clear to do whatever you like
depending upon what you now know the combined points to be.
3] OBSERVANCE OF THRESHOLD LEVELS:
Aside from the first round of bidding, the partnership should realize that in
passing up a NT bid they are going to the next level up making a "threshold bid".
And where raising a previously bid suit is not a big concern, for each level they
go up in a new suit, they should probably have 3 points (ie, a King) more to do so.
But this criteria can be difficult to abide by in going to the 3-level.
4] FAST ARRIVAL:
The principle of FAST ARRIVAL says that once you
find a fit with partner, you should not bid other suits
& betray your hand, unless there is a better possible
major suit fit. Far too often a responder will compete
against his partner despite knowing they have a fit already,
Once the best fit is found, the only other possible
reason for bidding other suits is to force to a higher level.
5] OPENER 2ND BIDS:
If opener has 4-card support for responder's major suit, then he MUST support it by giving
a SIMPLE-RAISE with 13-15 points or a JUMP-RAISE with 16-18 points. An exception might be
made if opener has a 7+ card suit of his own even though he has 4-card support for responder.
In the absence of having support for responder, opener will bid 1S over responder's 1H to
show having a 4-card spade suit, to which responder will raise if he also has 4 spades.
g. RESPONDING TO A WEAK-2 OPENING:
When responder has a hand with 3+ QTs, game is in site.
In such a case, a responder 2NT is a forcing request to opener
to further describe his hand. The partnership may agree upon
one of two systems in which the opener answers:
1] Responding with "features/stoppers".
2] OGUST responses.
Regardless of their choice, the responder should generally shy away
from bidding another suit unless it is 7+ long.
h. RESPONDER BIDDING TO NO-TRUMP & HIGHER LEVEL OPENINGS:
Typical responses to 1NT include:
1] STAYMAN- a #C that promises a 4-card major & ask opener if he has 4-card major.
2] TRANSFER- a bid in the suit under a 5+ card suit which opener must bid.
When responder has 5-4 in the majors, STAYMAN takes priority over TRANSFERS.
3] WEAK MINOR INVITES- a jump bid at the 3-level in a 6+ card minor suit
having 2 of the top 3 honors. Opener will bid 3NT if he has the other top honor.
For more info, refer to the TABLE OF CONTENTS & go to the area of interest.
i. RECAP OF FORCING BIDS:
ALL ACE ASKING BIDS
ALL LOW LEVEL (less than 3-level) DOUBLES/REDOUBLES
ALL HI-LEVEL (higher than 3-level) SOS REDOUBLES
OPENER FORCING BIDS:
CUE-BID IN OPPONENT'S SUIT
RESPONDER FORCING BIDS:
NEW SUIT FORCING
JUMP REBID OF RESPONDER'S NEW SUIT
SIMPLE INVERTED MINOR RAISE 1C -> 2C ..... 1D -> 2D (alertable)
BERGEN 3C OR 3D RAISE OF MAJOR SUIT OPENING (alertable)
LEBENSOHL 2NT RELAY TO 3C (alertable)
CUE-BID IN OPPONENT'S SUIT
Opener bidding NT or a new suit or jumping.
Responder bidding 1NT or 3NT
Any player making a simple non-jump rebid of their suit or partner's suit.
j. Who is the CAPTAIN?
A preemptive bidder can never be the captain.
The first partner to limit their hand's point range to within
3 points is the subordinate partner to the captain.
The no-trump opener is NEVER the captain.
The responder who immediately raises the opener's suit
or bids NT on his first bid is NEVER captain.
"Stay in your lane Bro"
The CAPTAIN is the partner who determines the max bid
level to which the partnership can go. He is the one
who ask for aces.
k. In the absence of a fit,
either no-trump is the best contract,
or being in a trump suit belonging to the weaker hand.
l. Always take pause in passing up 3NT.
Quite often a 5-3 fit
will make 3NT, but fail to make 4 in the suit. And without any
suit length mismatch, a 4-4 fit will most likely fail.
m. The partner who should play the contract
is he who can best absorb
the opening lead. Usually it is the stronger of the two hands.
n. GENERAL RULE Regarding Opponent's "Double."
If you like the double,
NEVER REDOUBLE except to tell partner you have a misfit.
If given at the very lowest level(s), it promises 10+ points.
If given at a higher level, it is an SOS REDOUBLE for partner to
pick another suit.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
C-1. OPENING BIDS & THE POINT COUNT SCALE.
a. In opening the bidding,
indeed in making any bid, three things are considered:
SHAPE, LOSERS, & POINTS.
b. The following chart shows how to open the combinations of shape & points.
It should be noted that the point count range spreads up to 24 are in increments
of 3. The opener's point range spread impacts the responder's invitational
point range by virtue of the fact that the responder's invitational point range
must be the compliment of the opener's point range relative to 25 points.
So, with a minimum opening point range of 13-15, the responder's game
invitational point range is 12-10 points. Any bigger point spread makes it
impossible for responder to logically invite opener to game with any degree
c. With respect to INDIVIDUAL HAND SHAPES, there are 6 types:
BALANCED, SEMI-BALANCED, 3-SUITED, 2-SUITED, COMPANION SUITED, & 1-SUITED.
This matrix outlines how to opening bid the 6 hand shapes vs point count.
b. The 1D OPENING
promises a 4+ card diamond suit, if not 5+ diamonds. May people
still play CONVENIENT MINOR wherein they cam bid 1D with only 4-cards.
I highly recommend against it.
IMPACT UPON 1C OPENING:
If 1D promises 5+ diamonds, then a 1C opening could be as few as 1, ie, 4-4-4-1.
And since the 1C opening is forcing, there should be no reason to fret over its
minimum card count in clubs when bidding 1C.
Whether opener promises 4 or 5 cards in diamonds, it should be possible to
see some similarities to bidding the major suits. Certainly, in promising a
5+ card suit it is easy to see the similarity. However, one difference is that
Inverted Minor Raises are used in responding to 1D, where Bergen Raises are
used in responding to a major. But even these two response systems are similar.
For one thing, the Inverted Bergen Raise of 3D is exactly the same point
range as the Inverted Minor Raise of 3D. And there is certainly no reason
to not use Splinter Raises in either system. So what about the 3C jump bid?
In Inverted Bergen 3C would mean a LIMIT-RAISE. But in Inverted Minor Raises
3C would be a preempt, where in Bergen the LEBENSOHL-2NT-RELAY to 3C is used
to preempt. So the question becomes, "Can we use the LEBENSOHL-2NT-RELAY over
a 1D opening to free up the 3C/1D bid for something else, like an Inverted
Bergen 3C LIMIT-RAISE in diamonds?'. And the answer is "yes"".
CONCERN REGARDING 3D/1D CURRENT BIDDING PRACTICE:
For those playing INVERTED MINOR RAISES today, opener will usually have a 4-card
diamonds suit. At the same time, it has been allowed for responder to
bid 3D/1D with as few as 6 points & ONLY 4-CARD SUPPORT. In my mind, this is
an unsafe bidding practice UNLESS THE RESPONDER Has 8-9 POINTS.
"SUPERIOR SUPPORT" means that responder has enough cards in opener's suit to promise
a 9+card trump suit. If the partnership allows a 1D opening to promise only 3-cards,
then SUPERIOR SUPPORT must be at least 6 diamonds long. Bust most players today promise
at least 4 diamonds, which means SUPERIOR SUPPORT must be only 5 diamonds long. And
if a partnership treats the 1D opening as a major, then SUPERIOR SUPPORT need be only
4 diamonds long.
Responder must pass with less than 4 points.
1] With 4-6 points, responder should give a weak bid making:
a] A WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT with 6+ cards via
2H or 2S.
b] A SUPER-WEAK PREEMPTIVE RAISE with SUPERIOR SUPPORT via
3D/ 3C/ 2NT/ 1D (alertable)
2] With 7-9 points & 7+ Clubs & NO SUPERIOR SUPPORT:
a] With a 5+ CARD MAJOR, responder MUST bid that major at the 1-level.
b] With NO 4-CARD SUPPORT ANYWHERE, responder should bid 3C preemptively.
Pass/ 3C/ 2NT/ 1D = 6-7 points with 6+ clubs (Weak Preempt) (alertable)
3] With 7-9 points & 5+ Diamonds:
a] With a 5+ CARD MAJOR, responder MUST bid that major at the 1-level.
b] With NO 4-CARD MAJOR, responder should bid 3D/ 1D INVERTED MINOR RAISE.
3D/1D = Non-Forcing INVERTED MINOR RAISE = 7-9 points with 6+ clubs. (alertable)
4] With 7+ points & a 4-CARD MAJOR &:
a] LESS THAN A 7-CARD MINOR:
If responder has 5+ spades, he MUST bid 1S.
Responder MUST bid the lowest 4-card major at the 1-level.
(Refer to "BIDDING UP-THE-LINE" in DEFINITION section.)
b] WITH A 7+ CARD MINOR:
DISPARATE INVERTED SUIT LENGTHS.
5] With 7-9 points & NO 4-CARD MAJOR OR SUPERIOR SUPPORT OR CLUB PREEMPT:
Responder can bid 1NT.
1NT/ 1D - Minimum response. (3-,3-,3-,4+)
6] With 10+ points & NO 4-CARD MAJOR &:
a] WITH SUPERIOR SUPPORT, responder can bid INVERTED BERGEN-MINOR RAISES.
2D/ 1D - Shows 10+ points. INVERTED MINOR RAISE. !RF. (3-,3-,4+,3-) (alertable)
3C/1D = Forcing INVITATIONAL LIMIT-RAISE = 10-12 points with SUPERIOR SUPPORT. 1RF. (alertable)
b] WITH NO SUPERIOR SUPPORT, responder can bid 1D followed by a bid greater than 2C.
2C/ 1D - Shows 3+ Clubs with 10+ points. 1RF. (3-,3-,3-,4+)
2NT/ 2@/ 2C/ 1D - Shows balanced hand with 10-12 points. Invite to 3NT.
3C/ 2@/ 2C/ 1D - Shows 6+ Clubs with 10-12 points.
3D/ 1@/ 1D/ 1D - Shows 6+ Diamonds with 13+ points. GF.
3NT/ #@/ 2D/ 1D - Shows 6+ Clubs with 13+ points. GF/ (2D Temporizing. Not Real)
7] For Opening Rebids Go To
8] For Countering Interference Go To
OPENING PAIR COUNTER-MEASURES
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
c. The 1H OR 1S OPENING
promises at least 5 cards in the suit.
1] THE IMPORTANCE OF 4+ CARD SUPPORT:
It is important for responder to note what seat opener is in & the length
of his support, if any.
The LAW OF TOTAL TRICKS makes it imperative for responder to distinguish in his
bidding if he has 3 or 4+ card support. That law says that if you have a 9-card trump
suit, you are safe to compete to higher levels given a tad fewer combined points
than usually required for a trump contract.
2] RESPONDING WITH 4+ CARD SUPPORT TO OPENER IN 1ST OR 2ND SEAT:
The STANDARD AMERICAN LIMIT-RAISE is a jump-raise showing 4-card support with 10-12 points.
HOWEVER, using the BERGEN convention in responding to a 1st or 2nd seat opening is a better
method of showing 4+ CARD SUPPORT across the complete spectrum of responder points & is
described as follows:
With 4-6 points,
a JUMP-RAISE is preemptive & no longer the STANDARD LIMIT-RAISE. (alertable)
Example: 1S -> 3S or 3H/1H or 1H\3H
With 7-9 points,
a JUMP-SHIFT to 3D is a BERGEN SIMPLE-RAISE & a replacement for the STANDARD SIMPLE-RAISE.
It is no longer the STANDARD WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT TO DIAMONDS. 1RF. (alertable)
Example: 1S -> 3D
With 10-12 points,
a JUMP-SHIFT to 3C is a BERGEN LIMIT-RAISE serving to replace the STANDARD LIMIT-RAISE.
It is no longer the STANDARD 3C-WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT. 1RF. (alertable)
Example: 1S -> 3C
With 13-15 points and a singleton/void is a suit,
a DOUBLE-JUMP to the short suit is a SPLINTER RAISE.1RF.
Example: 1S -> 4H with singleton/void in hearts.
With 13-15 points and no singleton/void,
ia GAME RAISE to the 4-level in opener's suit s an ACOL GAME RAISE.
Example: 1S -> 4S
At this point, one might ask, "What if I want to bid a WEAK-JUMP-SHIFT to 3C or 3D?".
The answer to that is to use the LEBENSOHL-2NT-TO-3C-RELAY (alertable) and either "pass" with
long clubs or bid 3D to which opener will "pass". Example: 1S ->2NT -> 3C -> 3D-> pass
3] RESPONDING WITH 3-CARD SUPPORT TO OPENER IN 1ST OR 2ND SEAT:
Before giving a supporting bid, responder should consider the following.
With any 3-card supporting bid, it is most desirable that responder have a short suit
on which his 3 trumps can be used. Otherwise, he should consider bidding No-Trump
rather than supporting opener's suit. In addition, to a 1H opening, with only 3 hearts,
but with 4 spades, responder must bid 1S. However, if responder decides to still
immediately raise opener's major, here is how.
With 7-9 points,
responder can give a direct STANDARD SIMPLE-RAISE of opener's
suit to the 2-level
Example: 1H -> 2H
With 10-12 points.
responder has a 3-CARD DELAYED-LIMIT-RAISE which he can show by
first making a temporizing bid, such as 2C, followed by bidding opener's suit at the
3-level. However, against interference I recommend The LEBENSOHL-2NT-RELAY-TO-3C (alertable)
be used as a temporizing bid before bidding the 3-CARD LIMIT-RAISE.
Example: 1S -> 2NT -> 3C -> 3S
4] RESPONDING TO 3RD/4TH SEAT OPENING:
If the opening is in 3rd or 4th seat, then opener may have as few as 10 points, where
you have already limited your hand to less than 13 points. So in order to
keep the bidding low, you bid as follows:
With less than 6 points, you "pass".
With 6-9 points & 3+ card support responder can bid 2H/1H or 2S/1S.
With 10-12 points,
2-WAY DRURY (alertable) is a "temporizing" response of 2C to show 3-card support,
or 2D to show 4+ card support.
REGULAR DRURY (alertable) only uses 2C as a response regardless of 3 vs 4-card support length.
Otherwise, with no support & 6-12 points, you bid 1NT.
5] NON-FIT RESPONSES:
a] 1S/ 1H = Responder has 7+ points and at least 4 spades. 1RF.
1NT/ 1S = Responder has 7-9 points & not 4 spades.
b] 2C/ 1M or 2D/ 1M = 10+ points. 1RF.
c] 2H/ 1S = 10+ points & a 5+ card heart suit. 1RF.
d] 2S/ 1H = a WEAK JUMP SHIFT = 4-6 points & a 6+ card spade suit.
e] 2NT/ 1M = a LEBENSOHL RELAY to 3C (alertable). 1RF.
The purpose here is to still allow responder
to bid a minor suit weak jump where he can have 4-9 points & 6+ cards in a minor.
(Requires opener to bid 3C.) If responder has long diamonds
instead of long clubs, he can bid 3D and opener will "pass".
6] DETAILED EXPLANATION OF RESPONSES TO MAJOR SUIT OPENINGS AT THE 1-LEVEL.
7] For Opening Rebids Go To
8] For Countering Interference Go To
OPENING PAIR COUNTER-MEASURES.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
d. 2ND ROUND REBIDS AFTER SUIT OPENING AT 1-LEVEL.
1] OPENER REBIDS:
a] Without support,
each consecutive rebid of his major suit opening shows
an extra card in the suit. The first rebid of his minor suit opening shows
a 6+ card suit, with each subsequent rebid showing an extra card.
It is a very old rule of bridge that if opener rebids his suit, then he has
an extra card in that suit. But sometimes it is necessary to lie.
A problem can exist with the 13-15 point opening when opener begins in
a major at the 1-level & responder makes a forcing bid at the 2-level.
Opener, not having stoppers in what could be opponent's suit(s),
will not want to bid 2NT. Nor has he enough points to bid to the 3-level.
His only safe option is to rebid his 5-card suit at the 2-level.
A similar problem can exist for 16-18 point opening hands playing 2/1 where
responder has given a 1NT FORCING bid with 6-12 points. If opener has only
a 5-card suit & no lower ranking 4-card suit to jump in, he has a real problem.
Having no clue as to the responder's real point range, he must proceed with
caution. Something has to to give & it should not be his point range.
The only apparent solution is to jump rebid his 5-card suit.
Perhaps we might consider a different solution. Given the opener has been
been put in the position of not being able to bid another 4-card suit,
might not the opener be allowed to bid a 3-card suit where he has a stopper?
Certainly, there should be no problem if the stopper is in a lower ranking suit.
But if the stopper is in a higher ranking suit, this could present more of a
problem than simply rebidding the original 5-card suit.
b] ALL NON-JUMP & NON-THRESHOLD bids are MINIMUM REBIDS showing 13-15 points.
c] ALL JUMPS & THRESHOLD REVERSES are 16-18 points. Not forcing.
Jumping on 2nd bid not allowed when responder has bid 1D over 1C.
d] VOLUNTARY NT THRESHOLD CROSS-OVER BIDS convey extra points.
Example: 1S - 2H - 3C should have 16-18 points or equivalent shape value.
e] Opener's change of suits on 2nd bid is not forcing.
f] OPENER REBID MATRIX.
2] RESPONDER REBIDS after opener's rebid in response to 1-level suit opening.
a] VOLUNTARY NT THRESHOLD CROSS-OVER BIDS convey extra points.
Example: 1S - 2H - 3C should have 16-18 points or equivalent shape value.
Generally speaking, responder should not crossover a possible bid in No-Trump to bid
a new suit at or above the 2-level without at least 10 points.
Nor should opener show a new suit at the 3-level without 16 or more points,
unless responder has already bid at the 3-level.
b] A simple suit shift bid by responder indicates a stronger hand and is forcing 1 round.
c] NEW MINOR FORCING
After opener rebids 1NT says responder has 5-card suit with 10+ points.
d] FOURTH SUIT FORCING generally asks opener to bid NT if he has stopper in that suit.
e] If responder bids a new suit & then jumps in that suit, it is game forcing.
3] Go To
OPENING PAIR COUNTER-MEASURES
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
e. NO-TRUMP OPENINGS:
Openings in no-trump require balanced hands of 4-4-3-2 or 4-3-3-3.
They can also include those hands that are semi-balanced with a 5-card minor,
The 1NT OPENING = 16-18 points. SYSTEMS are on, meaning the artificial conventions can be used.
The 2C OPENING followed by 2NT = 19-21 points. SYSTEMS are on.
The 2NT OPENING = 22-24 points. SYSTEMS are on.
Today's players were not around before WEAK-2 openings were introduced & when a 1NT
opening was 16-18 points & 2NT was 22-24 points. They are playing a 22-24 balanced
hand is openned in a lower bid of 2C rather than 2NT. Meanwhile, the 20-21 point
balanced hand is opened in a higher level bid of 2NT. TOTALLY BACKWARDS IN LOGIC.
In addition, they are playing 1NT = 15-17 points, where a sliver of 18-19 points
is opened in a minor followed by a SLIVER BID jump to 2NT = 18-19 points. This is
a totally useless convention, because opening a strong 18-19 point hand in a minor
gives opponents an opportunity to contend. Furthemore, it destroys responder's
ability to immediately transfer. Oh yes, they say they can use NEW MINOR FORCING
to find their precious 5-3 fit, something more novice players are immediately
exposed to & obssessed with to the exclusion of all else. Obviously, they do not
care about keeping the strong hand hid & forcing a favorable lead from declarer's
LHO. Plus, they ignore the fact that many times a 5-3 will not make 4 of a major,
but will make 3NT.
For these reasons & that of uniformity, I require the balanced hand openings to be
the old 16-18 points for 1NT and 22-24 points for 2NT. For the 19-21 point range, the
19-24 point 2C opening works.
1] BASIC CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES:
a] QUANTITATIVE RESPONSES
are immediate jumps over 1NT & 2NT openings to
4NT, 5NT, 6NT or 7NT
based strictly upon the combined point count of the partnership, wherein:
4NT invites to 6NT, 5NT forces to 6NT, 6NT invites to 7NT.
Examples: 4NT/ 1NT, 5NT/ 1NT, 5NT/ 2NT... etc
Over 1NT, responder should have at least 15 points (15+18=33)
With 15-16, 4NT/ 1NT = invites to 6NT
With 17-18, 5NT/ 1NT = forces to 6NT
With 19-20, 6NT/ 1NT = invites to 7NT
With 21+, 7NT/ 1NT = to play.
Over 2NT, responder should have at least 9 points (9+24 =33)
With 9-10, 4NT/ 2NT = invites to 6NT
With 11-12, 5NT/ 2NT = forces to 6NT
With 13-14, 6NT/ 2NT = invites to 7NT
With 15+, 7NT/ 2NT = to play.
b] REGULAR STAYMAN RESPONSES are 2C over 1NT & 3C over 2NT.
Responder must have 7+ points with at least one 4 card major to invite game.
Asks opener for a 4-card major. Opener 2D denies. 2H says hearts & maybe spades.
Opener 2S denies hearts. With 7-8 points responder can invite game.
Responder with 9+ point can force to game.
If opener bids 2D and responder has 9+ points with 5 of one major and 4
of the other major, he can bid the 4-card major at the 3-level to
invite opener to bid his 5-card major. (aka. SMOLEN)
c] TRANSFERS TO MAJORS, 2D/ 1NT & 3H/ 2NT transfers to spades.
2H/1NT & 3H/2NT transfers to spades.
2] SOME ADDITIONAL CONVENTIONS:
a] GARBAGE STAYMAN RESPONSES are 2C over 1NT.
Responder must have 5-6 points with both 4 card majors.
It asks opener for a 4-card major. Opener 2D denies. 2H says hearts & maybe spades.
Opener 2S denies hearts. With fit responder can "pass". If opener bids 2D,
responder can bid 2H to which opener will "pass" or bid 2S which responder
which responder will "pass"
b] 3C or 3D are WEAK MINOR INVITES to 3NT over 1NT.
The responder has what would be considered a preemptive minor suit with
2 of the top 3 honors and hopes opener has the other top honor with which
opener can bid 3NT. Otherwise opener would "pass".
c] 3H-3S MARCUS MAJORS OVER 1NT shows 5-5 in majors where 3H invites opener
to game in either major & 3S is game forcing to either major.
d] POST 2C STAYMAN 3H or 3S GAME FORCING SMOLEN TRANSFER.
A "SMOLEN HAND" is one where responder has both majors only one is
only 4-cards long & the other is 5 long. Because STAYMAN takes priority
over TRANSFERS, responder will still want to show his 5 card major if
opener has mo 4-card major & bids 2D. To do so, responder will bid
his 4-card major at the 3-level as an after-the-fact transfer to his
5-card major after opener has bid a diamond denial.
Example: 1NT -> 2C -> 2D -> 3S TRANSFER -> 4H
The convention cannot be used when 2NT is opened due to PUPPET STATMAN responses,
e] PUPPET STAYMAN OVER 2NT OPENING.
When opener has 22-24 points wuth a semi-balanced hand with a 5-card major,
he will probably still open 2NT.
If responder bids 3C STAYMAN/ 2NT, then
3D bid says he has one 4-card major
3H or 3S bid says he has 5 of that suit.
3NT says he has no 4-card major.
4D says he has both 4-card majors.
f] TEXAS TRANSFER is a 4D transfer to 4H or a 4H transfer to 4S. Promises 6+ card suit.
g] 2S or 3S MINOR SUIT STAYMAN shows responder with a 2-suited hand in the minors.
3] SOME NEW SOLUTIONS:
a] LOW-LEVEL STAYMAN, aka, modified PUPPET STAYMAN.
With a 5-card spade suit, opener rebids 2S/ 2C or 3S/ 3C.
With a 5-card heart suit,opener rebids 2NT/ 2C or 3NT/ 3C.
With a 4-card heart suit, opener rebids 2H/ 2C or 3H/ 3C.
With no 4-card heart suit, opener rebids 2D/ 2C or 3D/ 3C.
b] ROLLING TRANSFER TO CLUBS.
To transfer to clubs, responder bids 2D/ 1NT or 3D/2 NT followed by 2S/ 2H or 3S/ 3H.
Example: 1NT - 2D (TRANSFER) - 2H - 2S (TRANSFER) - 3C
c] ROLLING TRANSFER TO DIAMONDS.
To transfer to diamonds, responder bids 2H/ 1NT or 3H/ 2NT followed by 3C/ 2S or 4C/ 3S.
Example: 1NT - 2H (TRANSFER) - 2S - 3C (TRANSFER) - 3D
4] DETAILED RECAP OF NO TRUMP OPENINGS.