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Popular Conventions

This system of bidding and defensive carding is based on the standard methods taught by Richard Pavlicek, plus a variety of popular conventions. The outline presented here follows the ACBL convention card.

Conventions Included

Stayman
Jacoby and Texas transfer bids
Minor-suit Stayman
Limit major raises
3 NT forcing major raise
Splinter bids
1 NT forcing
Two-over-one game force
(unless responder rebids suit)

Reverse Drury
Weak jump shift responses
Inverted minor raises
Fourth suit forcing
New minor forcing
Strong artificial 2 C opening
Cheaper minor 2nd negative

Weak two-bids
Negative doubles
Landy or Cappelletti (you choose)
Michaels cue-bid
Blackwood
D-O-P-I over interference

Gerber
Most conventions are subject to different usage and interpretation, so it is desirable to have an official authority. The book Modern Bridge Conventions by Richard Pavlicek and Bill Root is the authority here, so refer to that book for details about each convention.

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General Approach

Standard with 5 Card Majors
Strong forcing opening: 2 C

Notrump Opening Bids

1 NT = 15 to 17 HCP
2 C = Stayman; if followed by:
2 H or 2 S = invitational

3 C or 3 D = game forcing

Jacoby transfer (off with any interference)
2 S = minor-suit Stayman (at least invitational)
3 C or 3 D = weak
Texas transfer (also in comp. through 3 C)
After a double:
all suit bids are natural to play

After an overcall:
all doubles are penalty

Cue-bid of real suit = Stayman

2 NT = 20 to 22 HCP
Stayman; Jacoby; Texas

3 S = C + D slam try

3 NT = 25 to 26 HCP
Stayman; Jacoby

4 S = C + D slam try

Major Openings

5+ cards
Double raise = limit (also in competition)
3 NT = balanced forcing raise (off in competition)
Splinter bids (in comp. must be a jump cue)
1 NT = 6 to 12 (forcing)
2 NT = 13+ unlimited (11-12 in competition)
Two-over-one GF unless responder rebids same suit
Reverse Drury
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Minor Openings

3+ cards
Single raise = 10+; forcing (also in competition)
Double raise = weak (also in competition)
1 NT = 6 to 10
2 NT = 13 to 16 (11-12 in competition)
3 NT = 17 to 18

Two-Club Opening

Strong (typically 23+); artificial
2 D = 0-7 HCP; may be waiting with awkward hand
Other responses = 8+ HCP (suit bids at least Qxxxx)
Cheaper minor (3 C or 3 D) second negative

Weak Two-Bids

5 to 11 HCP; 6 cards (or strong 5)
2 NT only force; asks for feature if not minimum

Other Conventional Calls

Weak jump shifts (always)
Splinter rebids (3 S or higher jump) over majors only
In competition splinters apply in enemy suit only (other jumps are weak)
Responder’s 2nd round jumps game forcing by unpassed hand
New minor forcing (11+ points)
Fourth suit forcing (11+ points)
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Special Doubles

Negative through 4 D

Direct Notrump Overcalls

1 NT = 15 to 18 HCP (10 to 15 in passout)
Respond as to 1 NT opening

2 NT nonjump = 16 to 19 (14 to 17 in passout)
Respond as to 2 NT opening

2 NT jump = unusual for two lower unbid suits
3 NT = natural; can be long minor
All responses natural (except a cue-bid)

Simple Overcall

Typically 8 to 17 HCP
Simple response = 8-11
Jump response = invitational
Cue-bid response = game forcing

Vs. All Notrump Openings

Double = 14+ HCP; optional (penalty oriented)
Landy* (all seats):
2 C = majors

2 NT = minors

All other = natural

or Cappelletti* (all seats):
2 C = any 1-suiter

2 D = majors

2 H = hearts + minor

2 S = spades + minor

2 NT = minors

*You can play Landy or Cappelletti but not both. You and partner must decide.

Jump Overcall

Weak (like a weak two-bid or preemptive opening)
Respond as to same opening

Over Opp’s Takeout Double

New suit = nonforcing
Jump raise = 8 to 10; 4+ trumps
Redouble = 10+ HCP or 11+ support points
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Opening Preempts

Light; based on rule of 2, 3 or 4

Vs. Enemy Preempts

Double = takeout through 4 D
Double of 4 H, 4 S, 5 C or 5 D = optional
4 NT over 4 S = all suit takeout
4 NT over any other major bid = minors

Psychics

Rare (never initial actions)

Direct Cue-bid

Michaels (two suits)

Slam Conventions

Gerber 4 C/5 C (must be a jump after partner has bid notrump)
Blackwood 4 NT
D-O-P-I over interference

Opening Leads vs. Suits

Fourth best
Low from three small
King from A-K (except doubleton)
Standard honor leads

Opening Leads vs. Notrump

Fourth best
High from three small
Ace asks for unblock or count
Standard honor leads

Signals

Attitude when partner leads
Count when declarer leads
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Additional Agreements

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek