Main   System Notes 7G01 by Richard Pavlicek  

Pavlicek System

Last revision: February 10, 2019

1 General Approach 11 Opening Bids
21 Notrump Structure 31 Stayman 51 Jacoby Transfer
71 Minor Suit Stayman 81 Minor Suit Transfers 91 Three Diamonds Majors
101 Splinter Responses 111 Texas Transfer 121 Notrump Interference
141 Opening One of Suit 151 Rebids by Opener 161 Rebids by Responder
171 Opener’s Third Bid 191 Responder’s Third Bid 201 Rebids after 1NT Rebid
211 Rebids after 2NT Rebid 221 Notrump Responses to Minor 231 One Notrump Forcing
251 Two over One of Major 261 Two Clubs over One Diamond 271 Inverted Minor Raises
281 Weak Jump Shifts 291 Two Notrump Response 301 Major Suit Game Tries
311 Opener’s Reverse Bid 321 Fourth Suit Bids 331 Passed Hand Changes
341 Two-Way Reverse Drury
361 Competitive One of Suit 371 After Takeout Double 381 After Suit Overcall
401 After Jump Suit Overcall 421 After Two-Suited Overcall 431 After One Notrump Overcall
441 Competitive Doubles 451 Cooperative Doubles 461 Opener’s Competitive Rebids
471 Competitive Limit Style
481 Higher Opening Bids 491 Two Club Opening 521 Weak Two Bids
541 Preemptive Openings 561 Three Notrump Opening
571 Defense to One of Suit 581 Takeout Doubles 601 Suit Overcalls
611 Weak Jump Overcalls 621 Two-Suited Overcalls 641 Three-Level Cue Overcall
651 Balancing Actions 661 After Two Enemy Bids 671 Additional Agreements
681 Other Defensive Bidding 691 Defense to Notrump Openings 721 Defense to Weak Openings
741 Defense to Artificial Openings 751 Defense to Transfer Bids 761 Junkyard Defense
771 Lead-Directing Doubles 781 Runout Defense
791 Slam Bidding Methods 801 General Approach 811 Gerber
821 Four Notrump Meanings 831 Blackwood 851 Super Gerber
871 Trump Asking Bid 881 Voluntary Bid of Five 891 Five Notrump Meanings
901 Control Asking Bid
911 Defensive Carding 921 Notrump Opening Leads 931 Suit Opening Leads
941 Leads After Trick One 951 Honor Signals 961 Count Signals
971 Suit Preference Signals 981 Trump Signals

Latest revisions: 2-10-19 #851-853 (super Gerber); #672 (belated double takeout thru 2 S); #694 (2 H = not 3 spades period); #721 (clarified 3 NT responses); #732 (cue-bid of response to weak bid natural)


General Approach

Strength requirements, unless specifically stated as HCP, are presumed to be HCP for natural notrump bids, or total points (distributional values included) for all other bids.

Unusual treatments are denoted with a bullet. Abbreviations used:

F
AF
DJ
NF
I
GF
ST






forcing
artificial force
double jump
nonforcing
invitational
game forcing
slam try
1


Opening Bids

Basic approach is five-card majors, strong notrumps and weak two-bids. When opening a minor with 3-3, bid the stronger unless the difference is close, then 1 C; similarly with 4-4, although rebid considerations may be a factor.

1 C 1 D
1 H 1 S
1 NT
2 C
2 D 2 H 2 S
2 NT
3+ suit
3 NT
4 NT 5 NT







 •
 •
13-22, 3+ cards
13-22, 5+ cards
15-17, balanced
23+, AF
5-10 HCP, weak two-bid
20-22, balanced
weak
ace ask, good 1-suiter, 9+ tricks, F
minors, extreme shape
11


TopMain

Notrump Structure

An opening bid of 1 NT shows 15-17 HCP and balanced distribution. Hands with a 5 card major or off-shape pattern are acceptable if each doubleton contains an ace, king or queen, or per judgment.

1 NTP?21

2 C
2 D 2 H
2 S
2 NT 3 C
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C
4 D 4 H




 •
 •


Stayman
Jacoby transfer
minor-suit Stayman
minor-suit transfer
5-5 majors
splinter, 3-suited ST
sign-off
Gerber
Texas transfer


An opening bid of 2 NT shows 20-22 HCP, similar in nature to 1 NT.

2 NTP?22

3 C
3 D 3 H
3 S
Higher



Stayman
Jacoby transfer
minor-suit Stayman
same as above


Stayman

After a 1 NT or 2 NT opening the cheapest club bid is Stayman. No HCP are promised, nor is the presence of a major suit.

1 NT
?
P2 CP

analogous for 2 NT opening

31

2 D
2 H
2 S


no 4+ card major
4+ hearts, may have 4 spades
4+ spades, denies 4 hearts


1 NT
2 D
P
P
2 C
?
P32

2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
Any game
4 C 4 D




 •
 •

 •
weak, at least 4-4 majors or 3=4=1=5
sign-off
does not imply major, I
5+ cards, GF
5+ spades, 4 hearts, GF
5+ hearts, 4 spades, GF
sign-off
splinter, 3-suited ST

Note that Gerber and transfer bids do not apply immediately after Stayman.


2 NT
3 D
P
P
3 C
?
P33

3 H
3 S
Any game
4 C 4 D
 •
 •

5+ spades, 4+ hearts, GF
5+ hearts, 4 spades, GF
sign-off
5+ cards, ST


1 NT
2 H
P
P
2 C
?
P

analogous for 2 S rebid

34

2 S
2 NT 3 H
3 C 3 D
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H 5 C 5 D
 •


 •

 •
4 spades (checkback), F
no interest in spades, I
5+ cards, 4 spades, GF
agrees hearts, ST
4 spades, game sign-off
splinter, ST
sign-off


2 NT
3 H
P
P
3 C
?
P35

3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H 5 C 5 D
 •


agrees hearts, ST
4 spades, game sign-off
5+ cards, ST
sign-off


2 NT
3 H
?
P
P
3 C
4 C
P
P

analogous for 4 D

36

4 D
4 H*
4 S
4 NT
5 C

 •


strength, 3+ clubs
4-4 majors
super Gerber
no club fit or wrong cards, NF
3+ clubs, discourages slam

*then 4 S (NF) confirms a 4-4 fit


2 NT
3 S
P
P
3 C
?
P37

3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S 5 C 5 D


 •
4 hearts, game sign-off
5+ cards, ST
agrees spades, ST
sign-off


Smolen follow-up

1 NT
2 D
3 NT
P
P
P
2 C
3 H
?
P
P
38

4 C 4 D
4 H

3 cards, ST
transfer to 4 S


1 NT
2 D
3 NT
P
P
P
2 C
3 S
?
P
P
39

4 C
4 D

3 cards, ST
transfer to 4 H


2 NT
3 D
3 NT
P
P
P
3 C
3 H
?
P
P
40

4 C
4 D
4 H


3 cards, ST
transfer to 4 H (5-5 majors)
transfer to 4 S


2 NT
3 D
3 NT
P
P
P
3 C
3 S
?
P
P
41

4 C
4 D

3 cards, ST
transfer to 4 H


After interference

1 NT
?
P2 CX

analogous for 2 NT opening

42

Rdbl
Pass
2 D
2 H 2 S



4+ strong clubs
4 clubs, no major
4+ diamonds, no major
unchanged

If opener redoubles or passes, responder may pass, redouble or bid 2 D to play; else rebid normally.

If either opponents bids, all doubles by opener or responder are penalty.


Jacoby Transfer

After a 1 NT or 2 NT opening the cheapest diamond bid shows at least 5 hearts, and the cheapest heart bid shows at least 5 spades. Opener typically completes the transfer by bidding the shown major.

1 NT
2 H
P
P
2 D
?
P51

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 NT
3 S
4 C 4 D
4 H
 •




 •

5-5 majors, I (NF)
5 hearts, I
4+ cards, GF
6+ hearts (rare 5), I
5 hearts (rare 6), choice of game
agrees hearts, ST
self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
agrees hearts, slam I (NF)


1 NT
2 S
P
P
2 H
?
P52

3 H
4 C 4 D 4 H
Other
 •

agrees spades, ST
self-splinter, agrees spades, ST
analogous to above


2 NT
3 H
P
P
3 D
?
P53

3 S
4 C 4 D
4 H
3 NT
 •


agrees hearts, ST
4+ cards, ST
agrees hearts, slam I (NF)
5 hearts (rare 6), choice of game


2 NT
3 S
P
P
3 H
?
P54

4 H
Other
 •
agrees spades, ST
analogous to above

Note that responder’s rebid of 3 or 4 in the unshown major artificially agrees the major shown, not only after Jacoby but also after Stayman.


Opener’s third bid

1 NT
2 H
?
P
P
2 D
3 C
P
P

analogous for all major-minor 2-suiters

55

3 D 3 S*
3 H
3 NT
4 C 4 H
4 S




strength, implies club fit
heart fit
no fit or wrong cards
good fit, right cards
super Gerber

*not a shown suit for super Gerber rule


2 NT
3 H
?
P
P
3 D
4 C
P
P

analogous for all major-minor 2-suiters

56

4 D
4 H
4 S
4 NT



strength, implies club fit
heart fit
super Gerber
no fit or wrong cards


Responder’s third bid

1 NT
2 H
3 D
P
P
P
2 D
3 C
?
P
P

analogous for similar sequences

57

3 H
3 S
3 NT 4 H 5 C
4 C
4 D
4 S





6+ hearts or strong 5
ace or shortness
no slam interest, NF
5-5, GF
ace or king
super Gerber

Note that if responder bids a suit he has not shown it is super Gerber if 4 of the other major, ace or king if opener showed strength, else ace or shortness.


2 NT
3 H
4 D
P
P
P
3 D
4 C
?
P
P

analogous for similar sequences

58

4 H 5 C
4 S
4 NT


no slam interest, NF
super Gerber
natural, NF


Transfer bypass

Opener may jump in responder’s major to show an exceptional fit and maximum values, typically a hand that revalues to greater than the indicated range. The meaning of responder’s rebids are then changed:

1 NT
3 H
P
P
2 D
?
P59

3 S 4 C 4 D
3 NT
4 H
4 NT

 •

self-splinter, ST
no splinter, ST (F)
sign-off
Blackwood


2 NT
4 H
P
P
3 D
?
P60

4 S 5 C 5 D
4 NT
5 H


ace or void, ST
Blackwood
no ace or void, slam I


After interference

If an opponent interferes after the transfer, rebids are adjusted to obtain a penalty or put the active opponent on lead. Same principles apply after a 2 NT opening.

1 NT
?
P2 DX

analogous for 2 H doubled

61

Pass
Rdbl
2 H
3 D
3 H




normal action
4+ strong diamonds, suggests to play
fit, happy with diamond lead
normal bypass
bypass, happy with diamond lead


1 NT
P
P
P
2 D
?
X

analogous for 2 H doubled

62

Rdbl
2 H
3 D
Other



penalty suggestion, opener pulls w/fit
sign-off
singleton or worthless doubleton, GF
unchanged


1 NT
?
P2 D2 S

analogous for spade transfer

63

Pass
Dbl
3 D
3 H



normal action
penalty
good heart fit to put bidder on lead
good fit, happy with spade lead


1 NT
P
P
P
2 D
?
2 S

analogous for spade transfer

64

Dbl
3 S
Other


optional, I+, opener pulls w/fit
self-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
unchanged


If responder rebids in notrump offering a choice of strain, opener may bid:

Suit below major to transfer declaration65


Minor Suit Stayman

After a 1 NT or 2 NT opening the cheapest spade bid shows both minor suits. Only 4-4 is required with slam interest, but otherwise at least 5-4 (either way). Over 1 NT strength is game invitational or better; over 2 NT it is game forcing.

1 NT
?
P2 SP71

2 NT 3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D



minimum, NF
strength in suit, GF
maximum, NF
maximum, pure values, GF


1 NT
2 NT
P
P
2 S
?
P72

3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D



5+ cards, NF
shortness, GF
sign-off
5+ cards, ST


1 NT
3 C
P
P
2 S
?
P

analogous for 3 D rebid

73

3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C



5+ cards, GF
shortness, GF
choice of game, NF
at least 5-5, I


1 NT
3 H
P
P
2 S
?
P

analogous for 3 S rebid

74

3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H



shortness, ST
sign-off
5+ cards, F (may be original I)
3 hearts, suggestion to play, NF


1 NT
3 NT
P
P
2 S
?
P75

4 C 4 D
4 H

 •
5+ cards, ST
at least 5-5, ST


After 2NT opening

2 NT
?
P3 SP76

3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H


 •
no fit or wrong values
that minor fit
no 4 card fit, good values


2 NT
3 NT
P
P
3 S
?
P77

4 C 4 D
4 H

 •
5+ cards, ST
at least 5-5, ST


2 NT
4 C
P
P
3 S
?
P

analogous for 4 D rebid

78

4 D
4 H
5 C

 •
5+ diamonds, ST
at least 5-5, ST
slam remote, NF


Minor Suit Transfers

After a 1 NT opening, a response of 2 NT shows 5+ clubs, and 3 C shows 5+ diamonds. No strength is promised (may be a bust). Responder should not have a second suit if he plans to bid again. Opener almost always completes the transfer but may gamble 3 NT with an exceptional fit and stoppers. This does not apply over 2 NT.

1 NT
3 C
P
P
2 NT
?
P81

3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
5 C



self-splinter, agrees clubs, ST
mild ST (NF)
shapely, I
shapely, slam remote, NF

Note that to invite game in notrump it is necessary to use Stayman and rebid 2 NT.


1 NT
3 D
P
P
3 C
?
P82

3 H 3 S 4 C
3 NT
4 D
5 D



self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
mild ST, NF
shapely, I
shapely, slam remote, NF

Note that all suit rebids by responder confirm 6+ cards in his minor; notrump rebids can be 5-3-3-2.

Interference after the transfer should be handled like Jacoby transfer interference.


Three Diamonds Majors

After a 1 NT opening, a response of 3 D shows at least 5-5 in the majors and GF values. This does not apply over 2 NT.

1 NT
?
P3 DP91

3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 H 4 S


 •
better fit, normal action
extreme minor strength, NF
great fit, both minor aces


1 NT
3 H
P
P
3 D
?
P

analogous for 3 S rebid

92

3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
 •


two singletons, ST
honors in short suits, NF
shortness, ST
sign-off


1 NT
3 NT
P
P
3 D
?
P93

4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S


shortness, ST
no slam interest, NF, correctable
sign-off


After a double

1 NT
?
P3 DX94

Pass
Rdbl
Other


no diamond control
5+ strong diamonds, suggest to play
unchanged


Splinter Responses

After a 1 NT opening, a response of 3 H or 3 S shows a 3-suited hand (4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0) short in the major bid with interest in slam. This does not apply over 2 NT.

1 NT
?
P3 HP101

3 S 4 C 4 D
3 NT

fit-showing
no fit or wrong values


1 NT
?
P3 SP102

3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S



no fit or wrong values
fit-showing
heart fit, discouraging slam
heart fit, good hand


1 NT
3 S
P
P
3 H
?
P103

3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S



blank honor, NF
control
void
minimal ST (NF)


1 NT
3 NT
P
P
3 H
?
P

analogous for 3 S response

104

4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S


5 cards
super Gerber
5 spades, NF


1 NT
4 C
P
P
3 H
?
P

analogous for 3 S response
and/or 4 D rebid

105

4 D 4 S
4 H
5 C


control
super Gerber
minimal ST (NF)


After a double

1 NT
?
P3 HX

analogous for 3 S doubled

106

Pass
Rdbl
Other


no 4+ fit, doubts about 3 NT
4+ strong hearts, desire to play
unchanged


Texas Transfer

After a 1 NT or 2 NT opening a jump to 4 D shows 6+ hearts, and a jump to 4 H shows 6+ spades. Opener must complete the transfer, and responder usually passes. If responder does bid again:

1 NT
4 H
P
P
4 D
?
P

analogous for spade transfer

111

4 S 5 C 5 D
4 NT
5 H


void, ST
Blackwood
freak shape, I


After a double

1 NT
?
P4 DX

analogous for 4 H doubled

112

Pass
Rdbl
4 H


normal action to put doubler on lead
diamond ace
happy with diamond lead

Note that a redouble beyond 3 NT is not a suggestion to play but indicates control.


Notrump Interference

If an opponent doubles our 1 NT opening there is one addition:

1 NTX?121

Rdbl
Other

rescue with one minor*
unchanged

*Opener bids 2 C then responder passes or corrects.


Natural overcalls

If an opponent overcalls in a natural suit (4+ cards in suit bid) the general scheme is that responses of 2 NT through 3 H are transfers to the next higher suit or Stayman if the next higher suit was bid by the opponent. Texas also applies unless the major above was bid by the opponent, then it shows shortness with slam interest.

1 NT2 H?

analogous for natural 2 C, 2 D or 2 S

122

Dbl
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C
4 D
4 H




 •

 •


 •
penalty, creates force
5+ spades, weak, NF
5+ clubs
5+ diamonds
Stayman
5+ spades, I+
asks for heart stopper
sign-off
Gerber
heart shortness, ST
Texas


If the natural overcall shows a second suit:

1 NT2 D1?

1. diamonds + hearts

123

2 shown
Other

takeout, may be just competitive
analogous to above

Only the actual bid that you can double for penalty qualifies for the Stayman or shortness treatment above.


1 NT3 C?

analogous for 3 D but unable
to show hearts at 3 level

124

Dbl
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C
4 D 4 H



 •


negative
5+ hearts
5+ spades
asks for club stopper
sign-off
Gerber
Texas


1 NT3 H?125

Dbl
3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C
4 D
4 H

 •


 •
negative
asks for heart stopper
sign-off
Gerber
heart shortness, ST
Texas

To show a minor on the previous two auctions, responder can bid 3 S (stopper ask) then his minor (GF). The stopper information may also be helpful in judging slam prospects.


1 NT3 S?126

Dbl
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H




 •
negative
sign-off
Gerber
Texas
spade shortness, ST


1 NT4 C?

analogous for 4 D

127

Dbl
4 D
4 H 4 S


negative
diamonds, F
natural, NF

Note transfers are off for interference beyond 3 NT.


Rebids by opener

1 NT
?
2 S3 DP

analogous for other transfers

128

3 H
3 NT
4 H


normal action
max, good spade stopper
max, good heart fit


1 NT
?
2 H3 DP

analogous for other Stayman bids

129

3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 S*



no heart stopper, not 4 spades
4+ spades, min if only unshown major
heart stopper, not 4 spades
4+ spades, max

*disallowed if both majors unshown

If opener denies a stopper, followups are natural, and bidding can end in 4 C or 4 D. Cue of enemy suit by either asks choice of minors (or remaining suits).


1 NT
?
2 H3 SP

analogous for other stopper asks

130

3 NT
4 suit
Cue
4 NT



heart stopper
4+ cards, no stopper, NF
max, no stopper, highest + other suit
max, no stopper, two lowest suits


Artificial overcalls

If an opponent overcalls artificially (not 4+ cards in suit bid) the following structures apply:

1 NT2 C1?

analogous for any artificial 2-bid
1. whatever

131

Dbl
2 shown
2 unshown
2 NT 3 C D H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D 4 H




 •


8+ HCP, creates force
takeout, may be just competitive
5+ cards, NF
5+ cards in next higher suit
asks for stopper in shown suit(s)
sign-off
Gerber
Texas

After an artificial overcall note that transferring to a shown suit is the same as any other.


1 NT2 NT1?

1. minors

132

3 C
Other

Stayman
same as above


1 NT3 D1?

1. majors

133

3 H
Other

minors, may be just competitive
same as above


Note that 4 C by responder is always Gerber (jump or not) after interference.

After our 2 NT opening, the same structures apply insofar as possible; i.e., 2 level bids are eliminated, and higher bids keep their meaning.


TopMain

Opening One of Suit

General strategy is to respond up-the-line with 4-4 majors. A 5 card minor may be suppressed to bid a 4 card major at the 1 level, but with good hands tend to bid in natural order unless greatly biased by strength.

1 CP?141

1 D 1 H 1 S
1 NT
2 C
2 D 2 H 2 S
2 NT
3+ any suit
3 NT






6+, 4+ cards
6-10, no 4 card major
11+, 4+ clubs, F
weak
15+, balanced
weak
13-14, balanced


1 DP?142

2 C
2 D
Other


11+, 5+ clubs
11+, 4+ diamonds
same as above


1 HP?143

1 S
1 NT
2 C 2 D
2 H
2 S 3 C 3 D
2 NT
3 H
3 S 4 C 4 D
3 NT
Higher suit









6+, 4+ spades
6-14, F
13+, 5+ cards
7-10, 3+ hearts
weak
15+, balanced
11-12, 4+ hearts
13+, splinter
13-15, 4+ hearts, no splinter, F
weak


1 SP?144

2 H
2 S
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 H
Other






13+, 5+ cards
7-10, 3+ spades
weak
11-12, 4+ spades
13-15, 4+ spades, no splinter, F
13+, splinter
same as above


Rebids by Opener

1 C
?
P1 DP151

1 H 1 S
1 NT*
2 C
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT*
3 C
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D










 •
13-18, 4+ cards
12-14, balanced
13-15, 6+ clubs (rare 5)
13-15, 4 diamonds
19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
18-19, balanced, I
16-18, 6+ clubs, I
16-18, 4+ diamonds, I
19+, splinter
16+, 6+ strong clubs
19+, 6+ clubs, 4 diamonds
19+, 6+ clubs, 5 diamonds

*preferable to 1 H or 1 S with both majors stopped


1 C
?
P1 HP

analogous for other minor-major starts

152

1 S
1 NT
2 C
2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S 4 D
3 NT
4 C
4 H








 •



 •
13-18, 4+ spades
12-14, balanced, not 4 spades
13-15, 6+ clubs (rare 5)
17+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3), F
13-15, 3+ hearts (usually 4)
19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
18-19, balanced, I
16-18, 6+ clubs, I
19+, 6+ clubs, 4+ diamonds, GF
16-18, 4 hearts, I
19+, splinter
16+, 6+ strong clubs
19+, 6+ clubs, 4 hearts, F
19+, 4 hearts, no splinter


1 H
?
P1 SP153

1 NT
2 C 2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S











12-14, balanced
13-18, 4+ cards
13-15, 6+ hearts
13-15, 3+ spades (usually 4)
18-19, balanced, I
19, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
16-18, 6+ hearts, I
16-18, 4 spades, I
16+, 6+ strong hearts
19+, splinter
19+, 6+ hearts
19+, 4 spades, no splinter


Rebids by Responder

After a 1-level suit response and opener’s nonjump, non-reverse rebid, all jumps and raises to three of a minor are GF. Responder usually must bid a new suit (third or fourth) to effect an invitation.

1 C
1 S
P
P
1 H
?
P161

1 NT 2 C H S
2 D
2 NT 3 C H S
3 D
3 NT 4 H 4 S
4 C 4 D





6-10, NF
11+, AF
13+, GF
5+ diamonds, 5+ hearts, GF
sign-off attempt
splinter, ST


1 C
1 H
P
P
1 D
?
P162

1 S
2 S
3 S 4 C
Other



6-10 with 4 spades or 11+, AF
4 spades, 6+ diamonds, GF
splinter, ST
analogous to above


1 D
2 C
P
P
1 S
?
P163

2 D 2 S
2 H
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 S
3 H
3 NT



 •

6-10, NF
11+, AF
10-12, I
13+, GF
5+ hearts, 5+ spades, GF
13-16


1 C
2 C
P
P
1 H
?
P164

2 H
2 D 2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 H
3 D
3 S
3 NT



 •


6-10, NF
11+, semi-natural, F
10-12, I
13+, GF
5+ diamonds, 5+ hearts, GF
4 spades, 6+ hearts, GF
13-16


1 H
2 D
P
P
1 S
?
P165

2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT



 •
6-10, NF
10-12, I
11+, AF
13+, GF
13-16


1 H
2 H
P
P
1 S
?
P166

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT





6-10, NF
10-12, I
11+, semi-natural, F
I
13+, GF
13-16


Opener’s Third Bid

After a third- or fourth-suit force, opener should describe his hand as naturally as possible. Bidding at or below 2 NT (except new suit, or 2 S after 1 S rebid) or the same suit three times explicitly rejects an invitation and is NF. Other non-jumps are ambiguous strength (F); jumps are GF.

1 D
1 S
?
P
P
1 H
2 C
P
P
171

2 D 2 H 2 NT
2 S*
3 C
3 D 3 H 3 NT
3 S

 •


reject, NF
4 good/decent spades, ambiguous, F
4 clubs, ambiguous, F
accept
5 spades, 6+ diamonds, GF

*undesirable to bid notrump; could be 5-6 bare minimum


1 D
2 C
?
P
P
1 H
2 S
P
P
172

2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT



reject, NF
ambiguous, F
ace*, GF
accept

*because 4 spades were denied (else would show 4)


1 C
2 C
?
P
P
1 S
2 D
P
P
173

2 H
2 S 2 NT 3 C
3 D
3 S 3 NT



4 hearts or ace, ambiguous, F
reject, NF
4 diamonds, ambiguous, F
accept


1 D
2 D
?
P
P
1 H
3 C
P
P
174

3 D
3 H 4 C
3 S
3 NT



reject, NF
ambiguous, F
ace, F
accept


Special cases

1 C
1 H
?
P
P
1 D
1 S
P
P
175

Nonjump
Jump

13-15, NF
16-18, I


1 H
2 D
?
P
P
1 S
3 C
P
P
176

3 D*
3 H 3 NT 4 m
3 S
 •

reject, not 3 spades, NF
accept
ambiguous, F

*does not show 5+ diamonds


After 2NT invitation

If opener bids the same suit consecutively, or a third suit below his rebid first suit, it is nonforcing.

1 D
2 D
?
P
P
1 H
2 NT
P
P

analogous for 1 S response

177

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S


natural, NF
natural, F
strength (short clubs), F


1 D
2 C
?
P
P
1 H
2 NT
P
P

analogous for 1 S response

178

3 C
3 D 3 H
3 S


 •
natural, NF
natural, F
AF, 5-5 minors


1 H
2 H
?
P
P
1 S
2 NT
P
P
179

3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S

natural, NF
natural, F


1 H
2 D
?
P
P
1 S
2 NT
P
P
180

3 C 3 H 3 S
3 D

natural, F
natural, NF


Responder’s Third Bid

After a third- or fourth-suit force, responder need not bid again if opener’s third bid was a rejection. If responder does bid again, he names the final strain; if this is a nonjump below game, he shows invitational values. Any jump bid below game is forcing.


If opener raises the third or fourth suit, or shows a preference for responder’s first suit, this does not determine the final strain but merely describes opener’s hand. It is still responder’s duty to bid the final strain next.

Rebidding the third or fourth suit shows at least 5-5 shape; invitational at 3 level, unless opener showed a preference for responder’s first suit then GF; GF at 4 level.


Rebids after 1NT Rebid

When opener rebids 1 NT, responder’s rebids follow a similar structure but substituting “new minor forcing” for the previous third-suit force. All jumps are GF.

1 C
1 NT
P
P
1 H
?
P

analogous for 1 D opening

201

2 C 2 H
2 D
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 H
3 D
3 S 4 C 4 D
3 NT 4 H
4 S






 •

 •
6-10, NF
11+, AF
13+, 4 spades, 5+ hearts, GF
11-12, I
13+, GF
13+, at least 5-5, GF
self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
sign-off
super Gerber


1 D
1 NT
P
P
1 S
?
P

analogous for 1 C opening

202

2 C
2 D 2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 H
3 D 3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C 4 D
4 H






 •
 •
11+, AF
6-10, NF
11-12, I
13+, at least 5-5, GF
13+, GF
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees spades, ST
super Gerber


1 C
1 NT
P
P
1 D
?
P203

2 C*
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S 4 C
3 NT
4 S
 •




 •

 •
11+, AF
6-10, NF
4 cards, 5+ diamonds, GF
11-12, I
13+, GF
self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
sign-off
super Gerber

*no sign-off in clubs on this auction


1 H
1 NT
P
P
1 S
?
P204

2 C 2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT 4 H 4 S
4 C 4 D






 •
11+, seminatural, F
6-10, NF
11-12, I
13+, at least 5-5, GF
13+, GF
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees spades, ST


Opener’s third bid

1 C
1 NT
?
P
P
1 H
2 D
P
P
205

2 H 2 NT
2 S
3 C 3 D
3 H 3 NT



reject
ace*, ambiguous
ambiguous
accept

*because 4 spades denied


1 D
1 NT
?
P
P
1 S
2 C
P
P
206

2 D 2 S 2 NT
2 H*
3 C
3 D 3 S 3 NT



reject
4 hearts, ambiguous
4 clubs, ambiguous
accept

*priority bid if also holding 3 spades


1 C
1 NT
?
P
P
1 D
2 C
P
P
207

2 D 2 NT
2 H 2 S
3 C
3 D 3 NT



reject
4 cards, ambiguous
5 clubs, ambiguous
accept


1 H
1 NT
?
P
P
1 S
2 D
P
P
208

2 H 2 S 2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S 3 NT


reject
ambiguous
accept

In the previous four auctions, bidding a minor suit at the 3 level implies a weak holding in the unbid suit, hence warning against notrump.


Responder’s third bid

After new minor forcing, responder need not bid again if opener’s third bid was a rejection. If responder does bid again, he names the final strain; if this is a nonjump below game, he shows an invitational-range hand. Any jump bid below game is forcing.

If opener raises the new minor or shows a preference for responder’s first suit, this does not determine the final strain but merely describes opener’s hand. It is still responder’s duty to bid the final strain next.

Rebidding the new minor shows at least 5-5 shape; invitational at 3 level; GF at 4 level.


Rebids after 2NT Rebid

When opener jumps to 2 NT (18-19) after a 1-level suit response, the only way to stop below game is to pass; i.e., all continuations are GF. General structure is to use “new minor forcing” on game-only hands, so other bids can be used to suggest slam.

1 C
2 NT
P
P
1 H
?
P211

3 C 3 H 3 S
3 D
3 NT 4 H
4 C 4 D
4 S



 •
natural, ST
AF, checkback
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
super Gerber


1 D
2 NT
P
P
1 S
?
P212

3 C
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT 4 S
4 C 4 D
4 H



 •
AF, checkback
natural, ST
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees spades, ST
super Gerber


1 C
2 NT
P
P
1 D
?
P213

3 C*
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 H
4 S
 •


 •
AF, checkback
natural, ST
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
super Gerber

*if followed by 4 C is natural ST


1 H
2 NT
P
P
1 S
?
P214

3 C 3 D*
3 H 3 S
3 NT 4 H 4 S
4 C 4 D
 •


 •
seminatural, checkback
natural, ST
sign-off
self-splinter, agrees spades, ST

*if followed by 4 C or 4 D is 5-5 ST


Subsequent bidding

If responder has both majors and no slam interest, he must go through “new minor forcing” even with 5-5 shape.

1 C
2 NT
3 NT
P
P
P
1 S
3 D
?
P
P
215

4 C 4 S
4 D
4 H


 •
natural, no slam interest
at least 5-5, ST
5-5 in majors, no slam interest


Notrump Responses to Minor

After a 1 C or 1 D opening, a 1 NT response shows 6-10 HCP, and 3 NT shows 13-14 HCP. Both show balanced hands (except 1 NT over 1 D necessitated by long clubs) and no 4 card major, but may have one if flat (4-3-3-3) with the other unbid suits stopped.

1 D
?
P1 NTP

analogous for 1 C opening

221

Pass
2 C
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT 3 D
3 C
3 H 3 S
3 NT






 •
most common
13-18, NF
13-15, NF
17+, 4+ cards (rare 3), F
16-18, I
19+, 4+ clubs (rare 3), GF
4+ cards, 6+ diamonds, GF
sign-off


1 C
?
P3 NTP

analogous for 1 D opening

222

Pass
4 C 4 D 4 H
4 S


most common
natural, ST, F
super Gerber

See also “Two Notrump Response” which is the same over a minor or major.


One Notrump Forcing

After a 1 H or 1 S opening, a response of 1 NT shows 6-14 HCP (rarely less with a fit) and denies 4 spades after 1 H. Obviously it is forcing.

1 H
?
P1 NTP231

2 C 2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H








 •
13-18, 3+ cards, NF
13-15, 6+ hearts, NF
17+ with 6+ hearts else 19+, F
16-18, I
19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
16-18, 6+ hearts, I
4+ spades, 6+ hearts, GF
19+, NF
19+, splinter, 6+ hearts
19+, 6+ hearts


1 S
?
P1 NTP232

2 H
2 S
3 H
3 S
4 H
Other





13-18, 4+ hearts, NF
13-15, 6+ spades, NF
19+, 4+ hearts, GF
16-18, 6+ spades, I
16-18, at least 5-5, NF
same as above


Rebids by responder

1 H
2 C
P
P
1 NT
?
P233

2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 S
3 H
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H


 •


 •



 •
6-10, 6+ diamonds (rare 5), NF
6-10 with 2 hearts or 4-7 w/3+, NF
11+, agrees clubs
11-12, I
8-10, 5+ clubs (rare 4), NF
13+, club raise, values in bid, F
11-12, 3 hearts, I
13-14, NF
10-12, 6+ clubs, I
13+, heart raise, diamond values
13+, 3 hearts, NF


1 S
2 D
P
P
1 NT
?
P234

2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 H
4 D
4 S





 •


 •

6-10, 5+ hearts, NF
6-10 with 2 spades or 4-7 w/3+, NF
11-12, I
6-10, 6+ clubs, NF
10-12, 5+ diamonds (rare 4), I
13+, diamond raise, heart values
11-12, 3 spades, I
13-14, NF
13+, spade raise, values in bid
10-12, 6+ diamonds, I
13+, 3 spades, NF


1 S
2 H
P
P
1 NT
?
P235

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S






 •

6-10 with 2 spades or 4-7 w/3+, NF
11-12, I
6-10, 6+ cards, NF
9-11, 4+ hearts, I
11-12, 3 spades, I
13-14, NF
13+, heart raise, values in bid
12+, 4+ hearts, NF
13+, 3 spades, NF

Note that responder’s jump shifts always show support for opener’s second suit, unless beyond 3 NT when second suit is a minor, then opener’s first suit. Value jumps (not splinters) are used because if responder has a splinter it is almost always in opener’s original major.


1 H
2 H
P
P
1 NT
?
P236

2 S*
3 S 4 C 4 D
3 H
4 H
Other
 •
 •


8+, at least 5-5 minors, F
13+, heart raise, values in bid, GF
11-12, 2 hearts, I
13+ with 2 hearts or 11+ w/3+
same as above

*limit bidding follows


When opener shows extras

1 H
2 S
P
P
1 NT
?
P237

2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H




 •
weak or waiting, F
6+ cards, F
10+, 3 cards, GF
10-12, NF
11+, heart raise, values in bid
8-10, NF


1 H
2 NT
P
P
1 NT
?
P238

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
4 C 4 D


 •
 •
weak, 6+ cards (rare 5), NF
weak, sign-off attempt
at least 5-5 minors, GF
11+, heart raise, values in bid


1 S
2 NT
P
P
1 NT
?
P239

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
4 C 4 D 4 H



 •
weak, 6+ cards, NF
5+ cards, F
weak, sign-off attempt
11+, spade raise, values in suit bid


1 H
3 H
P
P
1 NT
?
P240

3 S
4 C 4 D
 •
at least 5-5 minors, GF
6+ cards, F


1 S
3 S
P
P
1 NT
?
P241

4 C 4 D
4 H

6+ cards, F
6+ hearts, NF


1 H
3 C
P
P
1 NT
?
P242

3 D
3 H
3 S
4 C
4 D
4 H


 •

 •
5+ diamonds
weak or waiting, 2+ hearts
11+, club raise
6-10, 4+ clubs
11+, heart raise, diamond values
11-12, 3 hearts


1 S
3 D
P
P
1 NT
?
P243

3 H
3 S
4 C
4 D
4 H
4 S




 •
5+ hearts
weak or waiting, 2+ spades
6+ clubs
4+ diamonds
11+, spade raise, heart values
11-12, 3 spades


1 S
3 H
P
P
1 NT
?
P244

3 S
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S



weak or waiting, 2+ spades
6+ cards, F
4+ hearts (rare 3)
11-12, 3 spades


Two over One of Major

After a 1 H or 1 S opening, a 2-over-1 response shows 5+ cards (rarely strong 4 card minor) and 13+ points, or 6+ cards with 11-12 points. This is GF unless responder rebids his suit next, then invitational. Opener rebids naturally, with no extra strength required for any nonjump bid. Jumps in unbid suits are always splinters: raises if below 4 of responder’s suit, self-splinters if above.

1 H
?
P2 CP

analogous for other major-minor starts

251

2 D 2 S
2 H
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 S
3 H
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H








 •
4+ cards
6+ hearts or strong 5
12-14 or 18+
3+ clubs*
15+, splinter, club raise
15+, 6+ hearts, solid or K-Q-J-10
15-17, NF
15+, 5-5 shape
15+, self-splinter, agrees hearts
15-17, 7+ hearts, no unbid suit control


1 S
?
P2 HP252

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S








6+ spades or strong 5
12-14 or 18+
4+ cards
3+ hearts*
15+, 6+ spades, solid or K-Q-J-10
15-17, NF
15+, splinter, heart raise
15-17, 3+ hearts*, no unbid suit control
15-17, 7+ spades, no unbid suit control

*Opener should not raise immediately with 3 small.


Rebids by responder

1 H
2 D
P
P
2 C
?
P253

2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H










13+, 3+ hearts
13+, AF, usually 6+ clubs
13-14 or 18+
11-12, 6+ clubs, NF
13+, 4+ diamonds
15-17, 3+ hearts*
15+, splinter, diamond raise
15-17, NF
15+, 6+ clubs, solid or K-Q-J-10
15-17, 4+ diamonds, no spade control
15-17, 3+ hearts*, no spade control

*not 3 small


1 S
2 S
P
P
2 D
?
P254

2 NT
3 C 3 H
3 D
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 H
4 D
4 S







13-14 or 18+
4+ cards (rare 3)
11-12, 6+ diamonds, NF
13+, spades J-x or better
15-17, NF
15+, splinter, spade raise
15+, 6+ diamonds, solid or K-Q-J-10
15-17, no unbid suit control


1 S
2 NT
P
P
2 D
?
P255

3 C 3 H
3 D
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H
4 S







4+ cards (rare 3)
11-12, 6+ diamonds, NF
13+, 3+ spades
13-17, NF
15+, self-splinter, agrees diamonds
15+, 6+ diamonds, solid or K-Q-J-10
super Gerber
15-17, no unbid suit control


Subsequent bidding

If either player has shown a dual range and next bids voluntarily past game, this shows the upper range, except a raise to 4 H or 4 S, which implies x-x-x support.

1 S
2 NT
?
P
P
2 H
3 NT
P
P
256

Pass
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S



most common
18+, heart raise, values in bid
13-17, 3 small hearts
18-19, 5+ strong spades, NF


1 H
2 D
3 NT
P
P
P
2 C
2 NT
?
P
P
257

Pass
4 C
4 D
4 H
4 S




most common
18+, 6+ clubs
18+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3)
13-17, 3 small hearts
super Gerber


Two Clubs over One Diamond

After a 1 D opening, a 2 C response shows 5+ clubs (rarely strong 4) and 11+ points. If opener has a minimum (not enough to force to game) he must rebid 2 D, which is artificial; any other rebid shows 15+ (good 14) and is GF.

1 D
?
P2 CP261

2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
 •






 •
any minimum, AF
15+, 4+ cards, 5+ diamonds
15+ (good 14)
15+, 3+ clubs (not 3 small)
15+, 6+ diamonds
15+, splinter, club raise
18-19, NF
15+, 5-5 minors


Rebids by responder

1 D
2 D
P
P
2 C
?
P262

2 H 2 S 3 D
2 NT 3 C
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D





 •
13+, natural, GF
11-12, natural, NF
17+, self-splinter*, agrees clubs
13-17, NF
17+, 6+ clubs, solid or K-Q-J-10
17+, 5-5 minors

*based on “last shown suit” principle (2 D was artificial)


Inverted Minor Raises

After a 1 C or 1 D opening, responder’s single raise show 10+ (11+ if balanced), 4+ trumps and no 4 card major; forcing for one round.

1 C
?
P2 CP

analogous for 1 D P 2 D

271

2 D 2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C





15+, natural or stopper, F
12-14, often 3 clubs, NF
12-14, 4+ clubs, NF
17+, splinter, GF
18-19, NF
17+, 6+ clubs, no splinter, F


Subsequent bidding

If either player bids 3 or 4 of the agreed minor (nonjump) it shows minimum values for the previous bidding and is NF. Exception: Removing 3 NT to 4 of the minor is a slam try (F) unless the same player made a NF bid.

1 D
2 H
P
P
2 D
?
P

analogous for similar auctions

272

2 S 3 C
2 NT
3 D
3 H
3 S 4 C
3 NT





strength, F
natural, F
minimum, NF
natural (good 3), F
13+, splinter, GF
12-14, NF


Weak jump raise

Conversely, jump minor raises are weak, typically 6-9 with 5+ trumps.

1 D
?
P3 DP

analogous for 1 C P 3 C

273

Pass
3 H 3 S 4 C
3 NT


most common
4+ cards or strength, F
18-19, NF

Higher minor raises (1 C 4 C or 1 D 5 D) are also weak (6-9) but indicate wilder distribution.


Weak Jump Shifts

After an opening bid of 1 of a suit, all jumps in unbid suits to any level are weak, except for a double jump-shift response to a major, which is defined as a splinter bid. Typical holdings depend on the level.

1 CP?281

2 D 2 H 2 S
3 D 3 H 3 S
4 D 4 H 4 S
5 D 5 H 5 S



2-5 HCP, 6 cards or good 5
2-7 HCP, 7 cards or good 6
2-7 HCP, 8 cards or good 7
schizoid on parole?

When jumping to 3 or 4 in a suit below game, playing tricks are more important than HCP or suit length. Responder should have 4 tricks less than his bid, so opener can judge when to bid game.


Rebids by opener

1 D
?
P2 HP282

Pass
2 S 3 C 3 D
2 NT*
3 H
3 S 4 C 4 D
3 NT (rare)
4 H


 •



well advised
natural, extreme shape, no fit, NF
AF, game try
blocking, NF
natural, extreme shape, no fit, I
natural, no fit, based on own hand
good fit, may be blocking

*same structure as after weak two-bids


1 S
?
P3 DP283

Pass
3 H 3 S 4 C
3 NT*
4 D
4 H 4 S




well advised
natural, extreme shape, no fit, NF
natural, D K-x or better, NF
diamond fit, I
natural, extreme shape, no fit

*responder should pull with no ace or king anywhere


Two Notrump Response

After an opening bid of 1 of a suit, a 2 NT response shows a balanced hand of 15+ HCP, usually with no 4 card major biddable at the 1 level, but may contain one if flat (4-3-3-3) with the other unbid suits stopped. This bid neither shows nor denies support for opener’s suit.

1 D
?
P2 NTP291

3 C 3 H 3 S
3 D
3 NT
4 C 4 H
4 D
4 S





4+ cards, usually 5+ diamonds
6+ diamonds
12-14, NF
15+, self-splinter, agrees diamonds
15+, agrees diamonds
super Gerber


1 S
?
P2 NTP292

3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D 4 H
4 S




4+ cards
6+ spades
12-14, NF
15+, self-splinter, agrees spades*
15-16, agrees spades*

*hence responder’s 4 NT is then Blackwood


Rebids by responder

Responder is presumed to have 15-17 HCP, so with 18+ he must bid beyond game. Bidding an unbid suit shows strength and implies support for opener’s last shown suit, unless opener bid a major that responder bypassed at the 1 level, then opener’s first suit.

1 C
3 H
P
P
2 NT
?
P293

3 S 4 D
3 NT
4 C
4 H
4 S




strength in suit, club fit
15-17, NF
working cards, club fit
15-17, 4 hearts, 4-3-3-3
super Gerber


1 H
3 D
P
P
2 NT
?
P294

3 H
3 S 4 C
3 NT
4 D
4 H
4 S





3+ hearts
strength in suit, diamond fit
15-17, NF
working cards, diamond fit
15-17, working cards, 3+ hearts, NF
super Gerber


1 S
3 NT
P
P
2 NT
?
P295

Pass
4 C 4 D 4 H
4 S


15-17
18+, strength in suit, spade fit
15-17, spade fit


Major Suit Game Tries

Whenever we raise a major from 1 to 2, whether an opening bid, a 1-level response or a 1-level rebid, game tries are launched by the cheapest bid (2 S or 2 NT) to ask about dummy’s hand. Purpose is to allow effective game tries without revealing information about the closed hand. Other suit bids become slam tries.


1 H
?
P2 HP301

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 S*
3 H
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H


 •



AF, asking
balanced, I
4+ cards, ST
blocking
choice of games
splinter, ST
sign-off

*only way to show spades, so 3 S is not a splinter.


1 S
?
P2 SP302

2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
Other


AF, asking
4+ cards, ST
analogous to above


After the artificial ask, if dummy has a suit with secondary values (3+ cards with king or queen, or both) he should show it regardless of strength; otherwise he defines his strength.

1 H
2 S
P
P
2 H
?
P303

2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
4 H
 •


 •
spade values
values in suit bid
minimum
maximum, flat (4-3-3-3), suggests 3 NT
maximum


1 S
2 NT
P
P
2 S
?
P304

3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 S



values in suit bid
minimum
maximum, flat (4-3-3-3), NF
maximum


When dummy shows secondary values, asker may base his decision on that or inquire further.

1 H
2 S
?
P
P
2 H
3 C
P
P
305

3 D
3 H
3 NT
4 H



relay, asks if min or max
turned off by club values
choice of games
sign-off


1 S
2 NT
?
P
P
2 S
3 H
P
P
306

3 S*
Other

asks to pass with min
analogous to above

*With no relay available this does not imply dislike of heart values.


Subsequent bidding

If dummy is asked if min or max, he simply bids (or passes) 3 of the major with a minimum.

If asker bids a suit between 3 and 4 of the raised major, it is a slam try with a 1-suited hand.


After interference

If an opponent bids after our raise from 1 to 2, the relay structure is off; game tries are then made in the traditional manner by bidding a different suit. Note that early interference (before our raise to 2) and doubles of any kind change nothing.


Opener’s Reverse Bid

After a 1 C, 1 D or 1 H opening and a non-touching 1-level response, opener’s 2-level bid in a suit between (i.e., higher than suit opened but nonjump) shows 17+ points and is forcing. Opener shows 9+ cards in his two suits, typically 5-4, but 6-3 is plausible on awkward hands.

1 C
2 D
P
P
1 H
?
P311

2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT





6-10, 5+ hearts, F
11+, nondescript, GF
6-10, not 5 hearts, F
11+, natural, GF
11+, splinter, diamond raise
11-12, NF


1 D
2 H
P
P
1 S
?
P312

2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C





6-10, 5+ spades, F
6-10, not 5 spades, F
11+, nondescript, GF
11+, natural, GF
11-12, NF
11+, splinter, heart raise


1 C
2 H
P
P
1 NT
?
P313

2 S 3 D
2 NT
3 C 3 H
3 NT



9-10, strength in suit bid, GF
6-10, nondescript, F
9-10, natural, GF
9-10, NF


1 H
2 S
P
P
1 NT
?
P314

2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H






6-10, nondescript, F
6+, 5+ cards, F
11+, 3 hearts, GF
11+, Q-x-x or better, GF
11-12, NF
11+, values in bid, 3 hearts
11-12, 3 hearts


After Interference

1 D
2 H
P
P
1 S
?
2 C

analogous for any overcall, either opponent

315

2 NT
3 D
Cue
Other



natural (stopper), F
weak, NF
nondescript, GF
analogous to above


Opener’s next bid

After a reverse, opener must bid again below game (except in competition after a preference or pass). If responder shows a weak range and opener has less than GF values, opener must bid 2 NT, 3 of his original suit (even with only 5 cards), or raise responder’s 5+ major to 3.

1 C
2 D
?
P
P
1 H
2 H
P
P
316

2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT 4 H
4 C







ace or shortness, GF
17-18, NF
17-18, 5+ clubs, NF
5 diamonds, 6+ clubs, GF
17-18, at least Q-x, NF
splinter, heart raise, ST
natural, NF
7+ clubs, F


1 D
2 H
?
P
P
1 S
2 NT
P
P
317

3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D






ace or shortness, GF
17-18, 5+ diamonds, NF
5 hearts, 6+ diamonds, GF
at least Q-x-x, GF*
natural, NF
self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
agrees diamonds, F

*forcing because responder denied 5 spades


1 H
2 S
?
P
P
1 NT
2 NT
P
P
318

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT 4 H
4 C 4 D




3-4 cards, GF
17-18, 6 hearts*, NF
5 spades, 6+ hearts, GF
natural, NF
self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST

*with 5 hearts opener would not bid 2 S with 17-18


Fourth Suit Bids

Except the usual “fourth suit forcing” and cases specifically described, bidding the fourth suit (for the first time) shows the ace or shortness. If below 3 NT, partner assumes the ace and may bid 3 NT without a stopper, which fourth-suit bidder removes if based on shortness.

1 H
2 C
?
P
P
1 S
3 C
P
P
321

3 D
Other

ace or shortness
natural


1 D
2 D
3 D
P
P
P
2 C
2 H
?
P
P
322

3 S
Other

ace or shortness
natural

On either auction the fourth suit must not be bid as a waiting or groping maneuver. With no ideal natural bid, use suit strength as a guide to choose the best rival.


Passed Hand Changes

If partner is a passed hand, a number of changes apply, most of which are obvious. Opening bids of 1 of a suit may be light (10+) and 1 H or 1 S may be a good 4 card suit.

Normally forcing responses (1-over-1, 1 NT response to major, 2 C over 1 D, 2 H over 1 S, inverted minors) are now limited. Opener should pass with 12 or less, and may pass with 13. If opener does bid again, his rebids retain their normal meaning, including F/NF status.

A 2 NT response to a minor shows 11-12 HCP, invitational. Any rebid by opener below game (including 3 of his minor) is forcing.

A 3 C response to 1 D, 1 H or 1 S shows 8-11 HCP and 6+ clubs, NF of course, but any rebid by opener below game is forcing. (This only applies in clubs because other suits would have been opened a weak two-bid.)

Cue-bid (P P 1 D 1 S; 2 S) shows stopper but opener’s 2 NT or same suit says no game.


Subsequent bidding

Responders second-round jump bids and raises to 3 of a minor (normally forcing) are now invitational.

Fourth suit forcing and new minor forcing still apply; being a passed hand just allows more ways to invite.

Third suit forcing does not apply.

P
1 S
?
P
P
1 D
2 D
P
P
331

2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 S




9-12, 4+ hearts, NF
6-10, NF
10-12, I
9-12, 5+ clubs, NF
11-12, I


Two-Way Reverse Drury

After a 1 H or 1 S opening in third or fourth seat, responses of 2 C and 2 D are artificial raises.

P
?
P1 HP

analogous for 1 S opening

341

2 C
2 D
2 H
3 H
4 H




11+, 3 hearts
11+, 4 hearts
7-10, 3+ hearts
11-12, 5 hearts
weak, extreme shape


Rebids by opener

P
2 C
P
P
1 H
?
P

same as 2 D Drury less 2 D rebid

342

2 D
2 H
Other


game interest
no game interest
game try structure


P
2 C
P
P
1 S
?
P343

2 D
2 H
2 S
Other



game interest
4+ hearts, game interest
no game interest
game try structure


P
2 D
P
P
1 S
?
P344

2 H
2 S
Other


game interest
no game interest
game try structure


Follow-up bidding

If opener shows game interest, it may still be possible to stop in 2 of the major.

P
2 C
?
P
P
1 H
2 D
P
P
345

2 H
Other

minimal values, discouraging
game try structure (dummy role)*


P
2 D
?
P
P
1 S
2 H
P
P
346

2 S
Other

minimal values, discouraging
game try structure (dummy role)*

*Except 2 NT shows values in last bid suit, and other suits show values naturally.

Opener can also invoke the game try structure when responder returns to 2 of the major.


After interference

The artificial 2 C and 2 D raises do not apply in competition. If an opponent interferes after the bid, the usual countermeasures apply.

P
2 C
P
X
1 H
?
P347

Pass
Rdbl
Other


3+ clubs
4+ strong clubs
unchanged


P
2 C
P
2 H
1 S
?
P348

Pass
Dbl
2 S
2 NT



no game interest
penalty
no game interest, competitive
game try structure


P
2 C
P
2 S
1 H
?
P349

Pass
Dbl
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H




no game interest
penalty
natural, I
seminatural game try, F
competitive


TopMain

Competitive One of Suit

After Takeout Double

If our opening bid of 1 of a suit is doubled for takeout, the following changes apply.

1 CX?371

Pass
Rdbl
Suit bids
1 NT
2 NT
3 NT





0-9, or 10-14*
10+ HCP, implies no fit, creates force
unchanged
unchanged
9-11, natural, based on fit, I
12-15, natural, based on fit, NF

*if intention is to make a cooperative double next


1 DX?372

2 C
Other

6-10, 6+ clubs (good 5), NF
same as above

Note that inverted minor raises are unchanged by a double.


1 HX?373

Pass
Rdbl
1 S 2 H
1 NT
2 C 2 D
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
Higher








0-9, or 10-14
10+ HCP, implies no fit, creates force
unchanged
6-10, balanced, NF
6-10, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
10-12, 4+ fit (rare 3)
unchanged
6-9, 4+ fit
unchanged


1 SX?374

2 C 2 D 2 H
2 S 3 C D H
3 S
Other



6-10, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
unchanged
6-9, 4+ fit
same as above

Note that 3 NT major raise and splinter bids are unchanged by a double.


Subsequent bidding

A takeout double in itself does not affect our rebid structure after any response that is unchanged. If either opponent bids after the double, then we revert to a “limit structure.”


After Suit Overcall

If our opening bid of 1 of a suit is overcalled in a natural unbid suit, the following changes apply.


After a minor opening

1 C1 D?381

Dbl
1 NT
Cue
2 NT
Jump cue
3 NT
Other






6+, at least 4-4 majors
7-10, stopper
13+, balanced, stopper, GF
11-12, stopper, I
13+, splinter raise
9-12, natural, based on fit
unchanged


1 C1 H?

analogous for 1 D opening

382

Dbl
1 S
2 D
Other



6+, 4 spades
6+, 5+ spades, F
10+, 5+ diamonds, F
same as above


1 C1 S?

analogous for 1 D opening

383

Dbl
2 D 2 H
Other


7+, 4+ hearts
10+, 5+ cards, F
same as above


1 D2 C?384

Dbl
2 H 2 S
2 NT
Other



7+, at least 1 major
10+, 5+ cards, F
10-12, stopper, I
same as above

Note that inverted minor raises and weak jump shifts are unchanged.


After a major opening

1 H1 S?385

Dbl
1 NT
2 C 2 D
Cue
2 NT
Jump cue
3 NT
4 C 4 D
Other






 •
 •
7+, at least 4-4 minors
7-10, stopper
10+, 5+ cards, F
13+, balanced, stopper, GF
11-12, stopper, I
13+, splinter raise
13+, 3+ hearts, no spade control
weak, natural
unchanged


1 H2 C?

analogous for 2 D overcall

386

Dbl
2 D 2 S
2 NT
3 S 4 D
Other



 •
7+, 4+ spades
10+, 5+ cards, F
10-12, stopper, I
weak, natural
same as above


1 H2 D?

analogous for 1 S opening

387

Dbl
2 S 3 C
3 S 4 C
Other


 •
7+, 4+ spades
10+, 5+ cards, F
weak, natural
same as above


1 S2 H?388

Dbl
3 C 3 D
4 C 4 D
Other


 •
8+, at least 4-4 minors
10+, 5+ cards, F
weak, natural
same as above

Note that splinter bids in competition only apply in enemy suits.


Rebids after a negative double

After a negative double it is opener’s duty to select the contract. With no clear bid it is better to bid a 3 card suit that responder might have than to rebid a 5 card suit already shown. Opener should rebid at the cheapest level with 13-15, jump with 16-18 (invitational below game) or cue-bid as the only force (GF). Passing for penalty is also a viable option at the 2 level with 4+ trumps.

1 D
?
1 SXP

analogous for many sequences

389

1 NT 2 C D H
2 S
2 NT* 3 C D H
3 NT



13-15, natural, NF
19+, nondescript, GF
16-18, I
19+, NF

*may be off-shape hence 16-17 is possible


If responder bids again after a negative double, assuming opener has not shown extras, only a cue-bid is forcing (GF). Preferences and new suit bids are NF; 2 NT, raises, and jumps below game are invitational.

1 C
2 C
1 S
P
X
?
P

analogous for many sequences

390

2 D 2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT






7-9, 5+ cards, NF
13+, nondescript, GF
10-12, stopper, I
10-12, Q-x or better, I
10-12, 6+ cards, I
13+, splinter raise
13+, stopper, NF


Rebids after a 2-over-1 response

Competitive 2-over-1 responses (10+) are forcing for one round (think Acol). If opener rebids his original suit, bids 2 NT or raises responder’s suit, it is NF and confirms minimum values. New suits are forcing for another round. Only a cue-bid or jump below game creates a GF.

1 D
?
1 S2 HP

analogous for many sequences

391

2 S
2 NT 3 D 3 H
3 C
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H






16+, nondescript, GF
minimum, NF
any strength, 4+ clubs, F
16+, splinter raise
15-19, NF
16+, extreme shape, F
15-17, NF


If responder bids again when opener has not shown extras, similar principles apply. Bidding 2 NT or any of our previously bid suits is NF and confirms minimum values. A new suit, cue-bid or jump below game is GF.

1 S
2 H
2 C
P
2 D
?
P

analogous for many sequences

392

2 S
2 NT 3 D
3 C
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S








minimum, Q-x or better, NF
minimum, NF
13+, nondescript, GF
minimum, Q-x-x or better, NF
13+, 3+ spades, GF
13+, NF
13+, splinter, heart raise
13+, extreme shape, F
13-15, NF

Note that responder’s preference or raise of a forcing bid does not promise a normal trump fit.


After Jump Suit Overcall

After our opening bid of 1 of a suit, if an opponent jumps in a natural suit, the following changes apply.


Two-level jump overcalls

1 C2 D?401

Dbl
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
Cue
3 NT
Jump cue
Other







7+, at least 1 major
10+, 5+ cards, F
10-12, stopper, I
8-11, 4+ clubs, NF
13+, balanced, stopper, GF
9-12, based on fit, NF
13+, splinter raise
unchanged


1 C2 H?

analogous for 1 D opening

402

Dbl
2 S 3 D
Other


7+, 4+ spades
10+, 5+ cards, F
same as above


1 C2 S?

analogous for 1 D opening

403

Dbl
3 D 3 H
Other


8+, 4+ hearts
10+, 5+ cards, F
same as above


1 H2 S?404

Dbl
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
Cue
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H





 •
 •
8+, at least 4-4 minors
10-12, stopper, I
10+, 5+ cards, F
7-10, 3+ hearts, NF
13+, balanced, stopper, GF
13+, 3+ hearts, no spade control
weak, natural
11-12, 3+ hearts, NF


Subsequent bidding is essentially the same as after a 2-level nonjump overcall, so the previous structures for “Rebids after a negative double” and “Rebids after a 2-over-1 response” would apply.


Three-level jump overcalls

1 D3 C?405

Dbl
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
Cue
4 D 4 H 4 S





8+, at least 1 major
8-11, 4+ diamonds, NF
10+, 5+ cards, F
10-15, stopper
13+, fit, enemy control
weak, natural, NF


1 C3 D?406

4 C
Other

10-12, 4+ clubs, NF
same as above


1 C3 H?

analogous for 1 D opening

407

Dbl
3 S 4 D
Other


8+, 4+ spades
10+, 5+ cards, F
same as above


1 C3 S?

analogous for 1 D opening

408

Dbl
4 D
4 H
Other



9+, 4+ hearts
10+, 5+ cards, F
10-15, 5+ cards, NF
same as above


1 H3 S?409

Dbl
4 C 4 D
4 H
Other



9+, at least 4-4 minors
10+, 5+ cards, F
9-15, 3+ cards, NF
same as above


Subsequent bidding is mostly common sense.


Four-level jump overcalls

1 D4 C?410

Dbl
4 D
4 H 4 S
5 C
5 D




10+, at least 1 major
10-12, 4+ diamonds, NF
10-16, 5+ cards, NF
16+, diamond fit, club control
13-16, 5+ diamonds, NF


1 C4 D?411

Dbl
4 H 4 S 5 C

10+, at least 1 major
10-16, natural, NF


1 C4 H?

analogous for 1 D opening

412

Dbl
4 S 5 C 5 D

10+, 4+ spades
10-16, natural, NF


1 C4 S?

analogous for 1 D or 1 H opening

413

Dbl
5 C 5 D 5 H

penalty
10-16, natural, NF


After Two-Suited Overcall

After our opening bid of 1 of a suit, these structures apply if an opponent makes an overcall that shows two suits, at least one of which is known. Michaels and unusual 2 NT are the most common, but many others exist.

1 C2 C1?

1. both majors

421

Dbl
2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 4 C
3 H 3 S
3 NT


 •
 •




10+ HCP, creates force
7-10, 6+ diamonds (rare 5), NF
11+, club raise
11+, 5+ diamonds
9-11, based on fit, I
7-10, 4+ clubs, NF
weak, natural, NF
13+, splinter raise
12-14, based on fit, NF


1 D2 D1?

1. both majors

422

2 H
2 S
3 C
3 D
Other
 •
 •


11+, diamond raise
11+, 5+ clubs
7-10, 6+ clubs, NF
7-10, 4+ diamonds, NF
same as above


1 H2 H1?

1. spades + minor

423

Dbl
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D 4 H

 •





10+ HCP, creates force
11+, heart raise
9-11, based on fit, I
7-10, 6+ cards, NF
7-10, 3+ hearts
13+, splinter raise
12-14, based on fit, NF
weak, natural, NF


1 S2 S1?

1. hearts + minor

424

3 H
3 S
4 H
4 C 4 D 4 S
Other




11+, spade raise
7-10, 3+ spades
13+, splinter raise
weak, natural, NF
same as above


1 H2 NT1?

1. both minors

425

Dbl
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H 4 S

 •
 •




10+ HCP, creates force
11+, heart raise
11+, 5+ spades
7-10, 3+ hearts, NF
7-10, 6+ spades (rare 5), NF
10-14, based on fit, NF
13+, splinter raise
weak, natural, NF


1 S2 NT1?

1. both minors

426

3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
Other
 •
 •


11+, spade raise
11+, 5+ hearts
7-10, 6+ hearts (rare 5), NF
7-10, 3+ spades, NF
same as above

Note that cheaper cue is always a raise of opener, and higher cue (if both suits known) shows the fourth suit.


Subsequent bidding

After the higher cue, if opener rebids in notrump or his original suit, this confirms a minimum and is NF. A “raise” of responder’s indicated suit is forcing below game.

After doubling, if responder next bids a new suit or a suit shown by the enemy, it is natural and forcing below game.

If responder passes the two-suited overcall and later bids a suit shown by the enemy, it is natural and NF.


After One Notrump Overcall

After our opening bid of 1 of a suit and a natural 1 NT overcall (regardless of strength) the following changes apply.

1 C1 NT?431

Dbl
2 C
2 D 2 H 2 S
2 NT
Higher

 •


10+ HCP, creates force
6+, both majors
6-9, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
10+, any 2-suiter, AF
unchanged


1 D1 NT?432

2 C
2 D
Other

 •
6-9, 6+ clubs (good 5)
6+, both majors
same as above

Note that majors are shown by a minor “raise” and the unbid minor is natural.


1 H1 NT?

analogous for 1 S opening

433

Dbl
2 C 2 D 2 S
2 H 3 H 4 H
3 C 3 D
2 NT
3 S 4 C 4 D





 •
10+ HCP, creates force
6-9, 6+ cards (good 5)
unchanged
unchanged
10+, any 2-suiter, AF
weak, natural


Competitive Doubles

Many doubles below 3 NT, while traditionally penalty, are better played as competitive to show a desire to compete without clear direction. Unfortunately, these situations can’t be chosen at whim, because penalty doubles are important too. Firm agreements are essential to avoid misunderstandings.

A prerequisite for any competitive double is that we are not in a force, i.e., we have not redoubled or otherwise indicated partnership assets of 23+ HCP where a pass would be forcing.

Given the above, all doubles at the 1 level are competitive unless defined otherwise.

For a double at the 2 or 3 level to be competitive, four more conditions must be met:

1. All four players have acted (bid or doubled)
2. We have not bid notrump
3. We have not raised a suit
4. No enemy action was in balancing seat
441


Competitive doubles are often misused, so counter examples are more beneficial:

1 D
P
P
P
1 S
X
2 C

penalty (only one opponent acted)

442


1 D
1 NT
P
2 S
1 H
X
1 S

penalty (we bid notrump)

443


1 H
X
2 C2 H3 C

penalty (we raised a suit)

444


1 C
2 C
X
X
P
1 S
P
P
2 H

penalty (opponent balanced)

445


Minimum strength for a competitive double is about 3 points more than previously shown. There is no upper limit, so the double is also useful on game-going hands.


Subsequent bidding

Partner of competitive doubler should choose the contract from alternatives suggested by the bidding. Any nonjump (even a new suit) is NF; jumps below game are invitational. Passing the double is a viable option with 4 trumps, or three trumps at the 3 level.


Maximal double

An exception to Condition 3 occurs when we have raised a major and cannot make a game try because the enemy bid the touching lower suit. Condition 1, however, is not changed (both opponents must have acted).

1 S
?
X2 S3 H446

Dbl
3 S

game try
competitive


Cooperative Doubles

A cooperative double is a penalty suggestion at the 2 or 3 level. Doubler typically has 3+ cards in the suit doubled but not a trump stack. The following doubles are cooperative:

1. After eschewing a redouble or force-double
2. After partner redoubled or made a force-double
3. Balancing seat in front of the opponent who bid
4. Of a suit in which 4 cards were denied
5. After a competitive double at previous turn
451


1 H
P
X
2 D
P
X
1 NT

cooperative

452

The failure to redouble does not limit responder’s strength but rules out a trump stack.


1 S
X
XR2 H

cooperative

453


1 D
P
P
P
1 S
X
2 C

cooperative

454


1 C
P
P
2 H
1 NT
X
X

cooperative

455


1 C
X
X
P
P
1 H
2 C
1 S
2 S

cooperative

456


After a cooperative double

Partner should remove a cooperative double with a singleton or void in the enemy suit, or with a shapely hand unsuitable for defense. Limit bidding principles apply.


Opener’s Competitive Rebids

After our 1-over-1 response, opener’s competitive rebids retain their usual meaning provided opener is not restricted because a cheaper bid in the same strain is eliminated by the interference. If opener is restricted, a nonjump bid that would otherwise be a jump may be shaded to compete. Jump shifts and cue-bids are GF.


1 H
?
P1 S2 D

analogous for similar auctions

461

Dbl
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S









penalty
unchanged
16-17, stopper, I
16-18, 4+ cards, NF
19+, nondescript, GF
unchanged
18-19, stopper, NF
19+, at least 5-5, F
19+, splinter raise
unchanged


1 C
?
P1 H2 S

analogous for similar auctions

462

Dbl
2 NT*
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H








penalty
18-19, stopper, I
14-18, 6+ clubs, NF
16-18, 4 diamonds, NF
14-16
19+, nondescript, GF
unchanged
natural, extreme shape, I
17+

*logically would not be less after minor


When responder has passed

If a nonjump suit overcall is passed around to opener, no additional strength is required to reopen because partner may have trap-passed with a trump stack, hence his strength is not limited.

1 D
?
1 SPP

analogous for similar auctions

463

Pass
Dbl
1 NT
2 C 2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H







minimum, 3+ spades
takeout, usually 1 or 2 spades
18-19, stopper, NF
natural, NF
17+, natural, NF
19+, 6+ strong diamonds, F
16-19, stopper, 6+ diamonds, I
19+, natural, I

Any suit bid implies extreme shape or a spade void, else double is preferred.


If the opening bid is passed by partner and RHO balances, opener must tread with caution. All actions show extra strength, and no bids are forcing, except of course a cue-bid for 1 round only.

1 H
?
PPX

analogous for similar auctions

464

Pass
Rdbl
1 NT
1 S 2 C 2 D
2 H
2 NT
2 S 3 C D H






13-18
18+, nondescript
18-19
16+, at least 6-4 or 5-5
16+, 6+ strong hearts
18-19, 6+ strong hearts
19+, natural, shapely


1 H
?
PP1 S

analogous for similar auctions

465

Dbl
2 S
Other


16+, takeout
19+, spade void, 3-suiter, F
same as above


Competitive Limit Style

After our 1-over-1 response, the system dictates a “forcing style” without interference (or if the only interference is a takeout double) in that responder’s second-round jumps in previously bid suits and raises to 3 of a minor are GF. Once an opponent bids this reverts to a “limit style” where all such bids are invitational, and a cue-bid becomes a general GF.

1 C
2 C
1 H
P
1 S
?
P

analogous for many auctions

471

2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C









11+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3), F
13+, nondescript, GF
6-10, 6+ spades, NF
10-12, stopper, I
10-12, Q-x or better, I
13+, at least 5-5, GF
15+, splinter raise, GF
11-12, 6+ spades, I
13-16, stopper, NF
10-12, great fit, I


1 D
P
P
P
1 H
?
1 S

analogous for many auctions

472

Dbl
1 NT
2 C
2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 D
4 H













9+, competitive
7-10, stopper, NF
11+, 4+ clubs (rare 3)
7-10, 3+ diamonds, NF
7-10, 6+ hearts
13+, nondescript, GF
11-12, stopper, I
13+, at least 5-5, GF
11-12, 4+ diamonds, I
11-12, 6+ hearts, I
16+, self-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
13-16, stopper, NF
11-12, great fit, I
13-16, 6+ strong hearts, NF


New minor forcing applies in competition, but alternative rebids follow the limit style.

1 C
1 NT
P
P
1 H
?
1 S

analogous for similar auctions

473

2 C 2 H
2 D
2 S
2 NT 3 C 3 H
3 D
3 S
3 NT 4 H
4 C







natural, sign-off attempt
11+, AF, checkback
13+, nondescript, GF
natural, I
13+, at least 5-5, GF
16+, self-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
sign-off
11-12, extreme shape, I


TopMain

Higher Opening Bids

Two Club Opening

An opening bid of 2 C is strong, artificial and forcing, typically 23+ points or within a trick of game in hand.

Responder must either categorize his HCP range or show a suit headed by K-Q or better.

2 CP?491

2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 suit
3 NT
4 suit
4 NT


 •
 •

 •

 •
0-4 HCP (no ace) or 8+ HCP or A+K
5-7 HCP or an ace (no A+K)
any 5 card suit, 2 of top 3
any 5 card suit, A-K-Q
6 cards, 2 of top 3
any 6 card suit, A-K-Q
7 cards, 2 of top 3
any 7 card suit, A-K-Q


After two-diamond response

Responder is presumed to have 0-4 HCP for all rebids. With 8+ HCP (or ace + king) he bids the same as with 0-4 under game but must continue voluntarily past game to show it.

2 C
?
P2 DP492

2 H*
2 S 3 C 3 D
2 NT
3 NT
 •


 •
5+ hearts or 25+ HCP balanced
5+ cards, F
23-24, balanced, NF (system on)
6+ card minor, game in hand, NF

*forces 2 S (Kokish relay)


2 C
2 H
?
P
P
2 D
2 S
P
P
493

2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 S
3 H 4 H
3 NT



25+, balanced, GF (system on)
4+ cards, 5+ hearts, F
6+ hearts, NF
5-6 hearts, balanced or semi, NF


2 C
2 S
P
P
2 D
?
P494

2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
4 C 4 D 4 H
4 S




waiting
5+ cards
3+ spades
splinter raise
2-4 HCP, 4+ spades, no side-suit control


2 C
2 S
?
P
P
2 D
2 NT
P
P
495

3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S 4 S
3 NT


4+ cards
6+ spades, NF
5-6 spades, balanced or semi, NF


2 C
3 C
P
P
2 D
?
P496

3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D 4 H 4 S


 •

waiting
5+ cards
5+ diamonds, NF
3+ clubs
splinter raise


2 C
3 D
P
P
2 D
?
P497

3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S
 •

 •


waiting
5+ spades
5+ hearts, NF
6+ clubs
3+ diamonds
splinter raise


After two-heart response

2 C
?
P2 HP498

2 S 3 C D H
2 NT
3 NT


5+ cards, GF
23+ HCP balanced, GF (system on)
6+ card minor, game in hand, NF


2 C
2 S
P
P
2 H
?
P499

2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
4 C 4 D 4 H



waiting
5+ cards
3+ spades
splinter raise


2 C
3 C
P
P
2 H
?
P500

3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D 4 H 4 S


 •

waiting
5+ cards
5+ diamonds, NF
3+ clubs
splinter raise


2 C
3 D
P
P
2 H
?
P501

3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S 5 C
 •

 •


waiting
5+ spades
5+ hearts, NF
6+ clubs
3+ diamonds
splinter raise (must have 1 ace)


2 C
3 H
P
P
2 H
?
P502

3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H
4 S 5 C 5 D
 •
 •


waiting
5+ spades, NF
6+ cards
3+ hearts, NF
splinter raise (must have 1 ace)

Note that responder’s cheapest rebid is always waiting, and 3 NT shows 5+ cards in the waiting suit.


After suit-showing response

2 C
?
P2 SP503

2 NT
3 suit
3 NT


23+ HCP balanced, GF (system on)
5+ cards
6+ card minor, game in hand, NF


If opener rebids in a suit, responder bids his suit at the 3 level if possible.

2 C
3 D
P
P
2 S
?
P504

3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D



my suit
no fit, my suit is clubs, NF
3+ diamonds, clubs are A-K or A-Q
3+ diamonds, clubs are K-Q


2 C
3 H
P
P
2 S
?
P505

3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H



my suit
no fit, my suit is a minor, NF
3+ hearts, suit is A-K or A-Q
3+ hearts, minor suit is K-Q, NF


2 C
3 S
P
P
2 S
?
P506

3 NT
4 C 4 D 4 H
4 S


no fit, NF
3+ spades, suit is A-K or A-Q
3+ spades, suit is K-Q, NF


2 C
?
P3 CP

analogous for any suit response of 3 or 4

507

Other suit
3 NT
Raise


5+ cards, F below game
misfit, NF
F below game


2 C
?
P2 NTP

analogous for 3 NT or 4 NT response

508

Any suit*
Notrump*

fit or 5+ cards, F
natural, F

*Opener is presumed to know responder’s A-K-Q suit, and slam must be reached.


After interference

2 CX?509

Pass
Rdbl
Other


3+ clubs
4+ clubs (Q-10-x-x or better)
unchanged


2 C2 S?

analogous for other overcalls

510

Dbl
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S



penalty (Q-10-x-x or better)
5+, stopper
5+ HCP, 5+ cards
5+ HCP, 3-suiter, short spades


2 C
?
2 SPP

analogous for other overcalls

511

Dbl
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT*
4 NT*





penalty
23-24, balanced, NF
5+ cards, F
3-suiter, short spades
25-28, balanced, NF
29-30, balanced, NF

*if responder bids again, follow opening 2 NT structure 1 or 2 levels higher.

All doubles by opener or responder are penalty, and all direct passes are forcing.

If opener bids an enemy shown suit that he could not double for penalty, it is natural (enemy bid was probably a psych).

If responder has not acted, a suit bid by opener below game is forcing, and the cheapest response is an artificial waiting bid.


Opener’s suit jumps

If 2 C opener jumps in a suit at his second turn (including an enemy shown suit that he could not double for penalty) it is natural and sets trumps.

Below game
Game

F, partner should bid any control
NF, no slam opposite expected range
512

Note that previous use as a “specific ace ask” is now abolished, as any such hand should open 3 NT.


Weak Two Bids

An opening bid of 2 D, 2 H or 2 S shows 5-10 HCP. Style is undisciplined but sensible. Good 5 cards suits (typically 3 of top 5 cards) are acceptable at any vulnerability, and decent 5 cards suits when nonvulnerable.

2 DP?

analogous for 2 H or 2 S opening

521

2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 4 D 5 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 H 4 S 5 C






 •
12-17, 6+ cards (rare 5), NF
15+, AF
12-17, 6+ cards, NF
blocking, NF
self-sufficient suit, I
natural, NF
trump ask
sign-off


2 D
?
P2 NTP522

3 C
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D




only 5 diamonds, AF
minimum
stopper in bid, max
no major stopper, max
natural, extreme shape


2 H
?
P2 NTP523

3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H






only 5 hearts, AF
average or max, AF
worst hand
4 spades
A-K-J-x-x-x or better
natural, at least 6-4
self-sufficient suit


2 S
?
P2 NTP524

3 H
3 S
Other


4 hearts
worst hand
analogous to above


Rebids by responder

2 H
3 C
P
P
2 NT
?
P

analogous for 2 S opening

525

3 D
3 H 3 NT
3 S 4 D
4 C
4 H 4 S 5 m



 •
AF, asks if min/max*
sign-off
5+ cards, F
trump ask
sign-off

*opener returns to his suit if minimum


2 H
3 D
P
P
2 NT
?
P

analogous for 2 S opening

526

3 H
3 S 4 D
3 NT
4 C
4 H 4 S 5 m



 •
natural, I*
5+ cards, F
game sign-off, opener may bid 4 H
trump ask
sign-off

*opener passes with average, accepts with max


2 D
3 C
P
P
2 NT
?
P

same as 3 D rebid less 3 D option

527

3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S 5 m



 •

sign-off
5+ cards, F
sign-off
trump ask
good fit, I
sign-off


Competitive agreements

2 DX?

analogous for 2 H or 2 S opening

528

Pass*
Rdbl
New suit
Other



0+ (unlimited)
strong, creates force
natural, may be weak, NF
unchanged

*if followed by double below 3 NT it is cooperative


2 H2 S?

analogous for similar sequences

529

Dbl
Cue
Other


penalty
control, ST
unchanged


2 H
?
P2 NT3 D

analogous for similar sequences

530

Pass
Dbl
Bid


minimum
reasonable defense
natural, offense oriented


Preemptive Openings

Opening suit bids of 3 C thru 5 D are weak, roughly by the rule of 2, 3 or 4+ per vulnerability.

3 CP?541

3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT*
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S 5 C



 •
5+ cards, F
natural, NF
blocking
trump ask
sign-off

*opener may pull with no ace or king


3 DP?542

4 C
Other
 •
trump ask
analogous to above


3 HP?543

3 S 4 D
3 NT
4 C
4 H 4 S 5 m
5 H


 •

5+ cards, F
sign-off
trump ask
sign-off
blocking


3 SP?544

4 H
Other

6+ hearts, NF
analogous to above


4 CP?545

4 D
4 H 4 S 5 m
 •
trump ask
sign-off


4 DP?

same as 5 C or 5 D opening

546

Any suit bidnatural, NF


4 HP?547

4 S
5 C 5 D
5 H

 •
natural, NF
control ask
slam I, trump concern


4 SP?548

5 C 5 D 5 H
5 S
 •
control ask
slam I, trump concern


Competitive agreements

3 CX?

analogous for all 3-bids and 4 C

549

Pass*
Rdbl
3 D 3 H 3 S
Other



0+ (unlimited)
strong, creates force
natural, NF
unchanged

*if followed by double below 3 NT it is cooperative


4 DX?

analogous for 4 H or 4 S

550

Rdbl
Other

strong, creates force
unchanged


3 C3 H?

analogous for all preempts and overcalls

551

Dbl
Cue
Raise
Other



penalty
control, ST, creates force
competitive or blocking
natural, F if below game

Note that asking bids are off over a bid, but unchanged by a double.


Three Notrump Opening

An opening bid of 3 NT is forcing, showing any self-sufficient suit with 9+ playing tricks. If suit is a minor, shape is usually extreme since 3 NT is ruled out as a contract. Strength is typically 11-16 HCP but unlimited; many one-suiters usually opened 2 C are better opened 3 NT.

3 NTP?561

4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S
4 NT
 •
 •

 •
exactly 1 ace, F
no aces (assumed) or 2 aces, F
7+ cards (strong 6), at most 1 ace, NF
3 aces, F to slam


3 NT
?
P4 CP562

4 D
4 H 4 S
4 NT
5 C 5 D
 •

 •
strength ask (slam possible)
sign-off
asks which ace (responder bids it)
sign-off


3 NT
4 D
P
P
4 C
?
P563

4 H
4 S
4 NT
5 C 5 D 5 H
 •
 •
 •
 •
nothing extra
something extra
much extra with S A
much extra with that ace

Opener then places contract or bids 4 NT to ask which ace.


3 NT
?
P4 DP564

4 H 4 S
4 NT
5 C 5 D

 •
real suit, NF
strength ask* (slam possible if aceless)
real suit, NF

*3 steps: nothing, something, much

If responder has 2 aces, he must continue by bidding a non-ace suit to pinpoint locations. Opener then signs off without control in that suit, bids slam, or uses the cheapest available other bid as a 3-step strength ask.


3 NT
?
P4 HP

analogous for 4 S response

565

4 NT
Suit

Blackwood (bid major key)
real suit, NF


Competitive agreements

3 NTX?566

Pass*
Rdbl
Other


no ace, no likely tricks
1 ace + defensive strength
unchanged

*allows stopping in 4 C or 4 D if opener bids it


3 NT4 H?

analogous for any overcall

567

Pass*
Dbl
Cheapest suit
Other suit
Cheapest NT
5 NT jump





nondescript
trump stack, penalty
1 ace
natural, NF
2 aces, F
3 aces, F

*Opener must always to compete at 4 level but may elect not to risk 5 level.


TopMain

Defense to One of Suit

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, immediate actions are summarized below.

1 C?571

Dbl
1 D 1 H 1 S
1 NT*
Cue
Jump cue
DJ cue
Other suit jump
2 NT
3 NT
4 NT









13+, takeout
10-18, 5+ cards
15-18, balanced, stopper
both majors
strong 1-suiter
both majors, extreme shape
weak
two lowest unbid
15-20, based on long suit
two lowest unbid, extreme shape

*Respond as to 1 NT opening, including interference agreements if next opponent acts.


1 D?572

2 C
Other

13-18, 5+ cards
same as above


1 H?573

2 C 2 D
Cue
DJ cue
Other



13-18, 5+ cards
spades + minor
spades + minor, extreme shape
same as above


1 S?574

2 C 2 D 2 H
Other

13-18, 5+ cards
analogous to above


Takeout Doubles

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, a takeout double shows 13-18 points with 3+ cards in each unbid suit, or 19+ points. With major-suit hopes it is permissible to have only a doubleton in an unbid minor.

1 CXP?581

1 D 1 H 1 S
1 NT
Cue
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
Jump cue
3 D 3 H 3 S
3 NT
DJ cue
4 D
4 H 4 S
5 D






 •


 •


0-9, 4+ cards (rare 3)
6-10, stopper
10+, F until raise or game
10-12, 5+ cards, I
10-12, 4+ cards, I
11-12, stopper, I
13+, splinter, 3-suiter, GF
6-9, 6+ cards, NF
13-16, stopper
10+, 5-5 majors
6-9, 7+ cards
13-16, 5+ cards
13-16, 7+ cards


1 DXP?582

2 C
3 C
4 C
Other



0-9, 5+ cards (rare 4)
10-12, 5+ cards, I
6-9, 7+ cards
analogous to above


1 HXP?583

2 C 2 D
3 C 3 D
4 C 4 D
4 H
Other



 •
0-9, 4+ cards
10-12, 5+ cards, I
6-9, 7+ cards
10+, 5-5 minors
analogous to above


1 SXP?584

2 H
3 H
4 S
Other


 •
0-9, 4+ cards
10-12, 4+ cards, I
10+, 5-5 minors
analogous to above


Rebids by doubler

1 C
P
X
?
P1 H

analogous for any forced response at 1 level

585

1 S 2 D
1 NT
Cue
2 H
2 S 3 D
2 NT
Jump cue
3 H
3 S 4 D
3 NT






 •


19+, 5+ cards, NF
18-20, stopper
21+, no rebid promised
16-18, 4+ cards
self-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
21-22, stopper
19+, splinter raise, game try
19-21, 4+ hearts, I
self-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
self-make


1 S
P
X
?
P2 C

analogous for any forced response at 2 level

586

2 D 2 H
Cue
2 NT
3 C
3 D 3 H 4 D
Jump cue





 •
19+, 5+ cards, NF
21+, no rebid promised
18-20, stopper
18-20, 4+ clubs
self-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
19+, splinter raise, game try


1 D
P
X
?
P1 NT

analogous for any 1 NT response

587

2 C 2 H 2 S
Cue
3 C 3 H 3 S


5 cards, minimum double (to play)
shortness, I+, no rebid promised
5+ cards, GF


After a redouble

1 CXR?

analogous for any suit opening

588

Pass
Unbid suit
Other


no preference or 10+
weak (any level)
unchanged

Pass followed by a voluntary action shows 10-12 range.


After a bid

If our takeout double is followed by any bid below 2 NT, including a new suit, 1 NT or raise, the following agreements apply.

Dbl
Suit bid
Suit jump


responsive*
6-9
10+, I below game
589

*minor takeout if both minors unbid

Note that bidding RHO’s suit (1 C Dbl 1 H 2 H) is natural like any other. Only opener’s suit is a cue-bid.

After a major raise, responsive doubles are extended thru 3 S, which includes any enemy bid that shows a fit.


Suit Overcalls

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, a nonjump suit overcall shows 10-18 points (13-18 at 2 level) and a 5+ card suit. A strong 4 card suit may be bid at the 1 level with 13-18 points if no other action is appropriate.

1 C1 HP?

analogous for any 1-level overcall

601

1 S 2 D
1 NT*
Cue
2 H
2 S 3 D
2 NT
Jump cue
3 H
3 S 4 D
3 NT
DJ cue










8-12, 5+ cards, NF
8-11, stopper, NF
11+ if fit, 13+ if not
7-10, 3+ cards
12-14, 6+ cards, I
12-14, stopper, I
11+, 4+ hearts
weak (4-7), 4+ cards
12-14, 7+ cards, I
15-18, stopper
splinter, ST

*Or rarely a hand wishing to play in the opened suit, which is shown only by jumping next in that suit (I below game).


1 S2 DP?

analogous for any 2-level overcall

602

2 NT
3 D
Jump suit
3 NT
4 D
Other





9-11, stopper, I
7-10, 3+ cards
natural, F below game
12-15, stopper
weak (4-7), 4+ cards
analogous to above


Rebids by overcaller

Unless forced or invited, overcaller generally should pass with 10-12; may act again with 13-15, and should act again with 16-18.

A second-round bid in opener’s minor is a cue-bid only if partner has acted; else natural showing a 2-suiter.


1 C
P
1 S
?
P2 C

analogous for cue-bid response to any overcall

603

Same suit
Below same
Above same


minimum, nondescript, NF
ambiguous, natural, F
accept, natural, F (below game)


After a negative double

1 C1 HX?

analogous for any 1-level overcall

604

Rdbl
Cue
2 NT
Other



11+, implies no fit, creates force
11+, shows fit
8-10, 4+ card fit
unchanged


1 S2 DX?

analogous for any 2-level overcall

605

2 NT
Other

unchanged
analogous to above


After an enemy bid

If our nonjump suit overcall is followed by any bid below 2 NT (including 1 NT and new suits) the following agreements apply.

Dbl
Cue
Other


responsive*
11+, shows fit, stopper if choice of cues
unchanged
606

*implies doubleton support if only 1 unbid suit


After a major raise, or any bid showing a major fit:

Responsive doubles are extended thru 3 S607


After a cue-bid of our overcall, double is:

1. Responsive if unpassed hand and cue is not GF
2. Lead-directing if passed hand or cue is GF
608


Weak Jump Overcalls

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, all jumps in unbid suits are weak, roughly by the rule of 2, 3 or 4+ per vulnerability.

1 C2 HP?

analogous for any 2-level jump overcall

611

Cue
Other

asks for stopper
weak two-bid structure

Also use weak two-bid structure if RHO acts.


1 H3 DP?

analogous for any 3-level jump overcall or 4 C

612

Cue below 3 NT
Other

asks for stopper
preemptive opening structure

Note that 4 C or 4 D trump ask still applies.


1 S4 HP?

analogous for any 4 H or 4 S overcall

613

4 S cue
Other

control ask
preemptive opening structure

Note that 5-level control ask still applies.


Two-Suited Overcalls

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, a cue-bid (Michaels) shows both majors over a minor, or the unbid major plus either minor over a major; an overcall of 2 NT (unusual) shows the two lowest unbid suits. Shape is at least 5-5 (5-4 after cue of minor) and strength is either weak (5-11 HCP) or strong (16+ HCP). With in-between hands (12-15 HCP) overcall in one suit and bid the other.

1 C2 CP?621

2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
Cue
3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 H 4 S







6+ cards, NF
preference
game or ST, F
asks for stopper
6+ cards, I
weak, 4+ cards
natural, NF
weak or to make


1 D2 DP?622

3 C
4 C
Other


6+ cards, NF
6+ cards, I
analogous to above


1 H2 HP?623

2 S
3 C
3 D
4 C 4 D
Other




preference
pass or correct to 3 D
6+ cards, NF
6+ cards, I
analogous to above

Note that only the cheapest club bid is “pass or correct.”


1 S2 SP?624

3 H
Other

preference
analogous to above


1 D2 NTP?

analogous for any suit opening

625

3 C 3 H
Cue
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 H 5 C




preference
asks for stopper
6+ cards, NF
natural, NF
weak or to make


Rebids by two-suited overcaller

1 C
P
2 C
?
P2 NT

analogous for 1 D 2 D

626

3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S



longer hearts
longer spades
worst, 5-5
not worst, 5-5, F


1 H
P
2 H
?
P2 NT

analogous for 1 S 2 S

627

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S


worst, natural, NF
not worst, clubs
not worst, diamonds, F


1 H
P
2 NT
?
P3 H

analogous for any suit opening

628

3 NT
Cheapest real
Other


stopper (in cue)
worst
not worst


If two-suited overcaller bids again when not forced or invited:

1 D
P
2 D
?
P2 H

analogous for similar auctions

629

Shown suit
2 NT 3 NT
Cue
Other suit



weak range, extra shape, I
16+ HCP, stopper
16+ HCP, splinter
16+ HCP, 3 cards


1 H
P
2 H
?
3 HP

analogous for similar auctions

630

Dbl
Other

16+ HCP, optional
analogous to above


After a double

1 H2 HX?

analogous for any two-suited overcall

631

Pass
Rdbl
3 C
Other


 •
no clear preference
strong, creates force
6+ cards, NF
unchanged


After a bid

1 D2 D3 D?

analogous for cases with both our suits known

632

Dbl
Shown suit
Other suit
Cue
Cue past 3 NT
Jump shown





penalty*
competitive, NF
6+ cards, NF
asks for stopper (below 3 NT)
control, ST
I if below game

*lead directing if cue of our suit


1 H2 H3 H?

analogous for cases with only one major known

633

Shown major
Cheapest minor
Other


competitive, NF
competitive, pass or correct
analogous to above


Three-Level Cue Overcall

After an enemy opening of 1 of a suit, a 3-level cue-bid as our side’s first action shows a 1-suited hand (not suit bid) with 9+ playing tricks and at most 1 loser in the long suit. Typically this is to seek a stopper for 3 NT. If overcaller bids 4 H or 4 S next, he confirms a splinter in the cue-bid suit, else start with double.

1 C3 CP?641

3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C
4 D
4 H 4 S
4 NT
 •


 •
 •

 •
no ace, no stopper
6+ cards, F
stopper
1 ace, no stopper
2 aces*
7+ cards, NF
king stopper + 1 ace, NF


1 D3 DP?642

4 C
4 D
5 C
Other
 •
 •
 •
no ace, no stopper
1 ace, no stopper
2 aces*
analogous to above


1 H3 HP?

analogous for 1 S 3 S

643

Cue
Other
 •
2 aces*
analogous to above

*Showing 2 aces overrides stopper showing, since suit game should be assured, and slam likely.


After interference

1 H3 HX?

analogous for any opening

644

Pass
Rdbl
Other*


no stopper, no values
ace in that suit
unchanged

*except cheapest minor shows at least a king, else pass


1 D3 D3 S?

analogous for any 3-level bid

645

Pass
Dbl
3 NT
4 C
4 D
Other



 •
 •
weak
penalty (trump stack)
stopper in opener’s suit
1 ace, no stopper
2 aces
unchanged


1 H3 H4 H?

analogous for any 4-level bid

646

5 C
5 D
Other
 •
 •
1 ace, no stopper
2 aces
analogous to above


Balancing Actions

If an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit is passed:

1 DPP?

analogous for all suit openings

651

Dbl
1 H 1 S
1 NT
2 C
Cue
Jump suit
2 NT
Jump cue
3 NT








11+, takeout
8-15, 5+ cards (rare 4)
11-15 (system on)
10-15, 5+ cards
two-suited overcall
6+ strong cards, 1 trick less than bid
19-21 (system on)
three-level cue overcall
16-21, based on long suit

After a balancing double or nonjump suit bid, respond the same as to direct actions except increase all strength ranges by 2 points.

If opener competes further, responsive doubles do not apply.


1 D
P
P
?
P2 S

analogous for all jump suit bids

652

2 NT 3 S
3 C 3 H
Cue


natural, I
natural, F
asks for stopper


After Two Enemy Bids

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit and an enemy response, most actions are the same as immediately over the suit opened, in which case responding structures would be the same too. The following differences apply.

1 CP1 H?

analogous for any suit response of 1

661

2 H
2 NT
3 H


13-18, 5+ good hearts
same as 2 C but more shape
same as 3 C but related to hearts

Respond to any of above with related structures.


1 SP2 D?

analogous for any forcing response of 2

662

2 H 3 C
Other

11+, 5+ good cards
analogous to above


1 HP2 H?

analogous for any raise thru 3 S

663

Nonjump suit
Jump 3 suit
Jump 4 C 4 D
Cue 4 level



11+, 5+ good cards
6+ cards, 8 tricks, I
natural + lower unbid major
highest + other


Artificial responses

An artificial response is literally ignored. The meaning of our actions is based on the strain it showed.

1 CP1 H1?

1. spades

664

Dbl
1 S 2 H
2 C 2 NT
2 S
3 C 3 S
3 D 3 H





takeout of clubs and spades
natural
hearts + diamonds
weak (rare)
3-level cue overcall
weak


Subsequent bidding

After a takeout double with two enemy suits shown:

1 C
P
P
?
1 SX

analogous for 1 D opening

665

Any club bid
Other

natural
unchanged


Responsive doubles do not apply.

If two cue-bids are available, the one chosen shows a stopper.


Additional Agreements

After an enemy opening bid of 1 of a suit, the following structures (defined earlier) apply in full if the conditions are met.

1. Major suit game tries
2. Competitive doubles
3. Cooperative doubles
671


Belated doubles

If opponents have made at least two bids (but not all four suits) and we have not acted, our second-round or later double is:

Raised suit
Natural suit
1 NT direct
1 NT passout



takeout thru 4 D
takeout thru 2 S
takeout
takeout if both majors unbid
672

Otherwise a second-round or later double is penalty (implying previous trap pass) or lead-directing.


Passed hand changes

Any action by a passed hand keeps its normal shape context, but strength is limited by failure to open.

Exception: Direct 1 NT overcall shows the two lowest unbid suits (at least 5-4).


TopMain

Other Defensive Bidding

Defense to Notrump Openings

After an enemy 1 NT opening bid, regardless of strength, a modified version of Astro is used.

1 NT?691

Dbl
2 C
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
Higher suit

 •


 •

16+ HCP, optional
hearts + any other
spades + any other
6+ cards
both majors or both minors
6+ cards
6+ strong cards, 1 trick shy of bid

All bids suggest 9-15 HCP, but this is flexible per shape and vulnerability.

Two-suiters imply at least 5-4 shape (either way) but may be 4-4-4-1 (three suits).

With both majors bid 2 C with only 4 spades; 2 D with 5+ spades and 4+ hearts; or 2 NT with at least 5-5 and decent game prospects.


1 NTXP?692

Pass
Suit bid
2 NT
Jump suit



5+ HCP or no 5+ card suit
weak, 5+ cards
any 2-suiter, F until raise or game
5-7 HCP, 6+ cards, I


1 NT2 CP?693

Pass
2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D 3 S
3 H






6+ clubs, misfit expected
not 3 hearts
3+ hearts
6+ spades
only force, game try
6+ cards, I
5-7 HCP, 4+ hearts, I


1 NT2 DP?694

2 H
2 S
3 C
3 D 3 H
Other




not 3 spades
3+ spades
6+ clubs
6+ cards, I
analogous to above


1 NT2 Hany?

analogous for 2 S overcall

695

Any callweak two-bid structure


1 NT2 NTP?696

3 C 3 D
3 H 3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H 4 S


 •

discouraging, assuming minors
discouraging, assuming majors
AF, asks definition and range*
natural, I, assuming minors
to play, assuming majors

*lower real suit = minimum, higher = extras

If 2 NT bidder has unassumed genre he must bid again; suit bids logical; 3 NT (forcing) shows extras.


Rebids by Astro bidder

1 NT
P
2 C
?
P2 D697

Pass
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D
3 H 4 C 4 D


 •
 •


diamonds
5 hearts, 2nd suit black
3-4 spades, only 4 hearts, 4+ minor*
both minors (3 suits)
5+ clubs
5+ diamonds, I
6+ cards, I

*usually clubs but may be good 4=4=4=1


1 NT
P
2 D
?
P2 H698

Pass
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S 4 C 4 D




 •
hearts
5 spades, either minor
both minors (3 suits)
5+ cards
4 hearts, 5+ spades, I
6+ cards, I


1 NT
P
2 C
?
P2 NT699

3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D

 •
 •
 •
minimum, natural
minimum, 4 spades
extras, 3-4 spades
extras, clubs or diamonds
extras, natural, extreme shape


1 NT
P
2 D
?
P2 NT700

3 C 3 D 3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D

 •
 •
minimum, natural
extras, 4 hearts
extras, clubs or diamonds
extras, natural, extreme shape


Rebids by Astro responder

1 NT
P
2 C
2 H
P
P
2 D
?
701

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
 •
 •
3+ spades, seeking other suit
both minors, please choose
6+ cards, NF


1 NT
P
2 D
2 S
P
P
2 H
?
702

3 H
Other

6+ cards, NF
same as above


In balancing seat

If an enemy 1 NT opening is followed by two passes, Astro structure still applies, but minimum strength is lowered.

1 NTPP?703

Dbl
All bids

14+ HCP, optional
7-15 HCP


After interference

1 NT2 CX?

analogous for 2 D Astro

704

Pass
Relay
Rdbl*
Other


 •
willing to play if second suit
unwilling to play minor doubled
5+ cards in relay suit
unchanged

*allows Astro bidder a rescue there with 2-3 cards


1 NT
P
2 D
?
XP705

Rdbl
Other
 •
4315 shape (allows rescue to 2 H)
logical


1 NT2 C2 S?

analogous for other bids

706

Dbl
2 NT
Known suit
Cheapest suit
Other suit
Cue
Cue past 3 NT
Jump suit







penalty
unchanged
competitive
pass or correct
6+ cards, NF
asks for stopper (below 3 NT)
control, ST (known fit)
6+ cards, I below game


1 NT2 NTX?707

Pass
Rdbl
3 suit
Other


 •
weak (normal)
at least 1 ace
1-suited rescue (misfit expected)
unchanged


1 NT2 NT3 D?

analogous for other bids

708

Dbl
3 suit
Other


penalty (assumes opposite genre)
competitive, NF, fit exists somewhere
unchanged


Other Astro applications

Astro also applies, direct or balancing, in the following situations provided no specific suit has been shown.

1. 2 NT or 3 NT opening
2. 1 NT, 2 NT or 3 NT response to artificial opening
3. 1 NT, 2 NT or 3 NT rebid after two artificial bids
709

Cases 1 and 2 suggest great shape, few HCP. Case 3 shows full HCP from failure to act previously.

Note that bidding 3 NT over 2 NT, or 4 NT over 3 NT, still shows majors or minors, albeit unlikely.


Unusual 2NT opening

2 NT1?

1. both minors

710

Dbl
3 C
3 D


strength-showing
majors, weak or strong
majors, in-between (12-15 HCP)


Defense to Weak Openings

The following agreements apply when an opponent opens with a natural, nonforcing suit bid from 2 C thru 5 D, regardless of the strength shown by opener.

2 C?

analogous for 2 D opening

721

Dbl
Unbid suit
2 NT
Cue
3 NT*
Jump cue
4 other minor
Jump suit
4 NT





 •
 •

13+, takeout
13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
16-18 (system on)
three-level cue overcall
15-20, usually based on long suit
spades + other
natural + hearts, NF
natural, 1 trick shy of bid
two lowest unbid

*Responses to 3 NT are natural (no transfers). Minor suits forcing; majors nonforcing. Cue-bid shows shortness in their suit with slam interest.


2 H?

analogous for 2 S opening

722

4 C 4 D
Jump cue
Other
 •

natural + unbid major, NF
unbid major + minor
same as above


3 C?

analogous for 3 D opening

723

Dbl
Unbid suit
3 NT
Cue
4 D over 3 C
4 NT
Jump suit



 •
 •

14+, takeout
13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
15-20, varied (natural responses)
spades + other
diamonds + hearts
two lowest unbid
natural, 1 trick shy of bid


3 H?

analogous for 3 S opening

724

Cue
Other

other major + minor
same as above


4 C?

analogous for 4 D opening

725

Dbl
Cue
Other


15+, takeout
spades + other, slam I
same as above


4 H?

analogous for 4 S 5 C 5 D openings

726

Dbl
Unbid suit
4 NT over 4 H
4 NT over 4 S
Cue



 •
15+, optional*
13-20, 6+ cards
minors
any 2-suiter; rarely 3-suiter with void
highest unbid + another, slam I+

*Usually pull with 6+ suit (5+ spades) or 5-5.


Responding agreements

2 HXP?

analogous for all natural 2-bids

727

2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
Jump cue






0-8
Lebensohl; relay to 3 C
9-11, I
12+, usually no stopper, GF
9-11, 5+ spades, I
10-15, confident stopper
12+, splinter, 3-suiter


2 H
P
X
3 C
P
P
2 NT
?

analogous for all Lebensohl cases

728

3 D or pass
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D




0-8, respective minor
4 spades, heart stopper, GF
9-11, 4 spades, I
10-15, tentative, not 4 spades
shapely, I


2 D2 HP?

analogous for all overcalls thru 3 S

729

Unbid suit
2 NT
Cue
Raise
Cue past 3 NT
Jump suit
Jump raise
Jump cue







8+, 5+ cards, F below game
8-10, natural
10+, general force (below 3 NT)
8-10 below game; 8-15 if game
13+, fit + control
self-playable, slam I
11-15 if game
13+, splinter raise


Competitive agreements

If we act and opener’s partner bids:

2 HX3 H?

analogous for all takeout doubles

730

Dbl
Unbid suit
Other


penalty
6-9 below game; 6-15 if game
unchanged


2 D2 S3 D?

analogous for all overcalls

731

Dbl
Other

penalty
unchanged

Responsive doubles do not apply after weak openings.


If we pass and opener’s partner bids:

2 SP3 C?

analogous for similar auctions

732

Anyas over opening bid*

*except only cue is opener’s suit. Bidding responder’s suit is natural and may expose a psych.


In balancing seat

2 HPP?

analogous for higher suit openings

733

Anysame but all ranges 2 points less

For example, 2 NT would show 14-16 instead of 16-18.

Responding structure is the same (including Lebensohl after double) with ranges upped by 2 points.


Defense to Artificial Openings

Over a strong (16+) artificial 1 C, 1 D, 2 C or 2 D opening, all initial actions show weak hands, typically 5-11 HCP.

1 C1?

1. 16+, artificial

741

Pass*
Dbl
1 suit
1 NT
2 C
2 D
2 H 2 S
2 NT
3+ suit



 •
 •
 •

 •
unlimited
clubs
natural
majors or minors
hearts + any other
spades + any other
natural
majors or minors
natural

*With a good hand, compete next round as if all artificial bids did not exist; e.g., 1 C P 1 D P; 1 NT 2 C is Astro.

With both majors follow Astro rules regarding shape.

Choice between 1 NT and 2 NT is simply a matter of safety vs. preemption.

After a 2 C opening everything is the same but one level higher.

After a strong, artificial 1 D or 2 D, only change is that double = diamonds.

The same structure applies after a response to the forcing opening (thru 2 NT) provided no specific suit has been shown; double shows the suit doubled, or both majors if the response is 1 NT or 2 NT.


Responses

If our bid shows a 2-suiter, follow the Astro structure for all responses and rebids.

Otherwise, all suit responses (including jumps) are natural and NF, usually weak. A response of 1 NT or 2 NT (cheapest available) is the only force, like an invitational cue-bid; 3 NT is always NF to play.


Defense to Transfer Bids

If the enemy opening bid is artificial but shows one specified suit (transfer preempts, Namyats) the following agreements apply.

3 D1?

analogous for other openings
1. hearts

751

Pass
Dbl
Other


unlimited
11+, takeout of real suit
as if real suit were bid


Pass and double can be further defined on the next round:

Pass then dbl
Dbl then dbl

15+, optional
15+, takeout
752


Transfer responses

If the enemy opening is 1 NT, 2 NT or 3 NT, and the response is artificial showing one specified suit (Jacoby, minor-suit transfer, Texas) the following agreements apply.

1 NTP2 H1?

analogous for other responses
1. spades

753

Pass
Dbl
Cue 2 level
Nonjump suit
Cue 3 level
Jump 3 suit
Jump 4 C 4 D
Cue 4 level







unlimited
lead-directing
two-suited overcall
11+, 5+ good cards
three-level cue overcall
6+ cards, 8 tricks, I
natural + lower unshown major
highest unshown + other


Pass and double can be further defined on the next round:

Pass then dbl
Dbl then dbl

takeout thru 4 D
takeout thru 4 D with emphasis on first suit doubled
754


Junkyard Defense

Applies to opening two-bids that do not show 5+ cards in the suit bid nor a specific one-suited hand. Current list includes:

1. Flannery 2 D (5+ hearts, 4 spades)
2. Roman 2 C 2 D (3 unknown suits)
3. Precision 2 D 2 H (3 known suits)
4. Meckwell 2 H (3 suits, 2 of which known)
5. Meckwell 2 S (weak preempt any suit)
6. Multi 2 D (unknown major, may include strong option)
761

Note that Flannery 2 H (not included) would be treated as a natural two-bid.


2 D1?

analogous for all such 2-bids
1. on junk list

762

Dbl
Cue 2 level
Cue 3 level
Cue 4 level
Suit
2 NT
Jump suit
3 NT







15+ HCP, nondescript
two-suited overcall
three-level cue overcall
highest + other
13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
15-18, usually 5+ minor (system on)
6+ strong cards, 1 trick shy of bid
15-20, usually long suit (natural responses)

Suit is a “cue-bid” only if opener showed 5+ cards in it, which for the current list would be only hearts for Flannery.

Pass followed by a double of a natural suit is takeout thru 4 D.


After enemy response

2 D1P2 NT?

analogous for all such 2-bids
1. on junk list

763

Anysame as above


2 D1P2 H2?

analogous for any NF suit response
1. on junk list
2. nonforcing

764

Dbl
Other

takeout thru 4 D
same as above


Lead-Directing Doubles

Doubles of artificial suit bids are lead-directing unless otherwise defined or one of the exceptions below. Double by an unpassed hand of:

1. 2 C response to weak 1 NT* is strength-showing
2. Artificial response (thru 3 D) to a natural suit opening is takeout of the suit opened
3. Splinter bid as our first action shows length and suggests sacrifice
771

*defined as 15 HCP maximum


Double of notrump

Unless otherwise defined, the double of a notrump bid by non-leader is penalty and requests, in order of priority:

1. Leader’s suit if both of us have shown suits
2. Dummy’s shown suit unless leader has strong safe lead
3. Leader’s shown suit
4. Doubler’s shown suit
5. Leader’s weaker major
772


Double of suit slam

Double of a voluntarily bid suit slam by non-leader requests, in order of priority:

1. Side suit shown by the opponents
2. Leader’s longest suit not bid by our side
773


Runout Defense

Applies if an opponent is the first to run after our strength-showing double in the following situations:

1. Double of any notrump bid where Astro applies
2. Double of 2 C response to weak 1 NT opening
3. Double of junkyard two-bid or 2 NT response to same
4. Double of unusual 2 NT opening
781


1 NTX2 C1?

analogous for any runout
1. clubs + other

782

Pass
Double
Suit
Jump suit
Cue




weak or 3+ cards in runout
takeout of runout, usually doubleton
5+ cards, NF
6+ cards, I
shortness in runout

“Runout” is defined as the actual suit bid, unless it showed another specified suit and not 4 cards in the bid suit, then the specified suit.


1 NT
P
X
?
2 H1P

analogous for any runout
1. both majors

783

Pass
Other

3+ cards in runout*
same as above

*inferring weakness from partner’s pass


1 NT
2 D
X
?
PP

analogous for any runout

784

Pass
Other

3+ cards in runout
same as above


1 NT
2 D
X
P
P
P
P
?

analogous for any runout

785

Pass
Other

weak
same as above


Further notes

The runout defense applies thru 4 D and after multiple runouts, provided we have only passed after the first runout and not passed the same suit twice. In other words, if we bid, double for takeout, or one of us meets a suit he passed at a lower level, all doubles are penalty.


TopMain

Slam Bidding Methods

General Approach

Most slam auctions begin with suit agreement, which can occur in four ways, all agreeing the suit bid or the last shown suit:

1. Raise, including artificial fit-showing bids
2. Preference, even if not ensuring an 8+ fit
3. Splinter bid, including self-splinters*
4. Advance control-bid
801

*but excluding pattern splinters to show a 3-suiter or the remaining shape of a 2-suiter


After suit agreement in a strong auction (game tries nonexistent) our next bid has the following meaning:

Notrump
Shown suit
Enemy suit
Unshown suit



natural (except 4 NT if Blackwood)
natural
ace or shortness
control-showing*
802

*except after a preference that did not show normal support, then natural; e.g., 1 S 1 NT; 3 H 3 S; 4 C = 3-4 clubs, and 5 C or 6 C is a potential contract.

Note that two suits can be agreed, but if it happens that’s the limit; a bid in either remaining suit is control-showing.


Control-showing auctions

A control-showing auction can be started only after suit agreement. Typically this requires about an ace better than a minimum GF, or suitable values if suit agreement was issued by a splinter or advance control-bid.

Once a control-showing auction is started, bids have the following meanings:

Notrump*
Agreed suit
Other suit


natural, discouraging
natural, discouraging
control-bid (even if shown by our side)
803

*excluding 4 NT if Blackwood and 5 NT

A control-bid below game does not require extra strength (just suitable values).

Bypassing a suit does not deny that control, i.e., it may be planned to save bidding space at next turn.

A control-bid beyond 5 of the highest agreed suit confirms all suits are controlled and that a grand slam is possible.


Control-bids

Guidelines for the meaning of the first control-bid in a particular suit:

Unshown of 3
Unshown of 2
Only unshown
Enemy shown
Splinter suit
Partner’s shown
Your shown






ace or king, 4+ cards (rare 3)
ace or king* or shortness
ace or shortness
ace or shortness
ace or void
ace or king
ace
804

*With ace in one suit and king in the other, prefer to show the king below game.

Modification: If beyond the game level of the highest agreed suit, a control-bid shows first-round control.


A second control-bid in the same suit, or a redouble of doubled control-bid, shows:

1. Ace or void if prior bid could be shortness
2. Ace or king if prior bid showed ace or king
3. King or shortness if prior bid showed ace
805


Gerber

A bid of 4 C is Gerber only as an immediate response to 1 NT or 2 NT when “system on” applies. This holds with or without interference; so if it is possible to respond 4 C, it is Gerber.

Gerber does not apply after Stayman, notrump rebids, or anywhere else.


Answers to Gerber:

4 D
4 H
4 S
4 NT



0 or 4 aces
1 ace
2 aces
3 aces
811


Continuations by Gerber bidder:

5 C
Other

asks for kings*, confirms all 4 aces
sign-off
812

*Answer as above but 1 level higher.


Over interference

If Gerber 4 C is doubled:

Pass*
Other

no club control
as usual with club control
813

*Asker may redouble to re-ask for aces.


DOPI if an opponent bids below 5 NT:

Dbl
Pass
Cheapest bid
Next bid



0 or 4 aces
1 ace
2 aces
3 aces
814


DEPO if an opponent bids 5 NT or beyond:

Dbl
Pass

0, 2 or 4 aces
1 or 3 aces
815


Four Notrump Meanings

Four notrump is natural if no major suit is agreed and we have bid notrump naturally. The following notrump bids are not considered natural:

1. Forcing 1 NT response to a major opening
2. Responder’s 2 NT rebid after opener’s reverse bid
3. Responder’s 2 NT waiting after a 2 C opening
821


1 S
3 H
P
P
2 NT
4 NT
P

natural

822

Despite both majors bid, neither is agreed.


1 NT
2 S
4 D
P
P
P
2 H
3 D
4 NT
P
P

natural

823


Takeout 4NT

Four notrump is takeout if partner has not acted, or if all of the following are true:

1. You have not previously acted
2. Partner has bid or doubled at cheapest available level
3. Last bid is 4 H or 4 S by an opponent
4. At least two unbid suits exist not counting spades
824


1 D4 S4 NT

takeout

825

But if opponent bid 4 H, it would be Blackwood.


1 H1 S4 H4 NT

takeout

826

But if partner bid 2 S, it would be Blackwood.


Blackwood

If 4 NT does not meet either of the natural or takeout conditions, it is Blackwood.


Key suit determination

When 4 NT is Blackwood there is always one key suit, determined by this priority:

1. Agreed suit, higher if two
2. Last shown suit, higher if simultaneous
3. Highest implied suit
831


1 H2 NTP4 NT

diamonds key (higher of simultaneous)

832


1 SX3 S4 NT

hearts key (highest implied)

833


Key-card responses

Standard Roman key-card steps:

5 C
5 D
5 H
5 S*



0 or 3 key cards
1 or 4 key cards
2 or 5 key cards
2 or 5 key cards, QOEL
834

*Eliminate if key suit is hearts to allow Blackwood use with 1 key card.


Continuations

Blackwood bidder may next sign off in 5 of any agreed suit (or shown suit if key suit was inferred without an explicit raise), any shown suit beyond 5 of agreed suit, or 6 NT. Exception: If Blackwood responder has 4 or 5 key cards, there are no sign-offs at the 5 level.


Non-sign-off bids by Blackwood bidder:

Cheapest suit
Other suit
5 NT


QOEL ask
relay to play 5 NT (rare)
king ask, confirms 5 key cards + QOEL
835


Responses to QOEL ask:

Key suit
Other suit
5 NT


denies QOEL
QOEL, that king
QOEL, asking suit king*
836

*or no king if key suit sign-off is at 6 level


Responses to 5 NT specific king ask:

Key suit
Other suit
6 NT
7 any



no king
that king
two kings, doubts about seven
natural, source of tricks, NF
837


Continuations after QOEL or 5 NT ask:

Unshown suit
Other

grand ST, nonspecific
sign-off
838


Showing a void

A void may be shown (optional) over Blackwood:

5 NT
6 of suit*

2 key cards + void
1 or 3 key cards + void
839

*Below key suit shows void unless obvious (e.g., from splinter) then a specific king. Key suit means void (or king) is higher ranking.

After 5 NT, asker may continue with 6 C (if not key suit) to inquire similarly.


Exclusion Blackwood

Five of a suit is exclusion Blackwood if and only if:

1. Jump bid that is a splinter by system agreement
2. Repeat splinter by player who previously splintered
840

Normal step responses but do not count the splinter ace.

Note that 4 NT is never exclusion Blackwood now, even by a player who just previously splintered.


Over interference

If an opponent doubles 4 NT:

Rdbl
Pass
Other


0 or 3 key cards, desire to play 4 NT
1 or 4 key cards, desire to play 4 NT
unchanged
841


DOPI if an opponent bids below 6 of key suit:

Dbl
Pass
Cheapest bid
Next bid*



0 or 3 key cards
1 or 4 key cards
2 or 5 key cards
2 or 5 key cards, QOEL
842

*Eliminate if cheapest bid is key suit.


DEPO if an opponent bids 6 of key suit or beyond:

Dbl
Pass

0, 2 or 4 key cards
1, 3 or 5 key cards
843


Super Gerber

Super Gerber is a way to ask for key cards with 4 H or 4 S when 4 NT would be inconvenient or natural.

Four of the highest unshown major is super Gerber if all of the following are true:

1. We opened 1 C, 1 D, 1 H, 1 S, 1 NT, 2 C or 2 NT
2. We did not make a weak jump shift response
3. No opponent has bid (double is not a bid)
4. We have shown at least one minor suit
5. We have not raised or agreed a major suit
851


1 D
4 S
P3 NTP

super Gerber

852

Note the rule prevails over possible natural interpretation.


Corollary: When super Gerber applies, 4 NT is natural.

1 S
3 C
P
P
2 D
4 NT
P

quantitative slam invitation
(4 H would be super Gerber)

853


“Shown” suits are generally obvious, but some gray areas exist. The following are considered to be shown suits:

1. Value jump after 1 NT forcing response
2. Opener’s rebid after inverted minor raise
3. Opener’s major rebid after minor-suit Stayman
4. Fit-implying rebid by notrump bidder unless the only unbid major
854


1 D
2 S
3 NT
P
P
P
2 D
3 H
4 H
P
P

super Gerber
(heart suit not shown)

855


Key suit determination

Super Gerber always has a key minor suit:

1. Agreed minor, diamonds if both
2. Last shown minor
856


Key-card responses

Standard Roman key-card steps:

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4*



0 or 3 key cards
1 or 4 key cards
2 or 5 key cards
2 or 5 key cards, QOEL
857

*Eliminate if 3rd step is key suit.


Super Gerber bidder may then sign off in 4 NT, 6 NT, or 5-7 of any shown suit.

Continuations by super Gerber bidder:

Asking major
Unshown suit*
5 NT


king ask, confirms 5 KC + QOEL
QOEL ask
choice of slam, F
858

*If responder holds 4 or 5 key cards, this can be an agreed or shown suit, since asker could not wish to sign off.


Responses to QOEL ask:

Key suit
5 NT
Other suit


denies QOEL
QOEL, no king or option not to show*
QOEL, that king
859

*Showing a king beyond 6 of key suit is discretionary.


Responses to specific king ask:

Key suit
5 NT
Other suit
6 NT
7 any




no king
king in asking major
that king
two kings, doubts about seven
natural, source of tricks, NF
860


Continuations after QOEL or specific king ask:

Unshown suit*
Other

grand ST, nonspecific
sign-off
861

*If beyond 6 of key suit, rejection is 6 NT.


Over interference

If super Gerber is doubled:

Pass*
Other

no control in major doubled
as usual with control in major doubled
862

*Asker may redouble to re-ask for key cards.


DOPI if an opponent bids below 6 of key suit:

Dbl
Pass
Cheapest bid
Next bid*



0 or 3 key cards
1 or 4 key cards
2 or 5 key cards
2 or 5 key cards, QOEL
863

*Eliminate if cheapest bid is key suit.


DEPO if an opponent bids 6 of key suit or beyond:

Dbl
Pass

0, 2 or 4 key cards
1, 3 or 5 key cards
864


Trump Asking Bid

A bid of 4 C (or 4 D if partner bid clubs) is a trump ask in the following situations:

1. Response to weak two-bid
2. Rebid by 2 NT responder to weak two-bid
3. Response 3 of suit or 4 C opening or jump overcall
871

Exception: If RHO doubles or bids over partner’s last bid, trump ask must be a jump (else natural).


2 HP4 C

trump ask

872


2 D
3 H
P
P
2 NT
4 C
P

trump ask

873


3 SP4 C

trump ask

874


1 D3 H3 S4 C

natural

875


Responses and follow-ups

Responses are by steps, skipping over the trump suit:

Trump suit
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4




worst
ace or king
A-Q or K-Q
A-K
A-K-Q
876


Continuations by asker:

4 NT
Other

Blackwood (regular key-card)
sign-off
877


Over interference

3 H
?
P4 CX

analogous for double of any trump ask

878

Pass
Rdbl
Other


ace or king, terrible hand
ace or king, splinter in suit doubled
unchanged


3 H
?
P4 C4 S

analogous for any bid over any trump ask

879

Dbl
Pass
Cheapest bid
Next bid
Next




worst
ace or king
A-Q or K-Q
A-K
A-K-Q

This is DOPI with all bids counted as steps.


Voluntary Bid of Five

A voluntary bid of 5 in a major invites slam:

1. If we have not made a weak bid, or
2. If we are at 4 H or 4 S with no enemy action, or
3. On the second round of bidding or later
881


1 S4 H5 S

slam I

882


4 HP5 H

slam I

883

Note that 5 H would be blocking if opening were 2 H or 3 H, or if next hand bid or doubled.


A jump to 5 in a minor invites slam if a bid of 4 would be natural and forcing.


1 S
3 C
P
P
2 H
5 C
P

slam I

884


Continuations

The slam invitation asks for one of the following, in order of priority:

1. Unshown suit control if we have shown 3 suits
2. Enemy suit control if not already shown
3. Good trumps relative to the bidding
885


If the bid asks for control:

Pass
5 NT
Trump suit
Other suit



no control
guarded king
control, usually singleton
control-bid, ace or void in asked suit
886


If the bid asks for good trumps:

Pass
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Trump suit





poor trumps
ace or king
A-Q or K-Q
A-K
A-K-Q
accept, no interest in 7
887

Note steps are identical to the trump asking bid.


Five Notrump Meanings

Five notrump, when not part of another convention such as Blackwood, can have one of four meanings: takeout, invitation to 7 NT, trump ask (GSF) or “pick a slam.” In all cases it is forcing.


Takeout 5NT

Five notrump is for takeout, asking lower suits first:

1. If partner has not acted, or
2. If a nonjump on the first round of bidding
891


3 H3 S5 H5 NT

takeout for minors

892


Invitation to 7NT

Five notrump invites 7 NT if we have shown a balanced hand and no specific suit has been shown.


2 C
2 H
2 NT
P
P
P
2 D
2 S
5 NT
P
P

7 NT invitation

893

Opener may bid 6 of a suit (forcing) to suggest 7 in that suit. Bidding cannot end below 6 NT.


Grand slam force

Five notrump is a trump ask:

1. If a major (and no other) suit is agreed, or
2. If our only shown suit is a major by partner*
894

*excluding the first-round nonjump takeout case


Responses are by steps (same as trump asking bid):

Step 1
Step 2
Trump suit
Step 3
Step 4




ace or king
A-Q or K-Q
worst
A-K
A-K-Q
895


Pick a Slam

In all other cases, 5 NT asks partner to choose a slam:

1. Between two previously shown suits, or
2. Between one previously shown suit and 6 NT
896


Control Asking Bid

A response of 5 C or 5 D (or 5 H to 4 S) is a control ask, provided RHO passes over partner’s:

1. Opening bid of 4 H or 4 S
2. Double or triple-jump overcall of 4 H or 4 S
901


4 HP5 C

control ask

902


1 D4 SP5 D

control ask

903


Responses and follow-ups

Responses are by steps, skipping over the trump suit:

Trump suit
Step 1
Step 2


no control
king or singleton
ace or void
904


Continuations by asker:

5 NT
Other

trump ask
sign-off
905


Over interference

4 H
?
P5 DX

analogous for double of any control ask

906

Pass
Rdbl
Other


king or singleton, terrible hand
king or singleton, excellent trumps
unchanged


4 S
?
P5 C5 H

analogous for any bid over any control ask

907

Dbl
Pass
Bid


no control
king or singleton
ace or void

Another implementation of DOPI.


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Defensive Carding

Notrump Opening Leads

Honor leads:

A K Q 10 x, A K J 10 x, A K J x x x (or better)
A K Q x, A K J x, A K 10 x, K Q J x, K Q 10 x
K Q 10 9 x, A Q J x, Q J 10 x, Q J 9 x
K Q J 9 x, A J 10 x, K J 10 x, J 10 9 x, J 10 8 x
A Q 10 9, A 10 9, K 10 9, Q 10 9, 10 9 8 x, 10 9 7 x
Doubleton or tripleton A K, K Q, Q J, J 10, 10 9
921


Spot leads:

A J x x x, K 9 8 7 x, Q J x x, J 10 x x, etc.
x x x x (optional depending on hand)
A x x, K x x, Q x x, J x x, 10 x x
9 x x* (or weaker), x x (any doubleton)
922

*Lead low if partner showed 5+ cards (including suspect third/fourth major openings) and you have not raised.


Suit Opening Leads

Honor leads:

A K x* (thru 4 S), A K x (above 4 S), K Q x
Q J 10 x, Q J 9 x, K J 10 x, J 10 9 x, J 10 8 x
K 10 9, Q 10 9, 10 9 8 x, 10 9 7 x
Doubleton or tripleton A K, K Q, Q J, J 10, 10 9
931

*except in partner’s suit always lead king from A-K


Spot leads (3+ cards):

Lowest from odd lengths
Second* or third from even lengths
932

*If affordable, which is always presumed true in partner’s shown suit. For blind leads from four cards, lead second if you have a touching card (J 9 8 2, 8 7 4 2) or if the six or lower (Q 6 4 2); else prefer third (Q 7 4 2).

The purpose of second-best is to allow suit preference on the next round.


Leads After Trick One

Second honor lead in the same suit:

Short holding
4+ cards

top card*
bottom of sequence
941

*warns partner not to overtake or unblock


Second lead in the same suit, spot card:

Odd residue
Even residue

lowest
highest affordable
942

Exception: At notrump lead original fourth best if there could be any ambiguity.


Honor leads in another suit:

Ace
King
Queen
Jack
Ten
Nine





denies king
unchanged
unchanged
J 10 (denies higher)
A J 10, K J 10, A 10 9, K 10 9, Q 10 9
10 9 (except doubleton)
943

Exceptions occur for technical necessity, such as from K-J-9 thru dummy’s Q-x-x.

Note that a 10 lead promises a top honor unless doubleton.


Spot leads in another suit at notrump:

Fourth best
High or second

encourages return of suit
discourages return of suit
944

From 9-x-x with the 10 not in view, lead middle to avoid confusion with showing the 10.


Spot leads in another suit at suit contracts are unchanged (low from odd, second or third from even) regardless of strength.

Exception: Do not lead a nine (e.g., K-J-9-x) if it could be confused with showing 10-9-x-(x).


Honor Signals

Honor signals (following suit or discarding) are standard showing strength:

Ace (discard)
King
Queen
Jack
Ten




solid suit
solid except ace
A Q J, Q J (usually 10 too)
A J 10, K J 10, J 10*
A Q 10, A 10 9, K 10 9, Q 10 9, 10 9*
951

*ambiguous so avoid if partner would expect better


When splitting honors as second hand, play as above if intention is to inform partner.

Exception: Second-hand hop with a king shows nothing in particular (just like winning an ace) because it may be necessary to gain the lead.


Count Signals

General strategy against all contracts is to show count, both in following suit and discarding, regardless of who led the suit. Tend to discard first from the suit(s) you do not want led; hence partner can infer positive attitude from a suit not discarded, or discarded last.

Standard count signals:

3, 5, 7 cards
4 or 8 cards
2 or 6 cards


lowest
second highest (if affordable)
highest affordable
961

The distinct plays from even lengths can be helpful, e.g., if partner sees the highest outstanding card he knows you have a doubleton or 6.

Tens and jacks may also be count signals, provided the play is safe and won’t be confused with strength-showing.

Queens and higher are never count signals.


Modifications and exceptions

Notrump opening leads with special requests:

Ace
King
Queen
Jack



unblock K, Q or J, else count
attitude
unblock jack, hop ace, else attitude
unblock 10, hop ace or king, else count
962

Regardless of the lead at notrump, if dummy wins a blank ace, king or queen, signal attitude.


Other leads with special requests:

Ace not A-K*attitude963

*Beyond 4 S, after trick one, or with king in dummy


Residual count

If count is not shown on the first round of a suit, either because an honor had to be played, or because another signal had priority, count is shown on the second round:

Odd residue
Even residue

lowest
highest affordable
964

Note that an odd residue indicates an original even number of cards, and vice versa.


Suit Preference Signals

Suit preference is routinely shown after count with the next play. Assume the underlined card was played first:

6 4 2
10 6 4 3
Q 9 7 5 2
9 8 7 6 3 2



6 shows high SP, 4 shows low
4 shows high SP, 3 shows low
9 shows high SP, 5 shows low
8 shows high SP, 2 shows low
971

Suit preference may be negligible, since you must go one way or the other with 3-4 cards. Neutral possibilities exist with 5+ cards, but readability is doubtful, so general strategy should be to choose.


Overriding cases

Suit preference applies immediately on the suit led in the following cases:

1. Opening lead is partner’s shown 5+ card suit*
2. Ace or king opening lead is dummy’s singleton at a suit contract
3. Ace lead at suit contract with K-x, K-Q-x (or longer) in dummy and third hand marked with 3+ cards
4. Opening lead is an obvious singleton and third hand has a choice of plays
5. Leading or following to suit partner is expected to ruff
6. Removing declarer’s last stopper at notrump
7. Choice of insignificant cards in a suit declarer is out of (or will be on current trick)
972

*Suit preference is strong if leader wins the trick, i.e., an immediate shift is usually desired.

A jack is defined as low suit preference if leader could have the queen and need to force second hand to cover.


In the above seven cases a middle card shows no preference but may have other implications:

Case 1
Case 2-3
Case 4-5
Case 6-7



Continue my suit
Continue suit led or shift to trumps
My entry may be in trumps
No preference or nondisclosure
973


Trump Signals

The only trump signal is the traditional echo (or non-echo) to show the number of trumps held. This is routine and does not imply the ability to ruff.

2 or 4 trumps
3 or 5 trumps

up-the-line
high-low (if affordable)
981

Exception: Do not high-low with A-x-x or K-x-x.

When echoing from equal trumps, play the higher card first. This may reveal to partner whether your trump holding is promotable.


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© 2019 Richard Pavlicek