Pavlicek System

by Richard Pavlicek

Last revision: November 7, 2017

———— Contents ————1 General Info11 Opening Bids
21 Notrump Structure31 Stayman51 Jacoby Transfer
71 Minor Suit Stayman81 Minor Suit Transfers91 Three Diamonds Majors
101 Splinter Responses111 Texas Transfer121 Notrump Interference
141 Opening One of Suit151 Rebids by Opener161 Rebids by Responder
171 Opener's Third Bid191 Responder's Third Bid201 Rebids after 1NT Rebid
211 Rebids after 2NT Rebid221 Notrump Responses to Minor231 One Notrump Forcing
251 Two over One of Major261 Two Clubs over One Diamond271 Inverted Minor Raises
281 Weak Jump Shifts291 Two Notrump Response301 Major Suit Game Tries
311 Opener's Reverse Bid321 Fourth Suit Bids331 Passed Hand Changes
341 Two-Way Reverse Drury
361 Competitive One of Suit371 After Takeout Double381 After Suit Overcall
401 After Jump Suit Overcall421 After Two-Suited Overcall431 After One Notrump Overcall
441 Competitive Doubles451 Cooperative Doubles461 Opener's Competitive Rebids
471 Competitive Limit Style
481 Higher Opening Bids491 Two Club Opening521 Weak Two Bids
541 Preemptive Openings561 Three Notrump Opening
571 Defense to One of Suit581 Takeout Doubles601 Suit Overcalls
611 Weak Jump Overcalls621 Two-Suited Overcalls641 Three-Level Cue Overcall
651 Balancing Actions661 After Two Enemy Bids671 Additional Agreements
681 Other Defensive Bidding691 Defense to Notrump Openings721 Defense to Weak Openings
741 Defense to Artificial Openings751 Defense to Transfer Bids761 Junkyard Defense
771 Lead-Directing Doubles781 Runout Defense
791 Slam Bidding Methods801 General Approach811 Gerber
821 Four Notrump Meanings831 Blackwood851 Super Gerber
871 Trump Asking Bid881 Voluntary Bid of Five891 Five Notrump Meanings
901 Control Asking Bid
911 Defensive Carding921 Notrump Opening Leads931 Suit Opening Leads
941 Leads After Trick One951 Honor Signals961 Count Signals
971 Suit Preference Signals981 Trump Signals


General Info

Latest additions and revisions: 11-7-17 #177-180 (after 2 NT invitation); #272 (inverted minor followup); 3-20-17 #727-728 (Lebensohl); #512 (2 C opener's suit jump); #564 (2-ace followup after 3 NT opener); #871 (trump ask in comp must be jump)


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:

1Fforcing
AFartificial force
DJdouble jump
NFnonforcing
Iinvitational
GFgame forcing
STslam try


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.

111 C, 1 D13-22, 3+ cards
1 H, 1 S13-22, 5+ cards
1 NT15-17, balanced
2 C23+, AF
2 D, 2 H, 2 S5-10 HCP, weak two-bid
2 NT20-22, balanced
3+ suitweak
3 NT •ace ask, good 1-suiter, 9+ tricks, F
4 NT, 5 NT •minors, extreme shape


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 NTPass?

212 CStayman
2 D, 2 HJacoby transfer
2 Sminor-suit Stayman
2 NT, 3 Cminor-suit transfer
3 D •5-5 majors
3 H, 3 S •splinter, 3-suited ST
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 CGerber
4 D, 4 HTexas transfer


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

2 NTPass?

223 CStayman
3 D, 3 HJacoby transfer
3 Sminor-suit Stayman
Highersame 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
?
Pass2 CPassanalogous for 2 NT opening

312 Dno 4+ card major
2 H4+ hearts, may have 4 spades
2 S4+ spades, denies 4 hearts


1 NT
2 D
Pass
Pass
2 C
?
Pass

322 Hweak, at least 4-4 majors or 3=4=1=5
2 Ssign-off
2 NTdoes not imply major, I
3 C, 3 D5+ cards, GF
3 H •5+ spades, 4 hearts, GF
3 S •5+ hearts, 4 spades, GF
Any gamesign-off
4 C, 4 D •splinter, 3-suited ST

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


2 NT
3 D
Pass
Pass
3 C
?
Pass

333 H •5+ spades, 4+ hearts, GF
3 S •5+ hearts, 4 spades, GF
Any gamesign-off
4 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST


1 NT
2 H
Pass
Pass
2 C
?
Passanalogous for 2 S rebid

342 S •4 spades (checkback), F
2 NT, 3 Hno interest in spades, I
3 C, 3 D5+ cards, 4 spades, GF
3 S •agrees hearts, ST
3 NT4 spades, game sign-off
4 C, 4 D •splinter, ST
4 H, 5 C, 5 Dsign-off


2 NT
3 H
Pass
Pass
3 C
?
Pass

353 S •agrees hearts, ST
3 NT4 spades, game sign-off
4 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST
4 H, 5 C, 5 Dsign-off


2 NT
3 H
?
Pass
Pass
3 C
4 C
Pass
Pass
analogous for 4 D

364 Dstrength, 3+ clubs
4 H* •4-4 majors
4 Ssuper Gerber
4 NTno club fit or wrong cards, NF
5 C3+ clubs, discourages slam

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


2 NT
3 S
Pass
Pass
3 C
?
Pass

373 NT4 hearts, game sign-off
4 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST
4 H •agrees spades, ST
4 S, 5 C, 5 Dsign-off


Smolen follow-up

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

384 C, 4 D3 cards, ST
4 Htransfer to 4 S


1 NT
2 D
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 C
3 S
?
Pass
Pass

394 C3 cards, ST
4 Dtransfer to 4 H


2 NT
3 D
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
3 C
3 H
?
Pass
Pass

404 C3 cards, ST
4 Dtransfer to 4 H (5-5 majors)
4 Htransfer to 4 S


2 NT
3 D
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
3 C
3 S
?
Pass
Pass

414 C3 cards, ST
4 Dtransfer to 4 H


After interference

1 NT
?
Pass2 CDblanalogous for 2 NT opening

42Rdbl4+ strong clubs
Pass4 clubs, no major
2 D4+ diamonds, no major
2 H, 2 Sunchanged

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
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

512 S •5-5 majors, I (NF)
2 NT5 hearts, I
3 C, 3 D4+ cards, GF
3 H6+ hearts (rare 5), I
3 NT5 hearts (rare 6), choice of game
3 S •agrees hearts, ST
4 C, 4 Dself-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
4 Hagrees hearts, slam I (NF)


1 NT
2 S
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

523 H •agrees spades, ST
4 C, 4 D, 4 Hself-splinter, agrees spades, ST
Otheranalogous to above


2 NT
3 H
Pass
Pass
3 D
?
Pass

533 S •agrees hearts, ST
4 C, 4 D4+ cards, ST
4 Hagrees hearts, slam I (NF)
3 NT5 hearts (rare 6), choice of game


2 NT
3 S
Pass
Pass
3 H
?
Pass

544 H •agrees spades, ST
Otheranalogous 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
?
Pass
Pass
2 D
3 C
Pass
Pass
analogous for all major-minor 2-suiters

553 D, 3 S*strength, implies club fit
3 Hheart fit
3 NTno fit or wrong cards
4 C, 4 Hgood fit, right cards
4 Ssuper Gerber

*not a shown suit for super Gerber rule


2 NT
3 H
?
Pass
Pass
3 D
4 C
Pass
Pass
analogous for all major-minor 2-suiters

564 Dstrength, implies club fit
4 Hheart fit
4 Ssuper Gerber
4 NTno fit or wrong cards


Responder's third bid

1 NT
2 H
3 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 D
3 C
?
Pass
Pass
analogous for similar sequences

573 H6+ hearts or strong 5
3 Sace or shortness
3 NT, 4 H, 5 Cno slam interest, NF
4 C5-5, GF
4 Dace or king
4 Ssuper 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
Pass
Pass
Pass
3 D
4 C
?
Pass
Pass
analogous for similar sequences

584 H, 5 Cno slam interest, NF
4 Ssuper Gerber
4 NTnatural, 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
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

593 S, 4 C, 4 Dself-splinter, ST
3 NT •no splinter, ST (F)
4 Hsign-off
4 NTBlackwood


2 NT
4 H
Pass
Pass
3 D
?
Pass

604 S, 5 C, 5 Dace or void, ST
4 NTBlackwood
5 Hno 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
?
Pass2 DDblanalogous for 2 H doubled

61Passnormal action
Rdbl4+ strong diamonds, suggests to play
2 Hfit, happy with diamond lead
3 Dnormal bypass
3 Hbypass, happy with diamond lead


1 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Dblanalogous for 2 H doubled

62Rdblpenalty suggestion, opener pulls w/fit
2 Hsign-off
3 Dsingleton or worthless doubleton, GF
Otherunchanged


1 NT
?
Pass2 D2 Sanalogous for spade transfer

63Passnormal action
Dblpenalty
3 Dgood heart fit to put bidder on lead
3 Hgood fit, happy with spade lead


1 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
2 Sanalogous for spade transfer

64Dbloptional, I+, opener pulls w/fit
3 Sself-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
Otherunchanged


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

65Suit below major to transfer declaration


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
?
Pass2 SPass

712 NT, 3 C, 3 Dminimum, NF
3 H, 3 Sstrength in suit, GF
3 NTmaximum, NF
4 C, 4 Dmaximum, pure values, GF


1 NT
2 NT
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

723 C, 3 D5+ cards, NF
3 H, 3 Sshortness, GF
3 NTsign-off
4 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST


1 NT
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Passanalogous for 3 D rebid

733 D5+ cards, GF
3 H, 3 Sshortness, GF
3 NTchoice of game, NF
4 Cat least 5-5, I


1 NT
3 H
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Passanalogous for 3 S rebid

743 Sshortness, ST
3 NTsign-off
4 C, 4 D5+ cards, F (may be original I)
4 H3 hearts, suggestion to play, NF


1 NT
3 NT
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

754 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST
4 H •at least 5-5, ST


After 2NT opening

2 NT
?
Pass3 SPass

763 NTno fit or wrong values
4 C, 4 Dthat minor fit
4 H •no 4 card fit, good values


2 NT
3 NT
Pass
Pass
3 S
?
Pass

774 C, 4 D5+ cards, ST
4 H •at least 5-5, ST


2 NT
4 C
Pass
Pass
3 S
?
Passanalogous for 4 D rebid

784 D5+ diamonds, ST
4 H •at least 5-5, ST
5 Cslam 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
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Pass

813 D, 3 H, 3 Sself-splinter, agrees clubs, ST
3 NTmild ST (NF)
4 Cshapely, I
5 Cshapely, slam remote, NF

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


1 NT
3 D
Pass
Pass
3 C
?
Pass

823 H, 3 S, 4 Cself-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
3 NTmild ST, NF
4 Dshapely, I
5 Dshapely, 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
?
Pass3 DPass

913 H, 3 Sbetter fit, normal action
3 NTextreme minor strength, NF
4 H, 4 S •great fit, both minor aces


1 NT
3 H
Pass
Pass
3 D
?
Passanalogous for 3 S rebid

923 S •two singletons, ST
3 NThonors in short suits, NF
4 C, 4 Dshortness, ST
4 Hsign-off


1 NT
3 NT
Pass
Pass
3 D
?
Pass

934 C, 4 Dshortness, ST
4 Hno slam interest, NF, correctable
4 Ssign-off


After a double

1 NT
?
Pass3 DDbl

94Passno diamond control
Rdbl5+ strong diamonds, suggest to play
Otherunchanged


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
?
Pass3 HPass

1013 S, 4 C, 4 Dfit-showing
3 NTno fit or wrong values


1 NT
?
Pass3 SPass

1023 NTno fit or wrong values
4 C, 4 Dfit-showing
4 Hheart fit, discouraging slam
4 Sheart fit, good hand


1 NT
3 S
Pass
Pass
3 H
?
Pass

1033 NTblank honor, NF
4 C, 4 Dcontrol
4 Hvoid
4 Sminimal ST (NF)


1 NT
3 NT
Pass
Pass
3 H
?
Passanalogous for 3 S response

1044 C, 4 D5 cards
4 Hsuper Gerber
4 S5 spades, NF


1 NT
4 C
Pass
Pass
3 H
?
Passanalogous for 3 S response and/or 4 D rebid

1054 D, 4 Scontrol
4 Hsuper Gerber
5 Cminimal ST (NF)


After a double

1 NT
?
Pass3 HDblanalogous for 3 S doubled

106Passno 4+ fit, doubts about 3 NT
Rdbl4+ strong hearts, desire to play
Otherunchanged


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
Pass
Pass
4 D
?
Passanalogous for spade transfer

1114 S, 5 C, 5 Dvoid, ST
4 NTBlackwood
5 Hfreak shape, I


After a double

1 NT
?
Pass4 DDblanalogous for 4 H doubled

112Passnormal action to put doubler on lead
Rdbldiamond ace
4 Hhappy 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 NTDbl?

121Rdblrescue with one minor*
Otherunchanged

*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 overcall

122Dblpenalty, creates force
2 S5+ spades, weak, NF
2 NT5+ clubs
3 C5+ diamonds
3 D •Stayman
3 H5+ spades, I+
3 S •asks for heart stopper
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 CGerber
4 D •heart shortness, ST
4 HTexas


If the natural overcall shows a second suit:

1 NT2 D1?
1. diamonds + hearts

1232 showntakeout, may be just competitive
Otheranalogous 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 cannot show 5 hearts at 3 level

124Dblnegative
3 D5+ hearts
3 H5+ spades
3 S •asks for club stopper
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 CGerber
4 D, 4 HTexas


1 NT3 H?

125Dblnegative
3 S •asks for heart stopper
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 CGerber
4 D •heart shortness, ST
4 HTexas

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?

126Dblnegative
3 NTsign-off
4 CGerber
4 DTexas
4 H •spade shortness, ST


1 NT4 C?analogous for 4 D

127Dblnegative
4 Ddiamonds, F
4 H, 4 Snatural, NF

Note transfers are off for interference beyond 3 NT.


Rebids by opener

1 NT
?
2 S3 DPassanalogous for other transfers

1283 Hnormal action
3 NTmax, good spade stopper
4 Hmax, good heart fit


1 NT
?
2 H3 DPassanalogous for other Stayman bids

1293 Hno heart stopper, not 4 spades
3 S4+ spades, min if only unshown major
3 NTheart stopper, not 4 spades
4 S*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 SPassanalogous for other stopper asks

1303 NTheart stopper
4 suit4+ cards, no stopper, NF
Cuemax, no stopper, highest + other suit
4 NTmax, 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

131Dbl8+ HCP, creates force
2 showntakeout, may be just competitive
2 unshown5+ cards, NF
2 NT, 3 C D H5+ cards in next higher suit
3 S •asks for stopper in shown suit(s)
3 NTsign-off
4 CGerber
4 D, 4 HTexas

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


1 NT2 NT1?
1. minors

1323 CStayman
Othersame as above


1 NT3 D1?
1. majors

1333 Hminors, may be just competitive
Othersame 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.


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 CPass?

1411 D, 1 H, 1 S6+, 4+ cards
1 NT6-10, no 4 card major
2 C11+, 4+ clubs, F
2 D, 2 H, 2 Sweak
2 NT15+, balanced
3+ any suitweak
3 NT13-14, balanced


1 DPass?

1422 C11+, 5+ clubs
2 D11+, 4+ diamonds
Othersame as above


1 HPass?

1431 S6+, 4+ spades
1 NT6-14, F
2 C, 2 D13+, 5+ cards
2 H7-10, 3+ hearts
2 S, 3 C, 3 Dweak
2 NT15+, balanced
3 H11-12, 4+ hearts
3 S, 4 C, 4 D13+, splinter
3 NT13-15, 4+ hearts, no splinter, F
Higher suitweak


1 SPass?

1442 H13+, 5+ cards
2 S7-10, 3+ spades
3 Hweak
3 S11-12, 4+ spades
3 NT13-15, 4+ spades, no splinter, F
4 H13+, splinter
Othersame as above


Rebids by Opener

1 C
?
Pass1 DPass

1511 H, 1 S13-18, 4+ cards
1 NT*12-14, balanced
2 C13-15, 6+ clubs (rare 5)
2 D13-15, 4 diamonds
2 H, 2 S19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
2 NT*18-19, balanced, I
3 C16-18, 6+ clubs, I
3 D16-18, 4+ diamonds, I
3 H, 3 S19+, splinter
3 NT16+, 6+ strong clubs
4 C •19+, 6+ clubs, 4 diamonds
4 D19+, 6+ clubs, 5 diamonds

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


1 C
?
Pass1 HPassanalogous for other minor-major sequences

1521 S13-18, 4+ spades
1 NT12-14, balanced, not 4 spades
2 C13-15, 6+ clubs (rare 5)
2 D17+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3), F
2 H13-15, 3+ hearts (usually 4)
2 S19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
2 NT18-19, balanced, I
3 C16-18, 6+ clubs, I
3 D •19+, 6+ clubs, 4+ diamonds, GF
3 H16-18, 4 hearts, I
3 S, 4 D19+, splinter
3 NT16+, 6+ strong clubs
4 C •19+, 6+ clubs, 4 hearts, F
4 H19+, 4 hearts, no splinter


1 H
?
Pass1 SPass

1531 NT12-14, balanced
2 C, 2 D13-18, 4+ cards
2 H13-15, 6+ hearts
2 S13-15, 3+ spades (usually 4)
2 NT18-19, balanced, I
3 C, 3 D19, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
3 H16-18, 6+ hearts, I
3 S16-18, 4 spades, I
3 NT16+, 6+ strong hearts
4 C, 4 D19+, splinter
4 H19+, 6+ hearts
4 S19+, 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
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Pass

1611 NT, 2 C H S6-10, NF
2 D11+, AF
2 NT, 3 C H S13+, GF
3 D5+ diamonds, 5+ hearts, GF
3 NT, 4 H, 4 Ssign-off attempt
4 C, 4 Dsplinter, ST


1 C
1 H
Pass
Pass
1 D
?
Pass

1621 S6-10 with 4 spades or 11+, AF
2 S4 spades, 6+ diamonds, GF
3 S, 4 Csplinter, ST
Otheranalogous to above


1 D
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

1632 D, 2 S6-10, NF
2 H11+, AF
2 NT10-12, I
3 C, 3 D, 3 S •13+, GF
3 H5+ hearts, 5+ spades, GF
3 NT13-16


1 C
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Pass

1642 H6-10, NF
2 D, 2 S11+, semi-natural, F
2 NT10-12, I
3 C, 3 H •13+, GF
3 D5+ diamonds, 5+ hearts, GF
3 S4 spades, 6+ hearts, GF
3 NT13-16


1 H
2 D
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

1652 H, 2 S6-10, NF
2 NT10-12, I
3 C11+, AF
3 D, 3 H, 3 S •13+, GF
3 NT13-16


1 H
2 H
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

1662 S6-10, NF
2 NT10-12, I
3 C, 3 D11+, semi-natural, F
3 HI
3 S13+, GF
3 NT13-16


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
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 C
Pass
Pass

1712 D, 2 H, 2 NTreject, NF
2 S* •4 good/decent spades, ambiguous, F
3 C4 clubs, ambiguous, F
3 D, 3 H, 3 NTaccept
3 S5 spades, 6+ diamonds, GF

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


1 D
2 C
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 S
Pass
Pass

1722 NTreject, NF
3 C, 3 D, 3 Hambiguous, F
3 Sace*, GF
3 NTaccept

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


1 C
2 C
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 D
Pass
Pass

1732 H4 hearts or ace, ambiguous, F
2 S, 2 NT, 3 Creject, NF
3 D4 diamonds, ambiguous, F
3 S, 3 NTaccept


1 D
2 D
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
3 C
Pass
Pass

1743 Dreject, NF
3 H, 4 Cambiguous, F
3 Sace, F
3 NTaccept


Special cases

1 C
1 H
?
Pass
Pass
1 D
1 S
Pass
Pass

175Nonjump13-15, NF
Jump16-18, I


1 H
2 D
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 C
Pass
Pass

1763 D* •reject, not 3 spades, NF
3 H, 3 NT, 4 maccept
3 Sambiguous, 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
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 NT
Pass
Pass
analogous for 1 S response

1773 C, 3 Dnatural, NF
3 Hnatural, F
3 Sstrength (short clubs), F


1 D
2 C
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 NT
Pass
Pass
analogous for 1 S response

1783 Cnatural, NF
3 D, 3 Hnatural, F
3 S •AF, 5-5 minors


1 H
2 H
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass

1793 C, 3 D, 3 Hnatural, NF
3 Snatural, F


1 H
2 D
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass

1803 C, 3 H, 3 Snatural, F
3 Dnatural, 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 an invitational-range hand. 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
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Passanalogous for 1 D opening

2012 C, 2 H6-10, NF
2 D11+, AF
2 S13+, 4 spades, 5+ hearts, GF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C, 3 H13+, GF
3 D13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 S, 4 C, 4 D •self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
3 NT, 4 Hsign-off
4 S •super Gerber


1 D
1 NT
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Passanalogous for 1 C opening

2022 C11+, AF
2 D, 2 H, 2 S6-10, NF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C, 3 H13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 D, 3 S13+, GF
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 C, 4 D •self-splinter, agrees spades, ST
4 H •super Gerber


1 C
1 NT
Pass
Pass
1 D
?
Pass

2032 C* •11+, AF
2 D6-10, NF
2 H, 2 S4 cards, 5+ diamonds, GF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C, 3 D13+, GF
3 H, 3 S, 4 C •self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
3 NTsign-off
4 S •super Gerber

*no sign-off in clubs on this auction


1 H
1 NT
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

2042 C, 2 D11+, seminatural, F
2 H, 2 S6-10, NF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C, 3 D13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 H, 3 S13+, GF
3 NT, 4 H, 4 Ssign-off
4 C, 4 D •self-splinter, agrees spades, ST


Opener's third bid

1 C
1 NT
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 D
Pass
Pass

2052 H, 2 NTreject
2 Sace*, ambiguous
3 C, 3 Dambiguous
3 H, 3 NTaccept

*because 4 spades denied


1 D
1 NT
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 C
Pass
Pass

2062 D, 2 S, 2 NTreject
2 H*4 hearts, ambiguous
3 C4 clubs, ambiguous
3 D, 3 S, 3 NTaccept

*priority bid if also holding 3 spades


1 C
1 NT
?
Pass
Pass
1 D
2 C
Pass
Pass

2072 D, 2 NTreject
2 H, 2 S4 cards, ambiguous
3 C5 clubs, ambiguous
3 D, 3 NTaccept


1 H
1 NT
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 D
Pass
Pass

2082 H, 2 S, 2 NTreject
3 C, 3 Dambiguous
3 H, 3 S, 3 NTaccept

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
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Pass

2113 C, 3 H, 3 Snatural, ST
3 DAF, checkback
3 NT, 4 Hsign-off
4 C, 4 D •self-splinter, agrees hearts, ST
4 Ssuper Gerber


1 D
2 NT
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

2123 CAF, checkback
3 D, 3 H, 3 Snatural, ST
3 NT, 4 Ssign-off
4 C, 4 D •self-splinter, agrees spades, ST
4 Hsuper Gerber


1 C
2 NT
Pass
Pass
1 D
?
Pass

2133 C* •AF, checkback
3 D, 3 H, 3 Snatural, ST
3 NTsign-off
4 C, 4 H •self-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
4 Ssuper Gerber

*if followed by 4 C is natural ST


1 H
2 NT
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

2143 C, 3 D* •seminatural, checkback
3 H, 3 Snatural, ST
3 NT, 4 H, 4 Ssign-off
4 C, 4 D •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
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 D
?
Pass
Pass

2154 C, 4 Snatural, no slam interest
4 Dat least 5-5, ST
4 H •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
?
Pass1 NTPassanalogous for 1 C opening

221Passmost common
2 C13-18, NF
2 D13-15, NF
2 H, 2 S17+, 4+ cards (rare 3), F
2 NT, 3 D16-18, I
3 C19+, 4+ clubs (rare 3), GF
3 H, 3 S •4+ cards, 6+ diamonds, GF
3 NTsign-off


1 C
?
Pass3 NTPassanalogous for 1 D opening

222Passmost common
4 C, 4 D, 4 Hnatural, ST, F
4 Ssuper 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
?
Pass1 NTPass

2312 C, 2 D13-18, 3+ cards, NF
2 H13-15, 6+ hearts, NF
2 S17+ with 6+ hearts else 19+, F
2 NT16-18, I
3 C, 3 D19+, 4+ cards (rare 3), GF
3 H16-18, 6+ hearts, I
3 S4+ spades, 6+ hearts, GF
3 NT19+, NF
4 C, 4 D •19+, splinter, 6+ hearts
4 H19+, 6+ hearts


1 S
?
Pass1 NTPass

2322 H13-18, 4+ hearts, NF
2 S13-15, 6+ spades, NF
3 H19+, 4+ hearts, GF
3 S16-18, 6+ spades, I
4 H16-18, at least 5-5, NF
Othersame as above


Rebids by responder

1 H
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2332 D6-10, 6+ diamonds (rare 5), NF
2 H6-10 with 2 hearts or 4-7 with 3+, NF
2 S •11+, agrees clubs
2 NT11-12, I
3 C8-10, 5+ clubs (rare 4), NF
3 D, 3 S •13+, club raise, values in bid, F
3 H11-12, 3 hearts, I
3 NT13-14, NF
4 C10-12, 6+ clubs, I
4 D •13+, heart raise, diamond values
4 H13+, 3 hearts, NF


1 S
2 D
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2342 H6-10, 5+ hearts, NF
2 S6-10 with 2 spades or 4-7 with 3+, NF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C6-10, 6+ clubs, NF
3 D10-12, 5+ diamonds (rare 4), I
3 H •13+, diamond raise, heart values
3 S11-12, 3 spades, I
3 NT13-14, NF
4 C, 4 H •13+, spade raise, values in bid
4 D10-12, 6+ diamonds, I
4 S13+, 3 spades, NF


1 S
2 H
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2352 S6-10 with 2 spades or 4-7 with 3+, NF
2 NT11-12, I
3 C, 3 D6-10, 6+ cards, NF
3 H9-11, 4+ hearts, I
3 S11-12, 3 spades, I
3 NT13-14, NF
4 C, 4 D •13+, heart raise, values in bid
4 H12+, 4+ hearts, NF
4 S13+, 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
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2362 S* •8+, at least 5-5 minors, F
3 S, 4 C, 4 D •13+, heart raise, values in bid, GF
3 H11-12, 2 hearts, I
4 H13+ with 2 hearts or 11+ with 3+
Othersame as above

*limit bidding follows


When opener shows extras

1 H
2 S
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2372 NTweak or waiting, F
3 C, 3 D6+ cards, F
3 H, 3 S10+, 3 cards, GF
3 NT10-12, NF
4 C, 4 D •11+, heart raise, values in bid
4 H8-10, NF


1 H
2 NT
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2383 C, 3 Dweak, 6+ cards (rare 5), NF
3 Hweak, sign-off attempt
3 S •at least 5-5 minors, GF
4 C, 4 D •11+, heart raise, values in bid


1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2393 C, 3 Dweak, 6+ cards, NF
3 H5+ cards, F
3 Sweak, sign-off attempt
4 C, 4 D, 4 H •11+, spade raise, values in suit bid


1 H
3 H
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2403 S •at least 5-5 minors, GF
4 C, 4 D6+ cards, F


1 S
3 S
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2414 C, 4 D6+ cards, F
4 H6+ hearts, NF


1 H
3 C
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2423 D5+ diamonds
3 Hweak or waiting, 2+ hearts
3 S •11+, club raise
4 C6-10, 4+ clubs
4 D •11+, heart raise, diamond values
4 H11-12, 3 hearts


1 S
3 D
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2433 H5+ hearts
3 Sweak or waiting, 2+ spades
4 C6+ clubs
4 D4+ diamonds
4 H •11+, spade raise, heart values
4 S11-12, 3 spades


1 S
3 H
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

2443 Sweak or waiting, 2+ spades
4 C, 4 D6+ cards, F
4 H4+ hearts (rare 3)
4 S11-12, 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
?
Pass2 CPassanalogous for other major-minor starts

2512 D, 2 S4+ cards
2 H6+ hearts or strong 5
2 NT12-14 or 18+
3 C3+ clubs*
3 D, 3 S15+, splinter, club raise
3 H15+, 6+ hearts, solid or K-Q-J-10
3 NT15-17, NF
4 C15+, 5-5 shape
4 D •15+, self-splinter, agrees hearts
4 H15-17, 7+ hearts, no unbid suit control


1 S
?
Pass2 HPass

2522 S6+ spades or strong 5
2 NT12-14 or 18+
3 C, 3 D4+ cards
3 H3+ hearts*
3 S15+, 6+ spades, solid or K-Q-J-10
3 NT15-17, NF
4 C, 4 D15+, splinter, heart raise
4 H15-17, 3+ hearts*, no unbid suit control
4 S15-17, 7+ spades, no unbid suit control

*Opener should not raise immediately with 3 small.


Rebids by responder

1 H
2 D
Pass
Pass
2 C
?
Pass

2532 H13+, 3+ hearts
2 S13+, AF, usually 6+ clubs
2 NT13-14 or 18+
3 C11-12, 6+ clubs, NF
3 D13+, 4+ diamonds
3 H15-17, 3+ hearts*
3 S15+, splinter, diamond raise
3 NT15-17, NF
4 C15+, 6+ clubs, solid or K-Q-J-10
4 D15-17, 4+ diamonds, no spade control
4 H15-17, 3+ hearts*, no spade control

*not 3 small


1 S
2 S
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

2542 NT13-14 or 18+
3 C, 3 H4+ cards (rare 3)
3 D11-12, 6+ diamonds, NF
3 S13+, spades J-x or better
3 NT15-17, NF
4 C, 4 H15+, splinter, spade raise
4 D15+, 6+ diamonds, solid or K-Q-J-10
4 S15-17, no unbid suit control


1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

2553 C, 3 H4+ cards (rare 3)
3 D11-12, 6+ diamonds, NF
3 S13+, 3+ spades
3 NT13-17, NF
4 C15+, self-splinter, agrees diamonds
4 D15+, 6+ diamonds, solid or K-Q-J-10
4 Hsuper Gerber
4 S15-17, 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
?
Pass
Pass
2 H
3 NT
Pass
Pass

256Passmost common
4 C, 4 D18+, heart raise, values in bid
4 H13-17, 3 small hearts
4 S18-19, 5+ strong spades, NF


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

257Passmost common
4 C18+, 6+ clubs
4 D18+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3)
4 H13-17, 3 small hearts
4 Ssuper 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
?
Pass2 CPass

2612 D •any minimum, AF
2 H, 2 S15+, 4+ cards, 5+ diamonds
2 NT15+ (good 14)
3 C15+, 3+ clubs (not 3 small)
3 D15+, 6+ diamonds
3 H, 3 S15+, splinter, club raise
3 NT18-19, NF
4 C •15+, 5-5 minors


Rebids by responder

1 D
2 D
Pass
Pass
2 C
?
Pass

2622 H, 2 S, 3 D13+, natural, GF
2 NT, 3 C11-12, natural, NF
3 H, 3 S17+, self-splinter*, agrees clubs
3 NT13-17, NF
4 C17+, 6+ clubs, solid or K-Q-J-10
4 D •17+, 5-5 minors

*based on "last shown suit" principle (2 D was icial)


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
?
Pass2 CPassanalogous for 1 D P 2 D

2712 D, 2 H, 2 S15+, natural or stopper, F
2 NT12-14, often 3 clubs, NF
3 C12-14, 4+ clubs, NF
3 D, 3 H, 3 S17+, splinter, GF
3 NT18-19, NF
4 C17+, 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
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Passanalogous for similar auctions

2722 S, 3 Cstrength, F
2 NTnatural, F
3 Dminimum, NF
3 Hnatural (good 3), F
3 S, 4 C13+, splinter, GF
3 NT12-14, NF


Weak jump raise

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

1 D
?
Pass3 DPassanalogous for 1 C P 3 C

273Passmost common
3 H, 3 S, 4 C4+ cards or strength, F
3 NT18-19, 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 CPass?

2812 D, 2 H, 2 S2-5 HCP, 6 cards or good 5
3 D, 3 H, 3 S2-7 HCP, 7 cards or good 6
4 D, 4 H, 4 S2-7 HCP, 8 cards or good 7
5 D, 5 H, 5 Sschizoid 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
?
Pass2 HPass

282Passwell advised
2 S, 3 C, 3 Dnatural, extreme shape, no fit, NF
2 NT* •AF, game try
3 Hblocking, NF
3 S, 4 C, 4 Dnatural, extreme shape, no fit, I
3 NT (rare)natural, no fit, based on own hand
4 Hgood fit, may be blocking

*same structure as after weak two-bids


1 S
?
Pass3 DPass

283Passwell advised
3 H, 3 S, 4 Cnatural, extreme shape, no fit, NF
3 NT*natural, D K-x or better, NF
4 Ddiamond fit, I
4 H, 4 Snatural, 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
?
Pass2 NTPass

2913 C, 3 H, 3 S4+ cards, usually 5+ diamonds
3 D6+ diamonds
3 NT12-14, NF
4 C, 4 H15+, self-splinter, agrees diamonds
4 D15+, agrees diamonds
4 Ssuper Gerber


1 S
?
Pass2 NTPass

2923 C, 3 D, 3 H4+ cards
3 S6+ spades
3 NT12-14, NF
4 C, 4 D, 4 H15+, self-splinter, agrees spades*
4 S15-16, 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
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Pass

2933 S, 4 Dstrength in suit, club fit
3 NT15-17, NF
4 Cworking cards, club fit
4 H15-17, 4 hearts, 4-3-3-3
4 Ssuper Gerber


1 H
3 D
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Pass

2943 H3+ hearts
3 S, 4 Cstrength in suit, diamond fit
3 NT15-17, NF
4 Dworking cards, diamond fit
4 H15-17, working cards, 3+ hearts, NF
4 Ssuper Gerber


1 S
3 NT
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Pass

295Pass15-17
4 C, 4 D, 4 H18+, strength in suit, spade fit
4 S15-17, 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
?
Pass2 HPass

3012 SAF, asking
2 NTbalanced, I
3 C, 3 D, 3 S* •4+ cards, ST
3 Hblocking
3 NTchoice of games
4 C, 4 Dsplinter, ST
4 Hsign-off

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


1 S
?
Pass2 SPass

3022 NTAF, asking
3 C, 3 D, 3 H4+ cards, ST
Otheranalogous 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
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

3032 NT •spade values
3 C, 3 Dvalues in suit bid
3 Hminimum
3 S •maximum, flat (4-3-3-3), suggests 3 NT
4 Hmaximum


1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

3043 C, 3 D, 3 Hvalues in suit bid
3 Sminimum
3 NTmaximum, flat (4-3-3-3), NF
4 Smaximum


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

1 H
2 S
?
Pass
Pass
2 H
3 C
Pass
Pass

3053 Drelay, asks if min or max
3 Hturned off by club values
3 NTchoice of games
4 Hsign-off


1 S
2 NT
?
Pass
Pass
2 S
3 H
Pass
Pass

3063 S*asks to pass with min
Otheranalogous 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
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Pass

3112 H6-10, 5+ hearts, F
2 S11+, nondescript, GF
2 NT6-10, not 5 hearts, F
3 C, 3 D, 3 H11+, natural, GF
3 S11+, splinter, diamond raise
3 NT11-12, NF


1 D
2 H
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

3122 S6-10, 5+ spades, F
2 NT6-10, not 5 spades, F
3 C11+, nondescript, GF
3 D, 3 H, 3 S11+, natural, GF
3 NT11-12, NF
4 C11+, splinter, heart raise


1 C
2 H
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

3132 S, 3 D9-10, strength in suit bid, GF
2 NT6-10, nondescript, F
3 C, 3 H9-10, natural, GF
3 NT9-10, NF


1 H
2 S
Pass
Pass
1 NT
?
Pass

3142 NT6-10, nondescript, F
3 C, 3 D6+, 5+ cards, F
3 H11+, 3 hearts, GF
3 S11+, Q-x-x or better, GF
3 NT11-12, NF
4 C, 4 D11+, values in bid, 3 hearts
4 H11-12, 3 hearts


After Interference

1 D
2 H
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
2 Canalogous for any overcall, either opponent

3152 NTnatural (stopper), F
3 Dweak, NF
Cuenondescript, GF
Otheranalogous 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
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 H
Pass
Pass

3162 Sace or shortness, GF
2 NT17-18, NF
3 C17-18, 5+ clubs, NF
3 D5 diamonds, 6+ clubs, GF
3 H17-18, at least Q-x, NF
3 Ssplinter, heart raise, ST
3 NT, 4 Hnatural, NF
4 C7+ clubs, F


1 D
2 H
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 NT
Pass
Pass

3173 Cace or shortness, GF
3 D17-18, 5+ diamonds, NF
3 H5 hearts, 6+ diamonds, GF
3 Sat least Q-x-x, GF*
3 NTnatural, NF
4 Cself-splinter, agrees diamonds, ST
4 Dagrees diamonds, F

*forcing because responder denied 5 spades


1 H
2 S
?
Pass
Pass
1 NT
2 NT
Pass
Pass

3183 C, 3 D3-4 cards, GF
3 H17-18, 6 hearts*, NF
3 S5 spades, 6+ hearts, GF
3 NT, 4 Hnatural, NF
4 C, 4 Dself-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
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
3 C
Pass
Pass

3213 Dace or shortness
Othernatural


1 D
2 D
3 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 C
2 H
?
Pass
Pass

3223 Sace or shortness
Othernatural

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.

Pass
1 S
?
Pass
Pass
1 D
2 D
Pass
Pass

3312 H9-12, 4+ hearts, NF
2 S6-10, NF
2 NT10-12, I
3 C9-12, 5+ clubs, NF
3 D, 3 S11-12, 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.

Pass
?
Pass1 HPassanalogous for 1 S opening

3412 C11+, 3 hearts
2 D11+, 4 hearts
2 H7-10, 3+ hearts
3 H11-12, 5 hearts
4 Hweak, extreme shape


Rebids by opener

Pass
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
Passsame for 2 D Drury less 2 D rebid

3422 Dgame interest
2 Hno game interest
Othergame try structure


Pass
2 C
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

3432 Dgame interest
2 H4+ hearts, game interest
2 Sno game interest
Othergame try structure


Pass
2 D
Pass
Pass
1 S
?
Pass

3442 Hgame interest
2 Sno game interest
Othergame try structure


Follow-up bidding

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

Pass
2 C
?
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 D
Pass
Pass

3452 Hminimal values, discouraging
Othergame try structure (dummy role)*


Pass
2 D
?
Pass
Pass
1 S
2 H
Pass
Pass

3462 Sminimal values, discouraging
Othergame 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.

Pass
2 C
Pass
Dbl
1 H
?
Pass

347Pass3+ clubs
Rdbl4+ strong clubs
Otherunchanged


Pass
2 C
Pass
2 H
1 S
?
Pass

348Passno game interest
Dblpenalty
2 Sno game interest, competitive
2 NTgame try structure


Pass
2 C
Pass
2 S
1 H
?
Pass

349Passno game interest
Dblpenalty
2 NTnatural, I
3 C, 3 Dseminatural game try, F
3 Hcompetitive


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 CDbl?

371Pass0-9, or 10-14*
Rdbl10+ HCP, implies no fit, creates force
Suit bidsunchanged
1 NTunchanged
2 NT9-11, natural, based on fit, I
3 NT12-15, natural, based on fit, NF

*if intention is to make a cooperative double next


1 DDbl?

3722 C6-10, 6+ clubs (good 5), NF
Othersame as above

Note that inverted minor raises are unchanged by a double.


1 HDbl?

373Pass0-9, or 10-14
Rdbl10+ HCP, implies no fit, creates force
1 S, 2 Hunchanged
1 NT6-10, balanced, NF
2 C, 2 D6-10, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
2 NT10-12, 4+ fit (rare 3)
3 C, 3 Dunchanged
3 H6-9, 4+ fit
Higherunchanged


1 SDbl?

3742 C, 2 D, 2 H6-10, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
2 S, 3 C D Hunchanged
3 S6-9, 4+ fit
Othersame 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?

381Dbl6+, at least 4-4 majors
1 NT7-10, stopper
Cue13+, balanced, stopper, GF
2 NT11-12, stopper, I
Jump cue13+, splinter raise
3 NT9-12, natural, based on fit
Otherunchanged


1 C1 H?analogous for 1 D opening

382Dbl6+, 4 spades
1 S6+, 5+ spades, F
2 D10+, 5+ diamonds, F
Othersame as above


1 C1 S?analogous for 1 D opening

383Dbl7+, 4+ hearts
2 D, 2 H10+, 5+ cards, F
Othersame as above


1 D2 C?

384Dbl7+, at least 1 major
2 H, 2 S10+, 5+ cards, F
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
Othersame as above

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


After a major opening

1 H1 S?

385Dbl7+, at least 4-4 minors
1 NT7-10, stopper
2 C, 2 D10+, 5+ cards, F
Cue13+, balanced, stopper, GF
2 NT11-12, stopper, I
Jump cue13+, splinter raise
3 NT •13+, 3+ hearts, no spade control
4 C, 4 D •weak, natural
Otherunchanged


1 H2 C?analogous for 2 D overcall

386Dbl7+, 4+ spades
2 D, 2 S10+, 5+ cards, F
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
3 S, 4 D •weak, natural
Othersame as above


1 H2 D?analogous for 1 S opening

387Dbl7+, 4+ spades
2 S, 3 C10+, 5+ cards, F
3 S, 4 C •weak, natural
Othersame as above


1 S2 H?

388Dbl8+, at least 4-4 minors
3 C, 3 D10+, 5+ cards, F
4 C, 4 D •weak, natural
Othersame 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 SDblPassanalogous for many sequences

3891 NT, 2 C D H13-15, natural, NF
2 S19+, nondescript, GF
2 NT*, 3 C D H16-18, I
3 NT19+, 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
Pass
Dbl
?
Passanalogous for many sequences

3902 D, 2 H7-9, 5+ cards, NF
2 S13+, nondescript, GF
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
3 C10-12, Q-x or better, I
3 D, 3 H10-12, 6+ cards, I
3 S13+, splinter raise
3 NT13+, 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 HPassanalogous for many sequences

3912 S16+, nondescript, GF
2 NT, 3 D, 3 Hminimum, NF
3 Cany strength, 4+ clubs, F
3 S16+, splinter raise
3 NT15-19, NF
4 C, 4 D16+, extreme shape, F
4 H15-17, 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
Pass
2 D
?
Passanalogous for many sequences

3922 Sminimum, Q-x or better, NF
2 NT, 3 Dminimum, NF
3 C13+, nondescript, GF
3 Hminimum, Q-x-x or better, NF
3 S13+, 3+ spades, GF
3 NT13+, NF
4 C13+, splinter, heart raise
4 D13+, extreme shape, F
4 H, 4 S13-15, 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?

401Dbl7+, at least 1 major
2 H, 2 S10+, 5+ cards, F
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
3 C8-11, 4+ clubs, NF
Cue13+, balanced, stopper, GF
3 NT9-12, based on fit, NF
Jump cue13+, splinter raise
Otherunchanged


1 C2 H?analogous for 1 D opening

402Dbl7+, 4+ spades
2 S, 3 D10+, 5+ cards, F
Othersame as above


1 C2 S?analogous for 1 D opening

403Dbl8+, 4+ hearts
3 D, 3 H10+, 5+ cards, F
Othersame as above


1 H2 S?

404Dbl8+, at least 4-4 minors
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
3 C, 3 D10+, 5+ cards, F
3 H7-10, 3+ hearts, NF
Cue13+, balanced, stopper, GF
3 NT •13+, 3+ hearts, no spade control
4 C, 4 D •weak, natural
4 H11-12, 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?

405Dbl8+, at least 1 major
3 D8-11, 4+ diamonds, NF
3 H, 3 S10+, 5+ cards, F
3 NT10-15, stopper
Cue13+, fit, enemy control
4 D, 4 H, 4 Sweak, natural, NF


1 C3 D?

4064 C10-12, 4+ clubs, NF
Othersame as above


1 C3 H?analogous for 1 D opening

407Dbl8+, 4+ spades
3 S, 4 D10+, 5+ cards, F
Othersame as above


1 C3 S?analogous for 1 D opening

408Dbl9+, 4+ hearts
4 D10+, 5+ cards, F
4 H10-15, 5+ cards, NF
Othersame as above


1 H3 S?

409Dbl9+, at least 4-4 minors
4 C, 4 D10+, 5+ cards, F
4 H9-15, 3+ cards, NF
Othersame as above


Subsequent bidding is mostly common sense.


Four-level jump overcalls

1 D4 C?

410Dbl10+, at least 1 major
4 D10-12, 4+ diamonds, NF
4 H, 4 S10-16, 5+ cards, NF
5 C16+, diamond fit, club control
5 D13-16, 5+ diamonds, NF


1 C4 D?

411Dbl10+, at least 1 major
4 H, 4 S, 5 C10-16, natural, NF


1 C4 H?analogous for 1 D opening

412Dbl10+, 4+ spades
4 S, 5 C, 5 D10-16, natural, NF


1 C4 S?analogous for 1 D or 1 H opening

413Dblpenalty
5 C, 5 D, 5 H10-16, 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

421Dbl10+ HCP, creates force
2 D7-10, 6+ diamonds (rare 5), NF
2 H •11+, club raise
2 S •11+, 5+ diamonds
2 NT9-11, based on fit, I
3 C7-10, 4+ clubs, NF
3 D, 4 Cweak, natural, NF
3 H, 3 S13+, splinter raise
3 NT12-14, based on fit, NF


1 D2 D1?
1. both majors

4222 H •11+, diamond raise
2 S •11+, 5+ clubs
3 C7-10, 6+ clubs, NF
3 D7-10, 4+ diamonds, NF
Othersame as above


1 H2 H1?
1. spades + minor

423Dbl10+ HCP, creates force
2 S •11+, heart raise
2 NT9-11, based on fit, I
3 C, 3 D7-10, 6+ cards, NF
3 H7-10, 3+ hearts
3 S13+, splinter raise
3 NT12-14, based on fit, NF
4 C, 4 D, 4 Hweak, natural, NF


1 S2 S1?
1. hearts + minor

4243 H11+, spade raise
3 S7-10, 3+ spades
4 H13+, splinter raise
4 C, 4 D, 4 Sweak, natural, NF
Othersame as above


1 H2 NT1?
1. both minors

425Dbl10+ HCP, creates force
3 C •11+, heart raise
3 D •11+, 5+ spades
3 H7-10, 3+ hearts, NF
3 S7-10, 6+ spades (rare 5), NF
3 NT10-14, based on fit, NF
4 C, 4 D13+, splinter raise
4 H, 4 Sweak, natural, NF


1 S2 NT1?
1. both minors

4263 C •11+, spade raise
3 D •11+, 5+ hearts
3 H7-10, 6+ hearts (rare 5), NF
3 S7-10, 3+ spades, NF
Othersame as above

Note that the cheaper cue is always a raise of opener, and the higher cue (if both enemy 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?

431Dbl10+ HCP, creates force
2 C •6+, both majors
2 D, 2 H, 2 S6-9, 6+ cards (good 5), NF
2 NT10+, any 2-suiter, AF
Higherunchanged


1 D1 NT?

4322 C6-9, 6+ clubs (good 5)
2 D •6+, both majors
Othersame 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

433Dbl10+ HCP, creates force
2 C, 2 D, 2 S6-9, 6+ cards (good 5)
2 H, 3 H, 4 Hunchanged
3 C, 3 Dunchanged
2 NT10+, any 2-suiter, AF
3 S, 4 C, 4 D •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:

4411All four players have acted (bid or doubled)
2We have not bid notrump
3We have not raised a suit
4No enemy action was in balancing seat


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

1 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
Dbl
2 Cpenalty (only one opponent acted)


1 D
1 NT
Pass
2 S
1 H
Dbl
1 Spenalty (we bid notrump)


1 H
Dbl
2 C2 H3 Cpenalty (we raised a suit)


1 C
2 C
Dbl
Dbl
Pass
1 S
Pass
Pass
2 H
penalty (opponent balanced)


The minimum strength for a competitive double is about 3 points more than previously shown. There is no upper limit, so the double is also a convenient tool 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
?
Dbl2 S3 H

442Dblgame try
3 Scompetitive


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:

4511After eschewing a redouble or force-double
2After partner redoubled or made a force-double
3Balancing seat in front of the opponent who bid
4Of a suit in which 4 cards were denied
5After a competitive double at previous turn


1 H
Pass
Dbl
2 D
Pass
Dbl
1 NTcooperative

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


1 S
Dbl
DblRdbl2 Hcooperative


1 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 S
Dbl
2 Ccooperative


1 C
Pass
Pass
2 H
1 NT
Dbl
Dblcooperative


1 C
Dbl
Dbl
Pass
Pass
1 H
2 C
1 S
2 S
cooperative


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
?
Pass1 S2 Danalogous for similar auctions

461Dblpenalty
2 H, 2 Sunchanged
2 NT16-17, stopper, I
3 C16-18, 4+ cards, NF
3 D19+, nondescript, GF
3 H, 3 Sunchanged
3 NT18-19, stopper, NF
4 C19+, at least 5-5, F
4 D19+, splinter raise
4 H, 4 Sunchanged


1 C
?
Pass1 H2 Sanalogous for similar auctions

462Dblpenalty
2 NT*18-19, stopper, I
3 C14-18, 6+ clubs, NF
3 D16-18, 4 diamonds, NF
3 H14-16
3 S19+, nondescript, GF
3 NTunchanged
4 C, 4 Dnatural, extreme shape, I
4 H17+

*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 SPassPassanalogous for similar auctions

463Passminimum, 3+ spades
Dbltakeout, usually 1 or 2 spades
1 NT18-19, stopper, NF
2 C, 2 Dnatural, NF
2 H17+, natural, NF
2 S19+, 6+ strong diamonds, F
2 NT16-19, stopper, 6+ diamonds, I
3 C, 3 D, 3 H19+, 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
?
PassPassDblanalogous for similar auctions

464Pass13-18
Rdbl18+, nondescript
1 NT18-19
1 S, 2 C, 2 D16+, at least 6-4 or 5-5
2 H16+, 6+ strong hearts
2 NT18-19, 6+ strong hearts
2 S, 3 C D H19+, natural, shapely


1 H
?
PassPass1 Sanalogous for similar auctions

465Dbl16+, takeout
2 S19+, spade void, 3-suiter, F
Othersame 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
Pass
1 S
?
Passanalogous for many auctions

4712 D11+, 4+ diamonds (rare 3), F
2 H13+, nondescript, GF
2 S6-10, 6+ spades, NF
2 NT10-12, stopper, I
3 C10-12, Q-x or better, I
3 D13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 H15+, splinter raise, GF
3 S11-12, 6+ spades, I
3 NT13-16, stopper, NF
4 C10-12, great fit, I


1 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
1 Sanalogous for many auctions

472Dbl9+, competitive
1 NT7-10, stopper, NF
2 C11+, 4+ clubs (rare 3)
2 D7-10, 3+ diamonds, NF
2 H7-10, 6+ hearts
2 S13+, nondescript, GF
2 NT11-12, stopper, I
3 C13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 D11-12, 4+ diamonds, I
3 H11-12, 6+ hearts, I
3 S16+, self-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
3 NT13-16, stopper, NF
4 D11-12, great fit, I
4 H13-16, 6+ strong hearts, NF


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

1 C
1 NT
Pass
Pass
1 H
?
1 Sanalogous for similar auctions

4732 C, 2 Hnatural, sign-off attempt
2 D11+, AF, checkback
2 S13+, nondescript, GF
2 NT, 3 C, 3 Hnatural, I
3 D13+, at least 5-5, GF
3 S16+, self-splinter, agrees hearts, GF
3 NT, 4 Hsign-off
4 C11-12, extreme shape, I


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 CPass?

4912 D0-4 HCP (no ace) or 8+ HCP or A+K
2 H5-7 HCP or an ace (no A+K)
2 S •any 5 card suit, 2 of top 3
2 NT •any 5 card suit, A-K-Q
3 suit6 cards, 2 of top 3
3 NT •any 6 card suit, A-K-Q
4 suit7 cards, 2 of top 3
4 NT •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
?
Pass2 DPass

4922 H* •5+ hearts or 25+ HCP balanced
2 S, 3 C, 3 D5+ cards, F
2 NT23-24, balanced, NF (system on)
3 NT •6+ card minor, game in hand, NF

*forces 2 S (Kokish relay)


2 C
2 H
?
Pass
Pass
2 D
2 S
Pass
Pass

4932 NT25+, balanced, GF (system on)
3 C, 3 D, 3 S4+ cards, 5+ hearts, F
3 H, 4 H6+ hearts, NF
3 NT5-6 hearts, balanced or semi, NF


2 C
2 S
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

4942 NTwaiting
3 C, 3 D, 3 H5+ cards
3 S3+ spades
4 C, 4 D, 4 Hsplinter raise
4 S2-4 HCP, 4+ spades, no side-suit control


2 C
2 S
?
Pass
Pass
2 D
2 NT
Pass
Pass

4953 C, 3 D, 3 H4+ cards
3 S, 4 S6+ spades, NF
3 NT5-6 spades, balanced or semi, NF


2 C
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

4963 Dwaiting
3 H, 3 S5+ cards
3 NT •5+ diamonds, NF
4 C3+ clubs
4 D, 4 H, 4 Ssplinter raise


2 C
3 D
Pass
Pass
2 D
?
Pass

4973 H •waiting
3 S5+ spades
3 NT •5+ hearts, NF
4 C6+ clubs
4 D3+ diamonds
4 H, 4 Ssplinter raise


After two-heart response

2 C
?
Pass2 HPass

4982 S, 3 C D H5+ cards, GF
2 NT23+ HCP balanced, GF (system on)
3 NT6+ card minor, game in hand, NF


2 C
2 S
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

4992 NTwaiting
3 C, 3 D, 3 H5+ cards
3 S3+ spades
4 C, 4 D, 4 Hsplinter raise


2 C
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

5003 Dwaiting
3 H, 3 S5+ cards
3 NT •5+ diamonds, NF
4 C3+ clubs
4 D, 4 H, 4 Ssplinter raise


2 C
3 D
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

5013 H •waiting
3 S5+ spades
3 NT •5+ hearts, NF
4 C6+ clubs
4 D3+ diamonds
4 H, 4 S, 5 Csplinter raise (must have 1 ace)


2 C
3 H
Pass
Pass
2 H
?
Pass

5023 S •waiting
3 NT •5+ spades, NF
4 C, 4 D6+ cards
4 H3+ hearts, NF
4 S, 5 C, 5 Dsplinter 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
?
Pass2 SPass

5032 NT23+ HCP balanced, GF (system on)
3 suit5+ cards
3 NT6+ 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
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

5043 H, 3 Smy suit
3 NTno fit, my suit is clubs, NF
4 C3+ diamonds, clubs are A-K or A-Q
4 D3+ diamonds, clubs are K-Q


2 C
3 H
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

5053 Smy suit
3 NTno fit, my suit is a minor, NF
4 C, 4 D3+ hearts, suit is A-K or A-Q
4 H3+ hearts, minor suit is K-Q, NF


2 C
3 S
Pass
Pass
2 S
?
Pass

5063 NTno fit, NF
4 C, 4 D, 4 H3+ spades, suit is A-K or A-Q
4 S3+ spades, suit is K-Q, NF


2 C
?
Pass3 CPassanalogous for any suit response of 3 or 4

507Other suit5+ cards, F below game
3 NTmisfit, NF
RaiseF below game


2 C
?
Pass2 NTPassanalogous for 3 NT or 4 NT response

508Any suit*fit or 5+ cards, F
Notrump*natural, F

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


After interference

2 CDbl?

509Pass3+ clubs
Rdbl4+ clubs (Q-10-x-x or better)
Otherunchanged


2 C2 S?analogous for other overcalls

510Dblpenalty (Q-10-x-x or better)
2 NT5+, stopper
3 C, 3 D, 3 H5+ HCP, 5+ cards
3 S5+ HCP, 3-suiter, short spades


2 C
?
2 SPassPassanalogous for other overcalls

511Dblpenalty
2 NT23-24, balanced, NF
3 C, 3 D, 3 H5+ cards, F
3 S3-suiter, short spades
3 NT*25-28, balanced, NF
4 NT*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.

512Below gameF, partner should bid any control
GameNF, no slam opposite expected range

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 DPass?analogous for 2 H or 2 S opening

5212 H, 2 S12-17, 6+ cards (rare 5), NF
2 NT15+, AF
3 C12-17, 6+ cards, NF
3 D, 4 D, 5 Dblocking, NF
3 H, 3 Sself-sufficient suit, I
3 NTnatural, NF
4 C •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 Csign-off


2 D
?
Pass2 NTPass

5223 Conly 5 diamonds, AF
3 Dminimum
3 H, 3 Sstopper in bid, max
3 NTno major stopper, max
4 C, 4 Dnatural, extreme shape


2 H
?
Pass2 NTPass

5233 Conly 5 hearts, AF
3 Daverage or max, AF
3 Hworst hand
3 S4 spades
3 NTA-K-J-x-x-x or better
4 C, 4 Dnatural, at least 6-4
4 Hself-sufficient suit


2 S
?
Pass2 NTPass

5243 H4 hearts
3 Sworst hand
Otheranalogous to above


Rebids by responder

2 H
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Passanalogous for 2 S opening

5253 DAF, asks if min/max*
3 H, 3 NTsign-off
3 S, 4 D5+ cards, F
4 C •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 msign-off

*opener returns to his suit if minimum


2 H
3 D
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Passanalogous for 2 S opening

5263 Hnatural, I*
3 S, 4 D5+ cards, F
3 NTgame sign-off, opener may bid 4 H
4 C •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 msign-off

*opener passes with average, accepts with max


2 D
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
Passsame for 3 D rebid less 3 D option

5273 Dsign-off
3 H, 3 S5+ cards, F
3 NTsign-off
4 C •trump ask
4 Dgood fit, I
4 H, 4 S, 5 msign-off


Competitive agreements

2 DDbl?analogous for 2 H or 2 S opening

528Pass*0+ (unlimited)
Rdblstrong, creates force
New suitnatural, may be weak, NF
Otherunchanged

*if followed by double below 3 NT it is cooperative


2 H2 S?analogous for similar sequences

529Dblpenalty
Cuecontrol, ST
Otherunchanged


2 H
?
Pass2 NT3 Danalogous for similar sequences

530Passminimum
Dblreasonable defense
Bidnatural, 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 CPass?

5413 D, 3 H, 3 S5+ cards, F
3 NT*natural, NF
4 Cblocking
4 D •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 Csign-off

*opener may pull with no ace or king


3 DPass?

5424 C •trump ask
Otheranalogous to above


3 HPass?

5433 S, 4 D5+ cards, F
3 NTsign-off
4 C •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 msign-off
5 Hblocking


3 SPass?

5444 H6+ hearts, NF
Otheranalogous to above


4 CPass?

5454 D •trump ask
4 H, 4 S, 5 msign-off


4 DPass?same for 5 C or 5 D opening

546Any suit bidnatural, NF


4 HPass?

5474 Snatural, NF
5 C, 5 D •control ask
5 Hslam I, trump concern


4 SPass?

5485 C, 5 D, 5 H •control ask
5 Sslam I, trump concern


Competitive agreements

3 CDbl?analogous for all 3-bids and 4 C

549Pass*0+ (unlimited)
Rdblstrong, creates force
3 D, 3 H, 3 Snatural, NF
Otherunchanged

*if followed by double below 3 NT it is cooperative


4 DDbl?analogous for 4 H or 4 S

550Rdblstrong, creates force
Otherunchanged


3 C3 H?analogous for all preempts and overcalls

551Dblpenalty
Cuecontrol, ST, creates force
Raisecompetitive or blocking
Othernatural, 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 NTPass?

5614 C •exactly 1 ace, F
4 D •no aces (assumed) or 2 aces, F
4 H, 4 S7+ cards (strong 6), at most 1 ace, NF
4 NT •3 aces, F to slam


3 NT
?
Pass4 CPass

5624 D •strength ask (slam possible)
4 H, 4 Ssign-off
4 NT •asks which ace (responder bids it)
5 C, 5 Dsign-off


3 NT
4 D
Pass
Pass
4 C
?
Pass

5634 H •nothing extra
4 S •something extra
4 NT •much extra with S A
5 C, 5 D, 5 H •much extra with that ace

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


3 NT
?
Pass4 DPass

5644 H, 4 Sreal suit, NF
4 NT •strength ask* (slam possible if aceless)
5 C, 5 Dreal 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
?
Pass4 HPassanalogous for 4 S response

5654 NTBlackwood (bid major key)
Suitreal suit, NF


Competitive agreements

3 NTDbl?

566Pass*no ace, no likely tricks
Rdbl1 ace + defensive strength
Otherunchanged

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


3 NT4 H?analogous for any overcall

567Pass*nondescript
Dbltrump stack, penalty
Cheapest suit1 ace
Other suitnatural, NF
Cheapest NT2 aces, F
5 NT jump3 aces, F

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


Defense to One of Suit

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

1 C?

571Dbl13+, takeout
1 D, 1 H, 1 S10-18, 5+ cards
1 NT*15-18, balanced, stopper
Cueboth majors
Jump cuestrong 1-suiter
DJ cueboth majors, extreme shape
Other suit jumpweak
2 NTtwo lowest unbid
3 NT15-20, based on long suit
4 NTtwo lowest unbid, extreme shape

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


1 D?

5722 C13-18, 5+ cards
Othersame as above


1 H?

5732 C, 2 D13-18, 5+ cards
Cuespades + minor
DJ cuespades + minor, extreme shape
Othersame as above


1 S?

5742 C, 2 D, 2 H13-18, 5+ cards
Otheranalogous 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 CDblPass?

5811 D, 1 H, 1 S0-9, 4+ cards (rare 3)
1 NT6-10, stopper
Cue10+, F until raise or game
2 D10-12, 5+ cards, I
2 H, 2 S10-12, 4+ cards, I
2 NT11-12, stopper, I
Jump cue •13+, splinter, 3-suiter, GF
3 D, 3 H, 3 S6-9, 6+ cards, NF
3 NT13-16, stopper
DJ cue •10+, 5-5 majors
4 D6-9, 7+ cards
4 H, 4 S13-16, 5+ cards
5 D13-16, 7+ cards


1 DDblPass?

5822 C0-9, 5+ cards (rare 4)
3 C10-12, 5+ cards, I
4 C6-9, 7+ cards
Otheranalogous to above


1 HDblPass?

5832 C, 2 D0-9, 4+ cards
3 C, 3 D10-12, 5+ cards, I
4 C, 4 D6-9, 7+ cards
4 H •10+, 5-5 minors
Otheranalogous to above


1 SDblPass?

5842 H0-9, 4+ cards
3 H10-12, 4+ cards, I
4 S •10+, 5-5 minors
Otheranalogous to above


Rebids by doubler

1 C
Pass
Dbl
?
Pass1 Hanalogous for any forced response at 1 level

5851 S, 2 D19+, 5+ cards, NF
1 NT18-20, stopper
Cue21+, no rebid promised
2 H16-18, 4+ cards
2 S, 3 Dself-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
2 NT21-22, stopper
Jump cue •19+, splinter raise, game try
3 H19-21, 4+ hearts, I
3 S, 4 Dself-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
3 NTself-make


1 S
Pass
Dbl
?
Pass2 Canalogous for any forced response at 2 level

5862 D, 2 H19+, 5+ cards, NF
Cue21+, no rebid promised
2 NT18-20, stopper
3 C18-20, 4+ clubs
3 D, 3 H, 4 Dself-make, 6+ strong cards, NF
Jump cue •19+, splinter raise, game try


1 D
Pass
Dbl
?
Pass1 NTanalogous for any 1 NT response

5872 C, 2 H, 2 S5 cards, minimum double (to play)
Cueshortness, I+, no rebid promised
3 C, 3 H, 3 S5+ cards, GF


After a redouble

1 CDblRdbl?analogous for any suit opening

588Passno preference or 10+
Unbid suitweak (any level)
Otherunchanged

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.

589Dblresponsive*
Suit bid6-9
Suit jump10+, I below game

*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. This includes the double of an artificial major raise at the 3 level.


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 HPass?analogous for any 1-level overcall

6011 S, 2 D8-12, 5+ cards, NF
1 NT*8-11, stopper, NF
Cue11+ if fit, 13+ if not
2 H7-10, 3+ cards
2 S, 3 D12-14, 6+ cards, I
2 NT12-14, stopper, I
Jump cue11+, 4+ hearts
3 Hweak (4-7), 4+ cards
3 S, 4 D12-14, 7+ cards, I
3 NT15-18, stopper
DJ cuesplinter, 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 DPass?analogous for any 2-level overcall

6022 NT9-11, stopper, I
Jump new suitnatural, F below game
3 D7-10, 3+ cards
3 NT12-15, stopper
4 Dweak (4-7), 4+ cards
Otheranalogous 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; otherwise it is natural showing a 2-suiter.


1 C
Pass
1 S
?
Pass2 Canalogous for cue-bid response to any overcall

603Same suitminimum, nondescript, NF
Below sameambiguous, natural, F
Above sameaccept, natural, F (below game)


After a negative double

1 C1 HDbl?analogous for any 1-level overcall

604Rdbl11+, implies no fit, creates force
Cue11+, shows fit
2 NT8-10, 4+ card fit
Otherunchanged


1 S2 DDbl?analogous for any 2-level overcall

6052 NTunchanged
Otheranalogous to above


After a bid

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

606Dblresponsive*
Cue11+, shows fit, stopper if choice of cues
Otherunchanged

*implies doubleton support if only 1 unbid suit

After a major raise, responsive doubles are extended thru 3 S. This includes the double of an artificial major raise at the 3 level.


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 HPass?analogous for any 2-level jump overcall

611Cueasks for stopper
Otherweak two-bid structure

Also use weak two-bid structure if RHO acts.


1 H3 DPass?analogous for any 3-level jump overcall or 4 C

612Cue below 3 NTasks for stopper
Otherpreemptive opening structure

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


1 S4 HPass?analogous for any 4 H or 4 S overcall

6134 S cuecontrol ask
Otherpreemptive 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 CPass?

6212 D6+ cards, NF
2 H, 2 Spreference
2 NTgame or ST, F
Cueasks for stopper
3 D6+ cards, I
3 H, 3 Sweak, 4+ cards
3 NTnatural, NF
4 H, 4 Sweak or to make


1 D2 DPass?

6223 C6+ cards, NF
4 C6+ cards, I
Otheranalogous to above


1 H2 HPass?

6232 Spreference
3 Cpass or correct to 3 D
3 D6+ cards, NF
4 C, 4 D6+ cards, I
Otheranalogous to above

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


1 S2 SPass?

6243 Hpreference
Otheranalogous to above


1 D2 NTPass?analogous for any suit opening

6253 C, 3 Hpreference
Cueasks for stopper
3 S6+ cards, NF
3 NTnatural, NF
4 C, 4 H, 5 Cweak or to make


Rebids by two-suited overcaller

1 C
Pass
2 C
?
Pass2 NTanalogous for 1 D 2 D

6263 Clonger hearts
3 Dlonger spades
3 Hworst, 5-5
3 Snot worst, 5-5, F


1 H
Pass
2 H
?
Pass2 NTanalogous for 1 S 2 S

6273 C, 3 Dworst, natural, NF
3 Hnot worst, clubs
3 Snot worst, diamonds, F


1 H
Pass
2 NT
?
Pass3 Hanalogous for any suit opening

6283 NTstopper (in cue)
Cheapest realworst
Othernot worst


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

1 D
Pass
2 D
?
Pass2 Hanalogous for similar auctions

629Shown suitweak range, extra shape, I
2 NT, 3 NT16+ HCP, stopper
Cue16+ HCP, splinter
Other suit16+ HCP, 3 cards


1 H
Pass
2 H
?
3 HPassanalogous for similar auctions

630Dbl16+ HCP, optional
Otheranalogous to above


After a double

1 H2 HDbl?analogous for any two-suited overcall

631Passno clear preference
Rdblstrong, creates force
3 C •6+ cards, NF
Otherunchanged


After a bid

1 D2 D3 D?analogous for cases with both our suits known

632Dblpenalty*
Shown suitcompetitive, NF
Other suit6+ cards, NF
Cueasks for stopper (below 3 NT)
Cue past 3 NTcontrol, ST
Jump shownI if below game

*lead directing if cue of our suit


1 H2 H3 H?analogous for cases with only one major known

633Shown majorcompetitive, NF
Cheapest minorcompetitive, pass or correct
Otheranalogous 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 CPass?

6413 D •no ace, no stopper
3 H, 3 S6+ cards, F
3 NTstopper
4 C •1 ace, no stopper
4 D •2 aces*
4 H, 4 S7+ cards, NF
4 NT •king stopper + 1 ace, NF


1 D3 DPass?

6424 C •no ace, no stopper
4 D •1 ace, no stopper
5 C •2 aces*
Otheranalogous to above


1 H3 HPass?analogous for 1 S 3 S

643Cue •2 aces*
Otheranalogous to above

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


After interference

1 H3 HDbl?analogous for any opening

644Passno stopper, no values
Rdblace in that suit
Other*unchanged

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


1 D3 D3 S?analogous for any 3-level bid

645Passweak
Dblpenalty (trump stack)
3 NTstopper in opener's suit
4 C •1 ace, no stopper
4 D •2 aces
Otherunchanged


1 H3 H4 H?analogous for any 4-level bid

6465 C •1 ace, no stopper
5 D •2 aces
Otheranalogous to above


Balancing Actions

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

1 DPassPass?analogous for all suit openings

651Dbl11+, takeout
1 suit8-15, 5+ cards (rare 4)
1 NT11-15 (system on)
Nonjump 2 suit10-15, 5+ cards
Cuetwo-suited overcall
Jump suit6+ strong cards, 1 trick less than bid
2 NT19-21 (system on)
Jump cuethree-level cue overcall
3 NT16-21, 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
Pass
Pass
?
Pass2 Sanalogous for all jump suit bids

6522 NT, raisenatural, I
Unbid suitnatural, F
Cueasks 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 CPass1 H?analogous for any suit response of 1

6612 H13-18, 5+ good hearts
2 NTsame as 2 C but more shape
3 Hsame as 3 C but related to hearts

Respond to any of above with related structures.


1 SPass2 D?analogous for any forcing response of 2

6622 H, 3 C11+, 5+ good cards
Otheranalogous to above


1 HPass2 H?analogous for any raise thru 3 S

663Nonjump suit11+, 5+ good cards
Jump 3 suit6+ cards, 8 tricks, I
Jump 4 C, 4 Dnatural + lower unbid major
Cue 4 levelhighest + other


Artificial responses

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

1 CPass1 H1?
1. spades

664Dbltakeout of clubs and spades
1 S, 2 Hnatural
2 C, 2 NThearts + diamonds
2 Sweak (rare)
3 C, 3 S3-level cue overcall
3 D, 3 Hweak


Subsequent bidding

After a takeout double with two enemy suits shown:

1 C
Pass
Pass
?
1 SDblanalogous for 1 D opening

665Any club bidnatural
Otherunchanged


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.

6711major suit game tries
2competitive doubles
3cooperative doubles


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:

672Raised suittakeout thru 4 D
Suit directtakeout thru 2 D
Suit balancingtakeout thru 2 S
1 NT directtakeout
1 NT balancingtakeout if both majors unbid

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).


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?

691Dbl16+ HCP, optional
2 C •hearts + any other
2 Dspades + any other
2 H, 2 S6+ cards
2 NT •both majors or both minors
3 C, 3 D6+ cards
Higher suit6+ 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 NTDblPass?

692Pass5+ HCP or no 5+ card suit
Suit bidweak, 5+ cards
2 NTany 2-suiter, F until raise or game
Jump suit5-7 HCP, 6+ cards, I


1 NT2 CPass?

693Pass6+ clubs, misfit expected
2 Dnot 3 hearts
2 H3+ hearts
2 S6+ spades
2 NTonly force, game try
3 C, 3 D, 3 S6+ cards, I
3 H5-7 HCP, 4+ hearts, I


1 NT2 DPass?

6942 Hnot 3 spades or 3=4=3=3
2 S3+ spades
3 C6+ clubs
3 D, 3 H6+ cards, I
Otheranalogous to above


1 NT2 Hanyanalogous for 2 S overcall

695Any callweak two-bid structure


1 NT2 NTPass?

6963 C, 3 Ddiscouraging, assuming minors
3 H, 3 Sdiscouraging, assuming majors
3 NT •AF, asks definition and range*
4 C, 4 Dnatural, I, assuming minors
4 H, 4 Sto 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
Pass
2 C
?
Pass2 D

697Passdiamonds
2 H5 hearts, 2nd suit black
2 S •3-4 spades, only 4 hearts, 4+ minor*
2 NT •both minors (3 suits)
3 C5+ clubs
3 D5+ diamonds, I
3 H, 4 C, 4 D6+ cards, I

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


1 NT
Pass
2 D
?
Pass2 H

698Passhearts
2 S5 spades, either minor
2 NTboth minors (3 suits)
3 C, 3 D5+ cards
3 H •4 hearts, 5+ spades, I
3 S, 4 C, 4 D6+ cards, I


1 NT
Pass
2 C
?
Pass2 NT

6993 C, 3 Dminimum, natural
3 H •minimum, 4 spades
3 S •extras, 3-4 spades
3 NT •extras, clubs or diamonds
4 C, 4 Dextras, natural, extreme shape


1 NT
Pass
2 D
?
Pass2 NT

7003 C, 3 D, 3 Hminimum, natural
3 S •extras, 4 hearts
3 NT •extras, clubs or diamonds
4 C, 4 Dextras, natural, extreme shape


Rebids by Astro responder

1 NT
Pass
2 C
2 H
Pass
Pass
2 D
?

7012 S •3+ spades, seeking other suit
2 NT •both minors, please choose
3 C, 3 D6+ cards, NF


1 NT
Pass
2 D
2 S
Pass
Pass
2 H
?

7023 H6+ cards, NF
Othersame 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 NTPassPass?

703Dbl14+ HCP, optional
All bids7-15 HCP


After interference

1 NT2 CDbl?

704Passclub preference
Rdbl •5+ diamonds (allows rescue to 2 D)
2 Ddiamond preference
Otherunchanged


1 NT2 DDbl?

705Passdiamond preference
Rdbl •5+ hearts (allows rescue to 2 H)
2 Hheart preference
Otherunchanged


1 NT
Pass
2 D
?
DblPass

706Rdbl •4315 shape (allows rescue to 2 H)
Otherlogical


1 NT2 C2 S?analogous for other bids

707Dblpenalty
2 NTunchanged
Known suitcompetitive
Cheapest suitpass or correct
Other suit6+ cards, NF
Cueasks for stopper (below 3 NT)
Cue past 3 NTcontrol, ST (known fit)
Jump suit6+ cards, I below game


1 NT2 NTDbl?

708Passweak (normal)
Rdblat least 1 ace
3 suit •1-suited rescue (misfit expected)
Otherunchanged


1 NT2 NT3 D?analogous for other bids

709Dblpenalty (assumes opposite genre)
3 suitcompetitive, NF, fit exists somewhere
Otherunchanged


Other applications

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

71012 NT or 3 NT opening
21 NT, 2 NT or 3 NT response to artificial opening
31 NT, 2 NT or 3 NT rebid after two artificial bids

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

711Dblstrength-showing
3 Cmajors, weak or strong
3 Dmajors, 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

721Dbl13+, takeout
Unbid suit13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
2 NT16-18 (system on)
Cue3-level cue overcall
3 NT15-20, usually long suit (natural resp.)
Jump cue •spades + other
4 other minor •natural + hearts, NF
Jump suitnatural, 1 trick shy of bid
4 NTtwo lowest unbid


2 H?analogous for 2 S opening

7224 C, 4 D •natural + unbid major, NF
Jump cueunbid major + minor
Othersame as above


3 C?analogous for 3 D opening

723Dbl14+, takeout
Unbid suit13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
3 NT15-20, varied (natural resp.)
Cue •spades + other
4 D over 3 C •diamonds + hearts
4 NTtwo lowest unbid
Jump suitnatural, 1 trick shy of bid


3 H?analogous for 3 S opening

724Cueother major + minor
Othersame as above


4 C?analogous for 4 D opening

725Dbl15+, takeout
Cuespades + other, slam I
Othersame as above


4 H?analogous for 4 S, 5 C, 5 D

726Dbl15+, optional*
Unbid suit13-20, 6+ cards
4 NT over 4 Hminors
4 NT over 4 S •any 2-suiter; rarely 3-suiter with void
Cuehighest unbid + another, slam I+

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


Responding agreements

2 HDblPass?analogous for all natural 2-bids

7272 S0-8
2 NTLebensohl; relay to 3 C
3 C, 3 D9-11, I
3 H12+, usually no stopper, GF
3 S9-11, 5+ spades, I
3 NT10-15, confident stopper
Jump cue12+, splinter, 3-suiter


2 H
Pass
Dbl
3 C
Pass
Pass
2 NT
?
analogous for all Lebensohl cases

728Pass, 3 D0-8, respective minor
3 H4 spades, heart stopper, GF
3 S9-11, 4 spades, I
3 NT10-15, tentative, not 4 spades
4 C, 4 Dshapely, I


2 D2 HPass?analogous for all overcalls thru 3 S

729Unbid suit8+, 5+ cards, F below game
2 NT8-10, natural
Cue10+, general force (below 3 NT)
Raise8-10 below game; 8-15 if game
Cue past 3 NT13+, fit + control
Jump suitself-playable, slam I
Jump raise11-15 if game
Jump cue13+, splinter raise


Competitive agreements

If we act and opener's partner bids:

2 HDbl3 H?analogous for all takeout doubles

730Dblpenalty
Unbid suit6-9 below game; 6-15 if game
Otherunchanged


2 D2 S3 D?analogous for all overcalls

731Dblpenalty
Otherunchanged

Note that responsive doubles do not apply after weak openings.


If we pass and opener's partner bids:

3 CPass3 S?analogous for similar auctions

732Anyas over opening bid

If response is a different suit (non-raise) it is presumed legitimate, so a bid in either suit is a cue-bid. To expose a psych, you have to pass.


In balancing seat

If the enemy opening is followed by two passes:

2 HPassPass?analogous for higher suit openings

733Anysame but range is 2 points less

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

Responding structure 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

741Pass*unlimited
Dblclubs
1 suitnatural
1 NT •majors or minors
2 C •hearts + any other
2 D •spades + any other
2 NT •majors or minors
2M, 3+ suitnatural

*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

751Passunlimited
Dbl11+, takeout of real suit
Othersame as if real suit were bid


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

752Pass then dbl15+, optional
Dbl then dbl15+, takeout


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 NTPass2 H1?analogous for other responses
1. spades

753Passunlimited
Dbllead-directing
Cue 2 leveltwo-suited overcall
Nonjump suit11+, 5+ good cards
Cue 3 levelthree-level cue overcall
Jump 3 suit6+ cards, 8 tricks, I
Jump 4 C, 4 Dnatural + lower unshown major
Cue 4 levelhighest unshown + other


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

754Pass then dbltakeout thru 4 D
Dbl then dbltakeout thru 4 D with emphasis on first suit doubled


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:

761Flannery 2 D5+ hearts, 4 spades
Roman 2 C, 2 D3 unknown suits
Precision 2 D, 2 H3 known suits
Meckwell 2 H3 suits of which 2 are known
Meckwell 2 Sweak preempt in any suit
Multi 2 Dunknown 6 card major (usually)

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


2 D1?analogous for all such 2-bids
1. junk

762Dbl15+ HCP, nondescript
Cue 2 leveltwo-suited overcall
Cue 3 levelthree-level cue overcall
Cue 4 levelhighest + other
Suit13-18, 6+ (good 5) cards
2 NT15-18, usually 5+ minor (system on)
Jump suit6+ strong cards, 1 trick shy of bid
3 NT15-20, 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 D1Pass2 NT?analogous for all such 2-bids
1. junk

763Anysame as above


2 D1Pass2 H2?analogous for any NF suit response
1. junk
2. nonforcing

764Dbltakeout thru 4 D
Othersame 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:

77112 C response to weak 1 NT* is strength-showing
2Artificial response (thru 3 D) to a natural suit opening is takeout of the suit opened
3Splinter bid as our first action shows length and suggests sacrifice

*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:

7721Leader's suit if both of us have shown suits
2Dummy's shown suit unless leader has strong safe lead
3Leader's shown suit
4Doubler's shown suit
5Leader's weaker major


Double of suit slam

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

7731Side suit shown by the opponents
2Leader's longest suit not bid by our side


Runout Defense

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

7811Double of any notrump bid where Astro applies
2Double of 2 C response to weak 1 NT opening
3Double of junkyard two-bid or 2 NT response to same
4Double of unusual 2 NT opening


1 NTDbl2 C1?analogous for any runout
1. clubs + other

782Passweak or 3+ cards in runout
Doubletakeout of runout, usually doubleton
Suit5+ cards, NF
Jump suit6+ cards, I
Cueshortness 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
Pass
Dbl
?
2 H1Passanalogous for any runout
1. both majors

783Pass3+ cards in runout*
Othersame as above

*inferring weakness from partner's pass


1 NT
2 D
Dbl
?
PassPassanalogous for any runout

784Pass3+ cards in runout
Othersame as above


1 NT
2 D
Dbl
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
?
analogous for any runout

785Passweak
Othersame 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.


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:

8011Raise, including artificial fit-showing bids
2Preference, even if not ensuring an 8+ fit
3Splinter bid, including self-splinters*
4Advance control-bid

*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:

802Notrumpnatural (except 4 NT if Blackwood)
Shown suitnatural
Enemy suitace or shortness
Unshown suitcontrol-showing*

*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:

803Notrump*natural, discouraging
Agreed suitnatural, discouraging
Other suitcontrol-bid (even if shown by our side)

*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:

804Unshown of 3ace or king, 4+ cards (rare 3)
Unshown of 2ace or king* or shortness
Only unshownace or shortness
Enemy shownace or shortness
Splinter suitace or void
Partner's shownace or king
Your shownace

*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:

8051Ace or void if prior bid could be shortness
2Ace or king if prior bid showed ace or king
3King or shortness if prior bid showed ace


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:

8114 D0 or 4 aces
4 H1 ace
4 S2 aces
4 NT3 aces


Continuations by Gerber bidder:

8125 Casks for kings*, confirms all 4 aces
Othersign-off

*Answer as above but 1 level higher.


Over interference

If Gerber 4 C is doubled:

813Pass*no club control
Otheras usual with club control

*Asker may redouble to re-ask for aces.


DOPI if an opponent bids below 5 NT:

814Dbl0 or 4 aces
Pass1 ace
Cheapest bid2 aces
Next bid3 aces


DEPO if an opponent bids 5 NT or beyond:

815Dbl0, 2 or 4 aces
Pass1 or 3 aces


Four Notrump Meanings

Four notrump can have one of three meanings: takeout, natural or Blackwood.


Takeout 4NT

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

8211You have not previously acted
2Partner has bid at 1 level and/or doubled at any level
3Last bid is 4 H or 4 S by an opponent
4At least two unbid suits exist not counting spades


1 D4 S4 NTtakeout

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


1 H1 S4 H4 NTtakeout

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


Natural 4NT

Four notrump is natural if we have made a natural notrump bid and no major suit is agreed.

For clarification, the following are not considered natural:

8221Forcing 1 NT response to a major opening
2Responder's 2 NT rebid after opener's reverse bid
3Responder's 2 NT waiting after a 2 C opening


1 S
3 H
Pass
Pass
2 NT
4 NT
Passnatural

Despite both majors bid, neither is agreed.


1 NT
2 S
4 D
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 H
3 D
4 NT
Pass
Pass
natural


Blackwood

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


Key suit determination

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

8311Agreed suit, higher if two
2Last shown suit, higher if simultaneous
3Highest implied suit


1 H2 NTPass4 NTdiamonds key (higher of simultaneous)


1 SDbl3 S4 NThearts key (highest implied)


Key-card responses

Standard Roman key-card steps:

8325 C0 or 3 key cards
5 D1 or 4 key cards
5 H2 or 5 key cards
5 S*2 or 5 key cards, QOEL

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


Blackwood bidder may then sign off in any agreed suit, 6 or 7 of any shown suit, or 6 NT.

Continuations by Blackwood bidder:

833Cheapest suit*QOEL ask
Other suitrelay to play 5 NT (rare)
5 NTking ask, confirms 5 key cards + QOEL

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


Responses to QOEL ask:

834Key suitdenies QOEL
5 NTQOEL, no king
Other suitQOEL, that king


Responses to 5 NT specific king ask:

835Key suitno king
Other suitthat king
6 NTtwo kings, doubts about seven
7 anynatural, source of tricks, NF


Continuations after QOEL or 5 NT ask:

836Unshown suitgrand ST, nonspecific
Othersign-off


Showing a void

A void may be shown (optional) over Blackwood:

8375 NT2 key cards + void
6 of suit*1 or 3 key cards + void

*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:

8381Jump bid that is a splinter by system agreement
2Repeat splinter by player who previously splintered

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:

839Rdbl0 or 3 key cards, desire to play 4 NT
Pass1 or 4 key cards, desire to play 4 NT
Otherunchanged


DOPI if an opponent bids below 6 of key suit:

840Dbl0 or 3 key cards
Pass1 or 4 key cards
Cheapest bid2 or 5 key cards
Next bid*2 or 5 key cards, QOEL

*Eliminate if cheapest bid is key suit.


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

841Dbl0, 2 or 4 key cards
Pass1, 3 or 5 key cards


Super Gerber

Super Gerber is a way to ask for key cards when 4 NT is natural, using 4 of a major as a Blackwood substitute.

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

85114 NT would be natural
2We have shown at least one minor suit
3No opponent has bid (double is not a bid)


1 D
4 S
Pass3 NTPasssuper Gerber

Note the rule prevails over possible natural interpretation.


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

8521Value jump after 1 NT forcing response
2Opener's rebid after inverted minor raise
3Opener's major rebid after minor-suit Stayman
4Fit-implying rebid by notrump bidder unless the only unbid major


1 D
2 S
3 NT
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 D
3 H
4 H
Pass
Pass
super Gerber

A heart suit was never shown.


Key suit determination

Super Gerber always has a key minor suit:

8531Agreed minor, diamonds if both
2Last shown minor


Key-card responses

Standard Roman key-card steps:

854Step 10 or 3 key cards
Step 21 or 4 key cards
Step 32 or 5 key cards
Step 4*2 or 5 key cards, QOEL

*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:

855Asking majorking ask, confirms 5 KC + QOEL
Unshown suit*QOEL ask
5 NTchoice of slam, F

*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:

856Key suitdenies QOEL
5 NTQOEL, no king or option not to show*
Other suitQOEL, that king

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


Responses to specific king ask:

857Key suitno king
5 NTking in asking major
Other suitthat king
6 NTtwo kings, doubts about seven
7 anynatural, source of tricks, NF


Continuations after QOEL or specific king ask:

858Unshown suit*grand ST, nonspecific
Othersign-off

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


Over interference

If super Gerber is doubled:

859Pass*no control in major doubled
Otheras usual with control in major doubled

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


DOPI if an opponent bids below 6 of key suit:

860Dbl0 or 3 key cards
Pass1 or 4 key cards
Cheapest bid2 or 5 key cards
Next bid*2 or 5 key cards, QOEL

*Eliminate if cheapest bid is key suit.


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

861Dbl0, 2 or 4 key cards
Pass1, 3 or 5 key cards


Trump Asking Bid

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

8711Response to weak two-bid
2Rebid by 2 NT responder to weak two-bid
3Response 3 of suit or 4 C opening or jump overcall

Exception: If either opponent has bid or doubled, trump ask must be a jump (else natural).


2 HPass4 Ctrump ask


2 D
3 H
Pass
Pass
2 NT
4 C
Passtrump ask


3 SPass4 Ctrump ask


1 H4 CPass4 Dtrump ask


Responses and follow-ups

Responses are by steps, skipping over the trump suit:

872Trump suitworst
Step 1ace or king
Step 2A-Q or K-Q
Step 3A-K
Step 4A-K-Q


Continuations by asker:

8734 NTBlackwood (regular key-card)
Othersign-off


Over interference

3 H
?
Pass4 CDblanalogous for double of any trump ask

874Passace or king, terrible hand
Rdblace or king, splinter in suit doubled
Otherunchanged


3 H
?
Pass4 C4 Sanalogous for any bid over any trump ask

875Dblworst
Passace or king
Cheapest bidA-Q or K-Q
Next bidA-K
NextA-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:

8811If we have not made a weak bid, or
2If we are at 4 H or 4 S with no enemy action, or
3On the second round of bidding or later


1 S4 H5 Sslam I


4 HPass5 Hslam I

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
Pass
Pass
2 H
5 C
Passslam I


Continuations

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

8821Unshown suit control if we have shown 3 suits
2Enemy suit control if not already shown
3Good trumps relative to the bidding


If the bid asks for control:

883Passno control
5 NTguarded king
Trump suitcontrol, usually singleton
Other suitcontrol-bid, ace or void in asked suit


If the bid asks for good trumps:

884Passpoor trumps
Step 1ace or king
Step 2A-Q or K-Q
Step 3A-K
Step 4A-K-Q
Trump suitaccept, no interest in 7

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:

8911If partner has not acted, or
2If a nonjump on the first round of bidding


3 H3 S5 H5 NTtakeout for minors


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
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 D
2 S
5 NT
Pass
Pass
7 NT invitation

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:

8921If a major suit (and no other suit) is agreed, or
2If our only shown suit is a major by partner*

*excluding the first-round nonjump takeout case


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

893Step 1ace or king
Step 2A-Q or K-Q
Trump suitworst
Step 3A-K
Step 4A-K-Q


Pick a Slam

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

8941Between two previously shown suits, or
2Between one previously shown suit and 6 NT


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:

9011Opening bid of 4 H or 4 S
2Double or triple-jump overcall of 4 H or 4 S


4 HPass5 Ccontrol ask


1 D4 SPass5 Dcontrol ask


Responses and follow-ups

Responses are by steps, skipping over the trump suit:

902Trump suitno control
Step 1king or singleton
Step 2ace or void


Continuations by asker:

9035 NTtrump ask
Othersign-off


Over interference

4 H
?
Pass5 DDblanalogous for double of any control ask

904Passking or singleton, terrible hand
Rdblking or singleton, excellent trumps
Otherunchanged


4 S
?
Pass5 C5 Hanalogous for any bid over any control ask

905Dblno control
Passking or singleton
Bidace or void

Another implementation of DOPI.


Defensive Carding

Notrump Opening Leads

Honor leads:

921A 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


Spot leads:

922A 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)

*Lead low if partner showed 5+ cards (including suspect third/fourth major openings) and you have not raised.


Suit Opening Leads

Honor leads:

931A 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

*except in partner's suit always lead king from A-K


Spot leads:

932Doubletonhigh
Odd lengthlowest
Even lengthsecond* or third, e.g.
J 9 8 4, J 9 7 4, 10 8 7 3, 10 8 6 3, etc.

*Essentially like giving count, except second-best is not wasted unless touching third or deemed to be safe (as in partner's suit). Advantages vs. third best are to clarify immediately between three and four cards, and to allow suit preference in the next play.


Leads After Trick One

Second honor lead in the same suit:

941Short holdingtop card*
4+ cardsbottom of sequence

*warns partner not to overtake or unblock


Second lead in the same suit, spot card:

942Odd residuelowest
Even residuehighest affordable

Exception: At notrump lead original fourth best if there could be any ambiguity.


Honor leads in another suit:

943Acedenies king
Kingunchanged
Queenunchanged
JackJ 10 (denies higher)
TenA J 10, K J 10, A 10 9, K 10 9, Q 10 9
Nine10 9 (except doubleton)

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:

944Fourth bestencourages return of suit
High or seconddiscourages return of suit

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:

951Ace (discard)solid suit
Kingsolid except ace
QueenA Q J, Q J (usually 10 too)
JackA J 10, K J 10, J 10*
TenA Q 10, A 10 9, K 10 9, Q 10 9, 10 9*

*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:

9613, 5 or 7 cardslowest
4 or 8 cardssecond highest (if affordable)
2 or 6 cardshighest affordable

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:

962Aceunblock K, Q or J, else count
Kingattitude
Queenunblock jack, hop ace, else attitude
Jackunblock 10, hop ace or king, else count

Regardless of the lead at notrump, if dummy wins a blank ace, king or queen, signal attitude.


Other leads with special requests:

963Ace not A-K*attitude

*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:

964Odd residuelowest
Even residuehighest affordable

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:

9716 4 26 shows high SP, 4 shows low
10 6 4 34 shows high SP, 3 shows low
Q 9 7 5 29 shows high SP, 5 shows low
9 8 7 6 3 28 shows high SP, 2 shows low

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:

9721Opening lead is partner's shown 5+ card suit*
2Ace or king opening lead is dummy's singleton at a suit contract
3Ace lead at suit contract with K-x, K-Q-x (or longer) in dummy and third hand marked with 3+ cards
4Opening lead is an obvious singleton and third hand has a choice of plays
5Leading or following to suit partner is expected to ruff
6Removing declarer's last stopper at notrump
7Choice of insignificant cards in a suit declarer is out of (or will be on current trick)

*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 next hand (declarer or dummy) covers.


In the above seven cases a middle card shows no preference but may have other implications:

973Case 1Continue my suit
Case 2-3Continue suit led or shift to trumps
Case 4-5My entry may be in trumps
Case 6-7No preference or nondisclosure


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.

9812 or 4 trumpsup-the-line
3 or 5 trumpshigh-low (if affordable)

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.

© 2017 Richard Pavlicek