2over1

LARRY LANDE 2/1 NOTES (Rev. 2/04/03)

GENERAL APPROACH:

  • 1NT: 15-17 HCP may include a five-card suit (major or minor).
  • Normally open the higher ranking of equal length suits five cards or longer.
  • Major Suit Openings show five-card suits (or better).
  • Minor Suit Openings:
  • o Bid longest suit of unequal length minors.
  • o Holding 3-3 or 4-4 in the minors, open 1C.
  • Strong artificial 2C opening.
  • Weak 2 opening bids in diamonds, hearts and spades.
  • Two over one response is Game Forcing.

STANDARD CONVENTIONS:

  • Forcing NT by un-passed hand
  • Inverted Minor Suit Raises
  • Reverse Drury (2-way and simple Drury also possible)
  • Negative and Responsive Doubles thru 3S
  • Support Doubles and Redoubles thru 2S
  • Splinter Bids
  • Non-Forcing Stayman
  • Four-suit Jacoby and Texas Transfer Bids
  • Minor Suit Stayman after 2NT opening or 2C opening and 2NT re-bid
  • Jacoby 2NT response to major suit openings by un-passed hand
  • Smolen
  • Gambling 3NT
  • Roman Keycard Blackwood – 0314 or 1430
  • Gerber
  • Unusual No-trump
  • Michaels
  • Jordan for both majors and minors
  • Fourth Suit Forcing (game force)
  • 2-way Checkback and New Minor Forcing
  • Weak Jump Shifts over intervening double in competition
  • Namyats
  • Kokish after 2c opening and 2d response
  • DOPI, ROPI (ignore doubles)

HAND EVALUATION:

  • High Card Points (HCP) are based on Goren point count ace = 4, king = 3, queen = 2, jack = 1.
  • Distributional points are added for every suit containing more than four cards, each card beyond four being worth 1 point, provided that the suit is of reasonable quality (JT8xx or better).
  • First and Second seat borderline openers follow the Rule of 20. Add total HCP to the number of cards in your two longest suits. If the total comes to 20 or more, open the bidding. However, when minimum, all the HCP must be in the two suits.
  • Third seat may open light if you can tolerate and are willing to pass any responding bid by partner. If you feel your hand would have been worthy of an overcall had RHO opened, then it is usually worthy of a light opening bid in third seat.
  • Fourth seat borderline openers are based on the Rule of 15. Take your HCP and add the number of spades in your hand. If the total is 15 or more, open the bidding. With 14 you may open the bidding.
  • Never re-bid 1NT after opening a minor with less than 12HCP. As opener tend not to overbid, as responder tend to push.

NO-TRUMP

NO-TRUMP BIDDING:

No-trump opening bids are made with balanced hands and may include a five-card suit (major or minor). Do not open 1NT with five-card major and 17 HCP.

  • Holding less than 15 HCP, balanced with no five-card major, open one of a minor planning to re-bid 1NT.
  • 1NT = 15-17 HCP
  • Holding 18-19 HCP, balanced with no five-card major, open one of a minor planning to re-bid 2NT.
  • 2NT = 20-21 HCP, balanced.
  • Holding 22-24 HCP, balanced, open 2C and re-bid 2NT.
  • 3NT = 25-27 HCP, balanced.

RESPONDING TO 1NT:

HAND EVALUATION: Responding hands containing long suits should be upgraded, as they contain more trick-taking power than flat holdings. Add one point for the fifth card in any suit longer than four cards, providing that the suit is of reasonable quality, and at least one more for the sixth, seventh, etc.

2C is non-forcing Stayman–the partnership is not committed to game. Stayman normally requires at least invitational values of 8+ HCP. However, Stayman may be used when responder is much weaker, in hopes of securing a better contract. In those instances, responder is willing to pass any response by opener (e.g. responder holds 4-4-4-1 distribution). Stayman is also employed when you have either an invitational hand in NT or at least one, four-card major.

In response to Stayman, opener shows a four-card or longer major suit if he holds one. With four cards in both majors, opener bids hearts first. Thus if the bidding goes 1NT 2C 2H 3NT and opener holds four spades as well as four hearts, he will now convert 3NT to 4S. With no four-card major, opener bids 2D.
Assuming responder has bid Stayman with invitational or better values:

Continuations when opener re-bids 2H:

  • Holding four or more hearts, responder raises to 3H (invitational) or bids game in hearts. If the former, opener will raise to game with suitable values.
  • Holding four spades but less than four hearts, responder bids 2S with invitational values (do not bid 2NT as it denies 4S). After a 3N bid by responder, opener may correct to spades when holding four cards in both majors and will raise to game in either denomination with suitable values.
  • Holding five spades and four hearts, responder may temporally deny 4H and re-bid 2S with invitational values. Responder can re-bid 3S with game forcing values and slam interest.
  • A minor suit re-bid shows at least four cards in the bid minor and slam interest [e.g. 1NT 2C 2H 3C/3D].

Continuations when opener re-bids 2S:

  • Holding four or more spades, responder raises to 3S (invitational) or bids game in spades. If the former, opener will raise to game with suitable values.
  • Holding four spades and five hearts, responder may re-bid 3H with game forcing values.
  • A minor suit re-bid shows at least five cards in the bid minor and slam interest [e.g. 1NT 2C 2S 3C/3D].

Continuations after a 2D re-bid:

  • Holding 5-4 (or 5-5) in the majors, responder bids the five-card suit at the two level with minimum values and the four-card major (Smolen) at the three-level with game forcing values. Opener corrects to no-trump if appropriate and will raise an invitation to game when holding suitable values.
  • When not holding 5-4 in the major suits, responder will bid 2NT with invitational values or 3NT with game forcing values.
  • A minor suit re-bid shows at least five cards (or 4 very good ones with a singleton someplace) in the bid minor and slam interest–e.g. 1NT 2C 2D 3C/3D.

2D and 2H are Jacoby Transfer Bids. 2D transfers partner to 2H. 2H transfers partner to 2S. Transfer bids are made on all hands containing a five-card, or longer, major suit except as noted above (see Stayman) for 5-4 major suit holdings. When opener holds four-card support and 17 HCP he is permitted to accept the transfer by jumping to the three level. When responder holds a long major suit, it is appropriate to transfer with no strength, planning to pass when partner accepts the transfer.

Continuations:

  • Except as noted below, a new suit by responder is natural and game forcing.
  • Holding a five-card suit and invitational values, re-bid 2NT. Opener will pass, correct to three of the major, bid 3NT or bid 4 of the major suit.
  • Holding a five-card suit and game forcing values, re-bid 3NT. Opener will pass or correct to 4 of the major.
  • Holding a six-card or longer suit, raise to the three level when invitational and the four level when holding game values.

2S is a transfer to 3C. Responder holds long clubs. If opener likes clubs/hand opener will re-bid 3C, then responder passes when holding the weak hand. When stronger, responder cue bids a control as a mild slam try or bids 3NT with appropriate values. Four Clubs is ALWAYS Gerber and four NT is invitational to six. If opener dislikes clubs for NT purposes, the re-bid will be 2NT.

2NT is transfer to 3C/3D. Responder holds both minors (5-5 or better) and a weak hand or long diamonds with a weak hand. A response of 3D is the strongest bid that opener can make – similar to opener's 3c bid when responder bids 2s over 1NT.

3C is strong – at least 5 cards in clubs and diamonds. 3D is strong – at least 5 cards in hearts and spades.

3H is strong – singleton H, 3S and 9 cards in the minors.

3S is strong – with singleton S, 4H and 9 cards in the minors.

4C is Gerber. Gerber occurs over a NT opening bid or any re-bid of 1, 2 or 3NT by opener.

4D is Texas Transfer Bid to 4H. You generally use this bid when you have a six-card (or longer) suit and have No Slam Interest.

4H is Texas Transfer Bid to 4S. You generally use this bid when you have a six-card (or longer) suit and have No Slam Interest.

4NT is a quantitative raise inviting partner to 6NT when partner opened a maximum. 4NT is also quantitative over a 2NT opening bid and over any re-bid of 1NT, 2NT or 3NT by opener.

 

INTERFERENCE OVER NT OPENER:

If RHO bids over partner's 1NT call, all systems are off, though a reasonable approach (by partnership agreement) would be:

  • If RHO doubles partner's 1NT call, all systems are "on"--2C is Stayman, 2D and 2H are transfers, etc. Stayman and all other systems remain "on".
  • If RHO bids 2D, 3D is Stayman, Double is a transfer to hearts and all other systems remain "on".
  • If RHO bids 2H, a cue bid of the overcalled suit is Stayman (no stopper in H); suit bids are natural; 2NT is Lebensol (Slow auction shows stopper) and forces partner to re-bid 3c – now 3d is signoff, cue is Stayman with a H stopper; and 3N shows game values without other major and stopper in H. Texas Transfers are on.
  • If RHO bids 2S, a cue bid of the overcalled suit is Stayman (no stopper in S); suit bids are natural; 2NT is Lebensol (Slow auction shows stopper) and forces partner to re-bid 3c – now 3d is signoff, cue is Stayman with a S stopper; and 3N shows game values without other major and stopper in S. Texas Transfers are on.
  • If RHO bids 2N (traditionally shows a freak hand, but watch out for other uses), X shows cards and suit bids are natural. Texas Transfers are on.
  • If RHO bids higher than 2N, doubles are negative at the 3 level and suit bids are natural. Texas Transfers are off.

If Stayman is Doubled, opener may:

  • Make a normal re-bid when you have club stopper
  • Pass shows no club stopper (redouble by partner is re-ask)
  • Redouble with five clubs (or four good ones)

If Stayman is Overcalled, opener may:

  • Bid a four-card major at the two level
  • Double for penalty (with four or more cards in the opponent's suit)
  • Pass
  • In any event, responder may:
  • a. Double (for penalty)
  • b. Pass
  • c. Make a normal re-bid.

If a Transfer is Doubled, opener may:

  • Pass. In this event, responder may:
  •    a. Pass, to play
  •    b.Redouble, to force the opener to accept the transfer
  •    c. Make a normal bid
  •    d. Signoff by bidding his major at the two-level
  • Redouble (showing a strong holding in the doubled suit)
  • Complete the transfer (showing three+ trumps)
  • Accept the transfer at the three-level (showing four trump and a maximum)

If a Transfer is Overcalled, opener may:

  • Bid three of the major (with good support.)
  • Double (for penalty)
  • Pass. In this event, responder may:
  • a. Re-transfer
  • b. Make a normal bid
  • c. Double (to show strength)
  • d. Pass

RESPONDING TO 2NT:

3C is Stayman

3D and 3H are transfers and so are 4D and 4H

3S shows slam interest in at least one minor. With no interest opposite a minimum slam try opener will re-bid 3N. A subsequent re-bid of 4N by responder shows a 5-4-2-2 minor suit slam invitation, while 4H and 4S show singletons and further slam interest with both minors. If responder bids 4C or 4D over 3N, then this shows 6+ cards in the minor and the responses to the bid are RKC.

4C is Gerber

4NT is quantitative and invitational with at least 4 cards in each minor.

OPENING SUIT BIDS

RESPONDING TO ONE OF A SUIT:

Responder tailors his first bid based on the strength of his hand as follows:

  • Minimum Range = 6-9/10 points
  • Invitational Range = 10/11-12 points
  • Game Forcing Range = 13 + points
  • Slam Zone = 19 + points

New suits by un-passed hands are forcing. Exception 1m 1S; 1NT 2H is not forcing.

New suits by passed hands are not forcing (except 2c over 1M). These bids show a good suit and about 10HCP.

RESPONDING TO ONE OF A MAJOR:

Hand Evaluation: With a fit for partner's major suit, responder should revalue his holding. Add "support points" for shortness in side suits that do not also contain possible non-working honors. For example, a side suit void may be awarded as much as 5 support points, especially when accompanied by a fourth trump. A singleton receives 3 support points and a doubleton 1 point. The singleton ace would now be worth a total of 7 points, but the singleton queen is worth either 2 HCP or 3 support points, but not both. When adding for support points, do not also include extra value for side suit length–one or the other, but not both.

With a Minimum Hand (6-9/10 Points):

  • Raise partner's major with three-card support or better.
  • Lacking appropriate support for hearts, bid a four card (or longer) spade at the one level. In some very rare cases, it may be right to bid a 3 card spade suit over 1h.
  • With a 6/7 card spade suit and less than 7 pts, you may bid 2s (weak) over 1h.
  • If you cannot do any of the above, use the Forcing NT bid.
  • A jump raise of opener's suit to the four level shows less than 10 points and five trump. This is preemptive.

With an Invitational Hand (Good 10 to bad 12):

  • Raising partner's major suit remains your primary duty. A jump raise to the three level is a "limit raise", showing four-card support. Note that a 10-point hand may be treated as invitational when you have good intermediate cards–tens and nines. An outside five-card minor suit would also enhance the holding.
  • Lacking sufficient trump support for a limit raise, show a new suit four cards or longer at the one level or with 3-card support and 6-9 pts raise the major.
  • A jump shift response of 3c or 3d is invitational with an outside A or K. After a 1s opening, the 3h is also invitational.
  • If unable to do any of the above, use the 1NT Forcing response.
  • As a passed hand use Reverse Drury with three or four card support for partners major. If partner re-bids his major then you must pass unless you have 12 points and four plus trumps. The best form of Reverse Drury is 2-way: 2c shows 4+ trump and 2d shows 3 trump.

The 1NT Forcing bid (by an un-passed hand):

  • After 1M 1N; the re-bids are as follows: 2C shows 2+ clubs, 2D promises 3 diamonds and implies at least 4. If 1H 1NT; 2H shows 6 hearts and 2S shows 4+ spades and reverse values. If 1S 1NT; 2h shows 4+ hearts and 2S shows 6+ spades. After these re-bids: a raise is invitational and so is a jump to 3H (after 1S 1NT; 2C/2D). After 1H 1NT; 2 any, 2S is an impossible bid (for S) so this bid is used to show a super mini-max bid for partner's last bid suit.

With Game Forcing Values or More:

  • A 2NT response is a game-forcing raise (Jacoby 2NT) showing 4+ trump and 13+ support points. Opener is asked to clarify his distribution and assist responder in evaluating the partnership's prospects for slam.
  • New suits, even at the one level, are forcing when made by an un-passed hand. With less than 19 points and lacking four-card support for partner, temporize by bidding a new suit, four cards or longer. 
  • A 3NT response shows a balanced 15-17 points and two-card trump support.

JACOBY 2NT: When responder jumps to 2NT after an opening bid of 1H or 1S, the trump suit has been established and opener is asked for further information regarding his hand. Opener's re-bids are as follows:

  • A 4-level bid in a new suit shows a side suit of five+ cards.
  • A 3-level bid in a new suit shows a singleton or a void in the bid suit.
  • A re-bid of the agreed suit denies a side singleton or void. If made at the four level, it shows a minimum hand. If made at the three level it shows a 16+ point hand.
  • A re-bid of 3NT denies side shortness and shows 14-15 HCP.
  • Responder May Now:
  • Pass a game re-bid by opener.
  • Attempt to sign off in game.
  • Bid RKC (assume 0314 unless discussed) or
  • Cue bid if still interested in pursuing a slam.

RESPONDING TO ONE OF A MINOR:

HAND EVALUATION: Do not upgrade for "support points." The final contract may be in no-trump, and even if the partnership plays in the minor, you may end up ruffing with the long trump suit.

 

With a Minimum Hand:

  • Bid a new suit, four cards or longer, at the one level. With more than one four card suit, bid "up the line." Note: with a hand suitable for only one bid, bypass a four-card, or longer, diamond suit in order to get a major suit into the auction as quickly as possible–you can get into diamonds by bidding 2c (2-way checkback) at your next turn. This approach requires an ALERT even though it is part of standard 2/1.
  • Raise Partner's minor suit to the three level with appropriate support and no 4-card major.
  • Over 1c, 2d/2h/2s are weak.
  • Over 1d, 2h/2s are weak.
  • If you cannot do either of the above, bid 1NT non-forcing.

 

With an Invitational Hand:

  • Showing a new suit, preferably a major, remains your primary duty.
  • Raising partner's minor from 1 to 2 (the inverted raise–limit+) is fine, but if your partnership has hopes for game, that game will almost invariably be 3NT. After the Inverted Raise opener cue bids the cheapest stopper for NT purposes; 2NT shows both major suits stopped, jumps to 3 of a major show a singleton/void (splinter bid) with game forcing values opposite a limit raise, while a re-bid of 3 of the agreed minor is a warning.
  • A jump to 3c over 1d shows an Invitational hand in clubs with 1 outside card (A or K).
  • A Jump to 2NT shows 11-12 HCP and a balanced hand. The bid denies a four-card major suit. [In Standard versions, this bid shows 13-15 HCP and denies a four-card major suit.] Responding 2NT to a minor opening with a flat 10 HCP is not recommended. If the final contract is in no-trump, you will have no long suit to run. The key is to think not only in terms of HCPs but also in terms of the trick-taking potential of the hand.

With Game Forcing Values or More:

  • Showing a new suit, preferably a major, remains your primary duty. New suits at the one level show four or more cards and 6-18 points.
  • A Jump to 3NT shows 13-15 HCP and a balanced hand. The bid denies a four-card major suit. In Standard versions, this bid shows 16-17 HCP and denies a four-card major suit.

OPENER'S RE-BIDS:

With a Minimum Hand opener may:

Re-bid NT at the cheapest level

Raise responder's suit at the cheapest level. four-card support for a major suit is desirable, but not mandatory.

Show a second suit, four cards or longer, lower ranking than the first.

Re-bid the original suit at the cheapest level possible. This should not be done with less than 6 cards in the suit.

With a Medium Opener (good 16 to 18 points), opener may:

Jump raise partner's suit or jump re-bid his own suit.

Reverse in a new, higher-ranking suit (if the first suit is longer than the second)

Show a new suit without reversing (note the wide range of 13-18 points for this action).

With a Maximum Opener (19-21 points), opener may:

Jump re-bid in NT–usually 18-19 points.

Double-jump raise partner's suit.

Double jump re-bid own suit.

Jump shift into a second suit four cards or longer.

SUBSEQUENT BIDDING BY RESPONDER:

Following opener's re-bid, responder decides if he wishes to:

  • Sign off in a part score.
  • Invite to game.
  • Sign off in a game contract.
  • Force to game and receive more information regarding opener's hand.
  • Investigate and or bid slam, etc.

Bids available for signing off in a part score are:

  • Pass.
  • 1NT.
  • A 2-level bid in a previously mentioned major suit or a re-bid of 2H after responding 1S.
  • 2NT. This bid is a relay to 3C and is the only way to play in opener's minor suit or your long minor (either clubs or diamonds).

Invitational Bids:

  • 2NT after partner has re-bid 1NT.
  • A 3-level bid in a previously mentioned suit.

Forcing Bids:

  • Following a 1NT re-bid by opener a reverse or a jump shift into a new suit is forcing to game.
  • The New Minor Forcing and 2-way Checkback auctions occur after 1x 1y and openers 1-level re-bid. Then 2C is used to force opener to relay to 2D (it's possible to bid 3D if you have unconcealed diamond length and are also willing to play game if 2C was invitational). If partner bids over the relay, then partner shows an invitational hand. When responder re-bids 2D (e.g., 1m 1M: 1NT 2D) then it is game forcing and shows either 5+ cards in the bid major and/or 4 cards in the other major. Therefore, 1m 1S; 1NT 2H shows a hand with no interest in game–opener should pass or correct. Opener should re-bid 2 of responders major with 3 trump and a minimum hand, 2 of responders major with 3 trump and a minimum hand, 2 of the other major (if possible) and re-bid 2NT or his own suit otherwise.
  • A bid of the fourth suit at the two level or higher is game forcing. After 1C 1D; 1H 1S shows 4-cards (indeterminate HCP) and 2S is fourth suit forcing (FSF) and shows less than 4 spades. In response to a fourth suit forcing bid opener may:
  • a. Bid responder's first suit with three cards. Raise with 4-cards (or re-bid NT if the raise would carry the partnership past 3N).
  • b. Re-bid his own second suit at the cheapest level (weak hand). A jump re-bid shows extra values.
  • c. Re-bid his own first suit at the cheapest level (weak hand). A jump re-bid shows a solid suit.
  • d. Bid NT to show a stopper in the fourth suit.
  • e. Raise the fourth suit (with four cards), but 3NT should be the highest priority.

Note: If responder has initiated a 2/1 auction (e.g. 1S 2C), then responder promises a second bid unless opener's re-bid is at game level. This is due to the fact that opener may, of necessity, be concealing a medium hand of 17-18 points. Following opener's re-bid, responder may limit his hand with a minimum re-bid in NT or in a previously mentioned suit.

THE 2C OPENING, RESPONSES AND LATER BIDDING:

2C OPENER

A 2C opening bid shows 22+ points or the playing equivalent. Responses are as follows:

2D is artificial and "waiting." The bid simply indicates a hand not suited to any of the positive responses which follow.

2H, 2S, 3C and 3D are natural and game forcing. These bids promise a suit of five+ cards and, usually, two of the top three honors.

2NT shows a balanced holding of 8+ HCP.

Opener's Re-bids:

A re-bid in a suit at the lowest level available is natural and almost always shows a suit of five or more cards. This bid is forcing to the three level in a major suit or the four level in a minor suit.

  • A jump re-bid in a suit shows a self-supporting holding in that suit and is game forcing.
  • A re-bid of 2NT is not forcing and shows 22-24 HCP. After a 2NT re-bid all systems are "on." 3C is Stayman, 3D and 3H are transfers, etc.
  • A re-bid of 3NT shows 25-27 HCP.
  • A re-bid of 4NT shows 28+ HCP and asks partner to bid 1 more NT for each A, K or Q held.
  • After the 2d response and a 2H, 2S, or 3C/3D/3H/3S re-bid by opener cheapest re-bid in suit or NT shows a negative.

There are several other fairly popular responses to the 2c opening.

  • Controls (A = 2, K = 1) responses to 2c: 2d = 0, 2h = 2, 2s = 3 (3 K), 2n = 3 (A/K), 3c = 4+.
  • HCP responses to 2c: 2d < 4, 2h = 4-6, 2s = 7-10, etc. The HCP ranges vary from partnership to partnership.
  • 2H as double negative over 2c. In this method responder bids 2h with any hand of less than 4HCP that does not contain a K.
  • Kokish. After 2c 2d; 2n = 22-24, but 2h forces 2s and now a 2n re-bid promises 25+ HCP. This method is my favorite because responder and opener can bid more comfortably. Also after 2c 2d; 3n now shows a 9-10 trick playing hand in a minor.

PREEMPTIVE BIDDING:

The Weak 2 (2D/2H or 2S) - Criteria: 5-10/11 HCP and:

  • Typically 6 cards of reasonable quality in the suit bid.
  • No voids - partner is likely to hold values in your void.
  • 2nd hand preemptive bids are the most critical. Your RHO has passed so the balance of the HCP rate to be with partner and LHO.
  • No outside four-card major as you may miss a 4-4 major suit fit. However, if the six-card suit is very good (say AKQxxx) and the 4-card suit is xxxx, then you can ignore the 4-card suit.
  • In 4th seat there is no need to make a preemptive bid as you can just pass the hand out. You can use the preempt in this seat to show a playing trick hand of about 7 tricks.
  • A weak two may also be bid with a seven-card suit of poor quality and occasionally with a five-card suit–normally this action will be taken in third position. Note that at the high end of the range, caution should be used in that some 11 HCP hands, particularly if partner is an un-passed hand, can be too strong for a weak two. Compare these hands:

S: AKJxxx   H: 7     D: JTxxx  C: Qx

S: AKQJxx  H: 87  D: Jxx      C: xx

    The first hand, with a singleton and doubleton is much too good for a weak 2S bid. The second hand, with 9 of the 11 HCP in spades is fine.

Responses to Weak 2 Opener:

  • 2NT is forcing, even when the opponents intervene over the preempt. Opener re-bids his suit with a minimum. With a maximum, opener bids a new suit to show a "feature"– an outside ace, king or a side suit of four or more cards headed by the queen. Lacking a feature he raises to 3NT, allowing partner to place the contract.
  • A raise of opener's suit is to play and is often preemptive.
  • A response of 3NT is to play.
  • A new suit by responder shows at least five cards and is forcing for one round (RONF–Raise Only Non-Forcing). Opener should raise a new major suit with three-card support or, perhaps, a doubleton honor. With no fit for responder's suit, opener re-bids his own suit with a minimum. With a maximum he will name a new suit or bid NT.

Three-Level Preempts:

These bids are normally made on a seven-card holding and a hand that is too weak to open at the one level. New suits by responder below game level are forcing. In fourth seat use the three-level preempt to show a hand of about 8 playing tricks.

 

NAMYATS:

When using this convention a 3NT opening is neither a gambling 3NT nor a 25-27HCP opening. Instead it shows a very long and broken minor suit, missing the A or K. If partner wishes to escape from 3N (generally the case), then 4C asks partner to pass or correct. Occasionally you might have the perfect hand for a 5C or 6C call asking partner to pass or correct.

  • A 4c opening shows a Strong preempt in hearts. If vulnerable, 1-2 tricks short of game in hand. Or if non-vulnerable then 2-3 tricks short of game in hand.
  • A 4d opening shows a Strong preempt in spades.
  • The 4h/4s openings can then be any other Losing Trick Count (LTC) you and partner can agree to. Gee pard, I hope you make it

SLAM BIDDING:

Roman Key Card (RKC):

  • RKC is used to keep out of a bad slam. In RKC auctions there are 5 key cards–the 4 aces plus the king of trump. Additionally you can show the trump Q (or extra length above the length you've already promised). Additionally you can show a void when you know it's working (maybe you splintered earlier) when you have two A's (5NT response to 4NT). 5C shows 0 or 3 keycards, 5D shows 1 or 4 keycards, 5H shows 2 keycards without the trump Q and 5S shows 2 keycards with the trump Q. After a 5C response or 5D response the cheapest suit (5D or 5H) asks for the trump Q, but you cannot use it if the agreed suit is H. Bidding beyond 5S confirms position of the trump Q. A re-bid of 5N by the RKC bidder asks you to bid the cheapest K below your trump suit.

GERBER

  • Gerber is employed for the same purpose in NT auctions–refer to preceding material.

GRAND SLAM FORCE

  • A jump to 5NT in a suit auction is the "Grand Slam Force." Partner bids seven of the trump suit when holding two of the top three honors in the suit. Failing two of the top three, partner bids six of the agreed suit.

CUE BIDS

  • Cue bidding may be employed to investigate slam once a trump suit has been agreed. Cue bidding is often used to avoid RKC when holding a void or worthless doubleton.

INTERFERENCE OVER RKC OR GERBER

  • When the opponents interfere over RKC or Gerber:
  • o DOPI (double with no aces, pass with one ace and with more bid naturally).
  • o If the interference is in the form of a double, ROPI (redouble with no aces, pass with one ace, etc.).

COMPETITIVE BIDDING:

Suit Overcalls show 8-16+ points. At the one level a major suit overcall may be made on a four-card holding of exceptional quality. All other overcalls show five+ cards. Responses are as follows:

  • A simple raise shows three+ trump and 6-11 points.
  • A jump raise shows four+ trump and is preemptive. [In standard versions this bid shows 10-12 points]
  • A jump to game shows five+ trump and is preemptive. [In standard versions only four trumps are required, but in keeping with the Law of Total Tricks we recommend a minimum 10-card fit.]
  • 1NT shows 9-11 points and denies a fit.
  • 2NT shows 11-13 points if it is a non-jump, 13-15 if a jump.
  • 3NT shows 15-16 points.
  • A new suit is non-forcing and usually denies a fit with partner's overcalled suit.
  • A cue bid of opener's suit shows a limit raise or better in overcaller's suit. [In standard versions, this bid is game forcing and does not necessarily show support for the overcalled suit]
  • Overcalls of preempts are natural and show extra values, usually opening count or better.

An Overcall of 1NT shows 15-18 points, a balanced hand and stopper(s) in opener's suit. In response, all systems are "on." [In standard versions, only Stayman is "on."]

An Overcall Bid of 2NT is an "unusual no-trump " showing 5-5 or better in the two lowest-ranking un-bid suits.

  • The bid is made with weak hands, usually less than opening count. The bid can also be made with hands of 17+ points, in which case the bidder plans to take further action. The bid of 2NT over a 2C opener is also "unusual," but not over a weak two bid. Over a weak two it shows a balanced holding of 16-19 points.
  • Responses are:
  • A preference bid.
  • A jump preference (usually preemptive).
  • A cue bid of opener's suit, which is a game or slam try.
  • A new suit - non-forcing.
  • 3NT - to play.
  • 4NT - Blackwood.

A Direct Jump Overcall is preemptive and shows the same shape and values as an opening bid at the same level.

A Direct Cue Bid when the opponents have bid only one suit is " Michaels". If the bid suit is a minor, the cue bid shows 5-5 or better in the major suits. If the bid suit is a major, the cue bid shows 5-5 or better in the other major and an unspecified minor. Values are the same as for a bid of the "Unusual NT" – see above. Cue bids of opening preempts are also Michaels. Responses:

  • A preference bid.
  • A jump preference (usually preemptive).
  • A cue bid of opener's suit, which is a game or slam try.
  • A new suit - non-forcing.
  • 2NT - when the cue bid is in a major suit this asks partner to name his minor suit.
  • 3NT - to play.
  • 4C serves the same purpose as 2NT in competitive auctions when 2NT is no longer available.
  • 4NT serves the same purpose as 2NT in competitive auctions when 2NT and 4C are no longer available.

Note: A bid in one of the opponents suits (sounds like a cue bid) when the opponents have bid two suits is natural.

Doubles of suit bids are for take out over opening part score bids and penalty over opening bids at the game level or higher. Responses to takeout doubles are:

  • Any minimum bid (0-9 points).
  • 1NT. 6-10 points, balanced. Normally a stopper in opponent's suit.
  • A jump response is non-forcing and shows 10-12 points.
  • 2NT. 10-12 points, balanced. Stopper in opponent's suit.
  • A cue bid response to a take out double is forcing. Normally shows an opening hand and support for any suit partner may choose.
  • 3NT is to play (13-16 points).
  • A double jump is preemptive.
  • Pass (rare). Shows a hand with at least five decent cards in the opponent's suit. You expect partner to lead this suit, if possible.

Re-bids by the takeout doubler after a minimum response are:

  • Pass (16 points or less).
  • Raise (17-18 points and four-card support or better).
  • Jump raise (19-21 points and four-card support or better).
  • New suit (18-20 points and a five card suit or better).
  • Jump in a new suit (six-card, self sufficient suit and a strong hand) is Non-Forcing.
  • 1NT shows 18-20 points
  • 2NT shows 19-21 points if a non-jump, 21-22 points if a jump.
  • 3NT shows 9 tricks.
  • A cue bid shows 21+ points with slam interest.

Direct Doubles of 1NT are penalty oriented and are made with a hand that is roughly the same shape and strength as that of the opener. After a pass by RHO, responder should:

  • Pass with any decent holding.
  • "Pull" the double to a suit at the two-level when holding a weak distributional hand.
  • A jump response (rare) shows a good distributional hand with 8+ points, invitational to game.

If RHO bids over the double then responder to the double may:

  • Pass.
  • Double for penalty.
  • Cue bid (for take out).
  • Bid normally

Balancing (fourth seat) bids mean much the same as their direct seat counterparts, but can be lighter.

  • A balancing bid of 1NT shows 11-15 points.
  • Balancing with a jump in a suit shows opening count (6+ cards).
  • A balancing double followed by 1 or 2NT (cheapest) shows 16-17 points.
  • A balancing jump to 2NT shows 18-20 points.
  • A balancing cue bid is for take out and shows a void in opener's suit.

Bids made after an opponent has intervened, in general, carry much the same meaning as those made without interference. Bids that carry special meaning are as follows:

  • A CUE BID of an overcall by RHO [e.g. 1S 2C 3C] is game forcing and asks for further clarification by opener. Often the bid is made as an attempt to get the partnership to 3NT (in the event opener holds a stopper in the overcalled suit) or as a game-forcing raise in opener's suit when you have only 3-card support. Further bidding will usually clarify matters.
  • Negative Doubles are employed through 3S. In general, negative doubles show values in the un-bid suits, most particularly the majors and insufficient strength and/or length to bid naturally. Partner should respond as if you had 6 points at the 1 level and 2 additional points for each higher level.
  • o 1C 1D Double: shows 4-4 or better in the major suits.
  • o 1D 1H Double: shows four spades. A bid of 1S in this auction promises a five-card suit or a very good 4-card suit.
  • o 1D 1S Double: shows four+ hearts.
  • Support Doubles and Redoubles are employed though 2S and are used by opener when the opponents have intervened and distinguish between a 3-card raise and a 4-card raise. e.g. 1C 1D 1H 2D Double = 3-card support in H and 1C 1D 1H 2D 2H = 4-card support. After 1C P 1H Double, redouble shows 3-card support and 2H shows 4-card support. When the support double/redouble is used partner's hand is only limited by the failure to open 2C or 2NT.
     
  • Jump Raises and Jump Shifts are Preemptive.

RESPONSES:

  • Minimum re-bids show less than 16 points and are non-forcing.
  • Jump re-bids show a good 16-18 points and are non-forcing.
  • A cue bid of the opponent's suit shows 19+ points and is game forcing.
  • A pass, albeit rare, is for penalty.

When playing negative doubles, partner is no longer in a position to double an overcall for penalties. Accordingly, when two passes follow an overcall, opener should strain to reopen with a double when holding less than three cards in the suit of the overcall.

  • If RHO makes a takeout double:
  • o Suit bids at the one level are forcing for one round.
  • o Suit bids at the two level are not forcing and usually show six cards and less than 10 points.
  • o A jump raise is preemptive.
  • o 2NT shows a limit raise or better in opener's suit (Jordan). If in response to a minor, it shows adequate trump support and denies a four-card major. In response to a major, it shows 3+ trump.
  • o Redouble shows 10+ points and tends to deny a fit with opener.
  • o A jump shift is preemptive.

REDOUBLES take on different meanings in different auctions. In general, the redouble:

  • Is to play if your side is at the four level or higher or your partner has made an opening preempt.
  • Is to play if the opponents double an artificial bid by your side (e.g. 1NT pass 2D* Double Redouble).
  • Shows a good hand if the opponent's double was for takeout (e.g. 1S Double Redouble).
  • For SOS when your side is doubled for penalty at the two level or lower.

DEFENSIVE LEADS AND SIGNALS:

The purpose of defensive leads and signals is to help partner figure out what to do to beat or reduce the number of overtricks the opponents make in their contract. Do not be a robot and automatically signal, but remember what my friend Allan Cokin calls "Empathy for Partner"–when partner may need the information give it.

  • When following suit, "high encourages" and "low discourages," relatively speaking, of course. Opening leads are generally:
  • o Low from an honor.
  • o Top of sequences.
  • o Top of touching honors against suit contracts.
  • o Fourth best (when appropriate).
  • Partnerships choose:
  • o Which card is led from xxx, xxxx, and xxxxx.[note that most experts consider the 10 and 9 as 'mini-honors' and lead LOW from them as well as from the king, queen and jack but rarely low from the ace unless versus no-trump.]
  • o The lead of the queen versus no-trump typically asks partner to DROP the jack if holding it (i.e. leading from KQ109).
  • o The lead of the ace versus no-trump typically asks partner to drop a high honor. If lacking a high honor, give count.
  • o The lead of a king versus no-trump asks for attitude. Most experts today reverse the meaning of the A or K lead (the Big Lead).
  • Partnerships can also chose any of the following:
  • o My personal favorites are: 3/5, Higher of touching honors, coded 9's and T's, UDCA with O/E as 1st discard, K as Big lead vs NT.
  • o You may also use Upside Down Count and Attitude (UDCA). If you chose this method, then "high discourages" and "low encourages".
  • o 3/5 leads where you lead low from Hxx, 3rd best from an even numbered suit of 4-cards or more and 5th best from an odd numbered suit of 5-cards or more.
  • o Coded 9's and T's, where the lead promises either two cards higher than the card led or none.
  • o Odd/Even (O/E) discards–odd encourages (low and odd most encouraging), even discourages (high and even more discouraging).
  • o Lavinthal discards–high, lead higher of remaining suits; low, lead lower of remaining suits.
  • o Reverse Smith discard–low discard at 1st opportunity shows honor in partner's 1st led suit (or very good length, maybe dummy has 2 little and you had T8xxx) while high shows no honor.

 

NOTE: The sections marked in RED are changes from the 'SAYC or other systemic treatment.

    CONVENTIONS

    (Partnership agreement is required for use of these:)

o GAMBLING 3NT – Opening 3NT is made on a long, solid minor suit with no A or K outside of the suit. Responses are:

  • 4C= Pass or Correct.
  • 4D= Gerber
  • 4H/S= Good 6 card suit, denies outside ace, non-force
  • 5C/6C Attempt to play game in opener's minor; Opener pass or correct to diamonds.
  • NAMYATS: When using this convention a 3NT opening is neither a gambling 3NT nor a 25-27HCP opening. Instead it shows a very long and broken minor suit, missing the A or K. If partner wishes to escape from 3n (generally the case), then 4c asks partner to pass or correct. Occasionally you might have the perfect hand for a 5c or 6c call asking partner to pass or correct.
  • A 4c opening shows a Strong preempt in hearts. If vulnerable, then only 1-2 tricks short of game in hand. If non-vulnerable then 2-3 tricks short of game in hand.
  • A 4d opening shows a Strong preempt in spades.
  • The 4h/4s openings can then be any other Losing Trick Count (LTC) you and partner can agree to. Gee pard, I hope you make it

o Inverted Minor – With 4+ card minor suit support and no 4 card Major, raise to 2 shows 9+ HCP, raise to 3 shows less than points

o Jacoby 2NT – When responder jumps to 2NT after an opening bid of 1H or 1S, the trump suit has been established and opener is asked for further information regarding his hand. Opener's re-bids are as follows:

  • A 4-level bid in a new suit shows a side suit of five+ cards.
  • A 3-level bid in a new suit shows a singleton or a void in the bid suit.
  • A re-bid of the agreed suit denies a side singleton or void. If made at the four level, it shows a minimum hand. If made at the three level it shows a 16+ point hand.
  • A re-bid of 3NT denies side shortness and shows 14-15 HCP.

See page 4 above for more details.

o Jacoby Transfer (Texas Transfer) – See page 2 above for detailed explanation.

o Jordan –If opponents overcall partner's Major suit opener, a bid by you of 2NT is Jordan showing a Limit Raise in your partners suit (i.e. 4 card support and 9-11 Total Support Points) or better.

o Kokish is used after a 2C opener. After 2C 2D; a bid of 2N usually shows 22-24 HCP, but under Kokish a bid of 2H forces a 2S response and now a 2N re-bid promises 25+ HCP. This method is my favorite because responder and opener can bid more comfortably. Also after 2C 2D; 3N now shows a 9-10 trick playing hand in a minor.

o Limit Raise A direct raise of Major Opener to the level of 3 shows 9-11 HCP and 4+ trump. When holding 3 trump, bid 1NT Forcing and then jump in partner's Major to 3 level at next opportunity to bid.

o Michaels – Minor suit cue bid shows both Majors. Major cue bid shows other Major and a Minor – Responder's bid of partner's suit shows no game interest; 2NT asks for Minor suit; Jump in partner's suit is preempt, Cue bid is game force and slam try, and 3NT is to play. When partner is an un-passed hand the bid should show either a weak hand or a strong hand – with an intermediate hand overcaller should attempt to bid both suits. (See page 8)

o Negative Doubles are employed through 3S [In some standard versions they are used only through 2S]. In general, negative doubles show values in un-bid suits - usually the majors - and insufficient strength and/or length to bid naturally.

  • 1C – (1D) – X: shows 4-4 or better in the major suits.
  • 1D – (1H) – X: shows four spades. A bid of 1S in this auction promises a five-card suit. You may wish to play that X shows less than 4 spades, but if you do then you should alert opponents to this fact.
  • 1D – (1S) – Double: shows four+ hearts.

o Reverse Drury – If partner opens Major suit in 3rd or 4th seat and you have 3+ card support and 10-12 HCP, bid 2C. Opener bids 2 of his Major showing a weak opener and any other bid confirms a solid opening hand (2D rebid can be artificial). A rebid of 2n over 2c should show a strong NT.

o RKC 0314 – After 4NT: 5C is 0 or 3 controls (control is any ace and king of trump) 5D is 1 or 4 controls, 5H is 2 or 5 controls without Q of trumps; 5S is 2 or 5 controls with Q of trumps. Re-bid of 5N by RKC bidder asks you to bid cheapest King below trump suit. After a 5c or 5d response, the relay suit asks for the trump Q returning to 5 of agreed major denies trump Q (extra length, not shown, is equivalent to trump Q).

o RKC 1403 – After 4NT: 5C is 1 or 4 Key Cards, 5D is 0 or 3, 5H is 2 or 5 Key Cards without the trump Queen, and 5S is 2 or 5 Key Cards with the trump Queen. Re-bid of 5N by RKC bidder asks you to bid cheapest King below trump suit. After a 5c or 5d response, the relay suit asks for the trump Q returning to 5 of agreed major denies trump Q (extra length, not shown, is equivalent to trump Q). Notice that when the agreed suit is hearts, that 1430 has a slight advantage over 0314.

o Responsive Doubles – Sequence such as 1H-X-2H-X!, the X! is responsive double showing 6+ points and interest in finding a fit (Only applies if opponent raises opener's suit.)

o Support Double – With sequence of 1H-p-1S-2C-X!, your X! is Support Double showing 3 card support in spades. A direct raise to 3S shows 4-card support.

o Smolen – After Stayman bid, if opener bids 2D (no 4 card major) and responder holds 5-4 in the majors, responder bids the four-card major (Smolen) at the three-level with game forcing values. Opener corrects to no-trump if appropriate and will raise an invitation to game when holding suitable values.

o Splinter – Unusual jump bid (double/triple jump) shows singleton or void and excellent trump support for partner (4+). Game force and shows slam interest (normally made with 11-14 HCP). With stronger hands use Jacoby 2N.

o Stayman - 2C is non-forcing Stayman– the partnership is not committed to game. Stayman normally requires at least invitational values of 8+ HCP. However, Stayman may be used when responder is much weaker, in hopes of securing a better contract. In those instances, responder is willing to pass any response by opener (e.g. responder holds 4-4-4-1 distribution). Stayman is also employed when you have either an invitational hand in NT or at least one, four-card major.

  • In response to Stayman, opener shows a four-card or longer major suit if he holds one. With four cards in both majors, opener bids hearts first. Thus if the bidding goes 1NT 2C 2H 3NT and opener holds four spades as well as four hearts, he will now convert 3NT to 4S. With no four-card major, opener bids 2D.

o 1NT Force A bid of 1NT by an un-passed hand over a major suit opener by partner is one round force. (See page 4).

o Unusual NT – After opponent bids 1 in a suit, jump overcall of 2NT shows at least 5/5 in lower 2 un-bid suits and either a weak hand (less than 10HCP) or a strong hand (more than 15). (See page 8 for details)

o Fourth Suit Force – Bid of the fourth suit by the Responder is forcing to game. It does not necessarily show a stopper or strength in that suit.(See page 5). In the auction 1c 1d; 1h 2s is 4th suit forcing with less than 4 spades and 1c 1d; 1h 1s is NOT fourth suit game forcing. By agreement a fourth suit bid can be made forcing for one round only.

o DOPI – If Opponent interferes over 4N Blackwood or 4C Gerber then the following bids apply: Double = zero Aces, pass = 1 Ace, next available bid = 2 Aces etc. You can use the same responses when partner asks for K's.

o ROPI – If Blackwood or Gerber is doubled, re-double shows zero Aces, pass shows one Ace. You can use the same responses when partner asks for K's.

o New Minor Forcing (or Checkback)– After 1NT re-bid by your partner following your one level response to his opener, your bid of 2 of the 'un-bid' Minor is forcing and asks partner for more information about his hand especially length in the suit you have bid. This bid only applies to Responder, usually at his second turn to bid. You should have invitational strength (good 10-11+ points). By agreement you may use NMF as forcing to game.

o Two-way CHECKBACK – This bid uses responder's rebid of 2C or 2D, after any 1x 1y 1z bid (e.g., 1c 1h; 1s or 1c 1h; 1n), to show a bust or invitational hand (2c) or some GF hand (2d).

  • After sequence of 1x 1y; 1z 2C; 2D:
  • Pass shows diamond bust.
          • 2M 5 card suit invitational

  • 2 of Other Major = if Hearts 5/4 or 5/5 invitational; if Spades 4/5 invitational
  • 3C Natural, Invitational
  • 3D Natural, invitational
  • 3M shows 6+ card suit and is invitational (10-11 HCP).
  • 3 of Other Major invitational (11-12 HCP). Therefore after 1c 1s; 1n 3h, responder is 5-5 with 8-11 HCP all in the 2-suits when minimum.
  • 2D bid after opener's 1NT re-bid is artificial game force. It asks opener to show 3-card support, or an un-bid 4-card major (if partner's first suit is spades AND you have 3s and 4h, you should bid 2H. If you have neither then your 1st duty is to rebid 2n, IF you have a diamond stopper.
  • Subsequent bidding is natural; bearing in mind that game or slam must be reached.
  • 2N bid after opener's re-bid is artificial and forces opener to rebid 3c.
  • Pass shows club bust
  • 3d shows 5+ in 1st suit and 5+ diamonds – Slam invitational
  • 3h shows 5+ in 1st suit (if Spades) and 5+ hearts – Slam invitational. If 1st suit bid was hearts then it shows 6+ hearts.
  • 3s shows 6+ S if 1st suit bid was spades and 4+ S if 1st suit bid was hearts (obviously you must have 5+ hearts) – Slam invitational.

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