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Brief Explanation of the more commonly used Systems and Conventions

ACOL ONE  NO-TRUMP. 1NT opening bids show 12-14, 15-17 or 16-18 HCPs and a balanced hand, no void, no singleton, nor two doubletons.

FIVE-CARD MAJORS. Opening 1H or 1S promises five cards in the suit. With only four cards the opener will either open 1C or their better minor.

OPENING TWO BIDS are strong or weak, please announce which on your partner’s bid.

JUMP OVERCALLS. Strong, weak or Intermediate. A six-card suit. Strength, strong 16+, weak 5 -11, intermediate 12 - 15.  Do not announce but if opponents ask then give the necessary information.

BLACKWOOD. 4NT is asking for aces.

CUE BIDDING CONTROLS. Once a suit is agreed and any further bid forces the partnership to game in that suit then the bid of another suit is showing first round control in the suit bid, that is, showing the ace or a void. For example 1H-3H; 4D, the 4D bid is a Cue Bid. However, 1D-3D; 3H, 3H is not a Cue bid because the hand can still be played in 3NT.

DAB (Directional Asking Bid). In a competitive auction a Cue Bid of the opponent's suit is asking partner to bid no-trumps with half a stop in the opponent's suit, it also promises half a stop in the Cue Bidder's hand, 1H-2C: 3C, or

1H-1S-2D-P: 2S.  A DAB promises game going values.

GERBER. 4C is asking for aces. It is recommended that 4C is asking for aces only in the sequences 1NT-4C, 2NT-4C, otherwise use Blackwood.

MICHAELS CUE BIDS. When opponent opens one of a major a Cue Bid of that major, 1H-2H, is showing the other major and five cards in one of the other suits. If you are not playing Michael Cue Bids then a bid of the opponent's suit, 1H-2H, is showing a game going hand.

NEGATIVE DOUBLES. After partner has opened the bidding and an opponent intervenes with a suit, 1D-1H, then Double is saying that the opponent has taken away the responder's natural bid. There can be a number of different exact meanings of Negative Doubles, some play it just show the other two suits, but it is recommended that it is used to show the following:

a. the other two suits, or

b. one of the other suits plus support for partner's suit, or

c. a long suit of ones own that could not be bid naturally.

SPLINTER BIDS. A double jump in a suit as a response to partner's one of a major, eg 1S-4C or 1H-3S, is showing a fit, 12-15 HCPs, and a singleton or void in the suit bid.

STAYMAN. When partner opens 1NT, 2C is asking for a four-card major. Because it is an asking bid it does not guarantee a four-card major of one's own though usually will.

Without a four-card major partner replies 2D.

With a six-card club suit responder to 1NT may bid 2C and then bid 3C over whatever opener replies. This is a Weak Take Out.

TRANSFERS 1 & 2. After an opening bid of 1NT then 2D is a transfer to hearts and 2H is a transfer to spades. After an opening 2NT then 3D and 3H are also transfers.

If the player making the transfer bid then makes a bid of another suit, 1NT-2H; 2S-3D, he is showing at least five cards in the transfer suit, spades in this example, and at least four cards of the second suit, diamonds here. However, by arrangement you may play the 3D bid here as being a weak take-out but this must be on your convention card and the opponents told if they ask what the 2H bid means.

Because there is no natural bid of 2S many players play this to show exactly eleven points (2NT would show exactly 12), others play it as a request for opener to bid 3D as a Weak Take Out. Some play it to show a minor two-suited hand.You can have it mean what you wish - provided the opponents are made aware of what it means.

UNASSUMING CUE BIDS. When partner has made a suit overcall, 1D-1H, a Cue Bid of opponent's first bid suit is showing good support for partner, 1D-1H; 1S-2D.

If overcall's partner simply raises partner's suit that is competitive and promises no particular values, 1D-1H: 1S-2H.

UNUSUAL NO-TRUMP. A bid of 2NT after opponents have opened the bidding is showing five cards in each of the two lowest unbid suits.

1C-2NT showing diamonds and hearts

1D-2NT showing clubs and hearts

1H-2NT showing clubs and diamonds

1S-2NT showing clubs and diamonds