~ACBL Commonly Used Conventions

A discussion of each of the following bridge conventions can best be found by entering bridge+ the name of the convention; i.e., bridge+fourth suit forcing into the Google search window.

With only 15 words allowed during an auction and just 13 cards in each suit, bridge players have invented dozens of special bids, called conventions, to describe their strength and hand patterns. These descriptions are from the ACBL Bridge Bulletin series called the Bidding Toolkit. The ACBL textbooks Commonly Used Conventions and More Commonly Used Conventions contain detailed chapters on the use of many of today’s popular treatments. These and other outstanding books about bidding, play and defense are available at Shop Bridge.

In addition, there are many web sites that summarize bridge conventions. For example, type bridge+flannery in a search engine such as Google and and see what pops up!

Fourth Suit Forcing
Cappelletti (Part 1)
Cappelletti (Part 2)
Jacoby 2NT
Jacoby Transfers
Negative Doubles
New Minor Forcing
Overcalls (Part 1)
Overcalls (Part 2)
Puppet Stayman
Responding to a Takeout Double
Responsive Doubles
Roman Key Card Blackwood
Texas Transfers
Unusual vs. Unusual
Weak Two-bids (Part 1)
Weak Two-bids (Part 2)


2 Responses to “~ACBL Commonly Used Conventions”

  1. ICarol Craig Says:

    Would like to be able to find the bidding toolkits easily. Do you have a suggestion to help this happen. I’m looking for the 3 pages for responses to strong 2 club opening

  2. Bill Butler Says:

    ~Responses to a Strong 2C Opener
    1. Controls: Aces are two controls; kings are one control.
    ~2D shows 0-1 control
    ~2H shows two controls (1 ace or two kings)
    ~2S shows three controls, always one ace and one king
    ~2NT shows three controls, always three kings You want the opening lead in a NT contract coming up to the kings. Systems are ON after a 2NT response. If you respond 2D, 2H, or 2S, systems are ON if opener next bids 2NT.
    ~3C shows four controls, 3D shows 5 controls, etc.

    This system is based on the high values placed on controls to fill in opener’s suits. Often, if you show 3+ controls, opener can identify your holding. An ace and a king are probably more useful to opener when determining whether to make a slam try than just knowing you have 7 HCP, which could be two Qs and three Js.

    2. Negative: You bid 2D unless you have a positive bid, commonly defined as a 5-card suit with two of the top three honors (or any three honors) and 8+ HCP. With such a holding you just bid the good suit. Some play that any reasonable 5-card suit is OK if you also hold 1+ aces and either 1+ kings (or two queens).

    3. 2D positive, showing 3+ HCP and at least one king. Those who play this response bid 2H over 2C to show a weaker hand. The use of 1H to show a minimum (but not bust) response does away with any need for a second negative bid.

    4. Steps:
    ~2D shows 0-3 HCP
    ~2H shows 4-6 HCP
    ~2S shows 7-9 HCP (some people play 7+. These players do not respond 2NT, a method that I support). 2NT should be left for opener to show a balanced hand of 22-24 HCP with Systems ON. 3C could be used to show 10+ HCP.

    5. Waiting: Responder makes the cheapest bid (2D) and then waits for opener to show either a balanced hand (NT) or a distributional hand (bidding the long suit). 2NT is the only bid that can be passed by responder; all other bids are forcing to game. After 2D (Waiting), if opener bids a suit at the 2-lvl, 3C is the double negative, showing a very weak hand.

    6. 2H. True Negative. This response uses 2H to show a hand holding less than a single K or two Qs. In this system, 2D would show at least a single K or two Qs. There is no need for a second negative with this system.

    In the search window, type in Responses to a strong 2C opener

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