Ruff_Hi's Antics

All Happiness is the Release of Internal Pressure

My Perferred Bridge Bidding System

One of the difficulties with Bridge is trying to describe your hand to partner while they are describing their hand to you. This must be done through the bidding - it cannot be done by either showing partner, nor telling parther "I have the A, ...".

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Here is the bidding system that I prefer to play. I can play variations by agreement that will need to be discussed at the table (or before!)


Opening Bids

5 Card Major and are called 'Majors' while and are called 'Minors'. The suit order is (highest to lowest): No Trumps, , , , (5cm) - but also happy to play 4cm
Short Club Playing 5cm means that sometimes you have to bid a minor that is not 4 cards long. Playing Short Club means that your diamond bid shows 4+ cards, while your club bid only shows 2+ cards. At least with Short Club, only one bid shows less than 4 cards. - but will play Conveniant Minor Playing 5cm means that sometimes you have to bid a minor that is not 4 cards long. Playing conveniant minors means that you bid your longest minor. This means that your 1C and 1D bids only promise 3+ cards. under duress (I prefer to have only 1 bid that shows less than 4 cards)
1NT - 15-18 HCPs HCPs are a way of telling how stong a hand is. Points are allocated: 4 for an Ace, 3 for a King, 2 for a Queen, 1 for a Jack - Balanced This is all about how to discribe hands. Hands are either balanced or unbalanced. A balanced hand has one of the following distribution: 5332, 4432, 4333. All other hands are unbalanced. A short way of thinking about it is that balanced hands cannot have a void, singleton or two doubltons. , no 5 card major
2C - 20+ HCPs
Weak 2s
3 level Pre-empts Pre-emptive bids are where you open in at the 3, 4 or higher level. They show at least 7 cards in the bid suit, no voids, and 7-9 HCPs. A pre-emptor usually only bids once. It is designed to intervere with the enemy's bidding. Another way of working out how high to bid is to add up your winners, add 3 (or 2 if you are vulnerable) and bid at that level. This makes it easier for your partner, if he has more winners than you added (say 4 if not vulnerable, they can bid up 1 level.


Responding to 1 in a suit with Support
If you have Support Support means that you have enough cards in your hand for the total (yours plus partners) to exceed 8. EG: If partner opens 1, then you only need 3 cards for support (assuming you are playing 5cm. for your partners suit, then:
1 level raise shows 6-9 pts (pts or points are HCP plus Distributional Points) Distributional points are used in hand evaluation if you can support your partners suit.. Add the following distributional points to your HCP total: void - 5 pts, singlton - 3 pts, doublton - 1 pt.
2 level raise shows 10-12 pts
With more than 12 pts, I am looking for slam so I will bid something else (ie an unlimited bid) An unlimited bid means that the point range is unlimited - duh! A limited bit (ie a 1NT response usually shows 6-9 HCPs) limits the upper range. Normally, unlimited bids are forcing. and wait for my partners response.


Responding to 1 in a suit without Support
Note: do not add in Distribution Points
6+ HCPs, bid new suit (length 4+ cards) at 1 level
10+ HCPs, bid new suit (length 4+ cards) at 2 level
with 6-9 HCPs with no 4 card suit available, bid 1NT
with 10-12 HCPs and balanced, bid 2NT


Responding to 1NT - Your hand is Balanced
0-7 HCPs, pass
8-10 HCPs, 2NT
11-14 HCPs, 3NT
15-17 HCPs, 4NT
18-?? HCPs, 6NT
??-?? HCPs, 7NT


Responding to 1NT - Your hand is Unbalanced
Your hand sucks: 2 - this is a drop dead bid, Sometimes it is better to play a 1NT contract than a 2 contract (you only have to win 7 tricks at the 1 level, instead of 8 at the 2 level). This should be a consideration when using the drop dead bid 1NT opener should pass.
0-7, 2 in longest suit (not clubs)
8+ pts, 3 in longest suit
2C - Extended Stayman 1NT Openers responses are:

2 (15-16 HCPs, 4 cards, both majors)
2 (15-16 HCPs, 4 cards, hearts)
2 (15-16 HCPs, 4 cards, spades)
2NT (15-16 HCPs, no 4 card majors)
3 (17-18 HCPs, 4 cards, both majors)
3 (17-18 HCPs, 4 cards, hearts)
3 (17-18 HCPs, 4 cards, spades)
3 (17-18 HCPs, no 4 card majors)


Responding to 2C
2 - 0-3 HCPs
2 - 4-6 HCPs
2 - 7-9 HCPs
etc, 1 step for each 3 HCPs
with responses of 2S or over, the auction is now forcing to game Game is made when you get 100 pts below the line. To get 100 pts you need to bid and make either 3NT (40+30+30), 4 of a major (4 * 30) or 5 of a minor (5 * 20), assuming that you don't have any points below the line already. If you do (sometimes called 'having a leg'), then you can get 'game' with a lower bid.
further bids are natural This means that a bid of Hearts (say) actually shows hearts! Unnatural (or artificial) bids are systemic bids that don't necessarily show the suit bid, rather they show points and / or distribution.


Responding to Weak 2s
Still to be filled in


Responding to Weak Pre-empts
Still to be filled in


Bidding Sequences
Search for a major fit before supporting a minor
Bid multiple 4 card, up the line 'up the line' means that you bid in suit order () from lowest to highest. 'Down the line' means that you bid in reverse suit order.
Bid multiple 5+ cards, down the line
Reverse Reverses are where you bid a higher ranking suit after you have bid a lower ranking suit - thus effectively forcing your partner to go one level higher to show preference. These bids show strength. Example: 1 from partner, 1 from you, 2 from partner is a reverse. 1 from partner, 1 from you, 1 from partner is not a reverse. Bidding shows 16+ pts
New Suit @ 3 level shows 16+ pts


Other Conventions
Key Card Blackwood KCB is a 4NT asking bid about Aces. Usually only used once trumps are agreed, if not, last mentioned suit is the trump suit. There are 5 'aces'. The 4 real aces and the King of trumps. The responses are:

5 - 0 or 3 aces
5 - 1 or 4 aces
5 - 2 or 5 aces without the Queen of Trumps
5 - 2 or 5 aces with the Queen of Trumps
The 4NTer stepping 1 bid (above 5 or 5) asks for the Queen of Trumps, a 1 step response means 'no', two step response means 'yes'. 4NTer bidding 5NT asks for the other (not the trump king) kings (6=0, 6=1, 6=2, 6=3). 4NTer bidding 5 asks responder to bid 5NT, effectively making that the final contract.
Splinters Splinter bids are fit, strength, slam going bids. They show 4+ support in the bid suit, 13+ HCPs and a shortage (void or singlton) in the bid suit. A splinter bid is a double jump (ie 1 opening, 4 ---> splinter). They are particularly useful finding under-strength slam contracts. In the above example, if the 1 opener had 'wasted' pts in diamonds, they would sign off in 4, if, however, they had 4 little diamonds, then they could bid 6 with greater comfort knowing that diamonds are under control.
Take Out Doubles A take out double shows shortage in the opponents suit (void or singleton) with 13+ HCPs and coverage in the unbid suits OR 16+ HCPs and any distribution. Partner must bid (even with zero pts) to give Xer another chance to bid (unless they want to convert the X to penalties). If the opponents bid, then responder can pass (Xer gets another bid), so an actual bid by responder shows 8+ pts.
Negative Doubles This double shows exactly 4 of the other major when partner has opened a minor and the opponents have bid a major. Example: 1 from partner, 1 from RHO, then 1 shows 5+ spades, 'double' would show 4 spades
Transfers of NTs A transfer bid asks the 1NT opener to bid the suit higher. Usually only operates with the majors. Transfers are usually 'off' if the opponents intervere. If the responder has long s (say), then they bid 2, 1NTer bids 2 and then the responder can either pass (if they are minimum), offer NTs to give 1NTer a choice or bid on in s. To play in Spades, the responder bids 2.
Cue Bidding Cue bids are slam try bids. Once a suit has been agreed, you can cue bid to show first round controls (ie A or void). Skipping a suit shows that you don't have first round control. Bidding a suit a second time (or one that you have skipped) shows second round control (ie K or singleton).

Cue bidding shows that you are interested in slam. Once you have no more controls to bid, simply bid the agreed trump suit.
Michaels Cue Bids Overcall of the opponents minor suit shows 7-11 HCPs and 5/5 in the majors. Overcall of the opponents major suit shows 7-11 HCPs and 5/5 in the other major and one of the minors.
Unusual 2NT A jump over the opponents 1 level bid to 2NT is the unusual 2NT - it shows 5+ / 5+ in the minors. Normally, the partner simply bids their longest minor.


@ 1 level, 5 card suit, 10+ HCPs
@ 2 level, 5 card suit, 12+ HCPs