Strong Pass

Opening Bids

Pass

13+ any shape

1

8-12 4+

1

8-12 4+ not 4+

1

0-7 any shape, could be bal 8-9 no major

1

8-12 unbalanced, no major

1NT

9-12 balanced, denies a good major

2

Weak, 4+ 4+

2

Weak, 4+ 4+

2

Weak, 4+ 4+

2

Weak two, transfer responses.

Opening Pass

Responses

1 0-6 any shape
1
11+ any shape
1
7-10, 4+, not 4333 or 4432, not 3-suited short
1
7-10, 4+, not 4+, not 4333 or 4432, not 3-suited short
1NT 7-10, balanced
2
7-10, 6+ 1-suiter or 5+, 4+
2
7-10, 6+, no other 4-card suit
2
7-10, 3-suiter short major
2
7-10, 5+, 4

 

Continuations over 1 response

1 18+ or 8PT
1
13-18, may only be 3 cards if 13-15 balanced, may be canape
1
13-18, may only be 3 cards if 13-15 balanced, may be canape
1NT 16-18 balanced
2
13-18, both minors or 6+
2
13-18, both minors or 6+
2
single suited, 7PT
2
single suited, 7PT
2NT 5+/5+ minors

Pass - 1 - 1:

1 0-4
1
+ 5-6, scheme up one step. Opener's breakout is non-forcing.

Pass - 1 - 1 - 1:

1 22+ / 9PT
1NT 19-21 balanced
2
aspro, 8PT
2
aspro, 8PT
2
/2 /3 /3 natural, 8PT
2NT minors, 8PT

Pass - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1:

1NT 0-2 (non-forcing)
2
+ 3-4, scheme up 3 steps. Opener's breakout forcing.

Pass - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1NT:

Pass 22-24 balanced
2
game force (2 waiting)
2
+ natural 9PT.

1   opening

Responses

Pass 0-10
1
game try relay
1
game force relay
1
natural not forcing, may be canape
1NT to play
2
natural not forcing
2
natural not forcing
2
6-11, Hxx or xxxx (prefer 1 to a three card raise)
2
10-12, 4+, singleton somewhere
2NT 10-12, 3
, 6+
3
10-12, 3, 6+
3
10-12, 3, 6+
3
+ preemptive.

 

The relays

Over the game try relay, first step is negative and there are no further relays. All other responses show a maximum and are the same as over the game force relay.

1 - 1 / :

1 balanced or 3-suited short
1NT majors, 2- or 3-suited
2
diamonds
2
5+ clubs
2
4 clubs
2
+ normal 1-suiter scheme

1 - 1 - 1 - 1NT:

2 3-suiter short
2
5332
2
4432
2
4432
2NT 3424
3
2434
3
+ 3433

1 - 1 - 1NT - 2:

2 3-suiter short minor
2
+ 2-suiters.

 

Non-relay continuations

Opener's new suit canape.
Responder's new suit canape after 1
response.
Opener rarely passes a 1
response.
Over a 2
response, 2NT asks for the singleton, low shortage first.

 

Interference over 1 opening

If they double, redouble is rescue, asking partner to bid a 3-card diamond suit or 1. All other bids retain their normal meaning.

If they overcall 1, double replaces the 1 relay. All other bids retain their normal meaning.

If they overcall 1, double is a game try or better relay. All other bids retain their normal meaning.

If they overcall 1, double is takeout or GF. Cue raises, NFB at 2-level.

1   opening

Responses

Pass 0-10
1
game try relay
1
game force relay
1NT to play
2-suit natural non-forcing
2
6-11, Hxx or xxxx
2NT 10-12, 4+
, singleton somewhere
3
10-12, 3, 6+
3
10-12, 3, 6+
3
10-12, 3, 6+
3
+ preemptive.

 

The relays

Relay auctions, non-relay auctions and competitive auctions are obvious given those over 1.

Over the game try relay, first step is negative and there are no further relays. All other responses show a maximum and are the same as over the game force relay.

1 - 1 / :

1NT balanced or 3-suited short
2
+
etc.

1   opening

Responses

1 strong relay 18+
1NT 14-17 may be off shape
2
/ 12-17 aspro
2
/ 10-17 natural
2NT minors
3
/ 7-17 natural.

After 1 - 1:

1NT 0-4
2
+ 5-7, relays up three steps.

After 1 - 1 - 1NT:

2 Aspro OR 25+ balanced OR game force
2
Aspro OR 22-24 balanced
2
+ natural 8PT
2NT minors 8PT

Treat 2 and 2 as aspro, but don't pass.

 

If 1 is doubled

Pass guarantees 3+ hearts.
1NT is either both minors or very strong.
Other bids natural.
XX always SOS.
Pass always 3+ of bid suit in direct seat.
The right suit is more important than the right level.

1   opening

Responses

1NT is relay, invitational or better.
Minor suit bids ask opener to correct unless holding 5+ in the suit.
2NT is preemptive, asking for better minor.
Other bids are natural non-forcing.

 

Relay responses

After 1 - 1NT:

2 6+ or >
2
6+
2
>
2
5+5+ minors

 

Interference

Negative doubles to 2, NFB at 2-level.

If they double the 1 opening, all bids retain their normal meaning. Pass shows 5+, and redouble is a droppable relay (opener may choose to give relay responses, down one step, but should pass the recouble with spade tolerance). If the opponents run from 1XX, there are no future relays.

1NT opening

Responses

2 Transfer to hearts showing 5+. Step denies support.
2
Transfer to spades showing 5+. Step denies support.
2
Game-forcing relay.
2
Range-probe.
2NT Both minors, asking opener for preference. Usually responder will play at the three level.
3
Natural, not constructive showing 5+.
3
Natural, not constructive showing 5+.
3
Natural, forcing 6+.
3
Natural, forcing 6+.
3NT To play.
4
To play (mildly invitational).
4
To play (mildly invitational).
4
To play.
4
To play.

 

Relay responses

If the 1NT opening may have a major, relays will probably not be used. Otherwise, after 1NT-2:

2 Any 5332 with 5
2NT Any 5332 with 5

3
3244
3
2344
3
3343
3
3334 (with zoom).

 

Penalty doubles over interference.
Truscott escape if 1NT opening is doubled.

2-suited openings

2NT is a general force. Opener bids 3 with any 4-4 shape (regardless of strength), or bids a 5 card suit with a minimum. The remaining 3-level bid shows a good hand, 5-4 either way. 3NT is a decent 5-5.

Relay Structure

Basic principles

In general, the first bid shows spades, then hearts, etc. Suits (4+) are always shown in this order. Shortages (0-2) are always shown up the line, clubs first. Eg, after showing 5332 shape with hearts, the next relay response shows a) 3532, b) 3523, c) 2533. After showing 4432 with majors, the next relay response shows a) 4432, b) 4423.

 

One suit scheme

2 low shortage (may be 6322)
2NT mid shortage
3
6322, with 3 in the lowest suit, OR 7222
3
+ high shortage, 5332, 6331, 7321, 7231, 7330.

 

Two suit scheme

2 higher suit is longer
2
5+5+
2NT lower suit is longer, low shortage
3
lower suit is longer, 5422 exactly. 3 now asks for controls.
3
+ high shortage, 5431, 6421, 6430, 7420
4
lower suit is longer, 7411 exactly.

 

Three suit scheme

a) low shortage
b) 1444
c) 0544
d) 0454
e) 0445

 

Balanced scheme

2 4 hearts, 4432
2
4 spades, 4432, not 4 hearts
2
both minors 4432
2NT 4333
3
3433
3
3343
3
3334

If the shape scheme includes a 5m332 shape (by agreement only), then 5m332 is the first relay step and all the other shapes are up one step. The 5m332 is then resolved as follows: 5(332), 3325, 3235, 2335.

The normal suit order of spades before hearts has been reversed, to prevent the 2 bid from being natural. If the balanced structure ever results in 2 or 2 being bid naturally (for example if the 5m332 step is included), then the heart-showing and spade-showing bids are swapped.