Bridge Agreements

These pages describe Vince and Benji's bridge agreements: mostly bidding, also carding. Our Precision system, based on Berkowitz-Manley, is described on a separate page.

Jump to: 2/1 Game Force and Forcing NT | Ace Asking | Bids over 2 NT | Competitive Bidding | Carding

Two Over One Game Force

After a normal 1 H or 1 S opening 1 NT is forcing (semi-forcing if responder has already passed) and any 2/1 bid is a game force. This does not apply after an opening bid of 1 D: then, 1 NT shows about 7–10 HCP, and 2 C is a one-round force, showing about 10+ points (unless responder has already passed).

After a forcing 1 NT bid, opener promises 6 when he re-bids his suit, so he may have to bid a 3-card minor. If the opening bid is 1 H, then responder should not have a 4-card Spade suit; thus opener gnerally needs a 5-card suit to bid 2 S, and he may have to bid 2 C with only two. Some day, we may agree to play Flannery to deal with 4=5=?=? hands.

Ace Asking

Over the sequences 1 NT, 2 NT, 1 C–1 NT, 1 C–2 NT, a bid of 4 C is Gerber: the response is 4 D with 0 or 4 Aces, 4 H with one Ace, etc. After this response, 5 C asks for Kings, with similar response.

Except when Gerber applies, a jump to 4 NT is RKCB. If there is no agreed suit, the last natural suit bid is considered the key suit. The responses are

After this response, a bid of 5 NT asks responder to bid his cheapest King outside the key suit. After a response of 5 C or 5 D, the next suit bid (if not the agreed trump suit) asks about the key Queen: if responder has it, he bids an outside King or (lacking an outside King) jumps in the trump suit.

After a natural minor-suit bid, a jump to the 4-level in the other minor is RKCB. The same responses apply, including asking for the key Queen and for specific Kings, but of course the steps are adjusted. For example, bidding 4 D over a 2 C or 3 C opening; bidding 4 C after a 3 D opening (even though this is not a jump); or 1 D–1 H; 2 S–4 C (since the 2 S bid promises a 6-card Diamond suit).

Bids over 2 NT

We play the following conventions after an opening bid of 2 NT, or after 1 C–1 D (Precision) followed by a 2 NT rebid. Familiar conventions: Jacoby and Texas transfers, Gerber, quantitative raises.

Puppet Stayman

Over 2 NT, 3 C is Puppet Stayman. Opener's responses are as follows. (Do not bid 2 NT with 5-4 in the majors!)

Responses to 3 C (Puppet Stayman)
3 D One or two 4-card majors
3 H 5 Hearts
3 S 5 Spades
3 NT 2–3 Hearts, 2–3 Spades

Responder can pass 3 NT or bid on as follows.

Responses to 3 D in Puppet Stayman
3 H 4 Spades (or more), denies 4 Hearts
3 S 4 Hearts (or more), denies 4 Spades
3 NT no 4-card major
4 C at least 4-4 in the majors, slam interest
4 D at least 4-4 in the majors, no slam interest
Responses to 3 NT in Puppet Stayman
4 C Gerber
4 D transfer to Hearts
4 H transfer to Spades
4 S ??
4 NT quantitative invitation to 6 NT
all else to play

Minor-Suit Slam Try

Over 2 NT, 3 S is a minor-suit slam try, requiring a 3 NT rebid from opener. Here are responder's possible rebids:

4 C At least 5-4 in the minors, Clubs better than Diamonds
4 D At least 5-4 in the minors, Diamonds better than Clubs
4 H At least 5 Clubs. Opener bids 4 S (RKCB for Clubs) or 4 NT (no fit).
4 S At least 5 Diamonds. Opener bids 5 C (RKCB for Diamonds) or 4 NT (no fit).

Over 4 C or 4 D, opener bids 4 H to confirm a Club fit, 4 S to confirm a Diamond Fit, or 4 NT to deny a fit. Responder will normally bid 4 NT next (RKCB).

Competitive Bidding

Equal Level Conversion Doubles

If we make a takeout double, then correct a Club response to Diamonds, this does not promise extra strength. For example, if RHO opens 1 H and my hand is 6-4 in Diamonds and Spades, then I can double with about 10–15 HCP, planning to bid Diamonds if partner responds in Clubs.

Balancing Doubles

If the opponents bid normally to 2 H or 2 S and one of us makes a balancing double, then a response of 2 NT asks the doubler to pick a minor. The 2 NT bidder should have minors of the same length or only a 1-card difference. This makes it easier to double with four of the other major and 5-3 in the minors: if partner responds in the 3-card minor, the doubler should pass. This agreement does not apply to a double (balancing or otherwise) of the opponent's opening weak 2-bid: in this case, we do not want to give up the natural 2 NT response to the double.

Competing over a 4 S Opener

When the opponents open 4 S, a double is a 3-suited takeout bid, promising about 16+ HCP. (Of course, partner may leave it in for penalties, counting on those HCP. He will consider vulnerability, total tricks, and his own Spade holding.) We play that 4 NT over the opponent's 4 S bid is a 2-suited hand (at least 5-5). Partner bids his cheapest suit with 3+ cards, and the 4 NT bidder will correct if necessary. (Use common sense. For example, with 2=4=4=3 distribution, there is no point in bidding 5 C.)


We play the following: