Friday, July 15, 2011



ACE SHOWING RESPONSES  --    A response to the artificial strong 2 C opening bids.  This response is made on the assumption that the opener is more interested in first round control rather than a particular long suit of other distribution.

ASTRO CONVENTION  -- A method of competing against an opponent 1 NT opening bid.  It often uses the bid of a minor suit overcall to show a distribution hand of a major and a minor suit.  The Astro bidder promises 9 cards in two suit with the high card points concentrated in those two suits.

2 C shows hearts and a minor suit. 2 D shows spades and a minor suit.

FOURTH-SUIT FORCING – A style of bidding where the responder bids the only unbid suit at his second turn to bid.  It is artificial and it is forcing at least, to game.

GRAND SLAM --  A contract to take all 13 tricks.

LOSER TRICK COUNT – An alternative to value a bridge hand other than high card points.  LTC is a convenient way to value a hand in situations where shape and fit are more significant than HCP’s.

LIMIT RAISE  --  A type of response to an opening bid of one of a suit at the 3 level that is invitational rather than forcing to game or beyond.

LEBENSOHL  -- A convention to handle interference after partner open 1NT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  • 2 in any suit – natural, non-forcing
  • 3 in any suit except overcalled – natural, forcing to game.
  • cuebid (3 in the overcalled suit) – asking partner to bid a 4-card major.
  • 3NT – to play, denying a stopper by agreement.
NEW MINOR FORCING – A bridge convention that has the responder bid a previously unbid minor over a 1 NT rebid by opener.  The bid is artificial and is used when a partner is looking for a three-card support for your 5-card major.   The bid shows a hand of 11 high card points or more.

PUPPET STAYMAN  --  A refined version of the Stayman Convention primarily used in response to 2 NT opening bid.  After a 2 NT opening, a 3 C response promises game-going values and asks opener if he has a four or a five card major.  With 5 cards, opener rebids the major at the three level.  If opener has 4 H or 4 S he rebids 3 D .  With no four or five card major, opener rebids 3 NT.

ROMAN KEY CARD BLACKWOOD -- A variation of Blackwood whereby in addition to counting the four aces, you also include the king of trump for a total of five key cards.  In addition, RKCB also allows you to check on the queen of trump. RKCB was developed and made popular by the Italian Blue Team and thereby the name, “Roman.”  The responses are: 5 C = 0 or 3 key cards; 5 D = 1 or 4 key cards; 5 H = 2 key cards without the queen; and 5 S = 2 key cards with the queen.  

QUANTITATIVE NOTRUMP – A natural non-forcing bid. Ex: Partner opens 1 NT, you bid 4 NT inviting partner to bid slam. It usually works this way, 1 NT – 2 NT – 6 NT.

REVERSE (OPENER) -- A rebid of a new suit that prevents responder to bid opener’s original suit at the 2 level.

REVERSE (RESPONDER)  -- The bid of a second suit by the responder,  preventing opener to bid responder’s first suit at the 2 level.

RULE OF 500 --  A rule stating the amount of tricks a partnership can afford to lose when doubled by the opponents.  If vulnerable, a bidder must not overbid by more than two tricks because the penalty for two tricks doubled is 500 (200-500).  When not vulnerable, the guideline is to overbid by three tricks because the penalty for three tricks doubled is also 500 ( 100-300-500).

RULE OF TWENTY – In the third and fourth position and in the event that you do not have the 13 required points to make the opening bid, count the HC points and the length of the two longest suits.  If that amounts to 20, you can open that hand.  Ex: 5 S , 6 H and 9 HC points = 20

RULE OF FIFTHEEN  – In the first or second position and in the event that you do not have the 13 required point to open a hand, count the HC points and the spades in your hand.  If that equals to 15, you can open that hand. Ex:  5 S and 10 HC points = 15

RULE OF ELEVEN --  In  bridge, the rule of 11 pertains to the opening lead card being the fourth best.  Subtracting that card from 11, a defender can intellingently guess how many cards are higher than the card partner has led.  Ex:  West leads the 7 and East applies the rule of 11.  (11 - 7 = 4)  This shows that there are 4 cards higher than the 7 that Dummy, Declarer and East hold.

SURE TRICKS – tricks that can be won by not giving up the lead.  A very important guideline for Notrump hands where giving up the lead often allows the opponents to run a long suit.

SMALL SLAM – A contract to take 12 out of 13 tricks.

SMOLEN  -- A transfer bid that allows the 1 NT opener to name his suit after the 2 C bid (Stayman) by responder and the 2 D rebid by opener.  This is usually done with a 5-4 in the majors and at least 10 HC points. 

Ex:  After partner 1 NT opening, you bid 2 C .  If he will responds 2 D (he does not have a 4-card major), you jump to 3 of the shorter major conveying to your partner that you have 5-cards in the other major.

Opener                                Responder                                        K 10 5                        Q J 3 2

1NT                                     2 C                                                     K 9 7                          A Q 10 8 7

2 D                                     3 S                                                       A 6 5                                Q 9 8

4 H                                     Pass                                                        K Q J 8                             10

1 – Stayman – Do you have a four card major?

2 – No.

3 – Smolen: I have 5 H and 4 S .

SWISS CONVENTION  -- A response of 4 C  or 4 D to an opening bid to one of the major suits showing a forcing raise to the 3 level of the opening suit.  It is usually done with 13-15 high card points.

TEXAS TRANSFERS --  After 1 NT opening by partner, a Texas Transfer may be used to describe a hand with six cards or longer in a major suit.   When partner opens 1 NT he guarantees at least 2 cards in each suit so responder knows right away the suit contract they want to be in.
Playing Texas Transfers, responder jumps to 4 D for hearts and 4 H for spades.

TRUSCOTT 2NT – A jump of 2 NT (conventional) after an opponent’s takeout double to show a limit raise or better in partner’s opening suit.

TWO-CLUB OPENING – An unbalanced hand of 19 to 21 high card points.

THREE-NOTRUMP OPENING  -- A balanced hand of 25 to 27 high card points.

TWO-OVER-ONE GAME FORCE  -- An agreement that a 2-level response after an opening bid of one of the majors is forcing to at least game.

TWO DIAMONDS NEGATIVE RESPONSE – A response  of 2 D to a forcing strong 2 C opening bid showing a minimum hand of 3-5 points.  It is usually called a waiting bid.

TWO DIAMONDS POSITIVE RESPONSE  -- An agreement used by some players whereby the 2 D response after a strong 2 C opening is the only possible positive response.

VOID SHOWING BIDS  -- The use of an unusual bid at the four or five level that has no possible meaning other than, showing a void in the suit.  This is usually done after a fit with the partner’s suit has been agreed.

VOIDWOOD BLACKWOOD  --  A jump bid showing interest in slam after partnership has found a trump fit (usually in a major suit).  The jump suit shows a void and invites partner to bid slam.

WEAK JUMP SHIFT – A type of response to to an opening hand of 1 of a suit, showing a 6-card or a 7-card suit with less than 6 points, lacking support for partner’s suit and a hand not suitable to bid 1 NT.

Ex:  At the two level showing a 6-card suit

       At the three level showing a 7-card suit.

WEAK JUMP OVERCALLS  --  A direct bid (overcall) showing a weak hand with a long suit. 

WAITING BID – A bid asking for further information about the shape of a partner’s hand.

WEAK NOTRUMP  -- An opening bid of 1 NT not in the customary point range of 15-17 high card points.  It is a minimum strength opening showing 12-14 or 13-15 high card points.

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