Glossary of Bridge Conventions by Martin Johnson

Have you heard of some convention, and want to learn more? Most of the conventions and treatments encountered in modern bridge are covered, you can click on a letter below to find conventions starting with a particular letter, or use the index to look up a convention. The references to Bobby refer to the software program "Bobby Knows Bridge" which plays most of the conventions listed here.




























1-3-5 leads 2-4 leads Ace King leads Acol Two Clubs
Acol Two Bid Action Double Advanced Cue Bid Albarran Two Diamonds
Astro Astro Cue Bid Bailey Weak two bids Balanced raise of a major
Baron Bart Baze Bergen Raises
Bishop Convention Blackwood Brozel Brozel Rescue
Cappelletti Checkback Stayman Cole Competitive Fit Raise
Cooperative Double Crash Defense Criss cross Raises Cue Bid
Declarative Interrogative 4NT DONT defense Double Transfer Drury
Ekren Two Diamonds Exclusion Cue Bid Fit Jump (Flower Bid) Flannery Two Diamond
Flint Forcing Pass Forcing Stayman Four Suit Transfers
French 2NT Game Try Gambling 3NT Game Try Gazilli
Gerber Ghestem Good Bad 2NT Graded Major Raises
Grand Slam Force Help Suit Game Try Intermediate Jump Overcall Intermediate Jump Shift
Inverted Minors Irregular Redouble Jacoby 2NT Raise Jacoby Transfer
Johnson Convention Kaplan Inversion Key Card Blackwood (KCB)
Key Card Blackwood rebids Kokish Game Try Landy Lead Direct Double
Leaping Michaels Lebensohl Limited Two Suiter Meckstroth Adjunct
Mexican Two Diamond Michaels Cue Bid Mini Splinter Minor Suit Stayman
MUD Muiderberg Two Bids Multi Landy (Woolsey) Multi Two Diamond Opening
Multi Defense Namyats Negative Doubles Negative Free Bid
New Minor Forcing Non Forcing Free Bids Pass or Correct Penalty Double
Polish One Club Polish Two Diamonds Precision Two Clubs Precision Two Diamonds
Preemptive Jump Overcall Preemptive Raise Puppet Stayman Really Unusual No Trump
Repeat Cue Bid Rescue Redouble Responsive Double Reverse
Roman Jump Overcall Roman Two Diamonds Rubensohl Rusinow Leads
Sandwich Convention Secondary Transfers Self agreeing bid Serious 3NT
Smolen Splinter Stayman Stopper asking cue bid
Strong Jump Shift Strong Two Club Opening Support Doubles Swiss Raise
Takeout Double Tartan Two Bids Texas Transfer Top and Bottom Cue Bid
Transfer Advances Transfer Responses Trash Stayman Trump Asking Bid
Truscott defense to 1 club Two No Trump for the minors Two over one game force Two Spade size ask
Two way new minor Unassuming cue bid Unusual no trump Unusual Positive
Walsh responses to 1 club Weak Jump Shift Weak must Speak Weak Two Bids
Western Cue Bids Wolff Signoff XYZ convention Zero or two higher


1-3-5 Leads

A method of leading in which the card selected for the first lead in any suit is either the first, third or fifth highest card in the suit. By default, this method leads Ace from ace-king, the highest of other touching honors, third best from a three or four card suit, and fifth best from a five card or longer suit. The second card in interior sequences is lead (10 from KJ10 or 9 from K109). There is no fixed rule for leading from three small cards, depending on whether you want to emphasize honor strength or length you may lead high or low from that holding (but never middle). If the highest card is lead from three small cards follow with the second highest. This allows partner to determine if the lead is from two or three cards, as the declarer will rarely hide the lowest missing spot card.

2-4 Leads

This method of leading is popular in Eastern Europe, the first lead in a suit is either the second or fourth highest card. By default, the method uses Rusinow leads (lowest of touching honors), however the lead is the top of interior sequences as in standard leads. From three card suits, the second highest card is lead, from four cards or longer the lead is always fourth best. By default, the middle card is lead from 3 small cards.

The only controversial case is what to lead from a doubleton, particularly from honor and small card combinations. A low lead from Qx, Kx or Ax can have deceptive value, but also tends to block the suit in ruffing situations. Bobby allows you to play 2-4 leads and lead either high or low from these combinations.


 Common abbreviations used:

M - either major††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
m - either minor
FSF - fourth suit forcing†††††††††††††††††††
GSF - grand slam force
NMF - new minor forcing
HCP - high card points (Ace =4, K =3, Q =2, J =1)
IMP - international match points
KCB, RKC - Key card or Roman key card Blackwood
NMF - New Minor Forcing
PJO - preemptive jump overcall
UDCA - Upside down count and attitude

Ace King Leads

 The merits of whether to lead the Ace or King from ace-king are highly debatable. Bobby permits you to use the 1-3-5 or other spot lead schemes while varying the lead from AK or interior sequence holdings.

 If you lead ace from ace king you are going to get a count single. Players who use the king from ace king deny the king when they lead the ace, in that case the correct signal is attitude, showing normally the king. It is probably for that reason that the lead of an unsupported ace is a neglected lead amongst people who lead ace from ace-king.

 Even when playing 1-3-5 leads it is correct to lead the king from ace-king or king-queen when you are behind the dummy, this lead provides more information at no cost. When the ace is lead in cash out situations, it denies the king so the leaderís partner need only encourage with the king.

Acol two bid

An opening two bid in diamonds, hearts or spades showing a good five + card suit with 8 or more playing tricks, typically 17-21 HCP. Forcing for one round, openers rebid of suit is not forcing, a new suit is forcing for one round, usually 5-5 shape. A 2NT response is negative, a single raise is stronger than a double raise, new suits are forcing.

Acol two clubs

 An opening bid of 2 showing around 8 or 9 tricks in an unspecified one suited hand. Responder usually bids 2 allowing opener to name his suit. The bidding may stop below game if responder is weak. In some variations, opener may rebid 2NT to show a hand that is either slightly weaker (18-19 HCP) or slightly stronger (22-23 HCP) than a 2NT opening. A common variation is to use an opening bid of 2NT for the minors, then 2 followed by 2NT shows a balanced hand of 20-21 HCP.

The Acol 2 opening can be combined with various combinations of two level openings. In SEF, the standard French system, a 2 opening bid is Albarran (stronger than a 2 opening) and the other two bids are normal weak two bids.

Action double

A double by responder on his second turn after making a limited bid such as a single raise. Promises maximum defense (usually 1.5 to 2 defensive tricks) consistent with previous bidding, and no extra length in the agreed suit, at least two cards in suit doubled. Opener usually passes with a flat hand, or bid on with shape.

Advanced cue bid

Similar to a cue bid, but also agrees partnerís suit. Used by opener after a no trump opening.

Albarran Two Diamonds

An opening bid of two diamonds showing a very strong hand, either game forcing with an unbalanced hand or 24+ HCP balanced. Game will be reached unless opener rebids 2NT to show the balanced variety. Albarran is part of French standard (SEF) where it is combined with an Acol two club opening for slightly weaker hands.

Artificial 2 Club game force

A method of responding to a major suit opening in which two over one responses in diamonds and hearts are not game forcing, and a 2 club response is game forcing and does not promise club length, the response can include all balanced responses as well as hands with long clubs. The method is employed in many European natural systems including those played by the Italian national team. There are various rebidding schemes over the 2 club bid, the simplest of which involve a 2 rebid for all minimums. Responder may continue with a series of relay bids to determine openers exact shape.


A defense to an opening bid of 1NT. A 2 club overcall shows 4+ hearts, and 5+ minor. A 2 diamond overcall shows 4+ spades with second 5+ suit. Partner bids 2NT with values to ask for second suit, the step bid is not forcing asking overcaller to pass if this is his second suit.

See also Brozel, Cappelletti, DONT, Multi Landy

Astro Cue Bid

 A cue bid that shows 4 cards in the higher ranking unbid suit and 6 cards in the lower ranking unbid suit. The most useful case for this bid is a 2 level cue bid of openers suit by the defender to the right of the opening bid (e.g. 1-P-1-2 showing 4 hearts and six clubs).

Bailey Weak two bids

A style of weak two bids which advocates opening 2 of a major on near opener with a good five card suit as well as with a six card suit. This style can make it harder for the opponents to compete safely, but it also puts a strain on the responder to the weak two bid. A response of 2NT asks for strength and suit length, opener rebids:

††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 = minimum with 5 card suit
††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 = minimum with 6 card suit
††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 = maximum with 5 card suit
††††††††††††††††††††††† 3 = maximum with 6 card suit.

Balanced raise of a major

A non-forcing bid of 3NT over a major suit opening to show about 12-15 HCP in a balanced hand with three or four card support. Usually used with Jacoby 2NT raise (this shows a better hand). Using Jacoby transfers over a 1NT opening, the Stayman sequences 1NT-2 -2 -3 or 1NT-2 -2-3 are not needed naturally, and are defined as forcing raises of openers major suit, often with four card support and a balanced hand willing to play 3NT.


An old method of responding to a 2NT opening. Responder bids 3 to ask opener to bid four card suits up the line. Opener rebids 3NT with clubs only. This method allows detection of minor fits but also can result in the weaker hand playing in the major fit, and is thus rarely seen in modern bridge.


Bart is a structure of rebids by responder after an opening bid of 1 , a forcing 1NT response and a rebid of 2 . The purpose of the convention is to better define openers rebids after a forcing no trump and to allow uncovering playable heart fits. There are many subtle variations of this convention, the following is its implementation in Bobby.

If Bart is in use, openers rebids after 1 -1NT are

2/ - at least a four card suit
2 - usually a good 6 card suit
2NT - 18-19 balanced
3 // - usually natural, game forcing
3 - good suit, 16-17 HCP, not suitable for 3NT contract
2 - semi forcing,not suitable for other rebids

Responders rebids after 2 are

Pass - rare since opener may have only 1 club
2 - minimum preference, 2 or spades
2 - six card suit or excellent 5, opener usually passes
2NT and higher as in Standard
2 - Bart bid, artificial, 8+ HCP, usually 4+ card heart suit. Asks opener to rebid as follow

††††††††††† 2 - three card suit
††††††††††† 2NT - 15-17 balanced or semi-balanced
†††††††††† 3 - 5 card club suit
†††††††††† 3 - three card heart suit with 16+ HCP
†††††††††† 3 - 16-18 HCP, broken 6+ suit
†††††††††† 2 - default with none of above


A rebid in the other major after a major reply to Stayman showing a fit for openers major and slam interest. After 1NT-2 -2, the Baze bid is 3 , the hand will be balanced or perhaps include a singleton spade. After 1NT-2 -2 , the Baze bid is 3 and is always a singleton, jump rebids of 4 or 4 show singletons in either of these sequences.

 Bobby plays a variation of Baze called Johnson, the bid in the other major includes the Baze hand and also flat hands of 9-11 HCP which are suitable for a 3NT contract despite the presence of a known 44 major fit. If opener is 4333 or has a very weak four card major he may continue with 3NT which responder will either pass if also flat, or correct to 4 of the major. If opener has a near maximum hand he can cue bid over the Johnson bid in case responder has slam interest. After Johnson, 4NT by either player is Key card Blackwood. A direct 4NT over the 2 of a major rebid is quantitative.

Bergen Raises

 A structure of responses to an opening bid in a major that allow handling a variety of weak to strong hands and specifying the trump length at the same time. The responses are

Single raise - 6 to 9 HCP with three card support
3 - 6 to 9 HCP with four card support (Mixed raise)
3 - 9 to 11 HCP with four card support (Limit raise)
Jump raise - Preemptive with four card support, usually less than 6 HCP
2NT - Jacoby 2NT, game forcing or better with four card support

Bergen raises are a standard part of the two over one system but may be used with any five card major system. The idea of jumping to the three level with four card support is based on the law of total tricks. There is some risk in that so the preemptive raise should be based on good trump support when vulnerable.

A common variation of Bergen is to switch the responses of 3 and 3. Known as Reverse Bergen this method uses 3 as the limit raise (allowing more room for exploration) and 3 as the mixed raise (more preemption).

There are many other structures of major raises, a common one is Graded major raises, which have the advantage of leaving the jump bids in the minors free for natural purposes. Another variation is Criss Cross raises.

When there is a double, 1 or 2 overcall, it is possible to retain the Bergen structure, this is known as Bergen in competition. An alternative method after a takeout double is Irregular Redoubles which have the advantage of retaining the 3ß or 3 responses for other purposes.

Bishop Convention

A highly obstructive method of overcalls which can be used against a strong club opening or one promising only 2 clubs, such as the Polish Club or Roman systems. Double or pass are used for most strong hands, other overcalls are nominally 5 to 14 HCP but may be weaker at favorable vulnerability.

Pass - may be strong with long clubs, else usually very weak or 4333 shape

Double - 14+ HCP, similar to normal takeout double

1 /1 /1 - Exclusion style overcall, shows at most two cards in bid suit, with either 4432, 4441 or 4450 where the 5 card suit is a minor. Responses are

†    1/1 - lowest playable suit, may be 3 long
   † 1NT - constructive
   2 /2 - forcing exclusion responses
†    2 of suit overcalled - a strong cue bid
††   others - natural, independent suit

1NT - one suited overcall. Responses are

†††† 2 - pass or correct
†††† 2/2/2 - forcing, constructive, ask for overcallers short suit
†††† 2NT - strong, asks overcaller to name his suit
 ††† 2 thru 2 - at least 54 in two suits, 4-14 HCP

2 =minors


2 = hearts and a minor

2 = spades and a minor

2NT - at least 65 in any two suits

3 overcalls - weak one suited

3NT - gambling, solid minor

4 /4 - Good overcalls in hearts or spades respectively

4 /4 - Preemptive weak defensively


 A bid of 4NT to ask for aces, the responding hand bids 5 with 0 or 4 aces, 5 with one ace, 5 with two and 5 with three. The 4NT bidder can continue with 5NT to ask for kings on the same scale of rebids. Generally Blackwood is used only after a suit opening bid, in no trump auctions the ace asking bid is Gerber and 4NT bids are quantitative raises. If the responder to Blackwood has a void he may jump to six of the void suit or the agreed suit (whichever is lower) with one ace, or bid 5NT over 4NT with two aces and a void.

Most serious partnerships now use some variation on Blackwood, Key Card Blackwood being the most common form. Roman Blackwood is another now rarely seen variation.

Blackwood Interference

When the opponents overcall a 4NT bid that is ace asking, there are several responding schemes available to show aces (or key cards).


 In this method a double or redouble shows 0 aces, a pass shows 1 ace and other bids are by steps showing 2 or more aces (or key cards).


In this method double shows an even number of aces or key cards and pass an odd number.

Commonly DOPI is played after interference at the five level and DEPO after six level interference.


A defense to a 1NT opening, based around the heart suit. Double shows a one suited hand, 2 shows clubs and hearts, 2 shows diamonds and hearts, 2 shows majors, 2 shows spades and a minor.

Brozel Rescue

Used after a weak no trump (13 or fewer points) is doubled for penalty. Two level responses show two suiters (at least 4-4), 2m =bid suit and hearts, 2 =majors 2 =spades and minor (5-4). Redouble shows a one suiter, forcing opener to bid 2 clubs, then responder passes or bids his suit. These actions show weak hands. With a good hand pass or jump to 3 of a major (invite with 6+ suit).


A method of shape showing where the second bid suit is longer or equal to the first suit (part of several Italian systems). May be used by the opening bidder (e.g. an opening of 1 followed by a rebid of 2 promises 4 spades and 5 hearts).


A 2 diamond overcall shows 5+-4+ in majors (2NT response asks best major, shows values). A 2 or 2 overcall shows a 5+ suit with a secondary minor (2NT asks minor), 2 shows a major one suiter (partner must bid 2 diamonds unless bust).

Checkback Stayman

After a minor opening bid, a major response and a 1NT rebid by opener, responder can rebid 2 as a general inquiry, the check back Stayman bid. The operation of this convention is almost identical to that of New Minor forcing, except that it is not possible to play two clubs if opener started with 1 . This is a small disadvantage but is compensated for by the ability to play 2 as a sign off rebid, so responder can bypass diamonds to show a major without fear of missing a diamond part score.

Convention Card

 A convention card is a set of agreements you have with your partner, both for your own use and that of the opponents. Bobby has convention cards available for all the systems it plays. You can create your own convention card in two ways, either filling out an ACBL style convention card form, or filling out a series of screens which create an international style descriptive convention card. In either method you start with a basic system and customize to your choices. The settings are of various types:

Multiple choice agreements - Several choices for each

1) Meaning of a bid
2) Point ranges for various bids
3) Lead and signal agreements
        Yes or no choices - Tick or remove the tick in the box provided
4)Optional conventions
5) Style features

Style features affect how Bobby resolves close decisions in the later rounds of bidding or on opening lead. Style features are part of the default convention cards as well. In 2/1 for example, the system is oriented to finding a major fit and once found playing no trump is not a likely option. In Acol, there is more of a tendency to bid no trump rather than weak majors, and that is reflected in the style feature ďPrefer No trumpĒ


After a minor suit opening and major suit response, a 2 club rebid by opener is a transfer to 2 diamonds, after which openers rebids have the following specialized meanings

2 (other major) = light reverse††
2M = three card raise
2NT = 16-17††
3 = 5-5 not quite forcing

One of the advantages of Cole is that a direct raise of a major response guarantees four card support, and a 1NT rebid tends to show good stoppers and no fit.

Competitive fit raise

A raise of partner's suit which is based on long trump support, by the law of total tricks. For example, after 1-2overcall-2, a raise to 3 may be weaker than normal with four card diamond support.

Cooperative double

Similar to an action double, but more general term for any double which asks partner to pass with a flat hand or bid with undisclosed length (usually good 5 or 6 card suit). May be used by opener or responder. It applies to doubles of artificial openings or overcalls, by overcaller or advancer after a 4 , 4 or 4 opening (promises some support for higher ranking suits), by overcaller who has passed if doubling 1NT response or rebid, in the balance seat over a 1NT opening or directly over a weak no trump opening, and most other balancing doubles of bids below 2NT. Also used by responder in a big club system after a 1 opening and jump overcall at two or three levels. Bobby also defines 1 --4-D and 1NT-2x(natural)-D as cooperative.

Crash Defense

A defense to an artificial strong 1 club opening. Overcalls have the following meanings. The name is an abbreviation for color, rank and shape.

1= two suiter of same color (C)
1= two suiter of same rank (RA)
1NT= two suiter of same shape. (SH)

These bids promise at least 5-4 shape with less than opening hand in points.

Advancer makes a minimum bid in his cheapest suit, or jumps with a two suiter preemptively with an assured fit (e.g. after 1 overcall, a jump to 2 is possible with 4+ spades and 4+ length in a minor). Crash may be used over an artificial 2 opening also.

Criss cross raises

A structure of raises to opening bids. When used over a major opening, jump raises to the three level are preemptive. A 2 response to 1 or a 3 response to 1 shows a limit raise with four trumps. When used over a minor opening, a single raise shows 6-9 HCP, and a jump raise shows 10-11 HCP. To show a forcing raise of the minor, you jump in the other minor (2 over 1 or 3 over 1).

Cue bid

A bid after suit agreement in another suit showing a control in the suit bid, either the ace, king, singleton or possibly a void (a void showing bid is usually preferable).Skipping a suit does not deny a control in skipped suit, merely to invite a specific cue bid (as in the next higher suit). If past five of agreed suit shows first round control.

Declarative Interrogative 4NT

A slam bidding tool where a bid of 4NT expresses slam interest and asks partner to cooperate, without any specific rebid structure. When used after a cue bid the 4NT bid either shows good trumps or a control in a higher suit that canít be cue bid without reaching slam. The responder to 4NT can cue bid, bid slam in the agreed suit or signoff in five of the agreed suit. The main advantage of this convention occurs when there is a minor fit and it is not entirely safe to bid 4NT ace asking. Bobby allows you to use 4NT as DI when used as a jump bid, in other cases it is ordinary Blackwood.

The modern version is the Turbo convention, when a rebid of 4 No Trump to show an even
number of Aces and/or Key Cards. This may only occur after a cue bid has been made showing a first or
second round control after suit establishment. If the partner rebids higher than 4 No Trump, then this action
shows an odd number of Aces and/or Key Cards and also a first-round control in that named suit. The bid,
therefore, of 4 No Trump does not ask for the number of Aces and/or Key Cards, but rather shows a
definite number of Aces and/or Key Cards.


A defense to an opening bid of 1NT. The name stands for "Destroy opponents no trump".

†††† Double is one suited

†††† 2 is clubs and a higher suit

†††† 2 is diamonds and a higher suit

†††† 2 is majors

†††† 2 is natural.

The length promised in the bid suit is 5 cards, the other suit may be 4 or 5 cards long. The strength is usually close to an opener.

DONT does not have a penalty double, so many partnerships switch to another convention when defending against a weak no trump.

Double transfer

Any bid that shows length in the suit two higher than the bid. Namyats or South African Texas where clubs show hearts and diamonds show spades are examples. Over a 1NT opening, four suit minor transfers are another example (where 2 shows clubs, and 2NT shows diamonds).


 A response of 2 clubs by a passed hand to a major suit opening to show at least three card support for the major, and 9-11 HCP. Rebid structures vary, the most popular version is to use a 2 major rebid by opener to show a light or minimum opening, a 2 diamond rebid shows a sound opener, 3 level bids are slam tries, 4 of the major is to play (Reverse Drury).

A common variation is no fit Drury, where 2 clubs may be based on clubs only or a hand with a fit. Opener rebids as over a natural 2 clubs, except that he can not pass, and 2 diamonds is a waiting action after which responder will raise with a fit, or bid the other major, no trump or clubs with no fit.

Some people play Two Way Drury, a response of 2 shows three card support, a response of 2 shows four card support, both with 9-11 HCP.

Since 2 shows a fit, responder must jump to 3 clubs directly over the opening with an invitational club one suiter.

Some partnerships use a 2 response to an overcall to ask the strength of the overcall, replacing the traditional cue bid of opener's suit for that purpose. The 2 response may show three card support and the cue bid four card support if Drury over overcalls is in use.

Ekren two diamonds

An opening bid of 2 showing a hand of 5-11 HCP with both majors distributed either 54,55 or 64. Either major can be longer. Responder will usually bid the major he prefers, with a jump if he has a good fit. A response of 2NT is forward going and opener rebids by steps to show his overall strength and shape. Ekren may be used in conjunction with either weak two bids or Muiderberg.

Exclusion Cue Bid

A method of showing controls in various suits at the same time. Used in Moscito, the ultimate club and various home grown system after a series of relays identifying the exact shape of one hand. Partner's next relay asks for the location of high card controls, the rebid deny a control in a specific suit. For example, if a player has shown precisely 5431 shape, and partner relays with 4, a 4 rebid would deny a spade control (the longest suit), a 4 rebid would show a spade control and deny a heart control (second longest suit) and a 4 rebid would promise controls in spades and hearts and deny a diamond control. 4NT would deny a club control but show the other three controls, and 5 would show a control in all four suits. A further relay then would ask for second controls under the same scheme.

Experience Level

The experience level is used to control the type of conventions that can be used, both by Bobby as your partner and as an opponent. Use an appropriate level based on the following guidelines

Novice - familiar with basic bid types, Blackwood, Gerber, Stayman

Intermediate - familiar with Texas, Lebensohl, Flannery, Smolen, Bergen raises, forcing 1NT, inverted minors,total trick bidding, two suited cue bids

Advanced - roughly equivalent to life master knowledge level,Checkback Stayman, Canape, Namyats, Void showing bids, defenses to strong 1C,Bart, Sandwich defense

Expert - have played in national events. Specialized two openings including Multi, Muiderberg, Ekren, familiar with Polish, SEF, Dutch Acol conventions, and specialized 1NT rebids

World Class - conventions associated with unusual systems such as Roman,Leghorn, Swedish and forcing pass

Fit jump

Also known as a flower bid, a single jump response to a suit opening promising a good five card suit plus a fit for openers suit (typically four cards for a minor, three for a major opening). Fit jumps are common by a passed hand jump, showing 9-11 HCP. If Drury is in use, the suit jumped in will be a very good 5 or a six card suit, otherwise a moderate five card suit is acceptable. In competitive auctions after partner has opened or overcalled, fit jumps may be used to allow partner to determine if there is a double fit for both sides (used in conjunction with the law of total tricks to decide how high to bid).

Flannery two Diamond

An opening bid of 2 showing 11-16 HCP with 4 spades, 5 hearts, and unspecified minor length. A response of 2NT asks, then

       3m = 3 card suit
       3= 11-13, 4-5-2-2
       3 = 14-16 4-5-2-2
       3N = same with minor honors
       4m = 4 card suit.

Direct responses of 4 or 4 agree hearts or spades respectively. A jump to 3M is a slam try, a 3M rebid is not forcing.


A conventional rebid of 3 after the auction 1m-1x-2NT, which requests opener to rebid 3. Responder then passes of rebids 3 of any suit (weak).A direct rebid of 3 of a suit is forcing. Bobby also allows you to play new minor or transfer rebids, as after a 1NT rebid. The North American version of this treatment is called Wolff signoff.

Forcing Opening Bid

All bidding systems have at least one forcing opening bid that handles very strong hands. In standard systems that bid is 2 clubs, sometimes combined with 2 diamonds (SEF and Italian). In strong club systems that opening bid is 1 club (Precision, Blue team, Swedish and Cobalt). One club is also forcing but not necessarily strong in Polish, Roman, Fab Sayc, and Fab Roman systems. A few systems use 1 diamond as the strong opening (Leghorn, All out). Now illegal at all levels, the forcing pass system uses a pass in first or second seat as a forcing bid with normal opening strength (12+ HCP).

The forcing opening is automatically set in Bobby when you select a base system, it is shown only for information purposes.

Forcing Pass

When opener's side has established a force, interference bids below the level of that force allow the next player to make a forcing pass, after which his partner must double or bid. It is best to use the pass to show a minimum fairly balanced hand. Direct actions show good hands or extra distribution. Forcing passes may apply also after your side has voluntarily bid game, and the opponents bid again. The theory is that a pass is forcing if the opponents are obviously sacrificing, and tends to show a singleton or void in the opponents suit. A direct seat double shows two losers in the opponent's suit if the opponents bid beyond your game. Bobby uses forcing passes only if your side is vulnerable, the opponents not vulnerable, and both you and partner have shown some values. e. g. 1-4-4 -P is not forcing.

Forcing Stayman

A bid of 2 over 1NT to establish a game force and ask for a major. The No trump bidder rebids 3x with a five card suit, 2M with four cards, or 2N. After a major response, 3M is a slam try. if both Stayman and forcing Stayman are used, 1N-2ß-2x-3m is not forcing. Also known as Two way Stayman.

Four Suit transfers

A method of responding to a 1NT opening using both Jacoby transfers to the majors and responses of 2 and 2NT to show respectively 6 cards in clubs or diamonds. Over the minor suit transfers, opener accepts the transfer with a minimum hand or no fit by rebidding 3 or 3 respectively. With a more than minimum hand including a fit for responders minor (at least three to the queen support), opener super accepts by rebidding 2NT or 3 respectively. If responder has a weak hand he either passes the transfer or corrects to his minor over the super accept. With a game going or better hand responder continues by rebidding a singleton (rebids of 3, 3, 3 after 2 or 4 after 2NT) or by rebidding 3NT (no singleton, choice of games) or 4NT (no singleton, slam invite). If responder has an invitational to game hand with about 7-9 HCP he will pass if opener accepts the transfer, or continue with 3NT or singleton showing if opener super accepts.

Four suit transfers are a part of the methods used by Kit Woolsey in what is known as Washington Standard, but they can be played in any system. The convention is simple and effective. The main alternative is to use a response of 2 to show the minors, known as Minor Suit Stayman.

French 2NT game try

In a sequence starting with one of a suit, a one level response and a raise of responders suit, responders rebid of 2NT is an artificial game try, it need not be balanced or show stoppers in the unbid suits. Part of the SEF system, opener rebids 3 of his first suit with five card length and only three card support for responderís suit. He may also bid a new suit or raise to 3NT with only three card support. A rebid of three or four of responderís suit confirms four card support. Bobby provides for playing French game tries in the special rebids section of the minor openings page (after 1m-1M-2M, 2NT asks).

Gambling Three No Trump

An opening bid of 3NT based on a long running suit, usually a minor. In the normal method the opener denies a solid stopper in any side suit, in the Acol style 3NT one side stopper is promised. When used in fourth seat the bid is also based on a long suit but can be a strong hand with several side suits stopped.

Responder over a gambling 3NT needs stoppers in several suits to pass, otherwise he uses the pass or correct method to ask opener to name his suit. Responses are

      4 - asks opener to pass with clubs or name his suit
      4 - asks opener to pass with diamonds or name his suit, so implies a fit for clubs
      4M - to play
      5 - fit for both minors, asks opener to pass or correct

Game try

After suit agreement, a bid in a new suit below 3NT shows a stopper or length in the suit bid and game interest (long suit game try). If a minor is agreed, a game try in a single unbid suit may be used to show a half stopper (Qx or Jxx). After a single raise of a major opening, the most common style is a help suit game try, opener bids a side fragment or suit in which he has secondary losers. Responder accepts the game try with either shortness or fitting honors in the help suit, or can bid a new suit where he has secondary values.


Gazilli (sometimes spelled Gazzilli) is a conventional method of rebidding by opener employing a low level forcing rebid of 2. The base auction for this convention is 1-1NT-2. The 2 rebid shows either clubs or various strong hands. With a weak hand responder rebids either 2 (preference) or 2 (natural, 5+ suit). With a better hand (8+ HCP) responder usually relays with 2, over which opener rebids 2 (minimum 5532 hand) or 2 (unbalanced, 4+ clubs). Opener's higher rebids (2NT thru 3NT) show hands in the 16-18 HCP and are game forcing over the 2 rebid.

Using Gazilli opener has two ways to rebid beyond 2, either directly over 1NT, or indirectly via 2. This allows opener to show 54,55,64 and 63 hand patterns of 16 or more points. There are many versions of Gazilli, and they vary mostly in the meaning of these high direct and indirect rebids. Related conventions that operate on a similar principle are Bart and Cole

Gazilli may be used after 1-1NT, 1-1 and 1- 1 major also. Where the 1 response uses the Kaplan Inversion the minimum hand types for the Gazilli 2 rebid are more limited.


A bid of 4 clubs asking for aces. Normally occurs after 1NT or 2NT opening or rebid, but may occur in other situations (set in conventions). A follow-up of 5 clubs asks for kings, 4NT is natural.

Responses to Gerber - 4= 0 or 4 aces 4=1 ace 4 =2 aces 4NT =3 aces.

Kings are shown in same fashion at five level after a 5 rebid.

Bobby allows you to play Gerber directly over a 1NT or 2NT opening, over a NT rebid or overcall, or all jumps to 4 (as an unbid suit).


A method of showing two suited hands over one level opening bids. A direct cue bid shows the higher and lower unbid suits, a 2NT bid shows the two lower unbid suits, and a 3 bid shows the two higher unbid suits. This method is similar to Top and Bottom cue bids except for the 3 bid and has the advantage over Michaels cue bids of immediately specifying all two suiters.

Good Bad 2NT

After an auction like 1 by opener, 1NT by responder and a 2 overcall, opener has a problem if he intended to rebid in a minor. He needs a method to distinguish minimum hands with a lower ranking suit from those of invitational or forcing strength. There are several solutions to this problem. In the Good-Bad 2NT method openers rebid of 3 of a minor shows invite strength, around 15-17 HCP. A bid of 2NT instead is a relay forcing responder to bid 3 with a minimum hand. Opener then passes or corrects to 3 with a hand of less than invite strength (the bad) or continues with 3 or higher with a hand that wants to force to game (the good). An alternative method is to use Weak must speak.

Graded major raises

A term coined by George Rosenkranz to describe his method of raising major suit openings. It can be used in any five card major system with a forcing 1NT response.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Direct raises††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Raises via 1NT

Single raise†††††††††††††† 7-10 HCP, 3 or 4 trumps††††††††††††††††† 5-7 HCP, 2 to 3 trumps

Jump raise†††††††††††††††† 10-11 HCP, 4 trumps†††††††††††††††††††††† 10-11 HCP, 3 trumps

The single raise showing 7-10 HCP is known as the constructive single raise.

To show a game forcing raise, responder bids 2NT directly with four card support or makes a two over one response and rebids three of openers major with three card support.

Graded major raises do not provide for the preemptive raise used in Bergen raises. This is a mixed blessing, it is often better to give a simple raise or use a forcing no trump with a weak hand, not revealing the fit to the opponents either. Another advantage of Graded raises is that they free responses of 3 or 3® for other uses, either as a preempt or to show a good suit and a near opening hand (a holding hard to show in the Bergen structure).

Grand Slam force (GSF)

A bid of 5NT requesting opener show his top cards in the agreed trump suit. May be used if KCB not available, after 5 level cue bidding, or as a jump bid when you have a void.

Responses to GSF

Method 1 - Bid seven with two top honors, else bid 6 of the agreed suit.

Method 2 - Bid by steps, showing top honors (Q, K or A). 6 =0 6=1 (unless clubs agreed) 6 =1 and extra length (major agreed) 6 =2 top 6NT =3 top honors

The second method is more flexible since it allows the 5NT bid to be made without a top honor.

Normally the grand slam force must be a jump bid, in auctions where there is no clearly agreed suit a bid of 5NT is often used to mean pick a slam.

 Help Suit Game Try

A game try in a suit in which a player needs high card strength or shortness. This will be a weak suit with usually three + length. The responder to a help suit should treat all cards of queen or higher as cover cards in the help suit. The worst possible holding opposite a help suit is xxx, since it covers none of the potential losers

Intermediate Jump overcall

 A direct overcall of an opening suit bid, showing a hand strength of 11-16 HCP with a good 6 card suit, and no side suit (except possibly a weak four card minor). If the jump is to the 3 level a range of 14-19 HCP is common. Intermediate jump overcalls have several advantages over the main alternative of preemptive jump overcalls (do not help the opponents to play the hand, less vulnerable to big sets, and limit the meaning of overcalls or double followed by a bid of a suit).

Intermediate jump overcalls are commonly played in the balance seat also and over preemptive openings, when then strength is 14-19 with about 8 playing tricks.

Intermediate Jump shift

A jump response to an opening bid, similar to a weak jump shift, but with 9-11 HCP and a good suit. Most useful with a minor suit, to invite 3NT if opener has Kx or better fit. Often used by 2 over 1 force players to handle hands not worth a two level game forcing response, but with too much strength for a forcing no trump response.

Inverted Minors

A method of raising minor suit openings in which a jump raise is preemptive with usually five plus card support and around 5-9 HCP. Stronger hands from 10+ HCP with four or more cards in support make a single raise to two of openers minor. Most commonly, opener over the single raise will bid his cheapest stopper, or rebid 2NT to show stoppers in both majors. A jump rebid in a major by opener is played to show a singleton, with usually 5+ cards in the minor.

Inverted minors can be played in competitive auctions too, but there are alternative methods then so Bobby does not support that option. After a double or overcall, the three raise is usually played as weak, the single raise is similar but with only four card support. Either a strong redouble, a cue bid or a conventional 2NT bid is used to show stronger raising hands.

Irregular Redouble

After a major opening and takeout double, a jump to 2NT shows a limit raise or better in openers major, a 3M raise is weaker, primarily a preempt. This treatment is also called Jordan or Truscott.

Jacoby 2NT raise

A response of 2NT to an opening bid in a major which shows four + card support for openers major and game or better values. There are various rebidding schemes, in the standard method opener rebids

3 of new suit - singleton
3 of his major - no singleton, 6+ suit, extra values
4 of a new suit - good side 5 card suit
4 of his major - no slam interest and no singleton
3NT - 15-17 in a balanced hand

In the Rosenkranz method of rebidding new suit rebids are natural, as follows

3 of new suit - 4+ suit, then step bid by responder asks additional shape and raises shows good 4 support
3 of his major - extra values, no side suit
3NT - 12 to 14 with 5332 shape
Jump in a suit - singleton with 6+ of major, no singleton
4 of major - 6 card suit, no slam interest, can have singleton if minimum

The advantage of the natural rebid scheme is it makes it possible to find a side fit and play in it, allowing for hands that need a pitch and also permitting raising on three strong trumps. All shapes shown by the standard method and more can be shown.

A variation known as Jacoby-Roman allows the bid to be made on either a balanced 16+ hand with two card support for the major or the usual four trump hand.

In some variations, 2NT is not game forcing and can include limit raise hands. Opener rebids 3 clubs either with a singleton club or a minimum hand, other rebids follow the standard method.

Jacoby Transfer

A method of responding to a no trump bid in which a bid of 2 or 2 shows length in the next higher suit. The no trump bidder is expected to bid the suit (i.e. make the cheapest available bid). Bobby plays that other rebids show a fit for openerís suit and maximum values. After you transfer, a new suit bid is natural and forcing (or a cue bid if the NT bidder showed a fit at three level), 4NT is Blackwood if a fit has been agreed, natural otherwise. A jump in a new suit after a transfer is a Self splinter by default in Bobby.

If opener has a good fit for the suit responder holds he can super accept by bidding beyond two of responderís suit. There are various methods of super accepting, by default Bobby treats a jump in responders suit to show a four card fit and a non minimum hand.This rebid is both preemptive and mildly invitational. With an absolute maximum and good three plus card support opener names a side suit he holds

Jacoby transfers can also be played after an opening bid of 2NT. When Jacoby transfers are extended to include transfers to the minors also, the method is called Four Suit transfers.

Johnson Convention

Using the method of responding to a 1NT with forcing Stayman, responders rebids in the sequence 1NT-2-2-3 or 1NT-2-2-3 are forcing agreeing openers major. This sequence may be employed either to invite a slam in opener's major, or to determine when 3NT is superior to a four-four fit in the major (The latter may be true when both hands are 44, when there are surplus points and no unstopped suits, or when the trump suit is particularly weak).

The Johnson convention invented by this author and predating the alternative treatment Baze, implements the forcing major raises with ordinary stayman and jacoby transfers. The sequence 1NT-2-2-3 or 1NT-2-2-3 are defined as forcing, agreeing openers major. Responder may have a hand worth a slam invite (either balanced or with a singleton in the bid major) or a flat minimum game strength hand in which he is willing to play 3NT. Opener can cater to both hand types by rebidding 3NT when 4333 or 4432 with all side suits stopped and a strong doubleton (responder will pass this or cue bid), bidding 4 of the major with a minimum hand, or cue bidding with a maximum hand.

Using the Johnson convention, it is always right to bid 2 Stayman when you have game values and a four card major. This can be particularly beneficial if 1NT can be opened with 45 patterns, as then the 4-4 major fit will be clearly superior to 3NT even when responder has 4333 shape.

Kaplan Inversion

A method of responding to a 1 opening whereby the meaning of the responses of 1 and 1NT are reversed. 1 shows the equivalent of a normal forcing no trump response, 1NT shows spades (minimum 4 or 5 card length, depending on which version is is in. Over 1, opener can rebid 1NT with balanced hands or semi-balanced hands with 45 in the majors, rebids of 2 or 2 then can be played to promise 4+ length. Over the 1NT response opener rebids 2 with 3 or 4 card length, he may rebid 2 with 2533 shape.

Key Card Blackwood (KCB)

A method of responding to an ace asking bid in which the king of the agreed trump suit is counted like a fifth ace.May be abbreviated to KCB or RKC . The four aces and this king are considered to be ďkey cardsĒ.

Responses are:

5 = 0 or 3 key cards
5 = 1 or 4 key cards
5 = 2 key cards, denies the queen of agreed suit
5 = 2 key cards and the queen of the agreed suit

This scale of responses if called 0314, an alternative method known as 1430 switches the responses of 5 and 5. The idea is to gain bidding space when the responder has 1 key card, but the gain on some auctions is a loss on others. Bobby allows you to use either responding structure.

Key Card Blackwood developed from Roman Blackwood . In that version 5 hearts showed two matching aces (minors, majors, red or black), 5 spades two non-matching aces. Roman responses can be useful if the 4NT bidder has a void, but the queen style responses are superior.

There are various rules for determining the agreed suit in ambiguous cases, Bobby uses the following rules:

1)     if one suit has been raised, it is the agreed suit

2)     if two suits have been raised, the agreed suit is the higher ranking of the two suits

3)     if no suit is agreed, a jump to 4NT agrees the suit last named by the responder to 4NT

4)     in certain sequences a player can agree his own suit and then bid 4NT, this occurs after a Texas transfer or a strong jump shift

If the responder to KCB has a void, he can bid 5NT to show two key cards and a void, or jump to 6 of the void suit or the agreed suit, whichever is lower, with one key card and a void. With three or more key cards he responds normally.

Key Card Blackwood Rebids

Queen ask after Blackwood

After a response of 5 or 5, the cheapest available five level bid not in the agreed suit asks the responder if he has the queen of the agreed suit. Without the queen the response is the cheapest available bid in the agreed suit, with the queen responder bids his cheapest side king. With the queen but no side king, the response is six of the agreed suit. If the response to show the cheapest king would take the bidding past six of the agreed suit, then 5NT is used to show that king plus the trump queen. This method of queen asking is standard and is used automatically by Bobby if KCB is in use.

King ask after Blackwood

There are several methods of rebidding to ask for kings by the 4NT bidder. If you ask for kings you promise all the key cards, including the trump queen. Therefore if the responding hand has a source of tricks he can bid seven of the agreed suit. In all other cases, one of the three following methods is available in Bobby.

1)     5NT asks for side kings, 6 = 0, 6=1 6=2 and 6 =3

2)     5NT asks for specific kings. Response is in the cheapest side king, even if that bid takes the auction past six of the agreed suit. The asker must be prepared for that possibility. If a side king is shown the asker can relay with the cheapest bid not in the agreed suit to ask for a second king.

3)     the cheapest available bid asks for side Kings. This method is used in the Polish club system, there is no queen ask bid in that case, and the king ask does not guarantee all the key cards. Bids are by steps, as in method 1.

Other Five level rebids by the 4NT bidder

A rebid of 5 or 5 over the key card response that is not either king asking or queen asking or a sign off in a previously bid suit can be used to force partner to bid 5NT. This normally occurs when the agreed suit is a minor and the response has indicated two key cards are missing. The intent is to scramble out to 5NT and hope to make. However after the forced 5NT bid if the asker now continues with 6 of the agreed suit, he is inviting a grand slam. The explanation is that he could not safely continue with a king ask, so he probably needs two side kings for seven.

Third round control ask

After asking for key cards, if the asker names a bid suit at the six level different than the agreed suit, this bid is natural. Depending on whether the agreed suit was a real agreed suit or one forced by the Blackwood bid, the six bid offers a choice of slam or is an absolute sign off.

Where there is a clearly agreed suit and the asker names an unbid suit at the six level, this bid can be used to ask for third round control in that suit. Bobby offers you this as an optional extension to KCB, typically the bid is made on a long suit headed by the ace and king.

Kokish Game Try

After a single raise of an opening bid, a bid of 2NT as a game try asking responder to show where his values are is called a Kokish game try. Responder simply bids a suit in which he has secondary values and at least three card length, or returns to the major with minimum values. With a maximum he can also continue with four of the major or 3NT with scattered values. The 2NT bidder may be balanced or semi balanced, other game tries can then be made on 55 or 64 hands where opener wants only aces outside the two main suits and is not interested in 3NT. Bobby provides for using Kokish game tries



A 2 club overcall of a 1NT opening, shows at least 5-4 in majors, normally 10-16 HCP. Partner bids 2 with no preference, then overcaller selects the major.

Lead Direct double

A double of an artificial bid to promise strength and usually length in the suit doubled. Applies to doubles of cue bids, splinter bids, responses to ace asking (in an unbid suit). Lead directing doubles can be over used however, in slam auctions they substantially increase the opponents options in cue bidding.

May also be used after a transfer response to a 1NT opening or artificial responses to a strong 1 or 2 opening. At this level the opponents may decide to play the doubled contract, so you will need a good long suit and some side values for the bid.

Leaping Michaels

A defense against weak two bids in which four level jump bids show two suited hands. Over a 2 or 2 opening, a bid of 4 or 4 shows a good 55 hand in the minor bid and the unbid major. The overall strength is an opening hand or better in high cards with about 8 or 9 playing tricks. Over a weak 2 opening, a jump cue of 4 shows 55 in the majors and similar strength.

If Leaping Michaels is being used, a three level cue bid of a weak two bid asks for a stopper in that suit. The cue bidder will have a running minor and about 8 fast tricks for no trump play.

An optional extension is to use a jump bid of 4 over a weak 2 opening to show clubs and an unspecified major, partner cue bids 4 to ask for the major.


After a 1NT opening and two level overcall, responders 2NT is a transfer to 3 to sign off in a lower ranking suit than overcall or invite in a higher ranking suit. A direct 3 level bid is game forcing. A direct bid of 3NT over the overcall denies a stopper in the suit overcalled, responder bids 2NT and 3NT with a stopper. This method is known as slow shows. A direct cue bid of the opponentís suit is Stayman with no stopper, 2NT followed by a cue bid is Stayman with a stopper.

Lebensohl may also used after a takeout double of a weak two bid by the doublers partner to show a hand of less than 8 points. Direct three level responses show 8+ HCP.

A third use of Lebensohl occurs after a one level opening, a major response and a two level reverse by opener. Any rebid by responder at the three level including a return to openers first suit is game forcing. With a weaker hand (7 or less points) responder bids 2NT, opener will usually rebid 3 , then responders rebids are not forcing.

Bobby allows you to play Lebensohl in any of the above ways, and also after a takeout double of a one level bid. The Lebensohl bid in that case is 1NT, responses at the two level show 8+ points, jump responses show long suits. A 1NT response forces 2 if the doubler has a normal minimum double, responder then places the contract with a bid below 2 of openers suit, or continues above openers suit with a good hand but balanced shape.

Limited Two suiter

By responder, when three suits have been bid, a jump in the fourth suit may be used to show at least 5-5 shape with less than an opening hand (assuming a fourth suit bid forces to game).

Meckstroth Adjunct

A method of rebidding over an opening bid and one level response in which jump shift rebids by opener promise good shape (55) in the opened suit and rebid suit. Game going 63 and 54 hands are handled by a forcing 2NT rebid, responder rebids 3 (the adjunct) to ask opener to clarify his 2nt rebid which he does by rebidding his opened suit with 6 cards, in a new suit with 4 cards, or rebidding 3nt as the default. This is a highly aggressive method since it does not provide for any form of signoff, however you could play that responder rebids 3 of his major as a signoff, 3 as a kind of new minor asking for three card support.

Mexican 2

An opening bid of 2 showing a balanced hand of 18 or 19 high card points. Using this opening bid allows you to free a one level opening and 2nt rebid as forcing with strong unbalanced and semi-balanced hands (see the Meckstroth adjunct). There are various schemes of responding to the 2 opening, the one used by Bobby is based on transfers. The responses are:

2 - transfer showing spades, after the 2 rebid by opener, responder may pass or continue naturally
2NT/3 - transfers showing clubs and diamonds respectively, with natural rebidding.
2 - transfer to 2NT, responder may continue with 3 Stayman or 3 to transfer to hearts.

The above method is superior to that devised by George Rosenkranz, the convention inventor, which was based on point count.

Michaels cue bid

A direct overcall of two of openers suit showing either both majors over a minor opening, or the other major and an undisclosed minor over a major opening. Bobby requires at least five cards in the two suits (many tournament players allow 5-4 shape, which Bobby will overcall on). Point count is typically 8-13 HCP, but may e hand worth a game force. When there is an unknown minor, the cheapest available no trump bid by the cue bidders partner asks for the minor. The main alternative to Michaels is Top and Bottom cue bids.

Michaels cue bids are also commonly used over weak two bids and in the balance seat. An alternative method over weak two bids is Leaping Michaels.

Mini Splinter

A three level response in a new suit to a major opening showing 4 card trump support, a singleton in the bid suit and less than 10 points. This method is rarely seen today, having been replaced by either invitational jumps or bergen raises, either of which have higher frequency and solve more problems.

Minor Suit Stayman

A bid of 2 (or 2NT in some variation) over 1NT to ask for a minor suit. The No trump bidder usually rebids 2NT with diamonds or no fit, 3 with clubs. Responder may continue with 3M (singleton showing) to offer a choice of games.


A method of leading from three small cards requiring the lead of the middle card, and continuing with the higher card and the lowest card on the third round (middle, up, down or MUD). For deceptive purposes you may play middle then down to induce declarer to ruff a suit high. MUD leads are notoriously hard to read on the first round, partner might wish to withhold an honor if he knew you had no honor. For that reason, many partnerships prefer to lead high or low from three small cards.

Muiderberg Two Bids

An opening bid of 2 or 2 which promises around 5 to 11 HCP with 5 cards in the bid suit and at least four cards in an unknown minor suit. There are many variations of weak two bids that are similar to this convention, including Tartan two bids and Bailey weak two bids. At least two honors in the major and one in the minor are required for safety reasons.

The main difference in Muiderberg occurs in the responding and rebidding structure. Responses are

††† 2 - natural not forcing
††† 3 -to ask opener to pass if his side suit is clubs, or bid 3 if his side suit is diamonds.
††† 3 - invitational in openers major
††† 3M/4M - to play
††† 2NT - forward going with an opening hand or better and opener rebids:

         3 /3 = minimum hand with 4+ suit. Then responders 3M is forcing
         3 = 5 cards in clubs, not minimum
         3 = 5 cards in diamonds, not minimum
         3NT = 4 cards in both minors
         4 /4 = 6 card suit

Bobby by default treats a Muiderberg two bid like an ordinary weak two bid, using double for takeout, plus Lebensohl and natural 2NT overcalls with responses as agreed.

Multi Landy

A defense to one no trump based on openings using the Multi Defense. Also called Woolsey . The various competitive bids are

Double - Penalty, any 15+ hand with a good lead. In the Woolsey version shows a 4 card major and a 5 card minor, partner bids 2 pass or correct to diamonds, 2 asks opener's major.

2 - shows the majors at least 54,responding hand bids 2 to ask for longer major.

2 - shows one major at least 6 long, responding hand uses pass or correct or 2NT to ask

2 , 2 - show 5 cards in bid suit along with a 5+ card minor suit. 2NT asks for minor

2NT - shows the minors

3 , 3 - single suited, usually 7+ or good six

Multi Two Diamond opening

An opening bid of 2 showing a weak two bid in an unspecified major. Some partnerships also open 2 with a strong balanced hand, but this treatment is not supported by Bobby. When the Multi 2 is used, 2M openings are usually played as Acol or two suited.

The responses to Multi are:

2 - asks opener to pass with hearts or bid 2 with spades
2 - shows heart fit, asks opener to pass with spades or bid 3 or 4 with hearts
3 / - to play
3 - mildly invitational with 4 or strong three fit for both majors.
Higher - natural, to play, independent suit
2NT - forward going, and asking opener to name his suit, opening points or better

Bobby offers two rebidding structures after the 2NT asking response

Method 1 = Step rebids

    3 / show minimum weak two bids in hearts and spades respectively
    3 = maximum weak two bid with spades
    3 = maximum weak two bid with hearts

Method 2 = transfer rebids

    3 = maximum weak two bid in either major, then 3 asks, and 3 and 3 rebids are as above in the              major not held.
    3 = minimum weak two bid in hearts
    3 = minimum weak two bid in spades
    3 = not used, in live play could be 4 spades and 6 hearts with maximum

Multi Defense

There is no standard defense to a Multi 2 opening. Various ones have been proposed, Bobby by default uses the simplest possible defense. A double of the 2 opening shows a 15+ HCP balanced hand with willingness to defend openers major at the two level, other direct actions are natural and sound. After a pass or correct response or a rebid by opener in his suit, doubles are for takeout of the named suit and promise length in unbid suits and virtually guarantee 4 cards in the unbid major.

The ACBL defense to Multi uses double to show a takeout double of spades, and a 2 overcall to show a takeout double of hearts. Pass then double is penalty.


An opening bid of 4 or 4 showing respectively a good preempt in hearts or spades. The hand should have at most a one loser main suit, at least one side king or ace, and a second side control (singleton or high card). Opening bids of 4 or 4 show weaker hands, either a broken suit or lacking side controls. A Namyats bid should have at least 8 and 1/2 tricks, the natural preempts could have fewer tricks. Since no four level minor preempt is available, an opening bid of 3NT can be used to show a freaky minor preempt (a hand unsuitable for 3NT.

Natural over 1NT

All overcalls show the suit bid, 2NT shows minors, three bids show good suits

Negative Doubles

A double by responder on his first bid after an overcall of a 1 level suit opening. The minimum strength is 6 points if opener can rebid at one level, or 2 additional points for each additional level at which opener can make the cheapest rebid. The double nominally promises support 4 card support for at least one unbid major, or a fit for opener, or an opening hand. Bobby will always prefer a free bid in a new suit (5+ length, usually 11+ HCP) to a negative double. Opener should prefer to rebid an unbid minor, a jump rebid shows 15+ HCP, a double jump shows 5-5 or 5-6 (to higher suit). By default, negative doubles are used after a three level overcall of a strong no trump opening. After a suit opening, you can adjust the level to which negative doubles apply.

Negative free bid

A method of responding after an opening bid and overcall in which new suit responses are limited in strength and not forcing. Strong forcing hands are shown by first doubling then bidding the suit. This method is no longer popular, having been mostly replaced by transfer advances (which allow for both non forcing and strong hands without distorting the meaning of a negative double).

New Minor Forcing

After the auction 1m-1M-1N, the natural method of rebidding uses rebids at the two level as not forcing. It is convenient to define at least one of the two level rebids as artificial and forcing, so responder can explore for the best game. Bobby allows you to use three methods (see the conventions menu). The most common of these is new minor forcing, in which responder rebids 2 of the unbid minor with invitational or better strength. Opener rebids 2M with three card support, otherwise naturally. After using NMF, responders 3 level rebid is forcing. Direct rebids at the three level are weak (4 of major, 6 of the other minor) in the other minor, or invitational in other suits. In "Check back", 2 is always used as the forcing rebid, regardless of the opening bid. Bobby plays these conventions after 1-1 -1N also (this is not universal).An alternative method is to use transfer rebids at the two level (an uncommon method with pluses and minuses).

Non Forcing Free Bids

An agreement in competitive auctions that after an opening bid and overcall, responders new suit bids at the two level are not forcing showing a five + card suit and about 8-12 HCP. If responder wishes to force, he must either jump in the suit or make a negative double and then continue with a rebid in the suit. Note that a new suit bid at the one level is forcing by an unpassed hand and a new suit bid at the three level is game forcing. It is possible to combine non forcing free bids with an artificial 2NT response to allow both forcing and non forcing bids in all suits. For an alternative method of competitive bidding, see transfer advances.

Opponent System

The system used by Bobby as an opponent. You can specify a specific system or have the program varies systems in tournament play according to rules you select.

Standard systems include those thru Italian Standard

One club systems include Precision, Blue Team, Polish and Fab Sayc

Special systems include Roman, All Out, Leghorn Diamond, Swedish one club, Cobalt, Fab Roman and Forcing pass.

Pass or correct

A method of responding when partner has shown an unspecified single suited hand. Over a Multi 2 opening showing an unspecified major suit, a 2 response asks opener to pass with hearts or bid 2 with spades. A 2 response asks opener to pass with spades, but shows heart length so opener can bid 3 or 4 with hearts. A similar method can be used over a gambling 3nt opening or stopper asking cue bid, with responder skipping over minimum rebids in suits where he has game interest.

Penalty Double

Any double intended to say you can beat the contract. All doubles not specifically defined otherwise are assumed to be for penalty. This includes most doubles at the four level or higher. A double of a natural bid but not the agreed suit should show reasonable defense against the agreed suit and invite partner to double that suit. A penalty double at the one or two level should include several trump tricks.

Polish One Club

An opening bid of 1 club with several possible meanings. In WJ2000, the standard version, a one club opening is either

1)     Balanced hand of 12-14 HCP - Shown by 1 level rebid or raise of responders suit

2)     Balanced hand of 18-19 HCP , indicated by a 1NT or 2 rebid

3)     Strong hand of 8+ tricks, indicated by either a 2 or jump rebid

4)     A more than minimum hand with 5+ decent clubs and 15+ HCP, shown by a 2 rebid

Responses to 1 Polish club

1 - either 0-6 HCP or 17+ HCP(strong version shown by jump in NT)

     Opener rebids a major, possibly with 3 if 12-14 HCP     A 1NT rebid shows 18-19 HCP

1M - 4+ suit with at least 6 HCP. Opener with one of the strong hand types may continue with 2 as an asking bid, responder bids by steps to show his length in the major and overcall strength

1NT - semi balanced with 7-11 HCP

2 / - natural forcing with 10+ HCP, denies a major

Polish Two Diamonds

An opening bid of 2 promising at least 55 in two suits, one of which must be a major, and 5-11 HCP. This opening is part of WJ2000, the Polish standard system, where it is used in conjunction with ordinary weak two bids in the majors and a 2NT opening that is weak with both minors.

Responses to 2 follow the pass or correct method

2 - asks opener to pass with 5 hearts or bid 2
2 - asks opener to pass with 5 spades or name his minor
3 - mild invite with a fit for both majors
3 / - independent suit, asks opener to pass
2NT - asking bid, usually with constructive values. Opener rebids

††††††† 3 - 5+ clubs, then 3 asks for major
††††††† 3 - 5+ diamonds, then 3 asks for major. Opener rebids 3NT with hearts
††††††† 3 - shows the majors

This convention is rarely seen in non Polish systems, it is hard to handle especially if the opponents compete, and there is no mechanism for showing maximum on min hands because the response structure has to be geared to showing suits. Doubles by responder in competition ask the opener to name the cheapest of his two suits.

Precision Two Clubs

In the Precision system, an opening bid of 2 shows 11-16 HCP with 5+ clubs, a four card major is also possible. Responder may bid 2 which acts like a form of Stayman, opener then rebids 2 of a major with four card length, other rebids show various strengths and stoppers with 6 clubs. A similar opening bid is used in other strong clubs systems (Schenken, Neapolitan, Moscito). The 2 opening preempts opener's side, creating various problems like missing a major fit or playing in a very weak club fit. For these reasons some players restrict the use of this bid to hands with 6 clubs, others restrict it further to deny a four card major. In the latter version the 2 response asks for a three card major.

Precision Two Diamonds

An opening bid of 2 showing 11-16 HCP with 4-4-1-4 or 4-4-0-5, and short diamonds.

A response of 2NT asks, then

      3 = 11-13, 4-4-1-4
      3 = 11-13, 4-4-0-5
      3 = 14-16, 4-4-1-4
      3 = 14-16, 4-4-0-5
      3NT = 14-16, 4-4-1-4 singleton king or ace in diamonds

Responders 3M rebid is invitational if opener shows a minimum.

Preemptive Jump Overcall

A single jump overcall directly over a one level suit opening, usually based on a 6 or 7 card suit with 6-10 HCP, similar to a weak two bid. Also used over a strong 2 opening.

Preemptive Raise

A jump raise of an opening bid or overcall which promises four+ trumps and very little defense. Typical values would be Kxxx in trumps with a side singleton. If you promise a bit more (say another king) it is called a mixed raise.

Puppet Stayman

A variation of Stayman which allows opener to distinguish between four and five card majors. Puppet Stayman is commonly played over an opening bid of 2NT since when played as showing a hand in the 20-22 HCP range this opening bid often includes a five card major as there is no other way to show the high card strength.

The 3 response is Puppet, opener rebids

†††††††† 3 - shows one or two four card majors. Responder rebids

†††††††††††††††† 3 - four cards in spades
†††††††††††††††† 3 - four cards in hearts
†††††††††††††††† 4 - four cards in both majors
†††††††††††††††† 3NT - no major, was interested in a 5 card major in openers hand
†††††††††††††††† 4 - long clubs and slam interest, no major

††††††† 3/3 - a five card major

††††††† 3NT - no four or five card major.

When Puppet is in use, responder can not start with 3 on a diamond one suiter. It is common to use a response of 3 to show either both minors or a diamond one suiter. A rebid of 4 by responder shows the diamond one suiter, other rebids show both minors. Over 3 opener is permitted to bid 3NT only with good major stoppers, otherwise he bids four of a minor naturally. This is Minor Suit Stayman over 2NT.

Dutch Puppet Stayman is a variation which uses the same responses to 3 , however a response of 3NT shows specifically 5 cards in hearts and four cards in spades and offers a choice of games. To get to play 3NT responder must start with a 3 response which forces opener to bid 3NT. If responder then continues with a four level bid he shows the same hand types as in Minor Suit Stayman. If responder has 4 spades and 5 hearts he transfers with 3 and rebids 3 .

Puppet Stayman may be used after a 1NT opening bid also where the 1NT opening often includes a 5 card suit. This is a particularly effective method if using the 17-20 HCP range , featured in the Fab Sayc and Roman club systems. There are some differences to its use after a 2NT opening. After 1NT-2, opener rebids

††††† 2 - no 5 card major. Does not promise a 4 card major. Responder continues

††††††††††††† 2 - 4 spades, may have 4 hearts also
††††††††††††† 2 - 4 hearts, denies four spades
††††††††††††† 2NT - invite, no major
††††††††††††† 3NT - to play, was interested in a 5 card major only
†††††††††††††† 3 / - 5 card minor, denies a major

††††† 2/ - 5 card suit, rebids are as after 2NT opening and 3M rebid

††††† 2NT - maximum hand with no major.

Another variation uses a 3 response to show clubs and a 4 response to show diamonds, this is Four suit transfers over a 2NT opening. No super accept of these transfers is possible. A 3NT response would be to play in this method.

Really unusual NT

A method of competition over a minor suit opening, in which a double shows at least 14 HCP and at least two cards in the minor doubled, and a 1NT overcall is a three suited takeout of the minor. The main advantage of this method is that partner can convert the double to penalty (much as one doubles a weak no trump). The disadvantage is that when the 1NT overcall does not cash a good fit you are higher than in standard methods.


Rebids after a Weak two bid

A 2NT response to a weak two bid shows an opening hand or better, and by agreement opener has several optional rebid methods

Feature - Show side queen or better, rebid 3NT with solid suit, or rebid major.

Singleton - show side singleton, or 3NT with maximum.

Feature and singleton - two bids available to ask for either feature or singleton

Ogust - rebid by steps to show minimum or maximum suit quality and points.

3 =bad hand, bad suit††††††††††††††††††† 3=bad hand, good suit
3=good hand, bad suit ††††††††††††††††† 3 =good hand, good suit

Repeat cue bid

A cue bid in a suit you or partner has previously cue bid. If partner has cue bid the suit, shows the ace or king (rarely the queen). If only you have cued, guarantees first round control.

Rescue Redouble

When a low level bid has been doubled for takeout and the player behind the bidder converts to penalty, the next hand may double for rescue. He shows extreme shortness in the suit doubled and good support for all other suits, including suits bid by the opener, this is the rescue redouble. Another case is when the opening bid is passed to fourth seat who doubles. Opener may redouble to show length in both majors.

Responsive double

A double by overcaller or advancer after partner has made a takeout double, when opener's side has an agreed suit. Shows similar values and shape to a negative double. Bobby does not use responsive doubles after an overcall.


A first rebid by opener which forces responder to bid at the next level to take a preference. Usually promises extra levels. Bobby treats 1m-1x-2h as a reverse, but not 1x-2l-2h.

Roman Jump Overcall

A single jump overcall in a new suit to show length in the bid suit and the next higher unbid suit (2 shows spades and clubs). Shape and strength are similar to that for a Michaels cue bid (which has largely replaced this bid).

Roman Two diamonds

An opening bid of 2 showing 17-24 HCP, with 4-4-4-1 shape, with an unspecified singleton. A Roman 2 opening shows 4-4-4-1 with 11-16 HCP. Bobby plays 2 to show 11-24 HCP, three suited. This frees the 2 opening as a Multi 2, a hand type otherwise not handled by Roman.

A response of 2 asks, opener rebids

2=11-16, 4 hearts. Then 2 to play, 2N asks singleton, opener rebids

         3m - singleton in suit
         3 and 3 = minimum or maximum, singleton spade.

2 =11-16 singleton heart
2N->3 = 17-20, singleton in next suit
3 = 21-24, singleton spade
3N->4 = 21-24, singleton in next suit.

After opener's singleton is known, bid in that suit asks controls by steps (A=2, K=1 control). If opener showed 11-16, first step is 0-3 controls, if he showed 17+, first step is 4 controls.


A method of handling competitive bids over partners 1NT opening. Somewhat similar to Lebensohl, except using the principle of transfer advances. A double is for penalty, a two level bid is natural and competitive. Bids of 2NT thru 3 show length in the next higher suit and are competitive to strong, opener must accept the transfer. Transferring into the overcallerís suit is a Stayman inquiry, a bid of 3 denies either a stopper or a four card major but shows game values. A direct bid of 3NT shows a stopper in the opponentís suit, by the fast shows principle.

Rusinow Leads

 A method of opening leads in which the lower of two touching honors is lead. Leads of the ten or higher promise either the next higher honor or no higher honor and exactly two cards in the suit. Where an interior sequence is held, the lower of the sequence is also lead, so from KJ10 the lead is the ten, from K109 the nine.

The Polish method of leads includes Rusinow in the second or fourth best scheme.

Sandwich convention

After left hand opponent opens and right hand opponent bids a suit at the one level, the sandwich convention is an overcall of 1NT to show length (usually 55) in the unbid suit, with a hand of opening strength or less. This meaning is standard for a past hand, its use by an unpassed hand is part of 2 over 1 game force and can be used in any system. When the convention is in use, a cue bid of openers suit is available for other purposes, there is no standard agreement as to the meaning.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1 †††††† P†††††††† 1 †††††† 2

Meaning 1 - Strong takeout to the red suits

Meaning 2 - Natural with 6+ clubs

Meaning 3 - Shows 4 hearts and 6 diamonds, the Astro Cue bid.

In the above auction there is also no standard meaning for a 2 cue bid, any of the above meanings can be agreed on.

Note if the sandwich defense is in use, a double shows an opening hand and may include holdings with length and strength in the bid suits, that is a hand that would have overcalled 1NT as a natural bid if available.

Secondary Transfers

A complicated structure of rebids after a Stayman response or Jacoby transfer bid. Responderís rebids from 2NT thru 3 are transfers, with either weak or game going hands. Used in the Swedish club system and the Cobalt system. As played in Bobby, the following structures rebids apply.

1NT†††† 2
2†††††† ?

2 - natural, not forcing, 4 or 5 spades
2NT - shows 5+ clubs, forces 3 , responders rebid if any shows a singleton
3 - shows 5+ diamonds, forces 3, responders rebid if any shows a singleton
3 - shows 4+ spades, choice of games
3 - normal raise
Higher - splinter bids in support of spades

1NT†††† 2
2†††††† ?

2 - balanced with 5 hearts, invitational
2NT - 5 hearts and 4+ clubs, opener takes a preference
3 - 5 hearts and 4+ diamonds, opener takes a preference
3 - 5 hearts and 4+ spades, at least invitational strength
3 - normal invite with 6 hearts
3 and higher - self splinters

Self agreeing bid

A rebid of a suit you have previously bid which agrees that suit. The most common case is a strong jump shift response followed by a rebid of the suit, which guarantees at least a semi-solid suit. In auctions following a self agreeing bid, the player can bid 4NT as key card Blackwood with his own suit as the key suit.

Self Splinter

Similar to a splinter bid, but agrees YOUR last bid suit. May occur when partner has rebid in no trump, or by responder directly after he has made a strong jump shift.

Serious 3NT

A conventional rebid of 3NT to show slam interest and invite cue bidding. Used by opener after responder makes a 2 over 1 response and raises opener at the three level on his second turn. The 3NT bid shows extra values, cue bids by opener below 4 of his major are courtesy bids without extra values.

Shapes for 1NT opening

Traditionally 1NT openings included only 4432, 4333 and 5332 shapes with a five card minor. Bobby allows you to set rules for hands with a five card major that can be opened 1NT. You can also include off shape hands. Many systems now permit 2254 or 2245 (both minors) as well as hands with a six card minor and no singleton. A few systems permit hands with a five card minor and a four card major if the other suits are 22 and at least one of them is stopped.


Smolen is a special continuation after the bidding goes 1NT by opener, 2 by responder and 2 by opener. Responder with 54 or 45 in the major suits jump rebids to three in his four card major to offer opener a choice to play in the other major or no trump. The idea is to allow the no trump bidder to play the contract, whether in a 53 or 44 fit. Smolen is part of the package of conventions normally played in the two over one system. There are however other ways using transfers to show this hand type, so you can play the Smolen sequence either naturally, or as a specialized bid.

If minor suit Stayman is not being used, a jump to 3 of a major over 2 can be used to show a singleton in the bid major, 3 cards in the other major, and 54 in the minors, offering a different choice of games. (Three of major after Stayman shows singleton).


A jump bid, usually in a new suit, showing a singleton or void in the suit bid and support for partners last bid suit. An eight card fit and at least mild slam interest is shown. After splintering, a cue bid in the splinter suit shows a void. Originally splinters were used only in response to major suit openings. In modern bridge, most jump rebids in new suits are treated as splinters if they meet all of the following criteria:

1) Partners last bid was natural

2) The bid is a single or double jump beyond three of partner's suit and below five of partner's suit.

3) A non jump bid in the suit actually bid with the splinter bid would be forcing.

Some partnerships restrict the use of splinters to hands containing a low singleton (no ace, king or void), to holdings in which a 9 card fit is assured, or to hands not containing a long side suit that will provide a lot of tricks. Others have strict requirements for the strength of the hand (not too weak or strong). However by setting the trump suit and announcing slam interest, splinter bids tend to simplify auctions and focus partner's rebids. For that reason, splintering is generally preferable to any other method of bidding the hand unless there are two flaws (trump length, hand strength, holding in splinter suit and side source of tricks are the four possible flaws).

Standard Signals

A set of rules for opening leads and signaling. In general the higher of touching honors is lead, the exception being the lead of the king, which may be from KQ or AK. From non sequential honors, the lead is the lowest of three cards, or the fourth highest from longer suits. From an interior sequence, the lead is the top of the sequence. There is no standard lead from three small cards, some play the top card (top of nothing), some the middle card (MUD) and some lead low.

In signaling, a high card indicates either an even number of cards or a high honor in the suit lead. A high discard indicates strength in that suit and probably a desire to have the suit lead.

Because it is not always safe to signal encouragement in a suit with a high card, many players now reverse the standard signals, the reverse method is UDCA ( upside down count and attitude).


A minimum bid in clubs over partners no trump bid asking partner to bid a major.

It is normal for opener to rebids hearts with both majors (some use a 2NT rebid to show a maximum with both majors). The Stayman bidder need not have a 4 card major, although he promises one if he rebids 3NT.

Opener rebids in diamonds with no major, and optionally raises the level with a 5 card suit and maximum. If the Stayman bidder rebids at the same level, it is not forcing (1NT-2 -2 -2M). A common agreement is a 2 rebid is Trash Stayman. A rebid of 3 of a minor promises a five card suit, and may have a four card major. Some partnerships use one or more of the rebids of 2,3 or 3 as either puppet bids or some form of asking relay. A good method is to use a 2 rebid as promising only 4 spades, and forcing one round. Opener can raise with 4 spades, or rebid 2NT with a minimum and 3 with a maximum. Responder may continue with a non forcing rebid of 3 or 3, showing a 5 card suit, or with 3 showing an invitational hand with 5 spades and 4 hearts. An alternative method of rebidding involves Secondary transfers

If opener bids 2 denying a major, a jump to 3 or 3 may be played as the Smolen convention, promising game values with 4 cards in the bid major and 5 card in the other major. Other variations use these jump rebids as either natural, splinters or showing a weak doubleton.

If opener shows a major, jump rebids of 4,4 or 4 (over 2) are usually played as splinter bids with four card support for opener's suit and slam interest. It is possible to play a rebid of 4NT as key card blackwood, however this rebid is best played as natural inviting 6NT. If Jacoby transfers are in use, the sequences 1NT-2-2-3 and 1NT-2-2-3 are not needed as natural bids and should be used as forcing raises of opener's major, using either the Johnson or Baze conventions. Either of these methods allow slam exploration with balanced hands, and a rebid of 4NT as key card blackwood. Johnson has the additional advantage of playing 3NT when both hands are balanced after a 44 fit major fit has been established.

Stopper Asking cue bid

A jump cue bid by overcaller of openers suit to show a strong hand with about 8 running tricks in no trump(e.g. x AQx Jxx AKQJxx after 1- opening, bid 3).Advancer bids 3NT with a sure stopper, or 4 clubs, which overcaller will correct to his long suit.

Strong Jump shift

A single jump response to an opening suit bid showing typically 15+ HCP with a good 5+ card suit, good controls and slam interest. Responder should not jump with an unbid suit, and should have either a self sufficient suit, a no trump rebid with all side suits stopped, of a fit for openers suit. Opener should prefer not bid a new suit or rebid the suit opened without a good suit.

Strong Two Club Opening

†† An opening bid of 2 (in standard systems) shows either a balanced hand stronger than the maximum for a 2NT opening (usually 23+ HCP), or an unbalanced hand with at least 4 defensive tricks and playing strength of 8.5 tricks with a 5 card major, or 9.5 tricks with no five card major.

2 waits - Most hands respond 2. A 2NT response shows three kings in a balanced hand, 2M or 3m show a 5+suit with KQ or better, game forcing. After 2®response, if opener bids 2M, 3 is second negative, over 3 of a minor a step suit is second negative. A second negative shows 0-4 HCP, at most one control in unbid suit, and is forcing one round only. Any other rebid is game forcing.

2 negative - A response of 2 is game forcing, with 6+ points, or KQ or AJ. 2 and 3m as above, 2N shows hearts. A 2 response shows 0-5 points, forcing for one round only.

Control responses - (A=2 K=1 control)

2= 0-1 controls 2 = 2 controls
2 = A +K†† 2NT = 3 kings 3= 4+ controls
Higher = 7+ suit, not 2 controls

Strong Two club opening rebids

††† A jump rebid to 3M or 4m by opener shows a solid suit and requests responder to cue bid his cheapest control (king or ace), or singleton with at least two trumps. This applies whatever type of responses are used, but after a positive response you do not show a singleton. With no control, responder raises or rebids in no trump. If opener jump rebids 4M or 5m instead, he shows no slam interest with a long suit and limited count. After opener rebids 2M, a single raise is stronger than a double raise, jumps in new suits are splinters.

Support double

A double by opener when the response was one of a major and advancer overcalls below two of the response suit. The double shows exactly three card support for the major, a pass instead tends to deny support and a raise guarantees four card support. Since opener will tend to have a balanced hand for this double, it can be converted to penalty if responder has a strong flat hand also. Support redoubles can be used after higher overcalls also, but opener will need more values if responder would have to rebid the known seven plus card major fit at the three level.

If the sandwich seat bidder doubles the major response instead of overcalling, you can use a redouble to show three card support, this is the Support redouble. Usually the support redouble is played to the same level as the support double.

Swiss Raise

 A jump bid to the four level in a new suit, showing a control in the bid suit and a fit for partners suit. Similar to an advanced cue bid in meaning. Generally occurs as first response to a major opening, and is part of the Blue Team System and some versions of Acol.

Takeout double

A double intended to show length in unbid suits. Used only be non opening side. Exact shape requirements vary according to level of bid doubled, number of unbid suits, and whether the doubler previously had a chance to make a takeout double of the last suit bid. A double of one major normally promises 4 cards in the unbid major. With a decent five card suit in the unbid major an overcall is better. The exact shape requirements are a matter of personal preference, and Bobby allows you to set "rigid" or "loose" requirements in the conventions menu under "styles".

Tartan Two Bids

Opening bids of 2 or 2 that conventionally show 5+ cards in the named suit and 5 cards or more in a lower ranking suit, strength is 5-11 HCP. Tartan two bids are similar to Muiderberg, but with a difference response structure.

3 / - to play
Raise of major - semi preemptive with four card or better fit
2 or 3 (unbid major) - to play but opener can raise on three card support
2NT - asks for responders second suit, need not be forward going. Opener continues

††††† 3 /3/3 (unbid major) - second suit
††††† 3 of major opened - six card suit, then step bid of 3 or 4 asks for second suit
††††† 4 /4 - six card minor with five cards in major, and maximum values
††††† 3 (unbid major) - maximum with 3 spades and 5 clubs
††††† 3NT - maximum with 3 cards in other major and 5 diamonds

The default defense to a Tartan two bid is the same as that to an ordinary weak two bid.

Texas Transfer

A conventional response of 4 or 4 to an opening bid of 1NT or 2NT used to show 6+ card length in hearts or spades respectively. Opener must accept the transfer, responder will usually pass but may continue with 4NT ace asking with the major agreed. Texas transfers may may continue used in competitive auctions either as a jump or cue bid. After 1NT and 3 overcall, 4 by responder shows hearts and 4 shows spades. However after a 3 overcall a bid of 4 shows diamonds and 4 shows hearts, since there is no jump involved.

Top and Bottom Cue Bid

Used by some players instead of Michaels. Shows length in the highest and lowest unbid suits. Bobby plays this as a constructive bid with 11+ HCP (instead of an overcall), and the major shown may be 4 long. With a 5 card major and 4 card minor, prefer an overcall in the major.

Transfer Advances

A method of responding either to opening bids or one level overcalls in which the responding hand uses bids of 1NT thru to 2 of the suit below partners bids as transfer bids.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Opener††††            ††      †††††† Responder

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1††††††††††††† 1 overcall        ?

Pass - may include hands that would bid 1NT in standard methods

Double - takeout

1NT - shows at least 5 clubs, may be as few as 7 HCP. Opener will bid 2 with club tolerance or fit and no interest in playing higher. If responder continues with a two bid he shows invitational values, he must cue bid or jump to show game values.

2 - same as 1NT but shows 5 + diamonds

2 - a constructive raise of hearts

2 - a weak raise of hearts

The main advantages of this method is that responder can show both strong and weak raises of openers suit. He can also show a second suit with tolerance or fit for openers suit. The loss of the natural 1NT response is minor, if 1 is passed back to opener, he may double and then responder bids 1NT to show modest values with spade stopper(s).

††††††††††††††††††††††† Opener†††††††††† Overcaller†††††† Responder†††† Advancer

††††††††††††††††††††††† 1/ ††††††††††† P or Double† † ?

1NT or 2 - show 5 cards in clubs or diamonds respectively. Overcaller should accept these transfer bids unless he has 6 cards in his suit.

2 - Drury like raise of spades, three card support and about 8-11 HCP

2 - good four card raise of spades

2 - weak preemptive raise with four trumps

In addition to three ways to raise overcallerís suit, he can also direct a lead a lead and then raise. The immediate raises tend to promise a top honor, you can even specify it is the king or ace if you wish.

Bobby allows you to play transfer advances after both opening bids and overcalls.

Transfer Responses

A method of responding to opening suit bids in which the responses show length in the next higher suit. Typically they are played over a 1 opening showing either a balanced hand or a hand with clubs as the primary suit. Various responding and rebidding schemes are possible, the following is the method used in the Vancouver Club, a weak no trump system where the 1 opening may be a hand of 15-19 HCP balanced.


Common Responses
1 - 4+ hearts, any strength, at most 4 spades
1 - 4+ spades, any strength
1 - Denies 4 cards in either major. Either balanced or long minor with 0-6 HCP.
1NT - 5+ clubs, 7+ HCP
2 - 5+ diamonds, 7+ HCP

Opener may accept the transfer, which promises 3+ length (2+ if responder shows a minor), make a minimum rebid in NT (15-17 HCP, usually only 2 card support), rebid in clubs (showing unbalanced hand with 6+ clubs, tends to deny fit for responder's suit, or make a new suit rebid (second four card suit with long clubs).

Infrequent Responses
Pass - rare, long clubs, 0-4 HCP
2 - 4441 hand, 7+ HCP
      Openers 2M rebid is not forcing, 2NT asks for singleton.
2 - 5+ hearts and 5+ second suit, 4-7 HCP.
      Openers 2NT asks second suit or bid 3, long clubs, not forcing
2 - 5+ spades and 5+ minor, 4-7 HCP
      Openers 2NT asks second suit or bid 3, long clubs, not forcing
2NT - 5-5 in minor, 4-7 HCP. Opener bids 3 minor forcing or 3 to ask major length.

Trash Stayman

An agreement used in conjunction with Stayman that responder does not promise values for his Stayman response. He may be intending to pass any rebid by opener. Alternatively he may rebid 2 over a 2 rebid as Trash Stayman. The 2 rebid promised nothing more than 4 or 5 hearts and 4 spades. Openers only choices are to either pass or correct to 2 with three spades and only 2 hearts. If off shape no trump openings are allowed, opener is also permitted to rebid 2NT with 22 in the majors. This agreement is covered in Bobby by the option 2=weak in the section on rebids after Stayman.

If Trash Stayman is available, responder can start with 2 whenever he is 44 or 45 in the majors, regardless of strength, he has about a 65 chance of finding a 44 fit, and the rest of the time should find a playable 43 fit.

Trump Asking Bid

A jump or direct reraise to 5 of an agreed major. If there is a single unbid suit or an opponent suit that has not been cue bid, requests a control in that suit, otherwise it requests good trumps (if key card Blackwood was available, asks particularly for queen and jack.

Truscott defense to 1 club

A simple defense where D =majors and 1NT = minors. Other two suiters can not be shown, but has the advantage over crash that simple lead directs overcalls of 1 or 1 are available.

Two No Trump for the minors

An opening bid of 2NT promising at least 55 in the minors. The normal HCP strength is 8 to 14, depending on vulnerability and additional shape.

Responses as played by Bobby are:

      3 /3 - preference bids
      3 - forcing and natural
      Pass or 3NT - to play, good major values
      4 /4 - preemptive with fit
      3 - strong hand with fit for one minor normally. Artificial, ask opener to rebid

††††††††††††††††† 3 - singleton or void in spades
††††††††††††††††† 3NT - singleton or void in hearts
††††††††††††††††† 4 / - 6 card minor, 11 in majors

†††††            Responder may continue with 4/ to set the trump suit and invite cue bidding.

Two over one Game Force

A conventional agreement that responses at the two level in a lower ranking suit to opening bids promise the values for and force to game. This is the defining agreement in the 2/1 system from which the name of the system comes. When playing this agreement, a forcing 1NT response is essential to cover all hands of moderate (6-9 HCP) and invitational strength (10-12 HCP).

In most other natural systems (SAYC, Acol, Dutch Acol, Goren) a two level response merely guarantees invitational strength of 10+ HCP. There are various agreements as to which rebids establish a game force. The three most common structures are

1)     Any rebid except a rebid of responders suit establishes a game force

2)     Any rebid of a new suit at the three level by either player establishes a game force

3)     A direct raise by either player is game forcing, as is a three level rebid in a new suit.

When not playing a two level response as game forcing, opener may be forced to rebid his major on a moderate five card suit, especially with a minimum hand and four plus length in a suit lower ranking than responderís suit. This leads to another common variation where responders rebid of 2NT is forcing but does not promise more than 11 HCP after opener rebids his suit. If opener rebids a new suit, responders rebid of 2NT may be played as not forcing.

Bobby allows you to set the style of two over one responses to any of the methods described above. A special case is the 2 response to a 1 opening. To guarantee the overall strength for game in a minor responder needs better than an opening hand, so even strict 2/1 players allow the bidding to stop below game if there is a flaw for no trump.

The relative merits of the various two over one structures is highly debatable. One disadvantage of the game force approach is that neither player can conveniently show extra values. Several systems make a distinction between a 2 response and other two over one responses. Responses of 2 or 2 show 5 card suits, thus over 1 you may be forced to respond 2 on a three card suit with exactly 2443 pattern. Since 2 is not really a natural bid in that form, it is better to simply define it as an artificial game force relay, this treatment is used in Italian Standard as well as the Fab Sayc system. Bobby allows you to play this style also, with opener rebidding 2 on all minimum hands, other responses show extra playing strength or at least 15 HCP.

Two Spade Size Ask

A response of 2 to an opening 1NT asking opener to rebid 2NT with a minimum hand, or to name his cheapest suit with a maximum hand. Responder may have a balanced hand with no major where he wants to invite 3NT, or a minor two suiter, a rebid of 3 or 3 by responder shows a singleton with 54 in the minors and three cards in the other major.

When 2 available as a transfer to 3 , responder either intends to pass or signoff in diamonds (2NT as a weak minor sign off).

Two Way New Minor

After a 1NT rebid by opener to a minor response, 2 and 2 rebids are artificial and forcing.

Two clubs forces opener to rebid 2, responder continues

      Pass - to play, 4 card support after 1 opening, 5+ suit after a 1 opening
      2 (other major) - Invite, 5 spades and 4 hearts
      2 (other major) - Forcing,4 spades and 5 hearts, invite strength
      2 of major opened - Invite, 5+ suit
      2NT - balanced invite with 5 cards in major suit
      3 of openers minor - invite with 4+ support
      3 of unbid minor (55 shape, invite)

Two diamonds is game forcing, opener rebids to show 3 card support for the major, or bids 2 to show a side suit, rebids his minor with five card length, or rebids 2NT.

See also New Minor Forcing and Check back Stayman.

Unassuming cue bid

A bid of a suit previously bid by an opponent that neither promises a control, stopper or length in the suit. The bid shows strength and is made below 3NT. Partner is requested to bid no trump with a stopper in the suit (sometimes with a partial stopper) or otherwise show additional shape. Bobby also uses the term cue opponentís suit for this bid.

Unusual no trump

The unusual no trump is a jump to 2NT to show length in the two lower unbid suits. Primarily used to show a weak hand with at least 5-5 in the two suits, and perfectly complements Michaels (since all two suiters can be handled). Bobby uses the unusual no trump in two other cases.

1) Either defender can bid a minimum number of no trump (first bid by defenders side) after opener's side has agreed a major to compete in the minors (5-4 is possible). e. g.1 - P- 2 - P - P - 2NT.

2) After an overcall in clubs, a no trump rebid shows diamonds as well, typically 4-6 length. e. g.1 -2 -2 -P-P-2NT.

Unusual Positive

A treatment used in strong club systems, particularly Precision, in which responder initially bids 1 (nominally negative) over a 1 club opening, then jump rebids in a new suit or no trump. It shows a three suited hand (4441, possibly 5440) and is needed since direct positives promise 5 card suits. If the singleton is in openers suit, you jump rebid in no trump, otherwise you jump rebid in the singleton suit (splinter).

Unusual versus Unusual

 After a major opening and unusual 2NT overcall, bids at the three level are assigned special meanings. The most common variation is to play 3 of a major as competitive (7-10 HCP), 3 of the other major shows a 6+ suit with about 8-11 HCP, 3 clubs or 3 diamonds show constructive or game going values in hearts/spades respectively.

Upside Down Count and Attitude (UDCA)

A method of signaling which can be used in following suit, discarding or when the declarer leads a suit. A low card either shows an even number of cards or an interest in the suit. A high card shows either an odd number of cards or no strength in the suit. UDCA signals are superior in clarity to standard signals. To encourage with Q1042 using standard signals you often have to play the 4 since you can not afford the ten. Using UDCA signals you play the lowest card, while playing the highest card from three small cards. With a few rare exceptions the UDCA discouraging card conceals two lower cards (as does the count signal from an odd number) which make the signals easier to read than standard signals (which sometimes conceal one lower card).

Void showing bid

Similar to a splinter bid, but guaranteeing a void. The bid may occur before or after suit agreement, and to be void showing must be made past 4 of the agreed suit.

Walsh responses to One club

Richard Walsh was one of the co-inventors of the system now called 2 over 1 game force. He advocated showing a major directly over a 1 club opening when holding a limited hand, even with four or more diamonds. After 1 -1M-1NT, a rebid of 3 is a sign off bid using Walsh. After 1 -1, opener need not rebid 1 of a major, and should instead rebid 1NT if balanced. The 1 response either denies a major or has opening strength and responder will rebid his major on the second turn, a game forcing reverse. This method is described in Bobby as bypass 1 Walsh.

Weak Jump Shift

A single jump response to an opening suit bid, showing a six card suit with 4-8 HCP, no side suit. Opener generally passes or raises, or rebids self sufficient suit. When this treatment is used, a simple response and rebid of suit (e.g. 1 -1 -2 -2 ) is invitational.

Weak Must Speak

A method of rebidding by opener used when a sandwich seat overcall prevents opener from making his normal rebid in a lower ranking suit. After a 1 opening,1NT response and a 2 overcall,opener bids 3 or 3 on hands that are merely competitive (up to 16 HCP with a five card minor). This is the weak must speak bid. With a stronger hand opener may bid a conventional 2NT over 2, responder then bids 3 with a minimum hand and opener may pass or rebid 3 with invite values, or force to game with a 3 or higher rebid. Compared to the alternative method of Good Bad 2NT, this method allows opener to name his suit on the weaker hands but may lose the suit on the stronger hands.

Weak Two Bid

An opening bid of 2 or 2 (sometimes 2) showing a six card suit with less than opening strength. Some partnerships allow decent 5 card suits , but Bobby does not allow it. A weak side four card minor is allowable. Minimum suit strength is Qxxxxx. Traditionally opener showed 6-11 HCP with one or two defensive tricks. In some light opening systems the top end of weak two bids are treated as one level openings, then the weak two bid tends to be more like 5-10 HCP with 0 to one and half defensive tricks. See also Rebids after a weak two bid, Bailey two bids, Ogust and Multi.

Western Cue Bid

A 3 level bid of opponent's suit which invites 3NT, but denies a full stopper in the suit cue bid. Typically the cue bidder's side has agreed a minor suit, so partner can either bid 3NT with a full stopper or return to the agreed minor. When the opponents have bid two suits, a cue bid shows a stopper and asks for a stopper in the other opponent suit (the Eastern cue bid).

Wolff Signoff

A conventional rebid of 3 over a minor opening, major response and 2nt rebid. Opener is forced to bid 3, which responder can pass or make a non forcing weak three level rebid in hearts or his response suit. Other rebids other than 3 are game forcing. This method is useful when responder bids on almost all hands over a minor suit opening. Other methods such as transfer rebids and new minor are more popular.

XYZ convention

A conventional method of rebidding by responder when three suits have been bid and the auction is still at the one level. A rebid of 2 forces opener to rebid 2, which responder may pass or continue with an invitational bid. A rebid of 2 establishes a game force, other rebids usually retain the same meaning as they would in standard methods. This method is an extension of Two Way New Minor.

Zero or Two Higher

A leading agreement whereby a lead of a jack denies a higher honour, and a lead of a ten or nine promises zero or two higher cards. Using this method (which is part of Journalist leads) the 10 is lead from AJ10xx, KJ10xx or 109x, and the 9 from Q109x, K109x or 9xx. When used in leading versus no trump contracts, this method is superior to standard leads in informing the leader's partner whether to return the suit or not. The disadvantage of the method is that the lead of a jack can aid declarer in playing the suit if he has the ace and queen.