Fab Roman 2005 – by Martin Johnson

 

Principles and opening bids 2

Other Unusual openings (2M, 2NT, 3NT and Namyats) 3

Responses.3

Contested Auctions.4

First Review – Key principles. 5

The 1 club opening (12-16 HCP). 6

The 1 club opening (21+ ). 6

Special responses to suit openings. 8

Three suited opening hands of 4441 pattern. 8

The sequence 1-2 .9

Support and other doubles. 10

Informing the opponents. 11

Is FAB legal. 12

The Fab learning curve.12

Defensive Bidding in FAB. 13

Multi Landy. 13

Intermediate Jump Overcalls. 13

Table 1 – Opening Bids by hand pattern. 15

Table 2 - Responses.16

Table 3 – After a negative response.17

Table 4 – After a Game Forcing Response.18

Table 5 – Special sequences. 19

Table 6 – Defensive Bidding. 20


Principles and opening bids

 

 The Fab Roman system was developed by Martin Johnson based on the Roman club system. The choice of opening bid is based on the hand pattern or distribution. As such, it is unlike any standard or strong club system. Discard your prejudices and read on.


The opening bids of 1 and 1NT handle all balanced hands worth an opening bid. 1NT is 17-20 HCP, 1 is 12-16 or 21+. A minimum opening bid in first or second seat will be 12 HCP with two good four card suits, third seat any 12 count and a few 11 counts are worth opening. A 1 opening is forcing.


The opening bids of 1, 1, 1 and 2 work as a team to show almost all unbalanced hands (the SUIT openings). The normal strength for these openings is 11-20 HCP (2 is limited to around 17 HCP). However for unbalanced hands losers and quick tricks are the primary evaluation method. A seven or fewer loser hand with at least two quick tricks (assuming low count) is considered an opener, strength is approximately the same in all seats. These opening bids are FORCING, except for 2 which is only semi-forcing.

·         Suit openings can be classified as one suited (6+, no side 4+), two suited (at least 54) or three suited (4441 or 5440). With a one suiter, open the long suit (2C with long clubs) and rebid the suit. With a two suiter, open the 4 card suit and rebid in the five card suit (CANAPE principle, second suit longer). With 55 hands, open the LOWER ranking suit and rebid in the higher ranking. With 4441 hands, open 1 diamond with a heart singleton, or 1 with any other singleton.

·         Minor two suiters are always opened 1  with a rebid in clubs. This promises at least 54 or 45 in the two suits, the longer suit is not known. This is the primary exception to the canapé principle.

·         Strong three suited hands(4441) of 17+ HCP in all working points (discount for singleton honors) are opened 2 . This opening bid is MULTI, usually a major weak two bid, but includes the strong three suited hands.

·         One and two suited hands or less than full opening strength may be opened 2 (weak two in a major), 2M (5 cards in that suit, 5 in a lower suit) or 2NT (at least 55 in minors). The strength for all these openings is 6-11 HCP, closer to 6 at favourable vulnerability, to 11 at unfavourable vulnerability. There are no strict suit quality requirements, but the hand pattern must be correct (no 64 or 54 hands for 2M). A 2NT opening, since it forces partner to the three level requires sure tricks and may be up to 13 HCP with less than 3 quick tricks.

·         Three level preempts follow normal rules, reasonably sound one suited hands. An opening of 3NT shows a weak minor preempt (lacking the ace or king usually). Openings of 4 or 4 show hearts or spades respectively with 8+ tricks including at least one ace outside the long suit.

·         Very strong hands (10+ tricks or 22+ HCP unbalanced) may be opened 1§ .True two suiters (at least 55) with good suits are better opened in the second suit, with a jump rebid in the other suit, even with 10+ tricks. Strong one suiters may also open with a one bid or the Namyats 4 minor openings. The only unbalanced 1 openings are those with patterns like 5422, 5431, or 6 card minor, and should include a minimum of 21 HCP. The strong 1C hands are distinguished from the 12-16 variety by a jump rebid.


Other Unusual openings (2M, 2NT, 3NT and Namyats)


A 2M opening shows 6-11 HCP with 5+ in the suit opened and another lower ranking five card suit. Responder needs at least 2 cards in the suit opened to pass, and generally either three cards with a good hand or four cards to raise. Lacking support for the major, responder bids 2NT to ask for openers second suit. Normally the suit opened should be Q10xxx or better

 

The 2NT opening shows the minors, responder will usually pick a minor. If responder has slam interest he may respond 3, this is artificial asking opener to show his major length by bidding 3 with a spade singleton or 3NT with a heart singleton. If responder then continues with 4 of a minor it is forcing, inviting further cue bidding.

 

A 3NT opening shows a minor preempt, the kind of hand that would not be happy to open 3 of a minor and pass if responder bid 3NT (hence a 7+ minor lacking the ace or king together with a void). Responder will need excellent major’s stoppers along with at least Axx in both minors to pass. With 8 + tricks in his own hand and a long strong major, responder can bid 4M. Responses of 4 , 4 ask partner to pass if the suit bid is his minor, or to correct otherwise..A 4 or 4 opening shows a hand with at least 8 sure tricks and a 7+ suit in hearts or spades respectively. Opener will have first or second round control in at least two of the side suits and opening strength or better. A hand as strong as - AQJx § Kx is possible. If responder has several possible cover cards he should relay with the step bid inviting opener to cue bid, otherwise he simply bids openers major.


Responses


            Responding methods vary according to the opening bid. Generally responder uses point count (and fit) to determine whether a hand belongs in game or not (usually announced with an artificial response). Only two principles apply to the responses to all opening bids (raise if possible, and game force if possible).


·         Whenever possible responder should raise openers suit. Minimum support for suit openings is 4 cards. Over any suit opening, 2NT is a game forcing raise of openers suit. Over 1M, a single raise is 6-9 HCP, a double raise 10-12, splinters show 10+ HCP. Over a 2 opening, 3 and 4 are natural, semi- preemptive. Over a 1¨ opening 3 and four level raises are semi-preemptive (5+ fit, short in majors).

·         Over a 1 opening a response of 2 is a transfer diamond raise, and a 2 response shows a limited hand with long clubs (8-11 HCP). The transfer raise promises four + diamonds and 6+ HCP, there are numerous special rebids by responder.

·         One level suit openings are forcing. The cheapest bid by responder (1 /1, 1ª /1 and 1N/1 ) is a relay, it denies 13+ HCP or the values for a raise response. This bid is called the artificial step negative, but it is not always negative since it can include hands of fairly balanced patterns up to 12 HCP. The holding in the suit bid may be any length.

·         Over a one level suit opening, game forcing hands (13+ HCP, some less hands with sure tricks) without a fit for opener uses the artificial game force. This response is 1NT to 1¨ or 1, and 2 to 1 (since 1NT is reserved for the step negative). Opener generally bids out his pattern, responder may make minimum rebids as relays to ask for further information.

·         Other responses to one level suit openings (not raise, step negative or artificial game force) are natural and forcing for one round. 1ª over 1 shows 6-11 points, the other natural responses occur at the two level and show normally a good five or six card suit with 7-11 HCP.

·         Responses to 1NT are essentially as in standard systems, using transfers to the majors (four suit transfers may be used if you prefer). The 2 response is Puppet Stayman, asking opener to show a 5 card major if he has one by rebidding 2M. With no 5 but at least one four card major, opener rebids 2, responder then bids 2 of the major he DOES NOT hold four cards in, or no trump with no four card major (responder may Puppet Stayman without a four card major, either to invite 3NT or to check on a 53 major fit). Puppet Stayman is used only in this sequence, it does not apply after natural no trump overcalls or after a 1opening.

·         Responding to a 1 opening presumes that opener has the balanced 12-16 HCP hand type. Responder with less than game values (nominally 0-11 HCP) responds either 1M (6-11 HCP, at least a four card suit) or 1 (0-11, no major unless fewer than 6 HCP). A 1NT response shows a good 10 to a bad 12 HCP without a major or worthless doubleton.

·         With a game going hand over 1 (13+ HCP or a decent 12, or 7+ tricks), responder makes a two level game forcing response. Two level responses are essentially as if opener had opened a weak no trump, 2 is Stayman, 2 and 2 are transfers, 2 and 2NT show 6 cards in clubs and diamonds, opener super accepts with 2NT or 3 respectively with a fit and maximum, responder may continue by showing a singleton. Note that the game forcing responses aim to have the hand played from the right side and the well described hand as dummy most of the time.

·         Responses of 3 and 3 to either 1 or 1NT show 55 in the minors, invite and game force respectively. Responses of 3 or 3show 55 in majors,invite and game force respectively. An alternative is to use these bids as splinters with game strength, a singleton in the bid suit, 3 cards in the other major and 54 in the minors.

·         The 2 opening is not forcing, though it is rarely passed in an uncontested auction. The 2 response promises at least 6 HCP and two cover cards, it is a relay asking opener to further describe his hand. With a long major, opener rebids the major, other rebids show long clubs (2nt=max, 3=min, 3x is singleton with running clubs). Responses of 2© or 2 are natural, not forcing and warn of a possible misfit. With a nearly solid six card major and around 7 sure playing tricks, you may prefer to open and jump in the major. Keep in mind that if you start with 2 you can only show the major with a 2 level rebid, there is no jump to show strength, and the 2M rebid is not forcing.



Contested Auctions


            When the opponents compete over an opening bid of 1 thru 1NT, all special responses are off. Step negatives, artificial game forces, transfer raise of 1 no longer apply. You may wish to play system on after 1N-D, but apart from that trivial exception, responding is natural.

 

·         The primary tools used in contested auctions are non forcing free bids and negative doubles (more rightly called sputnik doubles, since they promise only high card points, not length in any suit, so resemble the original negative double as proposed by Alvin Roth). This method is particularly effective with suit openings, since the canapé principle assures opener always has something to rebid. The high card strength required is typically similar to standard, around 8 working high card points if partner can rebid at the two level, around 11 if he will have to respond at the three level. Doubles of 4 level or higher competition are usually passed unless opener has exceptional tricks, so responder should not double with extreme offensive hands.      

·         If responder makes a negative double then bids a new suit below game, it is forcing, and generally shows a two suiter. With a strong single suited hand responder should jump in his suit to force.

·         A response of 2NT after an overcall is forcing, whether made as a jump or not, and guarantees at least one stopper in the opponents suit.

·         Strength showing redoubles are used, promising 10+ HCP, generally in a balanced hand.

·         Jump raises in competition are weak to mixed (usually 5-9 HCP). A cue bid by responder is a forcing raise.

·         Jumps in new suits are strong over a suit opening, weak over 1opening. Double jumps are splinters over a major opening.


First Review– Key principles


·         Opening bids are based on hand pattern, suit quality is not considered. Canapé is used in the auctions starting with 1,1,1 or 2.

·         Responder raises where possible, or uses an artificial game force, or a natural new suit positive. With none of the above, he responds in the step bid.

·         Openers rebids in no trump are artificial in suit auctions, jumps show single suiters semi-balanced, 1NT rebid is a canapé in partners suit.

·         In any auction where a game force has been established, jump bids to game tend to limit the hand and are weaker than non jump bids (fast arrival principle). In any non forcing auction however, both opener and responder should bid the full value of their hand as soon as possible, based on sure tricks (the more you bid the more you have principle.

·         Slam bidding tools include splinters, key card Blackwood (jump or major agreed), and Italian style cue bidding (cheapest king or ace is cue bid, bypassing a suit tends to deny a control, cues below game do not promise extra values). You may wish to add Exclusion Blackwood and Declarative- Interrogative 4NT when a minor is agreed at four level, but these are frills at best.

 

            What you have read so far gives all the key principles of the Fab system,the rest is just the messy details. Fab does not use the 2/1 concept, forcing no trumps, inverted minors, fourth suit forcing, west coast cue bids, Bergen raises, Drury, reverses, better minor, singleton showing over Jacoby 2nt, or any of the other hundred of artificial concepts necessary to play even a moderately competitive version of a so called natural or standard system. It is true that there are more artificial concepts in opening and the initial response than in so called natural methods, but from openers first rebid onward Fab is the MOST natural bidding system. The vast majority of the problems that exist in other systems simply do not occur in FAB. There are of course some unique problems, but they occur at a fraction of the frequency they do in other systems.



The 1 club opening (12-16 HCP)


            This section will cover how opener rebids after a 1 opening when he has 12-16 HCP. The method varies according to the type of response, the only general principle is that jump rebids show the strong variety of 1 opening.

 

·         After a 1 response (0-11 HCP), opener rebids either 1M (five card suit or good 4) or 1NT (no five card major). Responder then places the contract, or raises invitationally to 2NT or 3 of openers major (showing a good 10 to a bad 12 HCP).

·         After a 1M response (6-11, 4+ suit), openers rebids show his fit for the major and point count. A single raise is 12-14 with four card support, 2is an artificial raise showing 15-16 with 4 card support, 2 is an artificial raise showing good three card support with a weak doubleton and 12-16 HCP. One spade shows 4+ spades, 1NT is bid on all the remaining hands. After 1-1M-1N-2 by responder is like new minor, asking for 3 card support or a bid passed 2M with a maximum. If responder bids a major and is not raised, other minor rebids are natural, not forcing and may have more length than in the major.

·         After a 1NT response (12+ balanced, game force), opener can bid 2 Stayman or 2 of another suit showing a 5 card suit.

·         Response of 2 is Puppet Stayman, 4 suit transfers, 3and 3 show invite and game force minor 55 hands, 3M shows a singleton with 3 of other major and 45 or 54 in minors, game forcing.

·         After 1 -overcall-pass-pass or bid, opener may compete at the one or two level on a good five card suit or with a double (takeout) or 1NT (natural). All these bids show maximum values, 15-16 HCP with solid values.

·         When responder makes a negative double, opener will generally bid his cheapest suit,or no trump naturally. If the overcall is raised (e.g. 1 -1-D-2) opener may double for takeout or compete in a suit, he should do one of these two with most 15-16 HCP hands.

·         After a 1NT response (10-11 HCP no major), openers 2,2 or 2 rebid show five card suits and are forcing one round (they may be 12-16 or 21+). A 2NT rebid shows a balanced 21+ HCP,3NT is a good 14-16 (to play). A jump to 3 is strong forcing, at least 17 HCP. A 2 rebid may be  minors with an off shape 12-16 hand or a strong three suiter. If opener has the strong three suiter he can force with a later major rebid.

 

The 1 club opening (21+)

 

·         If responder makes a game forcing response, opener bids the same way initially with the strong 1 types as he would with the weak type. However since slam is virtually assured, the follow-up will include at least one bid beyond game.

·         If the response was 1 or 1ª ,opener makes a single jump response to show the strong 1 hands, this establishes a game force, then the fast arrival principle applies. A jump raise of 3M shows very strong 4 card support or five card support and an unbalanced hand, it requests cue bidding. Opener with a balanced hand should rebid 2NT even with four card support for the major, responder will usually check with 3 and openers 3M then confirms 4 card support.

·         In a contested auction, opener may either jump in a new suit or no trump or cue bid to show the strong 1 type hand, he chooses whichever of those rebids is most natural. A cue bid initially asks partner to show a stopper in the opponent’s suit if possible.

·         Special considerations apply to an auction starting with 1 -P-1 -P. Now any bid opener makes at the two level shows a 21+ HCP hand, he has a variety of them available. A rebid of 2NT shows 21-22 HCP, and denies a decent five card major. Rebids of 2, 2, 2 and 3 show unbalanced hands with 5+ in the bid suit, and are forcing. Responder makes the step bid if he can not raise, or can bid a new suit to show a very weak hand with a decent six card suit. After these suit jumps openers new suits are forcing, rebids in the same suit or no trump are not. 1 -1 -3NT shows 9 tricks for no trump, based on stoppers and a long minor.

·        The sequence 1 -1 -2 (uncontested) is artificial and forcing, promising a balanced or semi-balanced hand (no singleton). Responder normally rebids 2, then opener continues with 2(21-22, 5 card suit, 5332 shape, not forcing, 2NT(23-24), 3NT(25-27 all suits well stopped) or 3m (forcing, usually a 6322 hand, looking for responder to show a stopper). Opener may also continue with 2, which is either hearts or a flawed 25+ hand.


Suit auction rebids

 

            When opener bids two suits after starting with a suit opening, his second suit is nearly always longer than the first (canapé principle). However there is normally no distinction between a descending canapé into a lower ranking suit or an ascending canapé into a higher ranking suit. The reason this is so is responder will nearly always raise the first suit directly with four card support, so he is not likely to need to raise the level to show a preference. Thus 1 -2 -2 or 1 -2 -2 both show 11-17 HCP approximately and are not forcing. In both auctions the second suit bid will be 5+ in length. The concept of a reverse in the standard sense does not exist in FAB.

·         There are two types of auctions where a canapé bypassing a no trump rebid does show extra values. After 1 -1, openers 2© rebid shows some extra values, usually 15+ HCP or 7 playing tricks. The reason for this is that opener has available a rebid of 1NT to show a minimum canapé into hearts, allowing responder to pass or pick a minor with misfit hands. Similarly after 1 -1, openers 1NT rebid promises at least 4 spades (he may be 4441 pattern). A rebid of 2 instead promises extras.

·         When responder makes a natural two level response, openers canapés to 3 of a minor are forcing and show extra values, either in tricks or points. (e.g. 1 -2-3). With a minimum canapé to a minor, opener rebids 2NT, leaving room for responder to bail out with 3 (artificial, asks opener to pass with clubs or rebid 3 with diamonds). After 1 -2 (game force), opener rebids 2NT with a minimum club canapé semi balanced, 3 promises either some extra shape or points.

·         Apart from the cases mentioned in the last two points, openers rebids in no trumps are semi-natural (long one suited hand with stoppers in unbid suits). For example, 1 -2 -D-P-2NT shows 6 hearts with spade stopper(s).

·         When responder makes the step negative response, opener must rebid again even with a minimum, since responder’s shape is undefined. In theory this could mean opener rebidding at the two level on 11 points when responder had 0 points, leaving the opponents an opportunity for a giant penalty. There are a number of reasons why this does not happen. Most of the time if responder is very weak one or both opponents have already bid before opener’s rebid, and then he is free to pass. Secondly, the step response does not guarantee weakness, it can be made on some quite strong hands, so it is far from easy for the opponents to judge when you are in trouble. In contrast to standard methods where after 1x - P - P responder has announced very limited values, and the opponents can judge that they have the clear majority of points needed for a low level penalty double.

·         When responder makes a simple or limit raise of a major opening, opener need not bother to show a canapé suit, and generally he will not unless he is specifically interested in slam. Best strategy on most highly distributional hands is to just bid game, leaving the opponents in the dark as to the nature of opener’s hand. This gives a significant advantage over standard methods where openers hand is likely to be dummy and where there will be several suit bids to guide the defense.

·         When responders forces to game over a major with a 2NT response, openers new suit rebid is a canapé, with a one suiter he either rebids the major or jumps in a new suit as a splinter bid. After a canapé rebid responder should generally make a minimum rebid, if he instead jumps to game he shows a very poor hand in terms of controls (at most two key cards including the trump queen).

·         When responder uses the artificial game force, opener should make minimum rebids to define all his pattern. As in the previous point, fast arrival applies so game bids by either player tend to show very poor control hands.

·         When responder makes the artificial step negative response, none of openers rebids are forcing so the more he bids the more tricks he has. A rebid at the one or two level is limited to around 17 HCP or 7 sure tricks. A rebid at the three level promises at least 18 HCP or 8 sure tricks, and is nearly always a six card suit. A rebid at the four level shows about 9 playing tricks and is generally based on a freak distribution (65 or better).

·         When opener jump canapés to 3 of a major after a step negative, responders rebids of 4m are cue bids showing a fit for openers suit and usually the ace in the suit bid (e.g. 1 -1-3 -4 ). The same understanding applies to any new suit rebid by responder after opener rebids at the four level.

·         Some hands of 6331 or 6322 pattern are not truly one suited. Hands with those patterns and 16+ HCP are often not well suited to an opening and jump rebid in the six card suit. Responder will be wary of introducing a new suit over the jump rebid, a problem that often occurs in standard also, particularly in the auction 1M-1NT forcing. Fab permits an opening bid in a three card suit (one level only) with hands of this type, but a number of conditions have to be meet. With Axxxxx AKx x AQx the proper opening bid is 1, intending to rebid 2. The three conditions required are a weak six card suit, a strong three card suit and a hand of at least 16 HCP. There is a famous hand from around 1963 where Avarelli and Belladonna landed in a 4-3 fit at the six level in just such a sequence. Of course they made it, leading to the legend that Italians are lucky. Since the rest of us are not so lucky, make sure all three conditions are meet before you try this idea.


Special responses to suit openings


   The following treatments were not part of traditional roman, but are recommended, at least after you have played Fab for a while.

Three suited opening hands of 4441 pattern


Three suited hands are notoriously difficult to handle in a canapé system since the second suit bid is suppose to be a 5+ suit. The original Roman club had two special openings to handle them, 2 for 11-16, 2 for 17+ hands. This hand pattern is not common enough to warrant even one special opening bid. Depending on suit quality, strength and whether the singleton suit includes the king or ace, opening bids of 1, 11,1NT or 2 may be best.

·         An opening bid of 2 is either a weak two bid in a major or a three suited hand of 18-21 HCP. The method of showing the three suited hand varies according to the response to 2. The most common responses to 2 is 2, asking opener to pass with hearts or bid 2 with spades. This means that opener can use all the rebids from 2NT to 3 to show three suiters with a singleton in the suit above the one bid. Responder may pass these rebids, or make a minimum rebid in the singleton suit (natural, to play) or otherwise place the contract. Jump to show the higher singleton).

·         A 2 response to 2 shows a heart fit and invites game if opener has a weak two in hearts. Opener passes with spades or rebids 3 or 4 with hearts. This leaves rebids of 2NT, 3 and 3 to show club, diamond and heart singletons, 3 and 3NT to show singletons min and max with a spade singleton.

·         A 2NT response to 2 promises at least an opening hand, then opener rebids 3 with a maximum weak two bid, 3 with a minimum weak two bid in hearts, or 3 with a minimum weak two bid in spades and 3 to show 46 in the majors. Three suited rebids start at 3NT and show singletons in the next suit.

·         When responder either uses the artificial game force or the 2NT fit raise game force over a major, opener simply rebids his cheapest new suit, and if given room his third suit. There is still some ambiguity left as bidding three suits is more common with 5431 hands than 4441 or 5440 hands, simply because 5431 is a much more common pattern. If it matters to responder he should go slow enough to allow opener to resolve any ambiguity, the common way to do this is for responder to relay at every turn.



The sequence 1-2


A response of 2 to a 1 opening shows at least 4 diamonds and at least 6 HCP.  Responder will usually have less than an opening bid, the sole exception is a hand with a side singleton and at least 12 HCP, where responder intends to jump rebid in the singleton suit. Opener will normally suppress his canapé rebid and continue with 2 unless he has a six card major or sufficient extras to think game is possible opposite a 6-9 HCP hand.  A new suit rebid by opener is forcing for one round. If opener rebids 2, responder can continue with a natural 2NT (10-11) or a stopper showing 2M or 3C rebid (at least 10 points), 3 (5 card support in the 10-11 HCP range) or 3M with a game hand and a small singleton in the bid major.

 

Because responder always raises diamonds immediately, the sequence 1-1M-2-2 may be played as a relay to clarify opener shape. Opener then continues

                                   2=3 card suit

                                   2NT = 55 minors

                                   3= 46 minors

                                   3=64 minors

                                   2 - none of above so 2 - 3hearts - then 2 further relay and opener continues

                                                 2N=5 diamonds

                                                 3= 5 clubs

 

A response of 2 to 1 shows a hand of limited strength (around 6-9 HCP) with 6+ decent clubs,  opener may pass or bid 3 with a minimum hand, other rebids are forcing and natural.


Slam Understandings

 

In no trump auctions, 4NT is natural unless a suit agreed Texas transfer agrees the transfer suit, Jacoby does not unless super accepted). When 4NT is ace asking, 0314 responses, 5NT = 2 keys with unspecified void

When response to 4NT is first or second step, cheapest unbid suit asks about trump queen, then new suit is specific king with trump queen, jump to slam is trump queen, no side king. Rebid of 5NT by 4NT bidder asks for specific kings. Any other bid other than agreed suit by 4NT bidder asks for queen in suit bid. Cue bidding is usually ace first in auction where partner has shown a two suiter, or cheapest control when he has shown a balanced hand or one suiter.

Most double jump bids below 4 of agreed suit are splinters, 4 cover card or better hands. Double jumps above 4 of agreed suit are exclusion Blackwood if lower bid would have been a splinter, or after suit agreement.

After 1-2 or 1-2NT, a jump to 4 of agreed minor is KCB.



Support and other doubles

1-P-1-2

?

D= 3 card spade support

2=canapé or 4441 hand

 

1-P-1-1

?

2=3 card hearts, spade doubleton

2=15-16 with four hearts

2=12-14 with four hearts

D=15-16 usually lacking spade stopper or fit, so 3334 typical

P= can be four or five good spades

 

Pass of opponents overcall then later double is purely penalty, redouble then double is also good trump holding

 

Otherwise all doubles thru 3 are value showing if not otherwise specified (typically two or three of opponents suit in flat hand with defense). You must pass with a canapé in overcallers suit or with any hand where you are sure of a set but would not welcome partner pulling a double

 

2-P-2-2

?

D=good weak two bid in hearts, short spades

P= may be hearts or spades

2N and higher= singleton showing, ignore interference


1 2(intermediate, by partner) 3 ?

 

3=competitive

D=serious game try in hearts

 

1 P 12

P    P  D    P

?

3=club canapé

2N= diamonds with secondary clubs

P=heart canapé or more likely a good defense hand with 1354 shape

1 D ?

P=0-6

1N=7-10

RD=stronger

2=natural, not forcing

Similar principle applies to step and double step responses after a double

 

Match point adjustments

 

Third and fourth seat openings should follow the same rules as in standard, although the choice of opening bid may be different. 1 opening in third seat may be 11 balanced, fourth seat openings may be light also with 9 major cards.

Competitive auction low level doubles are based more on protecting your sides part score than they are on trump tricks, doubling vulnerable opponents for penalty is often done very aggressively.

Most competitive bids are a little lighter than at imps, there is less emphasis on reaching game. Avoid bypassing 3NT to play in five of a minor.


Informing the opponents


Fab is so radically different to other bidding systems that it frequently prompts the kind of prejudice and ignorant intolerance associated with ethnic minorities, people of unusual sexual persuasion and outright cheats. You will not be able to avoid this entirely, but you can at least minimize it by pre alerting the opponents that you play an unusual system and directing them to the convention card. Trying to explain this system in 20 words or less is impossible, so do not try. In any form of extended play you should give the opponents time to prepare defenses. The following are my recommendations for playing against FAB, you may suggest them to the opponents

·         Over a Fab 1 opening, use an overcall of 2 as natural and perhaps 1NT to show the majors.

·         If the player over a Fab suit opening passes and then rebids in openers first suit which has not been raised, that bid is natural.

·         After an opening bid and artificial step response, advancer’s double should include support for the step suit, his overcall in that suit is natural.

·         Over a multi 2 pass unless you have something clear to say, reopening with a takeout double or overcall after openers suit is identified. Double of 2 should promise a balanced hand of at least 15 HCP.

·         Over a Fab 2NT opening, double should be penalty oriented, 3 and 3 should show major two suiters, competitive and strong respectively.


All opening bids in Fab of 1 thru 2NT are alertable, here are the recommended short alerts.

·         1 = usually 12-16 balanced, forcing

·         1 /1/1 = may have longer suit, forcing

·         1NT = 17-20

·         2 = 11-17, either 6+ clubs, or 4+ clubs with 5+ major

·         2 = either 6-11 with a 6 card major or 17+ exactly 4441

·         2M = 6-11, promises 5+ suit with lower ranking 5+ suit

·         2NT = 8-13, minors at least 55.


The following are the common alerts on responses

·         step response to 1 bid – 0-11 HCP, any shape possible

·         game force artificial response – 12+ HCP, game forcing, any shape

·         sputnik style double – shows points, no specific shape, usually flat

·         non forcing new suit bids – natural, not forcing

·         2 response to 1 - 4+ diamonds, 6+ HCP, forces 2 or higher rebid

 

Common alerts on openers rebids

·         canapé rebids – depending on the sequence, either a) longer than first suit or b) may be longer than first suit

·         artificial no trump rebids – give description, varies with the sequence

 



Is FAB legal


The general framework of FAB using canapé is legal both in the ACBL and in Europe. A number of the specific opening bids (multi) and responses (artificial game forces) are classified as mid-chart by the ACBL, meaning they can only be played in either regional AX flight only events, or extended team play. Others (switched responses of 2 and 2 to 1 opening, or the Fab 2 opening) are not specifically dealt with in ACBL regulations. Should any of these present a problem, an ACBL legal version of FAB will be developed.

 

The main use of FAB at the moment is for online play where the proper use of a convention card and self alerting are adequate protection of the opponent’s rights. FAB is so different to standard systems it should not cause confusion when playing standard systems with other partners.

The Fab learning curve


            Unless you have prior experience with canapé, playing at first with Fab will be like walking on 6-inch heels. The answer is to take baby steps, concentrating at first on making the right opening bid. After about ten sessions you should start to feel comfortable with the opening bids and responses. Once you do the rest of the system is very easy. There is simplicity to the latter bidding that is not present in standard.


Defensive Bidding in FAB


There is no reason why you can’t use your normal standard methods over the opponents opening bids. Having said that, I recommend the following non standard treatments, all of which are consistent with the general shape showing principles of FAB.


Multi Landy


Over opponents 1NT opening, multi Landy defense is used in all seats

2- at least 54 or 45 in majors, 2 advance asks for longer major

2 - one suiter in a major, then 2M advance is pass or correct, 2NT asks if maximum

2M – 5+ suit with minor (usually 55), 2NT advance asks second suit

2N – minors

3m – one suiter, around 10-15 HCP

3M – preemptive

D – over a weak no trump (12 or less as lower limit)- Penalty, 15+ HCP. Forcing passes and penalty doubles apply if opponents use an escape mechanism.

D- over a strong no trump – 14+ HCP with a  5+ minor and a  4 card major.  An advance of 2 is pass or correct to 2, 2 advance asks for major, 2M shows an independent suit.

 

Intermediate Jump Overcalls


My experience with weak jump overcalls is that the opponents often bid more than they normally would and make it. This is particularly true of a classic weak jump overcall on a good suit and weak defensive hand, since it helps the opponents to evaluate fit and know if finesses will work. I recommend that you play intermediate jump overcalls in both the pass out and balance seat. You will need somewhat better than an opening hand with a good six card suit, 6 or fewer losers and normally a side ace for this bid. There are a number of ways this treatment gains. It limits the need to double and bid a suit on hands too strong for a one level overcall (doubling can lead to disaster if partner expects a fit in some unbid suit). The jump overcall in a minor can also lead to some excellent 3NT contracts when advancer has a fit along with a stopper in the minor, which might otherwise be missed after a simple overcall. I have also found that the opponents often double a jump overcall and you make, or they overbid and go set.

 

Playing intermediate jump overcalls, you may either pass or make a simple overcall on your preemptive type of hands,neither is likely to be harmful. A jump overcall by a passed hand is weak, but may include side values except at favorable vulnerability, when it aims to finding a sacrifice. A jump overcall to 4M is similar to an intermediate jump overcall in high card strength but shows a longer suit and at least 8 playing tricks.

 

Overcalls of a minor opening

 

One level overcalls of a minor opening should be played as limited bids (this works well in conjunction with intermediate jump overcalls. The lower limit is 8 HCP at favorable vulnerability with 54 shape or a six card suit, or 10 points if vulnerable. Minimum point count overcalls should be good suits and have 1.5 quick tricks. A 1M overcall may be canapé with length in the other minor or even in opener’s suit, you will need 11+ HCP and a sound 4 card suit. With sufficient values to warrant a response (8+ points) advancer may bid 1NT (three cards in overcallers suit), all raises promise 4 card support, new suits are not forcing with decent 5+ suits, jumps in new suits are forcing (if responder passes) and a cue is a one round force with 12+ HCP, nominally at least 3 card support.  If overcaller rebids a minor a canapé is likely, if he rebids his major he confirms 6 over a new suit response, or 5 after a 1NT or cue response.

When the bidding goes 1m - P - P, there is no need to protect since partner would have acted with any offense oriented hand of opening strength. Any balancing bid should be at least 11 HCP.

 

An interesting optional style is to use what are known as California doubles, where a double of a minor opening shows an opening hand or better and at least 2 diamonds. An overcall of 1NT is a three suited takeout promising at most one card in the minor and at least 3 cards in all unbid suits (4414,4405,4315 or 3415 over a 1 opening). A traditional 1NT overcall is shown by doubling and rebidding 1NT. The main advantage of this treatment is that advancer can often pass the double, in standard methods the opener is allowed to escape. The disadvantage is that responder can’t afford to jump over the double with less than a good 5 card suit. This kind of no shape double will seem foreign and dangerous to most North Americans, but is actually quite effective.

 

Sandwich seat bidding

After 1m - P - 1M, use a bid of 2m to show at least 55 in the unbid suits with good suit quality, 2M as strong and natural, and 1NT as 15-18 natural, with good playing strength. With aces and spaces, simply pass. If you have a strong holding in openers minor, either bid 3m or pass, intending perhaps to bid the suit later.


Cue bids with a passed hand


Since Fab provides for 55 two suited openings with any two suits, you are not likely to have a traditional Michaels cue bid as a passed hand. For example.after P- P- P- 1, a cue bid of 2 to show both majors is not really needed, since you had an opportunity to open 2 earlier with that shape.Perhaps it could show Axxxx A10xxx K xx  which you deemed unsuitable for a 2 opening initially, or it  may be used to show 46 in the majors, decide for yourself which method to play.


Defense

Low from interest versus no trump, second highest from weak suit (headed by jack or ten).

Leads from broken four card suits should be avoided.

Jack denies, suits and no trump

Coded Tens and Nines (lead 10 from KJ10 or 9 from Q109)

Ace versus no trump requests honour drop or UDCA count

King versus no trump requests UDCA attitude

Queen lead from KQ10xx requests drop of jack or UDCA attitude

King from Ace-King, unless doubleton

Otherwise versus suit contract, 1/3/5 leads both opening lead and later unless special card required

Suit preference signals apply to ruff situations, they suggest entry (may be king or rarely singleton)

Suit preference also applies on opening lead if dummy has singleton or Kx (Ace lead), but only if opponents are assured of 9+ card fit, otherwise normal attitude signal for suit lead applies.

 

If partner opens the bidding and you end up defending before he got to rebid, look for a short suit in your hand that is unbid. This is likely to be partners canapé suit and could be an effective lead, either to get ruffs or versus no trump as a source of tricks.



Table 1 – Opening Bids by hand pattern

Suit >

Shape

7+ suit, no other

2 - 11-16 HCP, 5+ losers

1 or strong 3 suit –4+ loser

1 - less than 21 HCP

1 - 21+ HCP

1 - less than 21 HCP

1 - 21+ HCP

1 -less than 21 HCP

1 - 21+ HCP

66,67,57

If clubs is one of the suits, open other, high jump rebid in clubs

Open shorter or lower ranking of any non club two suiter, high jump rebid in other suit

 

 

55

1 - +

2 - +major, 11-16

 1M - § +major, 17-20

1 - and any other suit

1 - majors

2 - 6-11 HCP, 55 in and minor

1 - + ,17-20

2 - 6-11 HCP, 55 in and another suit

56

Both minors – open 2N (8-14 HCP)

Others open in 5 card suit

 

 

46 or 47

2 - 4 +6M, 11-16 HCP

1 - 4¨ and 6 of other

1 - 4 and other

1 - 4 and other

6331

 

Long either 2 or open in strong 3 suit (16+ HCP)

Long either 1¨ or open in strong 3M (16+ HCP)

Long either 1 or open in strong 3(16+HCP, 1 or 1 )

Long either 1 or open in strong 3(16+HCP,1 or 1 )

5431

5 +4 - open 1¨

5 +4 major – open major

5 +4 - open 1

5 +4M – open major

5 +4 - open 2§ (11-16) or 3 card suit(17-20)

5 +4¨ -open 1

5 +4 - open 1

5 +4 - open 2§ (11-16) or 3 card suit(17-20)

5 +4 - open 1¨

5 +4 - open 1

5422

Same as 5431 shape except 2254 or 2245 (15-17) may open 1NT

Same as 5431 shape except 2254 or 2245 (15-17) may open 1NT

5 ,4 ,22 may open 1 if clubs weak, short suits strong otherwise as for 5431 shape

5 ,4 ,22 may open 1§ if clubs weak, short suits strong otherwise as for 5431 shape

6322

2 - 11-16

strong 3 card suit –17-21

1 - 11-17

strong 3 card M –17-21 HCP

1 - 11-17

strong 3 card or -17+

1 -11-17

strong 3 card or -17+

4441

Short clubs –

1 -11-17, rebid 1NT 2¨ -18-21 rebid 2n

Short diamonds –

1 11-17, rebid 1n/2§

2 -18-21 rebid 3§

Short hearts

-1 -11-17 , rebid 1ª  2 -18-21 rebid 3¨

Short spades –

1 -11-17, rebid 2§ , or 2 -18-21 rebid 3©

5M440

Same as 5431 hands

 

 

 

5minor440

 

Open 1 with 4 , heart void

open 1 with 4 hearts

Open 1 with 4 ,heart void

5M332

 

Open 1NT(17-20) or 1C (12-16 or 21+

 

 

 

4432,4333,5332 with a minor

Open 1NT(17-20 HCP)

Or 1C (12-16 or 21+

 

 

 

Normally all hands of 22+ HCP are opened 1, 13+ HCP for balanced opening or good 12 HCP with two good four card suits or good five card suit. Unbalanced hands may open in a suit bid (1 /1M/2 ) with 10+ HCP and 2.5 quick tricks. Minimum openers have 8 losers (1 opening) or 7 or fewer losers for suit openings. A hand of 5 or fewer losers is worth a jump rebid. Most two suiters are opened in the second longest suit, or lower ranking of two equal length suits. The rebid is in the longer unopened suit (canapé principle). Most one suiters are opened in the long suit, with a rebid in that suit. 6331 or 6322 hands may be treated like a two suiter when the long suit is weak, the three card suit is strong and not clubs, and hand has 16+ HCP. Hands of 5422 may occasionally be treated as balanced. All true balanced hands must be opened 1 or 1NT.Artificial opening preempts are 2 multi 2M (two suited), 2NT (minors), 3NT (long broken minor), and 4m (Namyats)



Table 2 - Responses

Open>

respond

1

1

1

1

1N 17-20

2

2

2

2

2NT

P

 

Never

Never

never

Never

Normal

Weak 4+

Very weak, 6+

Common

Common

Rare, majors stopped

1

 

 

0-12,

no major if 6+ HCP

1

 

4+ ,

6-12 HCP

0-11 HCP,

1

 

4+

6-12 HCP

6-11,

4+

0-11 HCP

1N

 

10-11+ HCP, no good 5 suit

12+ HCP,GF any shape

Any 12+ HCP,GF

0-11 HCP

2

13+ unbalanced, puppet Stayman

4+ , 6+ HCP, may splinter

7-11 HCP,5

Any 12+ HCP,GF

6+ HCP, Puppet Stayman

2

 

 

12+ HCP, transfer to hearts

5+§ ,8-11 HCP, no major

7-11 HCP,5

7-11 HCP,5

Transfer, then 2 relay

7+ HCP relay

2

 

12+ HCP, transfer to spades

5 ,5ª, 6-9 HCP

4+ ,6-10 HCP

7-11 HCP,5

transfer

6+ ,not forcing

Usual, 0-13 HCP

2

 

6+ clubs,  weak or 12+ HCP

5+ ,5+

6-9 HCP

5+ ,6+minor, 6-11 HCP

4+ ,6-10 HCP

6+ clubs, any strength

6+ ,not forcing

8-13 HCP

3+

No fit,

5+ , forcing

2NT

 

 

6+ weak or 12+ HCP

Minors 55+,8-11

GF,4+

GF,4+

6+ , any strength

12+ HCP,GF,4+

13+HCP, asks suit and size

13+ HCP, asks second suit

13+ HCP, asks second suit

3

55 minors, game invite

Weak 7+

3

 

Minors 55+,8-11

55 minors game invite

4+

2-3 cc

6+ , forcing

6+ ,

forcing

6+ ,

forcing

preference

3

 

55 minors, game force

Preempt, 5+

Weak 7+

Weak 7+

55 minors, game force

6+ ,9-12 ,invite

6+ ,

forcing

6+ ,

forcing

6+ ,

forcing

preference

3

 

Splinter, GF both minors 3ª

Semi solid 7+ slam try

Limit raise, 4+

Weak 7+

Splinter, GF, both minors, 3ª

Solid hearts slam try

6+ good , GF

3-4

8-12 HCP

6+ ,

forcing

Strong artificial with fit

3

 

Splinter, GF both minors 3

Semi solid 7+ slam try

Splinter, 4+ , 10+ HCP

Limit raise, 4+

Splinter, GF both minors, 3

Solid spades slam try

6+ good ,GF

Natural forcing

3-4

8-12 HCP

6+ ,NF

3NT

 

To play unused

To play unused

5+ ,10-12 HCP

5+ ,10-12 HCP

To play

To play not used

To play, running suit

To play, 16+ HCP

To play, 16+ HCP

16+ HCP,

M stopper

4

44 minors, slam try, 17+ HCP

Not used

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

44 minors, slam try, 13+ HCP

Preemptive, 5+

Splinter, 5+ ,15+ HCP

Splinter, 5+ ,15+ HCP

Preemptive raise

4

Texas transfer

Preemptive raise

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Texas transfer

Splinter, 5+

Splinter, 5+ ,15+ HCP

Splinter, 5+ ,15+ HCP

Preemptive raise

4

Texas transfer

To play

5+ not strong

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Texas transfer

To play

To play

4+ and game values

To play

To play

4

To play

 

5+ not strong

 

To play

To play

 

4+ and game values

To play

GF – game forcing      HCP – high card points          CC – cover cards red bids – special alerts

With a choice of responses, usually raise is preferred to an artificial game force response except with weak four card support. In competition, double thru 3 is negative, asks opener for normal rebid. Free bids are not forcing, jumps below game are forcing, cue bid = fit, 2NT game forcing natural with stoppers. 



Table 3 – After a negative response

Auction>

Rebid

1 -1

1 -1

1 -1

1 -1NT

1

5 332- 12-16 HCP

1

5 332 – 12-16 HCP

4+ ,4+ - 11-16 HCP

{2c} 2 =4144 2 =4441 2 =5

1NT

12-16 HCP, balanced, no 5 card major

5+ ,4+ - 11-14 HCP

5+ ,4+ 11-14 HCP

2

21+ HCP, responder rebids 2 -5+HCP 2 -bust

45,54,55 in minors, more than 5 losers

4 ,5 - more than 5 losers

4 ,5 - more than 5 losers

2

5+ suit, 21+ HCP

6+ - more than 5 losers

4 ,5 - more than 5 losers

4 ,5 - more than 5 losers

2

5+ suit, 21+ HCP

5+ ,4+ - 15-17 HCP, 2n rebid forcing

6 - more than 5 losers

4 ,5 - more than 5 losers

2

5+ suit, 21+ HCP

5+ ,4+ -5-6 losers, 2n rebid forcing

4,5+15-17 HCP

6 -more than 5 losers

2NT

21-22 HCP, no 5 card major

6+ - 18-20 HCP, no small doubleton or singleton {3c} asks side stoppers

6+ - 18-20 HCP, no small doubleton or singleton

6+ - 18-20 HCP, no small doubleton or singleton

3

6+ very good , 8 tricks, no side suit, not forcing, asks stopper bids

5 usually 6 ,4+ - 5- loser hand

5+ ,4+ - usually 18-20 HCP, responder bids 3 to check on 5 card hearts

5+ ,4+ - usually 18-20 HCP, responder bids 3 to check on 5 card hearts

3

6+ solid , game forcing, asks stopper bids

6+ - 5 loser hand, not suitable for 2NT rebid

5+ ,4+ - usually 18-20 HCP

5+ ,4+- usually 18-20 HCP

3

6+ solid , game forcing, asks cue bids

6 ,4 - 4 or 5 losers

6+ - 4 or 5 losers

5+ ,4- 18-20 HCP or 4 or 5 losers

3

6+ solid , game forcing, asks cue bids

6 ,4 - 4 or 5 losers

6 ,4 - 4 or 5 losers

6+ - 4 or 5 losers

3NT

25-27 HCP balanced

6+ and stoppers, 8+ fast tricks

4

56 in minors, 10 tricks, asks pass, raise or M ace

4 ,7 - 3 or 4 losers, asks pass ,raise, or M ace

5 ,6+ - 3 or 4 losers

5 ,6+ -3 or 4 losers

4

65 in minors, 10 tricks, asks pass, raise or M ace

8 - 3 or 4 losers, limited controls

5 ,6+ - 3 or 4 losers

5 ,6+ - 3 or 4 losers

4

To play, 3-4 losers

6 ,5 - 3 or 4 losers, limited count

7+ , limited controls, 3 or 4 losers

4+ ,6+ - 3 or 4 losers

4

To play, 3-4 losers

6 ,5 - 3 or 4 losers, limited count

4 ,7 - 3 or 4 losers

7+ , limited controls, 3 or 4 losers

After 1-1 or 1 /-1 , openers rebid of 1NT shows a minimum canapé in the suit of responders bid, a 2 level bid in that suit instead shows extra values. After suit openings, openers jump rebid of 2NT shows scattered stoppers in a 6322 pattern and 18-20 HCP, responder will need length or stoppers in unbid suits to proceed to 3NT. With a solid suit opener may jump rebid to 3NT, responder will tend to take out only with slam interest or to correct to a safer game in openers long suit..Jump rebids at the four level show freak shapes, responder will bid a new suit only as an ace cue bid with 2 or more cover cards.A 1M opening and 3 rebid may have 5 cards in the major with a hand too strong for a 2 opening, responder may relay with 3 to check on length.

When opener canapés to a major, a jump rebid by opener in responders suit is a splinter (e.g. 1 -1 -2-4 is heart singleton with four spades). This is because with reasonable hand and support for first suit responder raises directly.After 1 -1M, opener rebids 2M(12-14) or 2(15-16) with four card support, 1NT with flat 12-16 or no support, 2 with three card support and a weak doubleton

After 1 -1M(4+ suit)-1NT, responder’s 2 is new minor, other rebids including 2 of other major are canapés.



Table 4 – After a Game Forcing Response

Auction>

Rebid

1 -1NT

1 -1NT

1 -2

2 -2

2

45,54,55,64,46 minors

{2¨ }- 2 =3, 2 =3 ,

2n=2245 or 2254, 3 =4 ,6 3¨ =6+4 3 =1255 3 =2155

see below for third relay

4+ ,5+ any strength

{2¨ } - 2 =5, 2 =3, 2n=[2425],3 =4 ,6 ,3 =3+

2

6+ diamonds, no 4+> {2 } - 2 =3 ,2n=6322

3 =[1363], 3¨ =7+

4+ ,5+ any strength {2 } - 2=3 ,2n=[2452] 3 =3 3 =6 3 =5

4+ ,5+ any strength

{2 } - 2 =5 , 2n=[4252]

3 =3+ , 3 =6¨ 3=[4351]

2

5+ ,4+ any strength

{2 }- 2n=2542 3 =3+

3 = 6+ , 3 =55

6+ hearts, no other suit

{2 } – 2n= any 6322

3 =3 3 =3631 3 =7+

4 ,5+ any strength

{2 )- 2n=[4522], 3 =3+

3 =3+ , 3 =6+

5+ ,4+ ,11-16 HCP

{2s} – 2n=[2542], 3C=5

3 =[1534], 3 =6 3=[3514]

2

5+ ,4+ any strength

{2N} - 3 =6+ , 3 =2+ , 3 =5 , 3 =5431

5+ ,4+ any strength

{2N} - 3 =5+ , 3 =6+ ,

3 =3+ 3 =2+

6+ spades, no other suit

{2N} - 3 =3 3 =3

 3=[6322]  3 =7+ suit

5+ ,4+ , 11-16 HCP

{2N}- 3 =55 or 64

3 =[5134] 3 =[5314]

3 /N=[5224] min/max

2NT

6 322 with 15+ HCP

{3 } – asks stoppers

3 - asks 3 or Qx

6 322 with 15+ HCP

{3 }-asks stoppers

3 - asks 3 or Qx

4 ,5+

{3 } –3 =[4315] 3 =5 , 3n=[4225] minimum 3¨ =2+

6 with 15-17 HCP

{3¨ } – stopper ask, then 3 = + 3 = + 3n= majors

3

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3¨ } – asks stoppers

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3¨ } – asks stoppers

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3¨ } – asks stoppers

6 with 14- HCP

{3¨ } – stopper ask, then

3M= stopper 3N=¨ stopper

3

6+ solid diamonds, 16+ HCP, no relays

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3 } – asks stoppers

3 and 6¨ , 16+ HCP

{3 } – asks stoppers

Solid 7+ clubs, no outside stopper

3

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

6+ solid hearts, 14+ HCP, no relays

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3 } – waiting

6 ,4 maximum

3

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

3 and 6, 16+ HCP

6+ solid spades, 14+ HCP

6 ,4 maximum

3NT

Solid diamonds, no outside king ace or singleton

Solid hearts, no outside king ace or singleton

Solid spades, no outside king ace or singleton

The left most column shows the rebid, the other columns the initial sequence. The first line of a cell gives the meaning of a bid. A bid in brackets such as {2 } indicates a relay bid by responder, the following indicate possible rebids and the shapes shown, starting with the one that takes precedence. Square brackets such as [3451] indicate a specific pattern, 3 spades, 4 hearts, 5 diamonds and 1 club.

In relays after a 1,1 or 1 opening, jump rebids in same suit show solid suit, jump rebids in a second suit show 6 card suit with exactly a strong 3 in first suit. Minimum rebids show 4+ of first suit unlimited. After a canapé sequence and relay, the general pattern is opener shows in order of precedence either 3+ length in an unbid suit, or extra length in a bid suit (these deny a side 3 card suit). In some cases the first available rebid may be 2 or more cards in that unbid suit, to make non-forcing rebids of 3N specific as to size. Further relays after cheapest rebid are used to clarify shape and size ambiguities. Responder may fail to continue with relays for several reasons To bid a new suit at 2 level – will have either a 5+5+ hand, or a 6+ suit.) To make a minimum rebid in one of openers suits – sets suit, invites cue or natural bid) To jump in a suit below 4- splinter bid in support of openers suit or canapé suit – a jump in openers first bid suit is a splinter in that suit after a canapé. After 1 -1N-2 -2 if opener bids 2N, 3 asks long suit, 3 =2245, 3 =2254. If opener rebids 3(46) or 3 (64) then relay asks for major length, first step = 2 hearts, second step = 2 spades

Table 5 – Special sequences


 Auction>

rebid

1 -1M-2

1 -2

1 /1NT-2 (Puppet Stayman)

1 -1M-2 -2 relay

1M-2NT forcing raise

2

Relay, 8+ HCP. Then

2 = 2 or 3

[2ª ]-2n= 5 ¨

            3 = 5

            3 = 6

             3 = 1345

2 =3 spades

2N= 55 minors

3 =46 minors

3 =64 minors

Any minimum, no major canapé. Responder continues

Pass – less than 4 cc

2M/3 – suit or stopper

3 - good diamonds

3M/4 - game invite splinter

One or both majors, 4+ or max

2 - 4 spades, may have hearts also

2 - 4 hearts

2N – invite

3m – 5

3M – Smolen?!

 

2

5 hearts, not forcing

5+ ,4+ any strength

{2 } -2n=2542 or 3541

3 =3 3 =5

3 =6

3 =3541 extras

5 card heart suit

2 - spade stopper

Jumps – splinters

 

2

5+ spades, not forcing

5+ ,4+ any strength

{2N} - 3 =6+ , 3 =3 hearts

3 =5 3 =2 or 3 clubs

5 card spade suit

3m - 5+ suit

2n - not forcing

Jumps – splinters

3 spades

{2N} – 3 = 3 clubs

3 = 3 hearts 3 = no other three

 

2NT

Natural invite, major stoppers

6 322 with 15+ HCP

{3 }-asks stoppers

No 4 or 5 card major, minimum

3M – stopper or suit, worried about other major

6 diamonds, 2 spades, 32 minors

 

3

Natural invite, usually 4+ clubs

3 and 6 , 16+ HCP

{3 } – asks stoppers

5 card minor, not max

3 clubs

 

Canapé

{3¨} – 3OM/4 - 3 card suit

3M= no extra shape

3N = 5 in major

4 = 6 card suit

3

Natural invite, 4 diamonds and 5 of major bid

6 , 16+ HCP

{3 } – asks stoppers

5 card minor, not max

7 diamonds

stopper continuations

Canapé

{3} –3 no extra shape

3N – 5 in major

4 - 6 card suit

4 -3 card suit

3

Invite/1 or splinter/1

Splinter

Weak doubleton, max?

3 hearts, extra values

Canapé or 6 card suit

3

Invite /1 or splinter/1

Splinter

Weak doubleton, max?

-

Canapé or 6 card suit

3NT

Natural but rare

Natural rare

Natural max rare

-

Long major, no singleton

4

Splinter?!

Exclusion Blackwood

 

Splinter

4

Splinter?!

KCB

 

Splinter

4

Exclusion Blackwood/1

Exclusion Blackwood

 

Splinter/1

4

Exclusion Blackwood

 

Exclusion Blackwood/1

 



Table 6 – Defensive Bidding

Open>

Bid

1

1

1

1

1N 15-17

2

2 weak

2

2

2NT

D

13+HCP, 2+

13+HCP, 2+

Normal takeout

Normal takeout

penalty

One or both M

Normal

Normal, Lebensohl responses

Normal, Lebensohl responses

minors

1

 

10+HCP 5+ , no good 4M

---

1

 

5+ 8+ HCP or 4+ /12

5+ 8+ HCP or 4+ /12

1

 

5+ 8+ HCP or 4 -5x/12

5+ 8+ HCP or 4 -5x/12

5+ spades

8+ HCP

1NT

 

8+ HCP, 4441,3451,4351

8+ HCP

4414,3415,4315

15+-18 system on

15+-18 system on

2

55 majors, 10+ HCP

10-14,

usually 6+ suit

10-14,

usually 6+ suit

10-14,

usually 6+ suit

4+ ,5+ other

2

 

13-17 with 6+ good

55 majors, 10+ HCP

10-16 with 5+ suit

10-16 with 5+ suit

4+ ,5+ other

Weak with good suit

2

 

13-17 with 6+ good

13-17 with 6+ good

5 ,5 minor

10+ HCP

10-16 with 5+ suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

Random long or short

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

2

 

13-17 with 6+ good

13-17 with 6+ good

Weak 6+

5 ,5 minor

10+ HCP

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

Random long or short

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

2NT

5¨ ,5

10+ HCP

5 ,5

10+ HCP

GF,4+

GF,4+

Minors

Minors weak

15+-19

system on

15+-19

system on

15+-19

system on

3

 

Asks for club stopper

13-18

6+ good / ace

Weak 7+

Weak 7+

10-16, good 6+

7+ suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

6+ suit often 2 suited

3

 

Weak 6+

Asks for diamond stopper

Weak 7+

Weak 7+

10-16, good 6+

7+ suit

Asks for ¨stop

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

10-16, 6 or good 5 suit

6+ suit often 2 suited

3

 

Weak 7+

Weak 7+

Limit raise, 4+

Weak 7+

Long suit, 7-8 tricks

7+ suit

10-16, 6 or good 5

Asks for heart stopper

6+ ,forcing

6+ suit often 2 suited

3

 

Weak 7+

Weak 7+

Splinter, 4+ , 10+ HCP

Limit raise, 4+

Long suit, 7-8 tricks

7+ suit

6+ good ,GF

Natural forcing

Asks for spade stopper

6+ suit often 2 suited

3NT

 

To play solid suit stop

To play solid suit ¨ stop

5+ ,10-12 HCP

5+ ,10-12 HCP

Mega minors

Mega minors

To play, running suit

To play, 16+ HCP

To play, 16+ HCP

4

Texas,

Solid

Texas,

solid

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Splinter, 4+,10+ HCP

Preemptive

Preemptive, 5+

5+ ,5+ 8+ tricks

5+ ,5+ 8+ tricks

Preempt

4

Texas solid

Texas solid

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Splinter, 4+ ,10+ HCP

Preemptive

Splinter, 5+

55 majors, 8+ tricks

5+ ,5+ 8+ tricks

5+ ,5+ 8+ tricks

Preempt

4

To play

To play

5+ not strong

Splinter, 4+ 10+ HCP

9 –10 tricks

To play

To play

Minors, 9 tricks

To play

To play

4

To play

To play

 

5+ not strong

9 –10 tricks

To play

To play

To play

Minors, 9 tricks

To play

Texas 4 and 4 bids show slam interest, better than opening hand, controls in 2-3 suits.

Bids of 4 or 4 over weak two bids are Leaping Michaels, Lebensohl over direct doubles.

Stopper asking bids request partner to bid 3NT with full stopper, else cheapest available bid is weak, others are cue of top cards. Doubles of 1 or 1 can be converted to penalty, rebid of 1NT shows normal no trump overcall.1NT overcalls of minor opening are takeout,advancer bids a suit or cues to invite choice

Single jump overcalls intermediate, good suit, side ace, within one or two tricks of contract