Modern Standard American 5-card Majors
PLAYING: Stayman1, Limit Raises2, Weak 2, 3 & 4 bids3, Feature Asking 2NT4, Allow 5-card major 1NT,
New Suit Resp. to overcall forcing, Strong Artificial 2♣ Opening, Blackwood 4NT5, Gerber 4♣6
POINTS NEEDED   game♠ = 25+ points  GAME♣ = 29+ points  |  small slam = 33+ points  |  grand slam = 37+ points
OPENER'S BID RESPONDER'S BID OPENER'S REBID      RESPONDER'S REBID
HP= high honor points (NT openings)  |  LP= HP + long points (always, except when raising)  |  SP= HP + short points (recalculate when raising)  |  "strong suit" = at least 2 out of 3 top honors (or 3 of the top 5 honors)
1 13-21 LP
open longest suit
5+ card major suit
2+ card minor suit
RAISE
MAJOR


3+ card support

6-9 SP = single raise

10-11 SP = LIMIT RAISE

12+ LP start with a forcing bid in new suit
MINIMUM HANDS (13-15)

RAISE
4-card support or strong 3-card support

NEW SUIT
4+ in the new suit

REBID OPENING SUIT
6+ in the suit

NON-JUMP  in NT
only if none of the above,
may be slightly unbalanced 

 
MEDIUM HANDS (16-18)


JUMP RAISE
4-card support only!

JUMP  in  NT (18-19)
balanced hand

JUMP in OPENING SUIT
6+ in strong suit


JUMP in NEW SUIT
4+ in the new suit
(only if hand contains an unstopped suit).
Usually rebid 2NT in preference to a new suit!



MAXIMUM HANDS (19-21)


RAISE  to GAME
4-card support only!

JUMP in NEW SUIT
4+ in the new suit
game
  forcing

DOUBLE  JUMP  to 3NT
balanced, w/ long solid suit & stoppers in all unbid suits (better that 5 of minor, even if a big minor suit fit is present)
signoff

JUMP to  GAME  in OPENING SUIT
6+ cards in strong suit
(only if cannot bid 3NT)
signoff
Based on Opener's rebid calculate
total partnership strength!



19-22 PARTNERSHIP POINTS

signoff  in a partial  contract at the lowest
possible level by:

Passing

bidding 1nt  or 
previously bid suit at  2-level



23-27 PARTNERSHIP  points

invite to game
  by:

bidding 2NT
with stoppers in unbid suits

raising one of opener's suits
to a 3-level
with support

jump rebidding any 6-card suit
or
a strong 5-card suit


24-31 PARTNERSHIP  POINTS

force  to game  by:

bidding game in one of opener's
suits
or in own suit

bidding 3NT
with stoppers in unbid suits

bidding new suit


32+ PARTNERSHIP  POINTS

 bid or invite slam  by:

bidding 1 above game level in one
of
opener's suits or in own suit

bidding slam in one of opener's
suits
or in own suit

bidding  5NT, 6NT or 7NT

with stoppers in unbid suits

utilizing GERBER or BLACKWOOD
conventions when applicable
 NEW SUIT

forcing
bypass any 4+ minor suit to bid your longest major suit first in preference to  NT or raising minor

6-9 LP on 1-level

10+ LP on 2-level

with two 5-5 suits open higher ranking

with 2 (or 3) 4 card suits, bid the lowest ranking
1NT 6-9 LP
(may be unbalanced)

denies ability to raise a major or to bid a new suit on 2-level
RAISE
MINOR

only if cannot bid new suit or NT

4+ card support

6-9 SP

10-11 SP = LIMIT RAISE
 
12+ LP start with a forcing bid in new suit
4 5+ card major support
6+ card minor support
must have a side singleton or void
2NT 13-15 HP balanced hand
denies 3+ support
for opener's major  or  4+ support for his  minor
3NT 16-18 HP balanced hand
denies 3+ card support
for opener's major or  4+ support for his  minor


OPENER'S BID RESPONDER'S BID OPENER'S REBID RESPONDER'S REBID
HP= high honor points (NT openings)  |  LP= HP + long points (always, except when raising)  |  SP= HP + short points (recalculate when raising)  |  "strong suit" = at least 2 out of 3 top honors (or 3 of the top 5 honors)
1NT 15-17 HP exactly
balanced hand which may contain a 5-card suit & maximum 1 doubleton but no void or singleton
PASS or
2, , ♠
signoff
0-7 LP
pass  with no 5-card suit or with long clubs
Signoff on 2-level with 5-card or longer , , ♠
if the responder has 8-12 LP, the game is quite likely!
    2♣
stayman
forcing
8+ LP
with a hand including at least one 4-card major, or 5-4 in majors asks opener if he has a 4-card major
opener bids 2 with no 4-card major, 2 with 4 hearts (and possibly 4 spades) or 2♠ with just 4-card spades support. Respond with 2NT to opener's 2, or 2 of major you don't hold.  If opener has bid 2 and holds both majors, he should convert your NT bid to spades on the appropriate level.
  3♥♦♣♠
game  forcing
10+ LP
with 5+ suit, asking opener if he has a 3-card support
at least game invitational, and shows either slam interest, or interest in possibly playing a game contract other than 3NT
bid 3NT without support in bid suit  
  2NT
game  invitational
8-9 LP balanced hand pass with 15, bid 3NT with 17, decide with 16 points (considering presence of 5-card suit, strong spot cards, stoppers)  
  3NT
game  signoff
10-15 LP  balanced hand
or w/ 6+  minor suit
(3NT is usually better than 5 in long minor)
if the responder has 13+ LP, the game is almost certain, the partnership should explore slam possibility!
  4
game  signoff
10-15 LP  w/ 6+ major suit    
  4NT
small slam invitational
16-17 LP  balanced hand pass with 15, bid 6NT with 17, decide with 16 points (considering presence of 5-card suit, strong spot cards, stoppers)  
  6NT
small slam signoff
18-19 LP  balanced hand    
  5NT
grand  slam invitational
20-21 LP  balanced hand bid 6NT with 15, bid 7NT with 17, decide with 16 points (considering presence of 5-card suit, strong spot cards, stoppers)  
  7NT
grand  slam invitational
22 or more LP  balanced hand    
2NT 20-21 HP exactly
balanced hand which may contain a 5-card suit & maximum 1 doubleton but no void or singleton
PASS or
3, , ♠
signoff
0-3 LP
pass  with no 5-card suit or with long clubs
Signoff on 3-level with 5-card or longer , , ♠
   
    3♣
stayman
forcing
4+ LP
with a hand including at least one 4-card major, or 5-4 in majors asks opener if he has a 4-card major
opener bids 3 with no 4-card major, 3 with 4 hearts (and possibly 4 spades) or 3♠ with just 4-card spades support. Respond with 3NT to opener's 3,
or 3 of major you don't hold.  If opener has bid  3
and holds both majors, he should convert your NT bid to spades on the appropriate level.
Responder calculates the total point count & decides whether to bid game, invite slam,  and also whether to play the hand in a suit contract or notrump.
  3NT or
4
game  signoff
5-11 LP
bid 3NT with balanced hand
or bid  4 ♠ with 5-card or longer major
   
  4NT, 5NT
6NT, 7NT
12-20 LP
depending on combined partnership point count
   

notrump bidding continued on page 3 

→  notrump bidding continued from page 2
OPENER'S BID RESPONDER'S BID OPENER'S REBID RESPONDER'S REBID
HP= high honor points (NT openings)  |  LP= HP + long points (always, except when raising)  |  SP= HP + short points (recalculate when raising)  |  "strong suit" = at least 2 out of 3 top honors (or 3 of the top 5 honors)
3NT 25-27 HP exactly
balanced hand which may contain a 5+suit & max. 1 doubleton but no void or singleton
PASS  or
4
game  signoff
0-5 LP
pass  with no 5-card suit or with long clubs
signoff on 4-level
with 5-card or longer
, ♠
   
    4
stayman
forcing
 6+ LP
with a hand including at least one 4-card major, or 5-4 in majors asks opener if he has a 4-card major
opener bids 4 with no 4-card major, 4 with 4 hearts (and possibly 4 spades) or 4♠ with just 4-card spades support. Respond with 4NT to opener's 4,
or 4 of major you don't hold.  If opener has bid  4
and holds both majors, he should convert your NT bid to spades on the appropriate level.
Responder calculates the total point count & decides whether to bid game, invite slam,  and also whether to play the hand in a suit contract or notrump.
  4NT, 5NT
6NT, 7NT
7-15 LP
depending on combined partnership point count
   
strong
2♣
forcing for 2 rounds
22+ LP  or  9+ tricks

only if unsuitable for 3NT opening
(25-27HP)

2
forcing
0-7 HCP
(an artificial negative response)
2♠, 3♣♦  in longest 5+ suit
forcing to 3-major, 4-minor

3
♠, 4♣ w/6+ strong suit
game  forcing

2NT with balanced 22-24 HP
3NT with balanced 28-30 HP (would open 3NT w/ 25-27)
4NT (Blackwood)  w/ 31-32 HP
slam  invitational
Pass with 0-3  HP & no trick. 

With 1 trick  or  4-7 points:

raise opener's suit  w/3+ support,
bid your own 5+ suit, or 
bid 2NT with balanced hand

    
to opener's rebid in 2 or 3 NT:

w/ a 4+ major  bid 3♣ (Stayman)
w/ a 4+ major bid 4♣ (Stayman)
    2 3
 game  forcing
8+  LP  (positive response)
promises at least 5-cards in
a named strong suit;
possibility of slam contract
3♠, 4♣ new longest 5+ suit
2NT w/ balanced 22-24 HP
game forcing
3NT w/ balanced 28-30 HP
slam  invitational
4NT w/ 31-32 SP & 3+ support in responder's suit (Blackwood)
slam  invitational
at this point partners should be able to find an appropriate  fit and level
  2NT
game  forcing
8+ LP  (positive response)
with no strong 5-card suit
try to avoid 2NT with unbalanced hand;

possibility of slam contract
3♠, 4♣ new longest 5+ suit
2NT with balanced 22-24 HP
game forcing
3NT with balanced 28-30 HP
slam  invitational
at this point partners should be able to find an appropriate  fit and level
2♥♦
preemptive  weak  bids
5-12 LP and
6-card 
strong suit
PASS with 2 or fewer trumps
(if partnership is unlikely to have enough combined tricks for game contract)
  Responding to a preempt is more about counting tricks than counting points.  Visualize partner's hand and estimate the outcome of various contracts. If the contract fails by 2 tricks or fewer it's still acceptable vs. possibility.

To visualize partner's hand expect 2 of the Ace, King, and Queen in his long suit.  Assume that the opener has 5 tricks (with 2-level opening), 6 tricks (with 3-level opening) or 7 tricks (with 4-level opening). Side suits Aces and Kings (only!) tend to be very valuable when partner preempts.

A preemptive opening bid gives an accurate description and leaves further decisions for the partnership up to responder!
3♥♦♣♠
preemptive  weak  bids
5-12 LP and
7-card 
strong suit
RAISE
preemptive signoff

with 3 trumps or a doubleton honor
(if partnership is unlikely to have enough combined tricks for game contract)
 
4♥♦♣♠
preemptive  weak  bids
5-12 LP and
8-card 
strong suit
RAISE
to GAME

preemptive
with 4+ trumps signoff at game level  
    NEW SUIT
below game level
forcing
with strong 5-card suit
showing game interest
the opener will raise with
3+ support or return to
his own suit without support
 
  2NT
feature-asking
applies only to 2-level openings
responder w/ doubleton or singleton utilizes this bid to ask the opener for a side suit feature (A or K)
with a side suit feature
(A or K) and 8+ HP the opener should bid this suit, otherwise rebids his long suit
 
3NT
signoff
expecting 9 tricks, has stoppers in all suits, plans to run opener's suit or has a long solid suit of his own



TAKEOUT  DOUBLES RESPONSES OVERCALL BIDS
responses to partner's overcall are similar in nature to the corresponding responses when partner opens
TAKEOUT
DOUBLE

forcing
13+ SP points and at least
3-card support for all unbid suits

takeout doubles can also be used to show a hand with 18+ LP
(too strong to overcall)
PASS the only time you should pass partner's takeout double is when you have a great strength in the opponent's suit 1-LEVEL
OVERCALL
10-17 LP
with 5+ suit,
unbalanced
non-JUMP
 in UNBID SUIT
no points are required, you must bid,  unless your RHO passes 2-LEVEL
OVERCALL
13-17 LP
with 5+ suit,
unbalanced
JUMP in UNBID SUIT
INVITATIONAL
9-11 LP 
respond in a 4+ major suit in preference to a longer or stronger minor suit, the doubler is invited to raise with extra strength 
JUMP to
2-LEVEL

OVERCALL
PEEMPTIVE
5-12 LP

with 6-card strong suit
1NT 8-10 HP
suggested balanced hand promising one stopper in the opponent's suit
JUMP to
3-LEVEL

OVERCALL
PEEMPTIVE
5-12 LP

with 7-card strong suit
all doubles which don't meet all
3 conditions for a takeout double
are for penalty  (see below)

TAKEOUT DOUBLE CONDITIONS:

1.  if neither the doubler nor his partner have made a bid AND
 
2.  the opposing partnership has bid suits on 1 or 2 level AND
 
3.  it is the doubler's  first
or second turn to bid
2NT
INVITATIONAL
11-12 HP
balanced hand promising a strong holding in the opponent's suit
JUMP to
4-LEVEL

OVERCALL
PEEMPTIVE
5-12 LP

with 8-card strong suit
4 12+ LP
with a 5+ strong major suit
1NT OVERCALL 15-17 HP
hand suitable for 1NT opening bid
CUEBID
OPPONENT'S SUIT
game forcing
12+ LP  without 5+ major, when not sure what is the best game contract

partner should bid any 4+ major suit or 2NT

you will then raise to game in 4♠ or bid 3NT
TAKEOUT
DOUBLE
18+ LP
too strong for overcall!

with a strong hand start with takeout double, then bid your long suit

 

LEADS
LEADS to 
SUIT CONTRACTS
  1. Partner's suit
  2. An unbid suit 
  3. A singleton or doubleton
  4. A trump (if declarer is likely to need ruffs)
  • top of a doubleton (♠10-2, A--5) (but K  from  AK doubleton)
  • top of touching honors  (K-Q-7-5)
  • top of internal sequence (A-Q-J-7-5)
  • lead the Ace  (A-J-8-5-2)
  • lead 4th best (K-J-9-5-4)
  • if no sequence, low from 3 small (♠9-7-2)
LEADS to
NOTRUMP CONTRACTS
  1. Partner's suit
  2. Longest suit
    (w/choice of 2 suits, lead stronger suit)
  3. A singleton or doubleton

Partner's Suit

Longest Suit

  • top of a doubleton
    (♠7-2, Q-5)
    (but K  from  AK doubleton)
  • top of touching honors
    (Q-J-5)
  • low  (if no sequence) (8-6-3)
  • top of touching honors
    (Q-J-10-9-5)
  • top of internal sequence
    (A-Q-J-9-5)
  • lead 4th best
    (K-J-9-5-4)
 
SIGNALS when partner leads or when discarding    Attitude Signal: a high card is encouraging, low is discouraging
 
GUIDELINES
  • if there are enough sure tricks to defeat contract, take them
  • second hand low... but take the setting trick
  • return partner's suit...
    it may not be right but it is never wrong
  • third hand high... but only as high as necessary
  • cover honor with an honor.. if a winner can be promoted in the suit

Rule of Eleven (usually in NT openings):
When partner leads 4th Best, you can subtract the card led from 11, and this difference is the number of cards higher than the card led in the three other hands.

  • when the dummy is to your right, lead the weakest suit in sight

  • when the dummy is to your left, lead through heft

CHICAGO BRIDGE RULES
This version of rubber bridge uses the same rules and, with exceptions noted below, the same scoring as standard Contract Bridge.  A round consists of four deals, one dealt by each player in turn. Vulnerability for a side is determined by which deal is being played, as follows:

A passed-out deal is re-dealt by the same dealer. There is a bonus, scored immediately, of 300 for making game when not vulnerable and 500 when vulnerable. A part-score carries over as in Rubber Bridge and can help to make game in the next deal or deals, but it is canceled by any game score. There is a bonus of 100 for making a part-score on the fourth deal. After four deals have been played, the scores are totaled and entered on the back score, as in Rubber Bridge, and there is a new cut for partners, seats, and deal.

first deal neither side is vulnerable
second deal the dealer's side is vulnerable
third  deal the dealer's side is vulnerable
fourth deal both sides are vulnerable
 
PLAYED PARTNESHIP AGREEMENTS
1 STAYMAN
 CONVENTION

After an opening bid or an overcall of 1NT (2NT, 3NT), responder bids 2 (3♣, 4♣) to ask opener or overcaller to bid a four card major suit if he has one. This bid promises four cards in at least one of the major suits and enough strength (8+ LP to 1NT, 4+ LP to 2NT and 0-5 LP to 3NT) to continue bidding after partner's response. By invoking the Stayman convention, the responder takes control of the bidding since strength and distribution of the opener's hand is already known within a limited range. The opener responds with the following rebids.

2 (3, 4) denies four or more cards in either major suit.

2 (3♥, 4) shows at least four hearts.

2 (3♠, 4) shows at least four spades.

Respond with 2NT (3NT, 4NT) to opener's bid , or bid in major  you don't hold.  If opener has bid and holds both majors, he should convert your NT bid to spades on the appropriate level.
2 LIMIT RAISES

A Jump Raise by the responder indicates 4-card support (or strong 3-card support) in the bid suit &  10-11 SP.  Limit Raise is not forcing.

3 WEAK 2, 3 and 4 BIDS A weak 2 (3, or 4) opening indicates 5-12 LP and 6-card (7, or 8) strong suit. All are preemptive  bids.
4 FEATURE ASKING 2NT

Applies only to 2-level openings. Responder with a doubleton or singleton utilizes this bid to ask the opener for a side suit feature (A or K) and to confirm his 8+ HP count.  With a side suit feature (A or K) and 8+ HP the opener should bid this suit, otherwise rebids his long suit

5 BLACKWOOD
4NT

After you and partner have agreed on a trump suit, a JUMP bid of 4NT is the Blackwood Convention, which asks partner to tell you how many aces he holds.

Partner responds with a 5-level bid that shows the exact number of aces in his hand.
5♣  = None or all four aces
5 = One ace
5 = Two aces
5 = Three aces

6 GERBER
4♣

After partner opens 1NT or 2NT, or after he opens one of a suit and shows a specific point range by rebidding 1NT or 2NT, a  JUMP bid of 4♣ is the Gerber Convention, which asks partner to tell you how many aces he holds.

Partner responds with a 4-level bid that shows the exact number of aces in his hand.
4= None or all four aces
4 = One ace
4 = Two aces
4NT = Three aces

If the partnership is missing 2 Aces you can stop at 5-level in the agreed trump suit.
If only one Ace is missing, a small slam can be bid in the agreed trump suit
If  the partnership is missing 2 Aces you can stop at 4NT.
If only one Ace is missing, a small slam can be bid in NT
If your side holds all four aces and you want to investigate a grand slam, 5NT asks for kings Partner will respond at the 6-level (using the same steps as above) to show the number of kings he holds If your side holds all four aces and you want to investigate a grand slam, bid of 5♣ asks for kings Partner will respond at the 5-level (using the same steps as above) to show the number of kings he holds
In a rare case of the opponent's interference after 4♣ or 4NT bids  -- use D0P1 agreement: DOUBLE  with zero Aces, PASS with one Ace.
Do not use Blackwood or Gerber with a void or worthless doubleton unless you have 1st and 2nd round control in all unbid suits (A, K, or singleton)









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Last modified: 03-19-2012

This  concise summary is largely based on Learn to Play Bridge authored by Fred Gitelman, which is available at no charge at the ACBL site.  We found his software program extremely helpful and created this bidding chart as  a quick reference guide for ourselves. It is shared here as a courtesy of : 
ALL 4 COFFEE where we also offer a wide selection of Piatnik playing cards (bridge and standard sizes).