Polish Club International 2010

Openings

In this column we describe major features of the system.

Last modified: 2016-03-14

Licence: GNU GPL

Author:

Krzysztof Jassem
Prof of Informatics
at the Poznań University.
jassem@amu.edu.pl

Publishing and Sales:

Wydawnictwo Magdalena Jassem
62-040 Puszczykowo
ul. Bałtycka 12
tel. + 48 604 542 825
mjassem@amu.edu.pl

English Translation:

Daniel Neill
dan@bridgewithdan.com
www.bridgewithdan.com

Converting to Html format:

Andrzej Ziemkiewicz
andrzej.ziemkiewicz@free.fr

Preface

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro)

The world does not stand still. Bridge systems are no different.
In 2005 I published a book “WJ 2005 – a modern version of Polish Club”. What was modern 8 years ago, is prehistoric now.
Polish Club International absorbs modern solutions from other systems and puts them into the frame of a “two-way” 1♣ opening.

The book is intended for two groups of readers:

  • those interested in Polish Club;
  • those who want to get better understanding of trendy bidding treatments.

The book is divided into two parts:

  1. Polish Club International Standard; this is a result of an Internet survey among Polish Club users;
  2. Polish Club International Pro; this part describes modern bidding tendencies approved all over the world – systematized in one cohesive system.

Two features distinguish this book from other manuals on bridge systems and conventions:

  1. Quizzes – every new piece of information ends with a quiz. Cover the right column of a quiz table before finding your answer to the question given in the left column;
  2. Slam bidding – the conventions are explained by showing examples of mistakes made by bridge champions.

Summary of Opening Bids

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Opening Description Notes
1♣ 1) 12-14 bal
2) 15+ with ♣
3) Any 18+ HCP hand

2) Stronger than 2♣ opening
3) Including GF hands
1 1) 12-17, 5+
2) 12-17, 4441 with 4
3) 12-14, 5♣-4
1/♠ 12-17, 5+cards
1NT 15-17, may have 5-cards major
2♣ Precision 12(11)-14(15), 6+♣ or 5 with a 4-cards major
2 6-10 Multi Week two in one major
2 6-10, 5 and a 5-cards any suit
2♠ 6-10, 5♠ and a 5-cards minor
2NT 6-10, 5+5+ minors
3 of a suit Preempt 7+ cards suit
3NT Gambling SOL 7-card minor, nothing else
4♣/ Natural

1♣  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Definition       ++

The 1♣ opening in PCI has 3 possible meanings:
  1. Preparatory variant: 12-14 HCP, no 5-card major, 6 ♣, or
    5 ♣ - 4 other;
  2. Natural variant: 15+ unbalanced with ♣;
  3. Strong variant: 18+ HCP, any hand.
(---)

Preparatory variant (12 - 14)       ++

With this variant of the opening it is 12-14 HCP balanced – no 5-card suit unless ♣ with flat distribution (5332). With 5♣ and 4 we open 1, and with 6♣ or 5♣ and a 4-card major we open 2♣.

If we open the bidding with 1♣ holding 5♣, then we should not on the next round make a point to rebid the ♣ (“hey, I have extra clubs”) because it would appear to show variant (2) of the opening – natural, and hence showing a stronger hand.

Quiz 1       ++
Choose the opening bid:

♠QJ98 KJ32 AQ2 ♣32 1♣ – preparatory.
♠QJ98 KJ3 AQ108 ♣32 1♣ – 1 promises 5 cards unless unbalanced.
♠42 32 AQJ2 ♣AJ1043 1 – one of the exceptions to open 1 on 4 cards.
K2♠ K2 J432 ♣AJ1043 1♣ – nothing would induce me to open 1 on this hand. I open 1♣ and rebid in notrump.
♠4 KW2 AQJ2 ♣AJ1043 1♣ – Hand is strong enough (15+) to rebid ♣ in the next round.
♠4 KW32 AQ2 ♣A10943 2♣ – Precision shape opens 2♣.
♠D4 KW32 AQ ♣J8743 1♣ – and rebid 1NT over 1♠.
♠D4 KW3 AQ ♣J98743 1♣ – system tells you to open Precision 2♣, common sense prompts you to open 1♣ (and rebid 1NT).

(---)
How do you show the preparatory club variant (12-14) ?
You show this variant by rebidding on the same level as the response or supporting partner.

Remember: with the weak variant you should not show long ♣ at the first opportunity.

Quiz 2       ++

You Partner
1♣ 1
?

What bid do you choose ?

♠A43 AQ76 K7 ♣9865 2. Support with 4-card support.
♠A4 AQ7 K765 ♣9865 1NT. Do not support with 3-card fit.
♠A432 AQ7 K7 ♣9865 1♠. Show your four ♠ at 1-level.
♠A43 A7 754 ♣KJ1087 1NT. You cannot mention your ♣ suit, as that would show 15+.

(---)
(---)

Natural variant (15 – 17)       ++

We use the opening 1♣ with 15-17 HCP ♣-based hands which are not suited for opening 1NT.
Quiz       ++
Choose the opening bid:

♠AQJ5 75 K4 ♣KQJ87 1♣ – bid 1♠ after partner’s 1 (forcing); then show ♣ in the next round
♠Q2 J32 AJ9 ♣AK1098 1NT – standard 1NT opening.
♠32 432 AKJ ♣AKJ109 1♣ – this way transfer no trump into partner’s hand.
♠AQ4 KJ AJ ♣J95432 1NT – Systematically, you may open 1♣;
I recommend 1NT.
♠AJ5 K4 A5 ♣AKJ654 1♣ – then you may just rebid ♣ (forcing after partner’s positive response), showing 15+.

(---)
How do you show the medium variant of the 1♣ opening ?      ++
Opener shows the medium variant by bidding ♣ without jumping, e.g:

1♣ 1/♠,1NT
2♣

Opener’s bid shows 15+ HCP and is forcing.
Here, opener may still have 18+ HCP. Particularly over a 1♠ response, opener may not allow himself to jump in ♣ when he has 4 on the side.

With 15+ HCP, 5♣ and 4♠, over a 1 (or 1) response, opener begins with ♠:

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
2♣ !!
or:
1♣ 1
1♠ 2
3♣ !!

In both cases opener is showing a hand with 15+ HCP, 4 ♠ and 5+♣. Responder should not Pass at this point.

Note: Showing ♣ over enemy interference also shows the 15+ strength of the 1♣ opening:

1♣ 1 1♠ Pass
?

Bidding ♣ shows 15+ HCP.

The same reasoning holds when responder makes a negative double, e.g:

1♣ 1♠ X Pass
?

This rule applies up to the 2-level:

1♣ 2 X Pass
?

In both above auctions showing ♣ requires 15+ HCP.

We remark that in such sequences opener’s room for maneuvering is very limited.
If he doesn’t have a stopper in the opponent’s suit and the card gods didn’t bestow a lot of HCP (12-14), then he has little to bid. Showing ♣ indicates at least a medium (15+) variant, and showing is even a stronger hand (Odwrotka over partner’s 1M response, or a strong ♣ with in all other situations).

The solution to these problems may, at first glance, seem grim. Opener must bid NT at the lowest level even without a stopper in the enemy suit (unless he has an unbid major four). However, despite appearances disaster doesn’t threaten.

Responder, when he wants to play 3NT, and hasn’t the enemy suit stopped, must check back on whether opener has a stopper.

(---)
(---)

Strong variant (18+)       ++

The strong variant of the 1♣ opening distinguishes PCI from the mass of other bidding systems.
The key to good operation of this system is therefore handling this unique opening variant.

We begin with naming the strengths and weaknesses of the strong club variant.

Strengths       ++
  1. The ability to exactly define the total combined HCP of both hands;
    This feature is accomplished by narrowing the strength of the other openings. Thanks to the 1♣ opening we can break the remaining 1-level suit openings into two narrow ranges: weak (12-14) and strong (15-17).
    In a system without this opening it is necessary to handle three wide strengths: 12-15, 16-18, 19-21;
  2. The ability to find game when one of the hands is strong, and the other very weak;
  3. The ability to obtain exact information about the weak hand by saving a level when opening the strong hand;
    This best applies to the situation when the strong hand has balanced distribution and the weak hand – unbalanced.
(---)
Weaknesses       ++
  1. Vulnerability to enemy preemption;
  2. Leaving the room in the auction to the enemy;
  3. Ambiguity of the 1♣ bid.
(---)
With the “for” and “against” arguments in mind, let us develop some practical rules which should be helpful while making the decision: “To open, or not to open, a strong ♣?”
Rules       ++
Rule 1
Assume that partner has a balanced hand. If you choose an opening other than 1♣, and partner Passes, then can you be missing a game ?
If the answer is positive, open 1♣
.
Rule 2
Suppose you have a 5-4 or 6-4 hand. Then if you choose an opening other than 1♣, partner bids 1NT, you bid another suit without jumping, and partner Passes, can you be missing a game ?”
If the answer is positive, open 1♣
.
(---)
Quiz       ++
Choose the right opening bid:

♠AKJ102 AQ102 K32 ♣3 1♣ – holding lots of cards in the majors (9 or more), we can open a strong ♣ with fewer HCP (good 17+)
♠A109543 A2 AKJ3 ♣2 1♣ – then show ♠, and later; if alternatively you open 1♠, and partner responds 1NT, you have no good rebid
♠AT954 A2 AKJ32 ♣2 1♠ – You have a convenient rebid – jump to 3 to show the 5-5 distribution (15-17)

(---)
Rule 3
A hand is most suited for a strong 1♣ opening when it would be difficult for enemy interference to prevent transmitting information about our hand.
Quiz       ++
Choose the right opening bid:

♠AK105432 A32 KJ3 ♣-- 1♣ – whatever they bid, you can bid the same number in ♠.
♠-- AK105432 A32 ♣KJ3 1♣ – less obvious – you might be soon fighting against ♠.
♠-- A32 AK105432 ♣KJ3 1 – show your ASAP; you might be soon fighting against ♠ or .
♠AQ2 KQ1K1043 ♣AK3 1♣ – strong balanced hand – no worry about them preempting us.

How do you show the strong club variant ?       ++
The straightforward method of revealing this ♣ variant is:
  • Jumping in a new suit (1♣-1-2♠);
  • Jumping to 2NT (1♣-1-2NT = strong ♣ with a balanced hand but less than 3).

Jumping in a new suit, however, is not necessary to distinguish the strong club hands:

1♣ 1
1♠ !!

The above auction is forcing in PCI. It initially shows the 12-14 hands with 4♠, but responder cannot Pass this bid since opener’s hand may include the other opening hand types, including the strong ♣:

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
3NT

Opener has a strong balanced hand with 4♠.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
2♠

Opener has a strong hand (18+) with 5+ spades.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
2♣

4 spades, 5+ clubs, 15+ HCP; the bid is forcing for one round.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
2

4 spades, 5+ diamonds, 18+ HCP; the bid is forcing to game.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
3

Strong ♣ (18+) with 5♠ and 5.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
3♣

Strong ♣ with 5♠ and 5♣.

The auction:

1♣ 1
2♠

shows something better than a strong ♣ and 5♠: opener has a strong ♣ with (6+) very good ♠.

Responder at the same time may not Pass in the sequence:

1♣ 1
2♣ (15+)

We can also communicate a strong club via an “uneconomical” major suit bid (equivalent to “natural system reversed bidding”), e.g:

1♣ 1NT
2/♠

Responder’s 1NT response excludes holding a 4-card major, hence opener’s major suit bid should show 5 (initially, you don’t seek a fit in a suit in which there is no chance of having 8+ cards total between the two hands), and at the same time strong ♣ strength.

Similarly:

1♣ 1♠
2/♠

Responder’s 1♠ byPasses (and thus initially denies) the 4-card suit. Opener’s 2 rebid hence shows a strong ♣ with 5+ .

Notice that playing PCI you do not need to reverse with ♣ and a major four. Instead, you first introduce your real ♣ (by bidding 2♣ over partner’s response, which shows 15+) and bid your major in the next turn, if necessary.

After a positive response to a 1♣ opening (anything but 1) and confirmation of a strong♣ , the auction is game-forcing.

After opener shows a strong ♣ with a 5-card major, responder with 3-card support may raise opener in one of four ways:

  1. Bid game – this is the weakest raise, strongly discouraging slam;
  2. Bid 2NT, and on the next round bid game in partner’s suit. This sequence shows a pretty good hand (within the frame of the current auction), 3-card support, and no ruffing potential;
  3. Raise to the 3-level – a very encouraging raise for the context. Besides a fit it should promise ruffing values in the form of a side doubleton;
  4. Show a fit with side shortness via a Splinter.
(---)
(---)

⇦ 1     Response       ++

In PCI the 1 response has 3 possible meanings:
  1. 0-7 HCP (negative);
  2. 8-11 HCP, unbalanced, no 4-card major (semi-positive);
  3. 13+ HCP, balanced, no 4-card major or 5-card minor (strong).
The negative variant       ++
Respond 1 with all “negative” hands. The upper limit of a “negative” is 6 HCP with a 4-card major and 7 HCP without. On the next round, responder normally Passes a 1-level bid by partner with 0-4 HCP and continues bidding with 5+ HCP:

1♣ 1
1/♠ 1NT

Now the 1NT bid shows 5-7 HCP. If opener has the preparatory ♣, he must Pass. Opener may start the auction just the same way with a strong ♣. Then, he would not Pass 1NT.

1♣ 1
1 1NT (5-7)
2 ?

Opener shows a strong ♣ with 5. Yet, the auction is not game-forcing. 3 now would be invitational, and 4 - stronger.

(---)
The semipositive variant       ++
The semipositive variant of the 1 response we reserve for unbalanced distributions with a minor and strength too weak to guarantee game opposite a weak opening ♣. The 2♣, 2 responses force to game so even with 11 HCP we are also forced to apply the “semipositive” variant of the 1 response (unless we have a good 6-card minor and 9-11 HCP; with that we respond in the suit at the 3-level).

In the later auction responder has the following chances to indicate the semipositive 1:

  • Jump in a minor suit, e.g:

    1♣ 1
    1 3♣

    Responder’s bid shows 9-11 HCP with less-than-great 6♣ (with a good 6-card suit responder bids 3♣ on the first round of the auction).

  • Bid 2♠ over a 1 rebid:

    1♣ 1
    1 2♠

    The above artificial sequence shows 5-4+ in the minors, and 8-11 HCP.

  • Bid a minor suit without jumping, e.g:

    1♣ 1
    1♠ 2♣

    Responder has 5-11 HCP and 5+♣. This broad strength range doesn’t lead to any special problems. Frankly, opener with the weak variant Passes, and with a strong hand bids further.

    (---)
The strong variant       ++
We show a strong variant of 1 response by jumping to NT in the next round.
See: Notrump responses to 1♣.

We shall now discuss continuations after 1 response.

⇨ 1/2NT rebids       ++
Opener’s 1NT and 2NT rebids show balanced hands with 18-20 and 21-23 respectively. Responder utilizes the same methods as over a 1NT opener (see ‘1NT opening’).

Continuation:

1♣ 1
1NT ?

2♣ Stayman.
2/    Transfers to the majors, the remaining bids have the same meanings as over an opening 1NT, but the strength is defined by the first 1 response.

1♣ 1
2NT ?

3♣ Stayman.
3/ Transfers.
3♠ 5-4 in the minors.
4♣/ Natural responses (not transfers!), 6+ cards.

1♣ 1
2NT 3♣
3 3/♠

Responder is showing a 5-card suit with 4 cards in the other major.

(---)
(---)
⇨ 1/♠  Rebid       ++
With 12-14, opener may not rebid 1NT (since this bid shows the strong NT).
Opener bids his cheapest 4-card major, and if he hasn’t one, then his cheapest 3-card major.
Responder must take into account that the suit might be a convenient  3-card suit and should not jump-raise partner with 4 cards.

1♣ 1
1 2 !! 5-6 HCP, 4+.

Opener starts with a 4-card major even with 5♣ and 15-17 HCP:

1♣ 1
1 1NT !! 5-7 HCP.
2 !! 4/♠, 4+, 18+ HCP (either suit may be longer).

1♣ 1
1 1NT !! 5-7 HCP.
2 !! 5+, 18-20.

(---)
⇨ 2  Rebid         ++
Game forcing.

Opener’s 2 is an artificial bid, showing that opener’s hand is good enough to guarantee a game (the auction cannot stop below a game).

Note: The 2 rebid denies 5+-5+ distribution.

Later bidding is conducted naturally, except for the responder’s 2 rebid, which is a waiting bid: “I don’t have a good suit to show”. Experience shows that the responder should bypass 2 only with good reasons to do so. Otherwise it is advisable to let opener show where his strength lies as cheaply as possible.

Quiz       ++

1♣ 1
2 ?

Choose the right bid:

♠Q10532 432 32 ♣Q32 2 – ♠ are too freaky to be mentioned at that point.
♠KQ1032 432 32 ♣432 2♠ – this time it is quite different.
♠432 32 Q32 ♣QJ432 2♥ – “I’m still waiting.”
♠43 32 Q32 ♣QJ10432 3♣ – “My clubs might make a good trump suit opposite a stiff honor.”
♠2 KJ10432 432 ♣432 3 - “My hearts might make a good trump suit opposite a stiff honor.”
♠J102 K2 J1032 ♣Q432 2NT – super-maximum of a negative response.

(---)
The subsequent bidding is natural, including continuations over 2NT:

1♣ 1
2 2NT

Opener bids naturally (e.g. 3♣ shows a ♣ suit).

After the following auction:

1♣ 1
2 2

opener shows his suits, and with a balanced hand rebids 2NT. This bid promises at least 24 HCP and is game-forcing (“even if partner has zero, we can’t stop short”).

Over:

1♣ 1
2 2
2NT ?

the auction proceeds exactly as it would have over:

1♣ 1
2NT

That means that Stayman and Jacoby transfers are in use.

(---)
⇨ Other 2-level bids and 3-level minor rebids       ++
The remaining rebids at the 2-level (over a negative 1) are natural and show a strong ♣ with at least 5 cards in the bid suit. Same thing holds for a bid of a minor at the 3-level.

Remember that a jump to 2 or 2♠ promises more strength than just a strong ♣ (20+HCP). With any strong hand based on long , opener has no choice but to bid 3 (unless he has a major four and 18-20 when he can rebid 1M) because 2 rebid is occupied by a game force.

(---)
⇨ Two-suited strong club hands       ++
We use a special treatment for 2-suiter game forcing hands facing a negative response.

1♣ 1
?

3 2-suited with ;
3♠ 2-suited with ♠ + minor;
4♣ 2-suited with the minors.

Continuations are analogous to those after 2 and 2♠ openings:

Over 3:

  • 3♠       = better ♠ than a;
  • 3NT    = asks for 2nd suit (4 = spades);
  • 4♣/   = positive for (cuebids).
Over 3♠:
  • 3NT    = positive ask for the minor suit (suggests a good hand);
  • 4♣      = negative – Pass/correct (the minor is the lesser evil than ♠);
  • 4/   = positive for ♠ (cuebids).
Over 4♣:
  • 4       = sets as trumps;
  • 4/♠    = cuebid for ♣;
  • 4NT    = positive for ♣ with no cuebid.

Actual hand (ACBL Nationals, San Diego, 2009):

Martens Jassem Martens Jassem Comments
♠J96
3
Q743
106542
♠3
AKQ7654
AK1082
♣--

1
3♠ (2) 
4NT (4)
Pass
1♣
3 (1)
4 (3)
6

(1) and another, 5+-5+
(2) ♠ better than
(3) and
(4) Good fit, no cuebid

At the other table the Dutch played 4.

Two-suited jumps do not apply in competition.

1♣ Pass 1 1♠
?

2♠ 2-suited with (Michaels);
3 very strong hand with .

(---)
⇨ Jump to 3NT     ++
Gambling to take 9 tricks with the aid of a “running” minor (usually a solid 6+card minor).
(---)
(---)

⇦ 1/♠  Response       ++

The 1 and 1♠ responses show 7+ HCP (no upper limit) and at least 4 cards in the bid suit.
With both 4-card majors we respond 1 (following the general rule that 4-card suits are introduced up the line).

With 5♠ and 4 we bid 1♠.

With 5+cards in each major we respond 1♠ (following the general rule that with 2 five-card suits we bid the higher one first).

Holding a 4-card major and a 5-card minor we first show the major with less-than-GF strength (up to 11 HCP), but with 12+ HCP we bid the 5-card minor first at the 2-level.

Let us now discuss the scheme of responses after the 1 and 1♠ responses.

1♣ 1
1♠ !!

Opener’s 1♠ bid is forcing. He bids this with the:

  • Preparatory variant (12-14), with the strong ♣ and 4♠;
  • Strong ♣ and 5♠spades (later rebidding ♠);
  • Hands of 5♣ and 4♠ and 15+ HCP (later bidding ♣).
Modifying the Magister convention       ++
The Magister convention (discussed in a later chapter) requires modification for the sequences:

1♣ 1
1♠ 2♣

since opener may still have a strong ♣.

Here are the extra suggested bids (2, 2, 2♠, 2NT have the same meanings as normal Magister):

  • 3♣   = 5♣, 4♠, 15+ HCP;
  • 3   = 5, 4♠, 18+ HCP;
  • 3   = 5♠, 3, 18+ HCP;
  • 3♠   = 5♠, 0-2, 18+ HCP;
  • 3NT = 4♠, 18+ HCP (denying 3, since Odwrotka was not used first).
(---)
Raising the major suit       ++

1♣ 1/♠
2/♠

Raising the major response promises 4 cards in that suit. Continuations are just like after a 1M opening and a simple raise (responder may show his side suit or temporize with 2NT).

(---)
Other sequences over 1/♠  responses       ++

1♣ 1/♠
1♠/1NT 2

Responder’s 2 bid shows 7-10 HCP, at least 5, and a hand not suited for playing in NT. Opener usually Passes, or with special values can try 2NT.

1♣ 1
1♠ 1NT
?

2♣ 15+, 4♠, 5♣, forcing;
2 18+, 4♠, 5+, forcing;
2♠ 5+♠, 18+;
3♣/ 5♠ and 5 cards in the bid suit.

1♣ 1
1♠/NT ?

2♣ Magister;
2 Nonforcing with 5 (7-11).

The 2♣ rebid promises a hand with 15+ HCP. It is not game-forcing. Responder has three non-forcing bids available: rebidding the major, 2NT and 3♣.

1♣ 1
2♣ ?

2 ART game force;
2/NT/3♣ Nonforcing;
2♠ Natural, forcing, expresses concern about .

(---)
Odwrotka (Fit-Reverse)       ++
1♣ 1/♠
2 !!

This artificial bid shows the strong ♣ with a 3-card fit for responder’s major. The bid is forcing to game.

1♣ 1/♠
2 ?

2 Weak with 4 cards in the bid major
2♠ Strong with 4 cards
2NT  Weak with 5 cards
3♣ Strong with 5 cards
3 Weak with 6(+) cards
3 Strong with 6(+) cards

Those interested in a more sophisticated solution are referred to PCI Pro.

We respond “strong” with a hand well suited for a slam bidding.

We bid “strong” with either:

  1. A hand that would open a bidding or
  2. A hand with less HCP but nice distribution and/or good trumps
Quiz 1       ++

1♣ 1
2 ?

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠K32 A632 QJ2 ♣J32 2♥ - Not strong enough to invite slam.
♠K2 AJ102 QJ32 ♣432 2♠ - Almost opening hand with good hearts.
♠32 AQJ2 QJ1032 ♣32 2♠ - Nice trumps, good distribution.
♠QJ3 J9876 KJ6 ♣QJ 2NT - No opening, bad trump suit.
♠32 KQ1054 AJ65 ♣32 3♣ - Good trumps, nice shape.
♠32 KQJ643 743 ♣J3 3♦ - Six , weak.
♠A32 KQJ643 743 ♣3 3♥ - Six , strong.

(---)
Quiz 2       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠KJ105 
AJ3
AQ65
♣K3
♠Q865
Q754
K3
♣J65
1♣
2
2♠ (1)
4♠
1
2
3♠


(1) 4 spades, weak
♠QJ2
KJ32
AQ4
♣AK4
♠K32
A632
J92
♣J32
1♣
2
2NT (1)
1
2
3NT


(1) Waiting
♠AQ4
KJ32
QJ3
♣AK4
♠K5
AQ108
K932
♣432
1♣
2
2NT
3 (1)
1
2♠
3
... (2)

(1) Promises 4 hearts (2 promised 3) “let’s talk about slam”
(2) ”With pleasure”
♠AQ42
KJ32
J76
♣AK
♠K5
AQ108
K932
♣432
1♣
2
2NT
4 (1)
1
2♠
3
Pass
(1) ”I am not happy with you having besides your suit”
♠AK52
Q32
Q97
♣AK10
♠QJ3
J9876
KJ6
♣QJ6
1♣
2
3NT (1)
1
2NT
Pass (2)

(1) Suggestion
(2) Accepted
♠AK52
Q32
Q97
♣AK10
♠3
KJ987
KJ6
♣J632
1♣
2
3NT (1)
1
2NT
4 (2)


(1) Suggestion
(2) Rejected
♠A52
Q32
AK52
♣AJ3
♠KJ8
KJ1087
QJ32
♣2
1♣
2
3 (1)
...
1
3♣
4 (2)


(1) Looking for 4-4 fit
(2) Found !
♠A52
Q32
AKJ2
♣A54
♠KJ8
KJ1087 
2
♣QJ32
1♣
2
3 (1)
Pass
1
3♣
4 (2)


(1) Looking for 4-4 fit
(2) Not found at all !

(---)
(---)
⇨ Other rebids       ++

1♣ 1
2♠ !! 6+♠ (or 5 great ones), 18+

1♣ 1/♠
2NT !!

Opener is showing a 18-23 HCP hand without 3-card support for responder’s major.
Even a singleton is allowed in responder’s suit (e.g. 5 and 4 over responder’s 1♠).
Continuations are natural. Responder only rebids his suit immediately with 6 or a very good 5 cards.

Note the following treatment:

1♣ 1
3♣ !! 6+, 4+♣, 18+ (!!!)

This treatment is necessary because otherwise showing both minors would be difficult. With 5+♣ and 4, we can bid 1♣-1♥-2♣, showing a strong ♣ (even very strong) with a ♣ suit.

1♣ 1
3 !! 6+, denies 4♠ or 4♣, 18+

1♣ 1
3 !! 15-17 HCP, unbalanced, NF

1♣ 1
3 3♠ !! Asks for shortness (3NT = spades, 4 = none)

1♣ 1/♠
3NT !!

Opener is trying to take 9 tricks based on a solid club suit. For example, it might be bid with :

♠K32 32 K2 ♣AKD5432
or:
♠A2 2 Q32 ♣AKQ5432.
(---)
(---)

⇦ 1NT  Response       ++

Responder’s 1NT response shows 8-11 HCP with no 4-card major or shortness. This may include a 5-card minor (even the occasional 5-4 minors hand). See also: Bidding NT hands over a 1♣ Opening.
(---)
⇨ Continuation over the 1NT response

1♣ 1NT
2♣

This sequence is natural, promising a good 15 HCP and is forcing. Continuations are as natural as possible. Of course bidding a major by responder has seminatural meaning – showing an honor (or honors) in the suit, and not a 4-card suit, since responder already denied a 4-card major.

1♣ 1NT
2

Opener has a strong ♣ (18+) with at least 4. Nobody can Pass below game. Further bidding is semi-natural (as over 1♣-1NT- 2♣). Responder with a 4-card fit can show the better major or raise to the 3-level if the majors are of equal quality.

1♣ 1NT
2/♠

Opener has at least 5 cards in the bid suit, a strong ♣, and the auction is game-forcing. As you remember, the sequence:

1♣ 1NT
2/♠ 3

promises not just a fit but also a ruffing source (any doubleton).

1♣ 1NT
3♣/

Good 6 cards in the bid suit, strong ♣, game-forcing.

1♣ 1NT
3/♠

Sets the major as trumps. Demands partner to show his cheapest cue (Ace or King).

⇦ 2♣/  Response       ++

The 2♣ and 2 responses are game-forcing and show at least 5 cards in the bid suit. The minimum strength of these responses is 12 HCP.
Continuation over 2♣/ response
Opener shows a 4-card major (, if both).
With a strong ♣ opener doesn’t jump, since the auction is game-forcing.

Raising responder’s suit promises a 4-card fit and no 4-card major – it doesn’t have to show extras. Responder rebidding his suit is forcing, e.g:

1♣ 2
2 3

Opener may not Pass. The agreement is that invitational minor hands respond 3♣ or 3 immediately, or first go through 1.

(---)

⇦ 2/♠  Response       ++

Strong hand, very good suit, slam interest. See jump-shifts (Conventions chapter) for more details.
(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response       ++

The 2NT response shows 11-12 HCP with no 4-card major or (as a rule) 5-card minor. For details, see: Bidding NT hands over a 1♣ Opening.
(---)

⇦ 3♣/  Response      ++

These bids are nonforcing, showing a good 6+card suit.
By a good suit we mean that any top honor in partner’s hand stands to make the suit run. The suit should therefore have 2 top honors (AK, AQ, KQ), or any two honors and the Ten (AJ10, KJ10).
⇨ Continuation over 3♣/ Response

1♣ 3♣
?

3 Seminatural: “Partner, bid a stopper”. Gameforcing.
3/♠ Strong ♣, 5+cards.

1♣ 3
?

3/♠ Ambiguous: natural 5+cards, or shows a stopper for 3NT – gameforcing.

Example auctions for the 3 response can be found in the section Slam Bidding – Learning from the Mistakes of the Masters.

Over both responses, the weak ♣ variant does not show/ask stoppers: we decide to either bid 3NT, or Pass.

(---)

⇦ 3/♠  Response       ++

These responses show 7-cards to two top honors in the suit bid, and nothing on the side.

Partner with 3 “bare” Aces (with one in our suit) has the perfect info to wager 3NT and can make this contract with only 17 HCP, … unless we have "taken liberties", e.g. in our suits we have the "lesser marriage" (Queen and Jack) – here we are left several short.

(---)

⇦ 3NT  Response       ++

The 3NT response shows 13-15 HCP with no 4-card major or (as a rule) 5-card minor, typically flat 4-3-3-3 distribution.

For details, see: Bidding NT hands over a 1♣ Opening.

(---)

⇦ Bidding NT hands over a 1♣ Opening       ++

1♣ 2NT !! Invite to 3NT with no 4-card major; 11-12 HCP

1♣ 3NT !! 13-15, any 4333, good for NT (secondary honors)

1♣ 1
1/♠ 2NT !! 13+, NT distribution

All gameforcing NT hands without a 4-card major use this sequence. Opener with a weak 1♣ simply raises to 3NT.

Quiz 1       ++
Partner: 1♣.
What do we bid with these hands ?

♠KJ3 QJ6 QJ76 ♣AJ3 3NT. 4333 shape, soft hand.
♠A32 KQ3 K103 ♣Q1095 1. 14 HCP but not one Jack. This hand points towards slam if partner has a strong club !
♠KJ3 QJ6 AQJ7 ♣AJ3 1. Too strong for a 3NT response.
♠KJ3 QJ6 Q1076 ♣K93 2NT. Invite to 3NT.
♠Q3 KJ4 QJ743 ♣Q73 2NT. A 2 response would be gameforcing.
♠KQ3 KJ4 QJ743 ♣Q7 2. Gameforcing. No reason to bid 3NT.
♠Q3 KJ Q9765 ♣K1087 2♣. Honors in the short suits point towards ♣, and it’s not a gameforcing hand.
♠32 32 AQ975 ♣KJ87 1. Over 1 by partner – 2♠ (ART: both minors). Over 1♠ - 2 (you have no way to show 5-4 minors there).

(---)
The 3NT response is a warning: “Partner, I have a strong hand but it is bad for slam”. Even a strong 1♣ hand may Pass this. But if opener bids again, it is forcing:

1♣ 3NT
4suit !! “I know what you have, but please cuebid”.

Quiz 2       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠AQ5
K92
AJ5
♣A832
♠KJ3
QJ8
K103
♣QJ75
1♣
Pass
3NT
♠AQ964
K92
Q102
♣AK
♠KJ3
QJ8
KJ3
♣QJ75
1♣
Pass
3NT
105
AK8542
A2
♣AK2
♠KJ3
QJ7
K103
♣QJ75
1♣
4
6NT
3NT
4♠ (1)
Pass

(1) Obligatory cuebid.
105
AK8542
A2
♣AK2
♠QJ3
QJ7
KJ3
♣QJ75
1♣
4
5
3NT
5 (1)
Pass

(1) Obligatory cuebid.

(---)
Modern bridge recognizes that there is a “correct side” from which to declare a NT contract. Therefore a hand that is unfit to declare NT should attempt to pass the baton to the partner.

1♣ 1
1 3♠ !! 13-15 balanced, “Partner, bid 3NT".

1♣ 1
1♠ 3 !! 13-15 balanced, “Partner, bid 3NT".

Quiz 3       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠KJ54
Q3
Q109
♣KJ82
♠32
A87
KJ87
♣AQ75
1♣
1♠
3NT
1
3♥  (1)

(1) "Bid 3NT"
♠J4
K954
A109
♣KJ82
♠632
A8
KJ87
♣AQ72
1♣
1
3NT
1
3♠
♠AK976
K2
A3
♣KJ102
♠32
A87
KJ87
♣AQ75
1♣
1♠
3♠ (1)
4♣
4NT
7♣
1
3
3NT
4 (2)
5♠ (3)


(1) Strong ♣ with 5♠.
(2) Cuebid for ♣.
(3) 2 KC + ♣Q.
♠K2
AK976 A3
♣KJ102
♠A87
32
KJ87
♣AQ75
1♣
1
4♣ (1)
4NT
7♣
1
3♠
4 (2)
5♠ (3)

(1) 2 meanings: 5+♥-4+♣, or 4♥-5+♣.
(2) cuebid for ♣, the last suit bid.
(3) 2 KC + ♣Q.

(---)
After the “strong ”, opener does not always bid 1 or 1♠. How do we deal with the other rebids ?

1♣ 1
1NT ?

4NT Invite to slam (13-14).
5NT Pick a slam in a minor.

(---)

1  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Definition       ++

1 has the following meanings:
  • 12-17, 5;
  • 12-17, 4441 with 4;
  • 12-14, 4-5♣.
(---)

Quiz       ++

Choose the right opening bid with the given hand:

♠KJ108 32 AQJ65 ♣32 1 - If all the HCP are in the long suits, you can open a little light.
10754 KQ J7654 ♣AQ Pass - The same reasoning, in reverse.
♠AQ J542 KJ876 ♣KJ 1NT - With a balanced 15-17 HCP hand with 5 we open 1NT. And this is a balanced hand (look at the honors in ♠ and ♣)!
♠J3 32 AQJ43 ♣AQJ3 1 - 1NT may be well preempt the majors. But in this case, we have no major stoppers.
♠J2 32 AQJ3 ♣AQ1032 1 - And then ♣ (12-15).
♠K32 AQJ3 ♣AQ1032 1♣ - With 15+ HCP we open 1♣, and then we rebid ♣.
♠3 AQ103 ADJ3 ♣K1032 1 - 4441 with 4.
♠AQJ3 AQ103 3 ♣K1032 1♣ - 4441, but without 4.
♠32 A873 AQJ3 ♣K32 1♣ - We do not open 1 with 4 cards in a balanced hand.

(---)

⇦ 1/♠  Response      ++

"The 1 and 1♠ responses are natural.
They show at least 7 HCP and at least 4 cards in the bid suit."
This is taught as elementary bridge. If you are satisfied with this, fine;
but if you are itching for a newer treatment, refer to Part2 - PCI Pro.
⇨ 2♣ rebid over 1MMajor response       ++

1 1/♠
2♣

Opener has one of the two hands:

  • 5-4♣, 12-17;
  • 5♣-4, 12-14.
With 15+ HCP and 5♣-4 we open 1♣ and rebid ♣.
Quiz       ++
Partner You
1 1/♠
2♣ ?

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠KJ108 QJ65 J65 ♣J2 2 - Nagative preference.
♠KJ8 QJ65 J65 ♣J32 ♦ - With equal length prefer (partner is more likely to have longer than ♣).
♠K84 QJ643 J6 ♣J32 Pass. Hearts are too weak to rebid. Even if partner has 5 and 4♣, 2♣ does not have to be a worse contract than 2. And it certainly will be better if partner has 5♣.
♠KJ108 QJ65 K4 ♣J103 2NT - Invite to 3NT.
♠A65 QJ95 Q1065 ♣Q3 3 - Invite with a fit. Maybe partner can declare 3NT from his hand.
♠AJ4 AJ876 AQ3 ♣J2 2♠ - Fourth suit forcing. You don’t yet know which suit to play in.

(---)
(---)
⇨ Bidding over 4th suit forcing       ++
1 1♠
2♣ 2

In the above sequence the 4th suit asks among other things where the opener’s 5 card suit is. We assume that with 5♣ the opener will rebid ♣. All other bids deny 5♣.

Quiz       ++
You Partner
1 1♠
2♣ 2
?

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠Q4 53 KQ986 ♣AQ43 2♠ -You may also have a 3-card fit with minimum strength. Partner may further ask with 2NT. We would then rebid 3NT to complete our shape.
♠J32 KQ986 ♣AQ43 2♠ - Partner is not sure whether you have 3♠. He may ask with 2NT, over which you will rebid 3.
♠J32 KQ98 ♣AQ432 2♠ - Over an eventual 2NT you will rebid 3♣.
♠KJ2 KQ986 ♣AQJ3 3♠ - Nice hand with 3♠ and 5 (with 5♣ you would have opened 1♣).
♠94 Q5 KQ986 ♣AQ43 2NT - When you showed 9 cards in 2 suits, the doubleton Queen should be considered a stopper.
♠94 53 KQ98 ♣AQJ87 3♣ - 5 cards in ♣. Number of unknown.
♠94 KQ985 ♣AQJ87 3♣ - 5 cards in ♣. Number of unknown.
♠9 J54 KQ985 ♣AQJ8 2NT - Assume the tripleton Jack will keep hearts “under control”.
♠A4 53 KQ985 ♣AQJ8 3 - Your response does not show (with 4 over 1♠ rebid 1NT), but rather shows a strong hand without a stopper!

(---)
(---)
⇨ Continuation over 1/♠ response       ++
Here let’s go over some common sequences over 1/♠ response.

1
2♣/
1/♠
2NT !!

Nonforcing
1
2♠
1♠
2NT !!

Asking for distribution - partner shows a side tripleton
1
3♠
1♠
2NT !!

Asking for shortness - partner bids the suit of the shortness or retreats to ♠
1
3
1
3♠ !!

Asking for the shortness – partner bids the suit of the shortness or 3NT to show the ♠ shortness, or retreats to
1
2NT
1/♠
3 !!

Nonforcing, all other suit bids at the 3-level are forcing
1
3♣
1/♠
3 !!

Nonforcing, all other suit bids at the 3-level are forcing
1
3NT !!
1/♠
Solid and a stopper in a side suit not bid by partner

If you are interested in the more advanced treatments after 1M response to 1, I invite you to read about it in Part2 - PCI Pro.

(---)
(---)

⇦ 1NT  Response      ++

A 1NT response shows 7-10 HCP in a balanced hand with no 4 card major. With unbalanced hands we have over 1 alternatives in the form of 2 and 3 (see below).
⇨ Continuation over 1NT Response       ++
Further bidding over a 1NT response is natural. Opener’s 3♣ rebid is forcing for one round, but it is possible to stop in 3. A 3 rebid is invitational to 3NT, but nonforcing.
(---)
(---)

⇦ 2♣     Response      ++

The 2♣ response is absolutely natural and shows at least 5♣ (in extreme cases, 4) with gameforcing strength (12+) or 6+♣ with invitational strength (9-11).
The second variant is shown by rebidding 3♣ on the next round.
The reason it shows 5♣ (as opposed to over a 1M opening) is that there is a wide range of other forcing responses (1, 1♠, 2).
⇨ Continuation over 2♣ Response       ++
  • 2 shows a minimum opening (similar to 1-2♣-2)
  • 2 and 2♠ show reverse strength (15-17) and 4 cards
  • 2NT shows 4441 distribution, 12-14
  • 3NT shows 4441 distribution, 15-17
  • 3♣ shows extras with 4+♣
  • 3/♠ are Splinters with ♣ as trumps
Quiz       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠KJ76
Q3
AJT76
♣J3
♠AQ105
74
Q5
♣AQ1075
1
2 (12-14)
3♠
2♣
2♠ (1)
4♠

(1) see: Third suit forcing
♠K976
K3
AJ1075
♣3J
♠AJ105
74
Q6
♣AJ1075
1
2 (12-14)
3NT (2)
2♣
2♠ (1)
4♠

(1) see: Third suit forcing
(2) 4♠ and stopper
♠K976
K3
AJ1095
♣J3
♠A105
74
Q6
♣AQ10752
1
2 (12-14)
3NT (2)
2♣
2♠(1)
Pass

(1) see: Third suit forcing
(2) 4♠ and stopper
♠KJ76
A3
AJ1076
♣K3
♠AQ105
74
Q6
♣AQ1075
1
2♠ (15-17)
3NT (1)
4 (3)
4NT (Aces)
5NT (Kings)
6♠
2♣
3♠
4♣ (2)
4♠ (4)
5♠ (5)
6♣ (none)

(1) see: Slam bidding: 3NT shows positive hand with no shortness
(2,3) Cuebids
(4) No cue
(5) 2 keycards + trumps Queen

(---)
Note that in the sequence:

1 2♣
2 3 !!

the 3 bid is forsing.
With an invitational hand with diamonds and clubs, responder can bid 1 - 2.

(---)
(---)

⇦ 2     Response      ++

The 2 response is forcing for one round.
It shows 4+, no 4M, and 10+ HCP.
⇨ Continuation over a 2 response       ++
  • Further bidding is natural by opener, and seminatural (bidding stoppers) by responder;
  • Later in the auction:
    • 3 by either side is a sign-off attempt;
    • 2NT by responder is forcing.
Quiz       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠J6
Q32
AQ1076
♣K95
♠432
K4
K953
♣A1074
1
3
2
Pass
♠6
AQ32
AQ1076
♣K95
♠532
K4
K954
♣AT74
1
2
4♣
2
3♣ (1)
5

(1) ♣ stop, no ♠ stop (when partner bids , his hand improves, so better not to bid 3 sign-off)
♠6
AQ32
AQ10763 
♣K9
♠532
K4
K954
♣A1074
1
2
4
4NT 
6
2
3♣
4 (1)
5


(1) Cue bid
♠AQ32
62
AQ1076
♣K9
♠532
K4
K954
♣A1074
1
2♠
3♠ (2)
2
3 (1)
3NT (3)
(1) When partner has ♠, the value of this hand drops; you bid 3 to play
(2) "I don't have a stopper"
(3) "I do"

(---)
(---)
(---)

⇦ 2/♠, 3♣  Response      ++

See: Jump-shift responses in the Conventions section.
(---)

⇦ 2/3NT Response      ++

The 2NT (11-12) and 3NT (13-15) responses show a balanced hand without a 4 card major.
Responder should feel obliged to have both majors stoppes.
Otherwise, he may bid 2♣ (or 2).
Any further bidding would be natural.
(---)

⇦ 3     Response      ++

The 3 response is preemptive and shows up to 8 HCP with at least four .
Opener may continue bidding (naturally) only with extremely interesting hands.
(---)

⇦ 3/♠, 4♣  Response      ++

Splinters (see 1 opening responses, or Slam Bidding).
Over 3 and 3♠ we may still play 3NT.
(---)

⇦ 4    Response      ++

Preemptive-tactical.
Opener Passes with almost any hand.
(---)

1(♠)  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Definition: 12-17 HCP, 5+.

The sequences below concern the 1 Opening, but they hold also for the 1♠ Opening.

See the quiz to check if you choose the same openings as they are suggested by PCI.

Quiz       ++

How do you choose to open these hands ?

♠KJ98 QJ1065 A5 ♣32 1 - You have only 11 HCP, but with 9 cards in the majors. Bid!
♠3 KJ1087 AQJ6 ♣432 1 - You have only 11 HCP, but with everything in the longest suits. Upgrade!
♠3 AKJ108 AQJ6 ♣Q109 1♣ - You have only 17 HCP (not 18+), but with everything in the longest suits. Upgrade!
♠QJ QJ653 K97 ♣QJ3 Pass. Points, schmoints.
♠Q3 QJ965 AJ8 ♣AQ9 1NT - Balanced hand, stoppers in all suits.
♠KQ9 KQJ95 KJ8 ♣97 1 - This hand belongs to the suit!
♠3 KQ1098 AJ1076 ♣95 1 - 10 HCP, but a beautiful hand: all HCP in the long suits, good texture. This hand is too strong for a 2 2-suiter opening.
♠3 KJ1098 QJ1076 ♣Q5 2.

(---)

⇦ 1♠    Response (only after 1 Opening)       ++

"1♠ response is natural. It shows at least 7 HCP and at least 4 cards in the bid suit”.
This treatment is again pre-historical. Refer to Part2 - PCI Pro, if you are not a dinosaur.

1 1♠
2♣ 3

Responder shows an invitational hand (9-11) with at least 4♠ and 3.

1 1♠
2♣ 2

Preference. Generally a doubleton(!) .

Quiz 1      ++
Partner opens 1.
How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠K1087 Q97 52 ♣K987 2 - You have 8 altogether, what else do you need to look for with such a weak hand ?
♠KQJ7 Q97 52 ♣K987 1♠ - And over partner’s rebid an invitational jump to 3. You will show a heart fit, and at the same time where your strength lies.
♠KQJ87 975 52 ♣J76 1♠ - And over partner’s rebid 2. It’s hard not to show five ♠ like these.
♠KQ86 KJ97 Q2 ♣765 2NT - Invite to game with a fit. You have 9 altogether – introducing ♠ might get you into trouble.

(---)

NOTE: All jump-shifts by opener show at least 5-5 distribution!

Quiz 2      ++
You Partner
1 1♠
?

What bid do you choose with these hands ?

♠K3 AQ987 AK1052 ♣2 3 - 5-5, 15-17 HCP
♠K3 QJ987 AK1052 ♣2 2 - Not strong enough for a jump-shift
♠K3 AQ987 AKJ5 ♣32 2 - 5-4, 12-17 HCP

(---)
Some examples      ++

1 1♠
3♣ ?

3 4th suit;
3 fit , forcing.

1 1♠
3 3 !! Forcing, but does not promise a good fit, (4th suit forcing not available)

1 1♠
3♠ 3NT !! Asks for shortness – partner bids shortness or retreats to

1 1♠
2 2NT !! Nonforcing

(---)

(---)

⇦ 1NT Response       ++

The strength of this response is roughly the same as that over 1 (7-11).
1NT denies 4♠ or a fit.
Quiz      ++

♠K102 AJ87 ♣K9654 1NT - If you had responded 2♣, then over partner’s 2 rebid, you would have had nowhere to run (2NT and 3 would have been forcing).
♠K102 J87 ♣AK9654 2♣ - And on the next round a non-forcing 3♣.
♠32 KQ1032 ♣KJ432 1NT - “Partner, please don’t Pass.”
♠32 2 J1032 ♣KQJ432 1NT - “Partner, I beg you, bid something. I will rebid 3♣ and you will Pass.”
♠5432 J8 ♣KQJ976 1NT - This is the most realistic chance to get out low in ♣. (After a 1♠ response, you can no longer extricate yourselves).
♠KJ3 987  QJ6♣J1054 2 - “I have a fit, whether I like it or not!”

(---)
⇨  Continuation over 1NT Response      ++
A 1NT response (to a 1M opening) is often a default bid and does not mean that is where the responder really wants to play. Therefore the opener should try to keep the bidding open in case the responder has something interesting to say.

Opener has nothing to add with a minimum (12-14) hand with 5332 distribution. With that he Passes.

With a stronger balanced hand he bids 2NT.

With a side 4-card suit the opener should show it:

1 1NT
2♣ !! 5, 4♣ 12-17 HCP

Let me remind you that jumping in a new suit promises 5 cards. There is no need in Polish Club to fancy any weird jumps in 3-card suits.

1 1NT
3♣ !! 5, 5♣ 15-17 HCP

(---)
(---)

⇦ 2♣/ Response (Two Over One)       ++

A 2-over-1 is gameforcing unless the responder rebids his suit. The 2-over-1 suit (except ♣) shows 5+ cards. It follows that without a long suit the responder bids 2♣.
(---)
Quiz      ++
Partner opens 1.
How do you respond with these hands ?

10987 A3 532 ♣AKQ4 1♠ - With 4♠ without a 5-card minor you'd better bid ♠.
10987 A3 53 ♣AKQ42 2♣ - Now you can show the ♣ despite having 4♠.
♠AQJ5 KQ9♣J9876 1♠ - There is no need to show the ♣, they are too weak (unless partner bids them).
10987 32 53 ♣AKQ43 1♠ - the ♣ are great, but the hand is too weak to respond 2♣.
♠K98 A3 AQ43 ♣J987 2♣ - 2 would show 5+.
♠K98 A3 AKQ4 ♣J987 2♣ - As above.
♠32 AQ3 K43 ♣AKJ98 2♣ - And on the following round 3+. This way you show a fit with natural ♣ and a slam interest.

(---)
⇨ Continuation after 2-over-one Response      ++
Raising ♣ (after a 2♣ response) by the opener promises 4+♣.
The (after a 2 response) may be raised with a tripleton honor.
Raising a minor suit promises extras and is gameforcing.

NOTE: Rebidding the opened suit (e.g. 1-2♣-2) shows a minimum hand (12-14) and says nothing about the number of (besides the minimum of 5)!

A jump-shift to a new suit below the opened suit (e.g. 1-2♣-3) shows 5-5 shape with a maximum opening.

A jump-shift to a new suit above the opened suit (e.g. 1-2♣-3♠) is a Splinter see Slam Bidding Conventions.

With 6-4 in a lower-ranking side suit (e.g. 1-2♣ and the opener has 6-4) the opener first rebids the side suit.

(---)

⇦ 2    Response      ++

Definition: 6-10 HCP and at least 3.
(---)

⇦ 2♠/3♣/  Response      ++

See Jump-shift Responses in the Conventions section.
(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response      ++

The response shows a limit raise with support in opener’s suit.

Even though the response is well defined, it still contains many hand-types: minimum, maximum, 3-card support, 4-card support, balanced or unbalanced. We have to remember that the jump raise (3) is strictly preemptive, destructive, and to no degree encourages bidding game. As a result, even a weak distributional hand, which gives a fair chance of a game, is bid by 2NT. Such a hand is best suited for Mixed Raise, which, however we do not use in the PCI.

Continuing the auction, the opener bids simply: 3 with an uninteresting hand, or 4 – with an interesting hand. Or he can make a help-suit game try.

I suggest introducing an asking bid for the opener: 3♣. Responses are:

  • 3 (returning to trumps) = “mixed raise”. Examples:
    ♠432 K432 Q5432 ♣2
    ♠2 Q432 J10432 ♣K32
    ♠2 K102 AJ432 ♣5432
  • 4 = a pretty good unbalanced hand. Examples:
    ♠Q2 QJ32 K2 ♣QJ865
    ♠2 K102 KJ432 ♣Q1032
  • 3 = minimum balanced raise. Example:
    ♠J102 KQ32 K32 ♣1032
  • 3NT = maximum balanced raise. Example:
    ♠QJ2 ♥Q102 ♦K102 ♣K1032
  • 3♠ (other major) = maximum invite with a good 4-card fit, at least 3 controls (good for a slam). Example:
    ♠A432 K432 1092 ♣K2
(---)

⇦ 3    Response      ++

The 3 response is preemptive and promises 4 trumps. This agreement is based on total tricks: “If we have at least 9 trumps, it pays to get to the 3-level. If we don’t make the contract, the opponents probably make something.”

Vulnerability Examples of 3 preemptive raise
Favorable ♠2 J432 5432 ♣5432
♠32 QJ32 J432 ♣432
Equal ♠2 K432 5432 ♣5432
♠32 K432 Q32 ♣5432
Unfavorable ♠32 Q1032 K5432 ♣32
♠32 J10432 A32 ♣432

(---)

⇦ Splinters and Mini-splinters      ++

The Splintersee Conventions part bid is the one of the most effective gadgets for slam bidding. This is because we more often have the opportunity to bid and make slam based on ruffing power than on strength. Because of this, the splinter has strengthened its value on the market of slam conventions – giving birth to its “weak variety”, a.k.a. the mini-splinter, which is earning greater popularity.

Experience has taught that when nothing is wasted opposite a splinter, slams can be made with a combined strength of just 26+ HCP, about 28 HCP on average. Let’s assume the average strength of a 12-17 opener is 14 HCP. In this case the average strength of a splinter should be oscillating around about 13-14 HCP. In practice, we extend the range to 12-15 HCP (depending on distribution and number of controls). Broadening this range further would hurt partner’s ability to do the right thing.

Let’s assume, however, that partner opens 1 and we have:

♠A432 QJ32 2 ♣K432

Partner might have this 16 HCP hand:

♠K5 AK1087 543 ♣AQ5

Slam is excellent.But if we respond 4 and partner gets something like:

♠Q5 AK1098 A43 ♣Q65
it will be difficult to keep from going to slam, when even 5 is in danger.
To prevent these situations we distinguish two kinds of splinters:
weak, with 9-12 HCP, and strong, 13-16 HCP.

1 3♠ !! weak splinter; unknown shortness

Opener can satisfy his curiosity by asking with 3NT for responder to show his shortness as naturally as possible (4 = ♠ shortness).

1♠ 3NT !! weak splinter; unknown shortness

Opener can satisfy his curiosity by asking with 4♣ for responder to show his shortness as naturally as possible (4 = ♠ shortness).

1 4♣/ !! strong splinter in ♣/

1 3NT !! strong splinter in ♠, since 3♠ is devoted to the weak splinters

A common requirement of both varieties of splinter is that they promise 4-card support for opener’s suit.

Quiz 1       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠K5
AK1087
432
♣AQ6
♠A432
QJ32
5
♣K432
1
3NT (2)
4NT (4) 
5 (6)
6 (8)
3♠ (1)
4 (3)
5♣ (5)
5♠ (7)
6 (9)
(1) Mini-splinter
(2) Asks for shortness
(3) Shortness in
(4) RKC 1430
(5) One KC
(6) Asks for trump Queen
(7) "I have the trump Queen”
(8) Asks for a void in
(9) "No void"
♠K5
AK1087
432
♣AQ6
♠A432
J9432
--
♣K432
1
3NT
4NT
5
6 (2)
3♠
4
5♣
5♠ (1)
7 (3)



(1) "I have the trump Queen”
(2) ”Do you have a void in ?”
(3) ”I do!”
♠K5
AK1087
AQ4
♣876
♠A432
J9432
--
♣K432
1
3NT
4 (1)
3♠
4
Pass


(1) ”Not this shortness I was looking for.”

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

You Partner
1 3NT !! ♠ splinter, 12-15
?

How would you rate your hand on a scale of 1 (worst) to 5 (best) ?
How do you plan the auction ?

♠AJ6 KQ8542 2 ♣KQ6 5 points.
Bid 4NT. Two Aces make slam. Three Aces make grand.
♠J1062 AQ653 K5 ♣K8 4 points.
Bid 4♣. Probing to find out whether the partner has a ♠ void, then:
  • Over a 4 cuebid (no ♠ void, else would have bid 4♠), ask for keycards.
  • Over 4 (off two Aces - ♠ and ) Pass.
  • Over 4♠ ask for keycards and bid grand if 3.
♠76 K8654 AJ2 ♣A42 2 points.
Bid 4♣, and over 4, bid 4.
♠Q1064 AQ872 A6 ♣J5 3 points.
Bid 4, and over 4, bid 5 (good , no other cuebid).
♠Q63 AK852 K3 ♣J104 2 points.
Bid 4, and over 4, Pass. Slam probably has no chance.
♠A108 QJ1032 KQ5 ♣72 2 points.
Bid 4, and over 4, Pass.
♠AJ6 K10983 AJ82 ♣2 4 points.
Bid 4♣ - “Do you have a cuebid partner ?”, then:
  • Over 4 ask for keycards and if partner has all the rest (including the trump Queen), bid 6: “Partner do you have the KQ or doubleton King ?”
  • Over 4 you know there is a to lose. Just the same ask for keycards and after an unfavorable response (1) stop in 5.
  • Over anything else go on to 6.
♠A75 J9652 QJ4 ♣KQ 2 points.
The weak trumps are troublesome.
Bid 4♣, but that’s all, and give up.
♠KJ3 Q10982 AQ6 ♣93 1 point.
Immediate 4 signoff.
♠J73 AKQ65 Q8 ♣J102 3 points.
Bid 5. Very good trumps, nothing in ♠, but no other cuebid.

(---)
Note       ++
Experienced partnerships use the Splinter convention also in more complex auctions, e.g:

1/♠
3♠ !!
2

The last bid by Opener shows good opening with a 4-card support in and shortness in ♠.

(---)
(---)

⇦ Third seat opening Responses      ++

A 2♣ response by a Passed hand is Drurysee Conventions.

A 2 response by a Passed hand (or 2 over 1♠) may be weaker than a normal 2/1 (8+ HCP) but shows a good suit and no fit.

3♣ and 3 responses show 9-11 HCP with a good 6+card suit and no fit for partner.

We do not use the Magister convention by a Passed hand.

(---)

1♠  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Definition

The meaning of the opening and continuation are the same as 1.
With both 5-card majors we open 1♠.

The sequence worth discussing, because it does not occur over 1 Opening, is:  1♠ - 2.

⇦ 2  Response      ++

  • 9+ HCP and 6+,  or:
  • 11+ HCP and 5
⇨ Continuation over 2 Response      ++

1♠ 2
3 Minimum opening, 3 hearts, nonforcing

1♠ 2
4 Decent opening, usuall 4

1♠ 2
3NT Not too strong hand, with 3 (rarely 4) and shortness

With a good hand and fit, the opener has the following possible rebids:

  • Splinter with an unbalanced hand and 4-card fit;
  • 2NT with a balanced hand (even 4 !) and on the next round bid 3;
  • Bidding a minor suit, and on the next round 4 - to show 5 ♠, 4 cards in the minor, and 3 .
Quiz       ++

You Partner
1♠ 2
?

How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠AK876 J65 A765 ♣3 3NT. Mini-splinter with a 3-card fit.
♠AK876 Q653 A76 ♣3 4♣. 13 HCP is enough for a regular splinter.
(Aces are useful for slam)
♠A8764 AQ54 A2 ♣J2 2NT. Too strong to jump to 4. On the next round, 3.
♠J10764 AK3 62 ♣AK3 2NT. On the next round 3.
♠Q8653 A632 K3 ♣K2 4.
♠Q9763 A63 QJ2 ♣K2 3.
♠AK632 Q74 AQ32 ♣2 3. If partner rebids 3NT, bid 4. Over other bids (3 and 3♠) cuebid 4♣.
♠KQJ1076 532 A2 ♣J3 2♠. Weak , great ♠. Show the fit on the next round. And if partner Passes 2♠, it’s no tragedy.

(---)
(---)

1NT  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

A 1NT opening shows 15-17 HCP in a balanced hand.

Quiz       ++

What do you open with these hands ?

♠KQ4 Q10765 32 ♣AKJ 1. The balanced hand and weak suit favors 1NT. The weak doubleton , however, contraindicates 1NT.
♠Q10765 KQ3 J2 ♣AKJ 1NT. An argument for opening 1NT with 5 ♠ is having 3 . It’s easier to find a 5-3 fit after 1NT (via a transfer) than after a 1♠ opening.
♠Q4 K3 AK1093 ♣KJ98 1NT. Opening this way preempts the opponents’ majors. Also, with honors in the majors it is better to declare.
♠K1076 AQ KJ ♣Q10543 1NT. If you open a Precision 2♣, then 3NT would be played by partner. Honors in and indicate to play from your side.

(---)

⇦ 2♣  - Stayman      ++

The 2♣ response asks for 4-card majors. Responses to Stayman are as follows:
  • 2   = no major;
  • 2   = 4 (may have 4 ♠);
  • 2♠   = 4 ♠ (denies 4 ).

Further bidding is natural. Responder’s rebid at the 2-level is nonforcing, and at the 3-level forcing (by a Passed hand, invitational)

– except for Trybula transfers (see below).

1NT 2♣
2 ?

2   NF with 4-5 . Responder wants to stop in a partial (either 4-5 and 4 ♠, or 4 and a 5-card minor). Opener chooses between and ♠. Over 2♠ responder Passes or corrects to a minor.
2♠ Invitational, with 5♠ and 4.
3♣ Natural, forcing (invitational by a Passed hand).

1NT 2♣
2 ?

2♠ NF with 4♠.
3NT   Promises 4♠.
3♣ Natural, forcing (invitational by a Passed hand).

1NT 2♣
2♠ ?

2NT Game invite; sometimes unbalanced – with 4 and a 5-card minor.
3♣/   Natural, forcing (invitational by a Passed hand).

Trybula Transfers
After a major response to Stayman, an immediate bid by responder in the suit just below the major at the 3-level sets the major as trumps:

1NT 2♣
2 3 !! Strong raise.

1NT 2♣
2♠ 3 !! Strong ♠ raise.

Opener’s first duty is to suggest 3NT with a 4-4 fit if his hand is NT- oriented (4333 e.g.). Otherwise, a slam auction can develop.

(---)

⇦ 2♦/♥  - Jacoby Transfers      ++

2 and 2 promise 5+ cards in the next-higher suit, with any strength, and transfers to that suit.
⇨ Continuation over a Jacoby Transfer       ++
We will discuss the following starting sequence:

1NT 2
?

With the majority of hands opener bids 2♠, but there are exceptions:

1NT 2
2NT !! Very good hand with a fit, but the hand suggests playing in NT.

Over this sequence 3 by responder is a retransfer to ♠ (opener must bid 3♠).

1NT 2
3♠ !! Very good hand with a fit, suit-oriented.

After this sequence, a final contract of 3NT is impossible.
Responder bids shortness with slam chances, and 3NT with no shortness.

1NT 2
2♠ 3♣ !! 4 ♣, gameforcing.

1NT 2
2♠ 2NT !! May have 4 minor, nonforcing.

Quiz       ++
Partner You
1NT ?

How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠976543 432 32 ♣32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – Pass.
♠QJ9765 K32 Q102 ♣3 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 3♠, invitational to game with a 6-card suit.
♠QJ743 K32 QJ2  ♣32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 2NT, invitational to 3NT with 5 ♠.
♠QJ743 K3 Q1032 ♣32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 2NT. The shape is not ideal, but 3 would be gameforcing.
♠QJ743 K3 AQ102 ♣32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 3 - gameforcing.
♠AQJ743 A102 ♣Q32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 4! Autosplinter: short , good ♠; slam interest.
♠AQJ74 KJ3 Q102 ♣K32 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 4NT: invite to slam.
AQ10743♠ 52 KQ10 ♣K2 2. And over 2♠ - 4♠: 6 spades, invite to slam, balanced.
♠KQ10853 10754 A3 ♣2 4. (see: Texas transfer).
♠AQJ743 KQ105 ♣K2 4. And over 4♠, 4NT: RKC 1430 for ♠.

(---)
(---)
(---)

⇦ How to show both majors over a 1NT opening      ++

With 4-4 majors:
  • If weak (even very weak), we bid 2♣ and Pass a major response or bid 2 over 2

With 5-4 majors:

  • With a weak hand (up to 7 HCP) and a good 5-card major we transfer to the major and Pass; with a good 4-card major and bad 5-card major, we bid 2♣ and Pass a major response or rebid 2 over 2;
  • With an invite hand:
    • 5 and 4 ♠ – we transfer 2 and rebid 2♠; this is forcing for one round (invite or better), but is not gameforcing;
    • 5 ♠ and 4 – we bid 2♣; over a 2 response we rebid 2♠ - invitational with 5♠ and 4.

With 5-5 majors:

  • With a weak hand we bid 2♣ (and then 2 over 2);
  • With a strong hand we use Wesolowski transfers – first we transfer to hearts!

    1NT 2
    2 2♠
    2NT 3♠ !! 5 spades

    In this way we are able to show our 5-5 distribution at the 3-level (by starting with first we don’t have to go all the way to 4). We can now find the best contract (might be 3NT), and still have room for a slam-bidding.

(---)

⇦ 2♠  Response      ++

1NT 2♠ !! Transfer to ♣
?

2NT   Good ♣ values (Hxx or better) and a good opener.
3♣ Anything else.

On the next round responder may show shortness with a gameforcing hand:

1NT 2♠ !! Transfer to ♣.
2NT 3 !! ♣, shortness, game forcing.

1NT 2♠ !! Transfer to ♣.
2NT 3NT !! Responder hears the positive response and tries for 3NT.

1NT 2♠ !! Transfer to ♣.
3♣ 3NT !! Responder has enough for game even after the negative response, without a shortness. Responder was hoping for a positive response to think about going further.

(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response      ++

Invite to 3NT.
(---)

⇦ 3♣  Response      ++

Invite to 3N with a long diamond suit.
(---)

⇦ 3/♠  Response – the “5431” convention      ++

These responses show hands with 5-4+ in the minors, and a short major. The convention gets its name from the most common of the distributions it describes: 5-4-3-1. However, other patterns are included (5521, 5530, 6421, 6430). The strength must be game-forcing to warrant the jump (you can’t stop below game, and it may be slam- searching).

So the bids individually show:

  • 3   = short , at least 5-4 in the minors;
  • 3♠   = short ♠, at least 5-4 in the minors.
⇨ Continuation       ++
1NT 3 !! Short without 4 ♠.
?

3♠ 4 good (or any 5) ♠, suggests playing in a 7-card fit.
3NT  “I want to play 3NT – I have serious stoppage in .”
4♣ Sets ♣.
4 Sets .
4 4+ 4+ minors, maximum hand, nothing wasted in .
4NT 4+ 4+ minors, wrong for 3NT, but not strong enough for 4.

(---)
(---)

⇦ 4/  -Texas transfers      ++

Just like transfers at the 2-level, they show the next-higher suit:

1NT 4 !! Transfer to
1NT 4 !! Transfer to ♠

We bid Texas with a 6+card suit in order to play 4 or 4♠ from opener’s hand.

There are three goals of this convention:

  1. Preempting the enemy – it could contain a weak distributional hand:
    ♠2 J1095432 10987 ♣2

    1NT 4
    4 !! “We might make 4, and if not, we may have preempted them out of their game.”

  2. Distinguishing game hands from slammish hands:

    1NT 2
    2 4!! “I have 6+ trumps, just like with Texas, but there’s some chance of slam (about 13-14 HCP).”

  3. Distinguishing a quantitative 4NT from an RKC 4NT:

    1NT 2
    2 4NT !! Invite.

    1NT 4
    4 4NT !! “Surprise, partner! You were thinking I was weak, but I have such a rock-crusher that I just need to check on your keycards in hearts.”

(---)

2♣  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Definition       ++

12-14 HCP and 5♣ and a 4-card major, or 6+♣.
Quiz       ++
What do you open with these hands ?

♠AQ76 43 Q3 ♣AQ875 2♣.
♠K976 K2 Q2 ♣KJ865 1♣. When honors are spread out in all the suits in a 5422 shape I recommend to open 1♣. We have a chance to declare 1NT.
♠Q32 32 42 ♣AKQ865 2♣. A good 6-card club suit may open with 11 HCP.
♠3 AQ76 J54 ♣KJ865 Pass. Opening with 11 HCP and 5-4 shape is very dangerous because after a 2 relay it is very difficult to stop below game.
♠Q3 KJ AJ5 ♣J87643 1♣. And over a 1M response – 1NT. The 6 ♣ are as weak as a 5-card suit.
♠AQ KJ A105 ♣J87643 1NT. Weak ♣, good side strength.

(---)
(---)

⇦ 2  Response – Relay      ++

2 response is a one-round forcing relay asking partner to show his 4-card major, if he has one.

2♣ 2 !!
2 ?

2♠ 5♠, forcing.
2NT Relay
3♣ 9-11 with a ♣ fit (may have no 4-card major).
3 Natural forcing.
3 Invite to game.

2♣ 2 !!
2♠ ?

2NT Relay.
3♣ 9-11 with a ♣ fit.
3/ Natural forcing.
3♠ Invite to game.

2♣ 2 !!
?

2NT    6 ♣, wants to declare NT from own hand, no shortness (and no 4M).
3♣ 6 ♣, no 4M, all others.

2♣ 2 !! Asks for 4-card major
3♣ 3 !! Asks for shortness.
?

3/♠   Shortness in bid suit.
3NT No shortness in a major (may have short ).

(---)

⇦ 2/♠  Responses      ++

These bids are nonforcing with at least a 5-card suit (6-11 HCP).

Opener raises partner with a 4-card fit, Passes or raises (based on hand evaluation) with a 3-card fit. With no fit, opener must decide whether to Pass or bid further.

Quiz       ++
How do you rebid with these hands ?

♠AQ76 43 Q3 ♣AQ875 Pass. Partner does not have 4 ♠ (else would have bid 2).
♠AQJ8 1043 ♣AQJ75 2♠. Better play in one of your suits.
♠AQ83 104 ♣AQJ975 3♣. Better to play in ♣ than .
♠K83 Q104 ♣AKQ975 2NT. “And maybe 3NT if partner has quick tricks?”
♠Q3 KJ3 Q5 ♣KJ8764 Pass. Although there is a fit, chances of game are slim.
♠3 KJ3 AJ5 ♣QJ8764 3.
♠3 KJ3 AJ5 ♣AJ8764 4. Game try.

(---)
(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response        ++

  1. Transfer to 3♣ - weak hand (5-8 HCP) with a fit;
  2. 2-suiter without ♣, gameforcing.

With variant (2) over the forced 3♣ by opener the 2-suiter may be shown:

  • 3   = and ;
  • 3   = and ♠;
  • 3♠   = ♠ and .
Quiz       ++

W E W E Comments
♠2
J83
KQ7
♣AK7432
♠AK765
4
AJ10653
♣6
2♣
3♣
4
4NT
6
2NT
3♠
4 (1)
5
Pass


(1) Cuebid.
♠K5
A3
KQ7
♣J109532
♠AQ762
K2
AJ10765
♣--
2♣
3♣
4
4♠
7
2NT
3♠
4
6♣ (1)
Pass



(1) Void.
♠J5
J4
AQ4
♣KQ9765
♠K10732
AKQ32
5
♣J4
2♣
3♣
3NT
2NT
3
Pass
♠Q8
93
Q94
♣AK9765
♠K10732
AKQ642
5
♣4
2♣
3♣
3♠ (1)
Pass
2NT
3
4


(1) Not promising a full ♠ fit.
♠AQ85
9
105
♣AK9765
♠K10732
AKQ642 
5
♣4
2♣
3♣
3♠ (1)
5♣ (2)
6♠
2NT
3
4
5 (3)

(1) Not promising a full fit.
(2) 5♣ is a cue bid for ♠; to set as trumps opener should cue bid directly over 3.
(3) Cuebid.

(---)
(---)

⇦ Other Responses     ++

  • 3♣        = invitational (9-11);
  • 3//♠  = invitational natural.
(---)

⇦ Handling Interference     ++

A new suit is nonforcing at the 2-level and forcing at the 3-level.
Double is negative (opener with a good 4-card holding in their suit may Pass).
(---)

2  Opening (Weak Multi)

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro)

Definition

There is a small difference between versions:
  • Standard:  6-10 HCP with 6 cards in one of the major;
  • Pro:  Not vulnerable:  4-9 HCP, may be 5 cards major;
             Vulnerable:         6-10 HCP, 6 cards major.

Notes on version Pro       ++

Even with 4-9 HCP opening, bidding after 2 doesn’t change.

This means we may be forced to play in our suit when partner has a singleton in it! Therefore you may want to think twice before opening with just 5 cards, unless the suit is very good.

Quiz       ++
Would you open Multi nonvulnerable with these hands ?

♠KQ1098 32 1087 ♣J32 The powerful ♠ would tempt me to open 2 - especially at favorable.
♠AQ1076 Q103 876 ♣86 I Pass. Here with three decent it may be right to play in , not ♠.

(---)
(---)

Quiz       ++

What do you open with these hands ?

♠KJ9765 1076 K2 ♣97 2.
♠AKJ976 1076 K2 ♣97 1♠. Too strong for a 2 opening.
♠KQ10876 32 ♣AJ87 1♠. With 6-4 and all honors in the two suits, the hand is too good for 2.
♠Q97543 KJ3 J3 ♣Q43 Pass. ♠ are too weak.
♠AJ7654 K1032 3 ♣43 Pass. It’s not recommended to open Multi with 4 cards in the other major…
♠KQJ654 9732 3 ♣J3 2. … unless it is very weak.

(---)
We will go over the basic responses to Multi.

⇦ 2/♠  Response       ++

These responses say, “Pass if you have this suit. Otherwise, bid further”.
(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response       ++

Asks for suit and strength. Possible rebids:

Response  Meaning and further bidding
3♣ Maximum hand with either suit. Over this 3 asks for the suit: 3 shows ♠, 3♠ shows .
3 Minimum with .
3 Minimum with ♠.

(---)

⇦ 3♣    Response      ++

3♣ is an artificial strong response – responder wants to show his own suit, and not to ask for a partner’s.
Over 3♣ opener must bid 3, and responder shows his suit naturally: 3, 3♠, 4♣, 4
(3NT can show a hand with a SOL minor suit) and that bid is forcing.
(---)

⇦ 3♦    Response      ++

3 is invite to game in whichever suit opener has.
(---)

⇦ 3♥    Response      ++

This response is tactical: “Pass with , bid 3♠ with ♠”.
Generally we bid this with a weak hand and a fit for both majors, to preempt the opponents.
(---)

⇦ 3♠    Response       ++

“Pass with ♠, bid on with .”
(---)

⇦ 4♣    Response       ++

“Transfer to your suit (4 with , 4 with ♠).”
(---)

⇦ 4♦    Response      ++

“Bid your suit naturally.”
(---)

⇦ 4/♠ Response      ++

To play – a real suit.
(---)

⇦ Handling Interference      ++

Over enemy interference doubles are penalty.

Us  Them  Us 
2 3♣/ 3 Pass/correct for partner’s suit.
2 3♣/ 4♣ “Transfer to your suit.”
2 3♣/ 4/♠ Own suit.

(---)

2/♠  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

2/♠ show a hand with sub-opening strength (6-10), 5 cards in the bid suit, and 5 cards in another:
- with 2 it may be any other suit,
- with 2♠ it must be a minor.

Quiz 1       ++

What do you open with these hands ?

♠KJ976 KJ1076 976 ♣-- 2.
♠AJ1076 AJ1076 976 ♣-- 1♠. Too strong for 2.
♠KJ3 J8765 A9765 ♣-- Pass. This hand may be more suitable for play in ♠ than or .
♠-- J8765 A9765 ♣KJ3 2. We are not worried about missing a ♠ fit now.
♠Q10762 Q2 KJ765 ♣3 2♠. Suits are not good but they will do.
♠Q9765 Q2 J9654 ♣A Pass. Too much strength in the short suits.

(---)
Let’s recap the response structure.

⇦ 2♠     Response (over 2)       ++

2♠ = “Pass with ♠, else bid your minor.”
(---)

⇦ 2NT  Response       ++

2NT asks for the second suit. A 2 opener can show ♠ by rebidding 3. Further bidding follows the rule: If we want to force the auction, we set a minor suit naturally, and cuebid for the major.

The 2NT response is positive.

It promises there will be a good fit with opener. Opener may jump rebid too. With a negative hand then, it is best not to bid 2NT but instead: 2♠ or 3♣.
(---)

⇦ Other artificial responses       ++

3♣    - Pass or correct: “Pass with ♣, bid without ♣.”
3    - Invitational raise of the major.
(---)
See the quiz to check if you can plan your bidding after partner’s two-suiter opening.

⇦ Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
2 ?

How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠A43 AQ76 K7 ♣Q1043 4. Don’t ask or delay. And maybe the opponents will be pushed off course.
♠85 AQ76 76 ♣97542 4. The opponents don’t know if you are preempting or bidding to make.
♠AK3 AQ952 854 ♣AJ 2NT.
- Over a 3♣ response continue with 3♠ (slam try in ) and listen carefully for partner to cuebid ♦ shortness.
- Over 3 bid 4 as avoiding 2 losers seems too unlikely.
- Over 3 ( and ♠) set as trumps with 4♣ and see whether partner can cuebid 4.
♠KJ3 KJ32 432 ♣AQJ7 2NT.
- Over 3♣ or 3 (♠) try 4.
- Over 3 - just 3.
♠K97 Q832 KJ3 ♣AJ4 3. Just invite to game, and the opponents will not know which other suit partner has.
♠AQ1072 K765 ♣Q32 3♣ (!). Pass/correct for partner’s other suit. You expect partner to Pass this, but if by some miracle partner bids 3 (♠), bid 4♠!
♠Q9 KJ965 ♣AQ876 2♠. “I would rather play in ♠ than (and even better in a minor if you have it, partner).”

(---)

⇦ Handling Interference       ++

Over an enemy bid, double is penalty – and new suit bids are Pass-or- correct.
(---)

2NT  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Definition       ++

Opening 2NT shows 6-10 HCP and at least 5-5 in the minors. Determining whether to open 2NT is much the same as whether to open 2.
(---)

⇦ Continuation over 2NT Opening       ++

Responder generally bids his best minor at the 3-level.
4-level minor responses are preemptive.

The artificial response is 3 - asking for distribution.
In reply opener bids his longer major suit (3♠ with a doubleton ♠, 3NT with a doubleton , 4 with a tripleton heart, 4♠ with a tripleton ♠),
or bids a 6-card minor naturally with 4♣ or 4.
3♠ is an invitation to game on one of the minors. Opener is forced to bid 3NT, over which responder bids a suit he wants to play.

(---)

3-level  Openings

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Definition

Openings are natural. Vulnerable they show a 7-card suit, and not vulnerable a minor suit may be 6 cards.
Opening strength depends on partnership style and the hand distribution. I suggest the 4-3-2-2 rule.
This means that the hand can take as many tricks to come within 4 of making when favorable, 3 when both not vulnerable, and 2 when vulnerable (irrespective of the opponents’ vulnerability). PCI ProPolish Club International Professional suggests a more aggressive approach.

Gambling 3NT  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Definition

Solid 7-crd minor with no entry.

Continuations over a 3NT opening

4♣ and 5♣ response are Pass-or-correct. Partner Passes with ♣, or bids 4 (5) with . 4 and 4♠ responses are natural.

The 4 response is artificial – asking for shortness. Opener bids a short major, or with shortness in the other minor bids 4NT. Signing off in 5 of a minor shows no shortness (7222).

Note: Over a double of 3NT, responder’s Pass denotes the desire to play 3NT-X (redouble just the same – but more so).

4♣/  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

Natural.

These openings are highly distributional, and suggest, for whatever reason (bad suit, freaky shape), that 3NT will be an unsuitable contract.

4/♠  Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro - The opening is the same in both versions)

The strength and distribution expected depends on partnership style. Without any agreement, again I suggest the 4-3-2-2 (described under 3-level openings). Subsequent bids are cuebids (even 4♠ over 4).

The same treatment applies if the opponents enter the auction.

Defensive Bidding

This menu covers defensive bidding, ie. sequences when opponent opens the auction, or overcalls our opening.

Drury

Over partner’s one of a major overcall and third seat’s Pass 2♣ is the Drury convention – asks for the quality of the overcall.

Them  Us   Them  Us   Comments
1 1♠ Pass 2♣ !! Drury, promising a ♠ fit.

The rules for the auction are the same as those over Drury in an uncontested auction (third/fourth seat opening and 2♣ response by a Passed hand).

With a strong hand without a fit advancer should cuebid the opponent’s suit – 2.

After an opponent’s 1♣ opening, 2♣ Drury promises a fit only if used by a Passed hand.

Them  Us   Them  Us   Comments

1♣

1♠

Pass
Pass
2♣ !!

Drury – promising a ♠ fit.

Them  Us   Them  Us   Comments
1♣ 1♠ Pass 2♣ !! General force – no fit promised.

Michaels Cue and Two-suited 2NT

By Michaels Cue we mean a bid in the opponent’s suit at the cheapest level to show a 5-5 two-suiter in two unbid suits.

Them  Us    Comments
1 2 5 ♠ and a 5 card minor.
1♠ 2♠ 5 and a 5 card minor.
1 2 5-5 majors.
1♣ 2 5-5 majors.

Continuation over Michaels Cue

Let’s consider the sequence:

Them  Us   Them  Us  
1 2 Pass ?

2♣  Weak bid, may be a doubleton ♠.
2NT Positive values, asks for the minor suit.
3♣ To play in pd’s suit (“Partner, Pass with ♣”), weak.

2NT Overcall

Overcalling 2NT over the opponent’s one of a suit opening shows both minors 5-5, or in the case of the opening 1, and ♣.

The strength required for 2NT is the same as that of Michaels Cue (and not that of an opening 2NT) – it depends on the vulnerability.

One-level Overcalls

Definition
8-17 HCP with at least a five card suit.

Quiz 1       ++

Opp You
1 ?

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠J8765 K3 QJ7 ♣KJ7 Pass. There is no reason to introduce ♠. Weak suit. More tricks on defense than offense. And the – horrors!
♠AQJ87 1976 ♣10976 1♠. I wrote that an overcall starts at 8 HCP? I must have made a mistake.
♠Q9765 AQ76 ♣976 1♠. It may be necessary to compete in ♠ against . And something like ♠KJ95 ♥865 ♦32 ♣KQ104 with partner suddenly gets us a making game.

(---)
Continuation after partner’s 1-level overcall
  • New suit without a jump at the 1-level or 2-level is nonforcing;
  • Jump in a new suit is forcing;
  • 1NT shows 9-12 HCP, 2NT – 13-15 HCP;
  • Cuebidding the opponent’s suit shows a strong hand without a fit;
  • 2♣ shows at least an invite hand with a fit (Drury).
Two-level Overcalls
A two-level non-jump overcall should be solid, about 11+ HCP with a six card suit, or 13+ HCP with a five card suit, and requires a good suit, especially vulnerable.
Quiz 2       ++

Opp You
1♠ ?

What do you bid ?

♠8 76 J865 ♣AKQ976 2♣. At any vulnerability. Great suit, good distribution.
♠Q97 QJ3 K3 ♣KQ654 Pass. Weak suit, low on tricks.
♠Q1076 AQ3 ♣KQ1087 1NT. No one is perfect.
♠5 AQ108 Q32 ♣KQ1087 Double. Takeout. Fits for all suits.

After a 2-level overcall a new suit is forcing for one round, and a cuebid of the opponent’s suit asks for a stopper.

(---)

1NT Overcall

We use the 1NT overcall as the classic 15-17 HCP balanced with a stopper in the opponent’s suit.

There are a few differences between the 1NT overcall and opening:

  • The overcall requires a stopper in the opponent’s suit;
  • The overcall can deviate from traditional NT shapes at times – it may have a 5-4 shape or a 6 card minor;
  • The hands that qualify for a 1NT opening must open 1NT (there is no other place in the system) but hands that could overcall 1NT have alternatives (Pass, Double, Overcall).

Quiz       ++

Your right-hand opponent opens 1♠.
What do you bid with these hands ?

♠KJ8 54 KQ106 ♣AQ97 1NT. 15 HCP (minimum), but two ♠ stoppers.
♠54 KJ8 KQ106 ♣AQ97 Double. Takeout. No spade stopper … no 1NT overcall.
♠954 A3 KQ106 ♣AQ97 Pass. Despite 15 HCP there is no bid. Notrump is excluded because of no ♠ stop, and a takeout double denies a doubleton .
♠A2 KJ32 A86 ♣A874 Double. Takeout. The hand is suit-oriented, and the Ace stopper does not encourage declaring NT
♠QJ2 K5 AKJ432 ♣J2 1NT. Having six only strengthens the hand.
♠KJ92 K102 K ♣AQJ32 1NT. With the 1NT overcall comes possible deviations from traditional balanced hands.

(---)
Continuation over a 1N overcall
Continuation is no different than after a 1NT opening – Stayman and Jacoby. The only difference we have to discuss is when the opponents double because that is a real danger.

Them  Us   Them  Us  
1♠ 1NT X ?

2♣//  Weak, signoff.
XX SOS – “I have two suits, and don’t want to play NT

The above considerations also apply to when we overcall 2NT over the opponent’s 2-level opening. Continuation is like over a 1NT opening (3♣ Stayman, 3/ Jacoby). Running from a penalty double is the same as when we overcalled 1NT.

Balancing NT

After the opponents have opened at the 1-level and two Passes follow:
  • 1NT shows 12-15 HCP balanced and does not promise a stopper in the opponent’s suit, but does show some length (with shortness – double);
  • 2NT shows 19-21 HCP balanced and promises a stopper. With 16-18 we double and follow up with NT on the next round.

Quiz       ++

Opp  Partner   Opp  You  
1 Pass Pass  ?

How do you plan the auction ?

♠KJ8 A4 J75 ♣K10765 1NT.
♠KJ8 AJ43 75 ♣K1076 Double. Takeout. 7 cards in the majors suggest asking for a suit.
♠KJ8 A4 AJ5 ♣K10765 Double. And then 1NT over partner’s response. The hand is too strong for a balancing 1NT.
♠KJ8 A4 AQ5 ♣KQ765 2NT. 19-21 with a diamond stopper.

(---)
Continuation over a balancing 1NT
Auction is the same as over a 1NT opening. Transfer to the opponent’s suit asks for a stopper.

Them  Us   Them  Us  
1 Pass Pass 1NT
Pass ?

2♣  Asks for a four card major.
2 Asks for a stopper.
2 Transfer to ♠
Etc.

Jump Overcalls

Jump overcalls show a one-suited hand with a long suit. Eg:

(1♣) 2♠ Six ♠, 6-10 HCP

The overcalls therefore differ from the openings (which show two- suited hands). Jump overcalls – especially vulnerable – should have a good suit.

Doubles

Doubles of the opponent’s opening has one of two possible meanings: either takeout, showing a hand of opening strength without a clear suit to bid, or explanatory, showing a hand too strong for overcalls, i.e. 17+ HCP.

PCI bidders tend to overcall lightly. Therefore with great hands (17+) they prefer to double first and bid their suits later.

Bidding after a double of 1♣
A PCI negative 1♦ response gave rise to this helpful treatment:

Them  Us   Them  Us  
1♣ X Pass ?

1  Negative.
1/♠ 7+ HCP, forcing for one round.

Balancing double
We double in the balancing position with 9+ HCP.

Them  Us   Them  Us   
1 Pass Pass X
Pass ?

1NT  7-11 with a stopper in the opponent’s suit.
2NT  12-14 with a good stopper in the opponent’s suit.
3NT  To play.

Doubling a 2-level opening
The double of a 2-level opening has mostly the same meaning as a double of a 1-level opening. Some of the highlights are discussed below.
Over a 2/♠ opening
Over a takeout double of these openings we use Lebensohl (see Conventions – The Contested Auction).
Over a Multi 2
Doubling an artificial 2 (Multi) has the same meaning as a double over a natural 2♠ opening. With a takeout double of hearts one must Pass.

Them  Us      Comments
2 !! Takeout of ♠

Them  Us   Them  Us   Comments
2
Pass
Pass
!!
2 Pass
Takeout of

Them  Us   Them  Us   Comments
2
2♠
Pass
!!
2 Pass
Takeout of

Continuations:

Them  Us    Them  Us    Comments
2 X 2 !! “I have points, without short

Them  Us    Them  Us    Comments
2 X 3 !! “I have points, without a clear suit”

Them  Us    Them  Us    Comments
2 X 2♠ !! Penalty, “I have spades”

Jump Cuebid

The auction might be the following:

Them  Us  
1 3

Jumping in the opponent’s suit has the following meanings:

  1. Asks for a stopper, with a solid minor;
  2. Gameforcing with a self-sufficient minor or major.

Let’s assume that your opponent has opened 1.
3 we would bid with the following sample hands:

♠J32 2 A2 ♣AKQ5432
♠AKQ10432 -- AQ2 ♣AJ10
♠AJ 2 KQJ109432 ♣AK

Overcalling the Opponent’s 1NT Opening

2♣ Both major suits: 2♦ asks for the longer major;
2 One major suit (further bidding is as over Multi).
2/♠ The bid major with a side minor of at least four cards.
3♣/  Natural.

Vs a weak NT

Double 13+ HCP, any hand;
2♣ Both majors -> 2 asks for the longer major;
2 One six card or longer major, 6-11 HCP (Multi);
2/♠   Natural, 13+ HCP;
3♣/ Natural, constructive.

Bidding Over Higher Openings

Double at the 3-level is strictly takeout.

Double at the 4-level is more “cards-takeout”.

Doubles at the 5-level have constructive character: the hand is probably ours, but partner is not encouraged to bid without something special.

Slam Bidding – Learn from the Mistakes of the Masters

All hands come from the 2000 Olympiad in Maastricht where the Polish team of:
  • Cezary Balicki – Adam Żmudziński;
  • Michał Kwiecień – Jacek Pszczoła;
  • Krzysztof Jassem – Piotr Tuszyński
won the silver medal.

Quarterfinal: Poland – France

Problem 1       ++

This was the auction of a French pair:

W E W E Comments
♠AJ763
AJ65
73
♣K9
♠K9852
94
A
♣AJ762

2NT (1)
1♠
4♠

(1) 10-15 with a spade fit.

Find the mistake, and suggest a PCI auction.

Answer       ++
Mistake: The 4♠ response is too conservative. There are many hands partner may have that could yield slam.

The suggested auction in PCI is:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AJ763 
AJ65
73
♣K9
♠K9852 
94
A
♣AJ762

2♣
2NT
3♠
4
6♠ (4)
1♠
2♠
3♣ (1)
4 (2)
5♣ (3)
(1) Four ♣
(2) Short . After showing nine cards in two suits, a cuebid is shortness.
(3) If partner can try for slam despite our negative 2♠, we have extras: the fifth ♣. Therefore we can go past the game level.
(4) “I think the King of ♣ is a perfect complement to partner’s suit.”

(---)
(---)

Problem 2       ++

This was the auction of a French pair:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AQ
AKJ83
K97
♣AQ2
♠9742
96
A62
♣KJ104
2 (1)
3NT
4 (4)
3♣ (2)
4♣ (3)
6NT (5)
(1) Strong.
(2) An Ace in a minor suit.
(3) Asks for a four card major.
(4) Four .
(5) "I have to decide".

Result: 11 tricks. How should the auction go in PCI ?

Answer

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AQ
AKJ83
K97
♣AQ2
♠9742
96
A62
♣KJ104
1♣
2
4NT (1)
1♠
2NT
Pass


(1) Raising a notrump bid to 4NT is not RKC, but invite.

Exactly as the Polish pair bid.
The question is: would the Polish auction have been different, had East the 10 ? Then, the slam would be excellent. We can’t really say.

(---)

Problem 3       ++

This was another unfortunate French bidding:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AJ
A105
AQ652
♣AQ10
♠Q743
KQJ
1073
♣K98
2 (1)
2NT
3 (4)
2 (2)
3♣ (3)
6NT (5)
(1) Strong.
(2) Waiting.
(3) Asks for a four card major.
(4) None.
(5) Replay.

How should the auction go in PCI?

Answer       ++

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AJ
A105
AQ652
♣AQ10
♠Q743
KQJ
1073
♣K98
1♣
2NT
Pass (2)
1♠
3NT (1)
(1) It would have been optimistic to bid 4NT. A pessimist sees the wasted honors in the short suit.
(2) One high card point more and 4NT invitation whould be appropriate.

(---)
(---)

Problem 4       ++

The French auction went:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠KJ97
AK3
K62
♣A65
♠AQ63
Q9872
A5
♣97
1♣
2NT
4♣ (1)
XX (2)
4NT (4)
Pass (6)
Pass 
Pass
X
Pass
Pass
Pass
1
3♠
Pass 
4 (3)
5 (5)
Pass 
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Cuebid for some suit.
(2) Ace of ♣.
(3) Cuebid.
(4) RKC.
(5) I don’t know which suit is trumps, so I show no Queen.
(6) If no trump queen, then no slam.

How should the auction go in PCI ?

Answer       ++

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠KJ97
AK3
K62
♣A65
♠AQ63
Q9872
A5
♣97
1♣
2 (1)
3NT (3)
4♠ (5)
5
Pass
Pass 
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1
3♣ (2)
4 (4)
4NT
6
Pass 
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Odwrotka.
(2) Strong with 5 cards in .
(3) 4333 distribution.
(4) cue, no ♣ cue.
(5) ♠cue, implies ♣cue.

True – the above auction is a little like walking in the dark. Slam is great because the ♠ holdings complement each other, not even mentioned in the auction. To make matters worse, the best contract is a grand slam in ♠, which in PCI Standard cannot be reached.

This is why it makes sense to seek a more precise treatment than Odwrotka. Such a structure is proposed in PCI Pro, where responder can show his distribution and strength.

(---)
(---)

Problem 5       ++

This time the French went too high:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AQ
Q87
A10432
♣AK5
♠65
A6
KQ8765
♣J97
2NT (1)
4
6 (4)
4♣ (2)
4 (3)
7 (5)
(1) 20-22.
(2) Strong transfer to .
(3) Cuebid.
(4) Thump.
(4) Re-thump.

And went one down.

On this particular hand small slam (not grand!) makes because South has both major Kings, but theoretically it’s not percentage.

The Polish auction was:

W E
1♣
3NT
3
Pass

Was the Polish auction correct ? How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++
The auction reached a favorable ending, but it was not correct. Had East a singleton and King third of ♠, it would have made slam in , and not 3NT.

The proposed auction:

W E W E
♠AQ
Q87
A10432
♣AK5
♠65
A6
KQ8765
♣J97
1♣
3♠
Pass
3
3NT

3♠ is dual-meaning: strong ♣ with ♠, or showing a stopper for 3NT. Over 3NT by East, now there cannot be a singleton opposite and slam is very unlikely.

(---)
(---)

Problem 6       ++

Here a Polish pair did not arrive at the top spot:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠KJ109
A6
AQ1087
♣A4
♠A4
KQ9874
6543
♣5
1
2♣
3NT
4
5♣
1
2NT (1)
4
4♠
5

(1) Forcing.

Result: 12 tricks. Where was the mistake? How should the auction go in PCI ?

Answer       ++
At first glance it seems East had a simple situation. After 4 by partner he had enough to ask for keycards. Well, yes, but if partner gives the wrong answer, like 5♠, we are too high and without hope.

So if East cannot take the reins, he should give partner a positive sign and jump to 4 over 2♠.

For this hand it is worth remembering the following wisdom: The hand with a plethora of keycards should be using RKC because partner may be afraid of an inconveniently high response to RKC. West is not sure at all that slam can be made, but when partner jumps and he is looking at three keycards and the trump Queen, well…

And how would this be bid in PCI ?

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠KJ109
A6
AQ1087 
♣A4
♠A4
KQ9874 
6543
♣5
1♣
1♠
4♣ (2)
4NT (4)
6
1
3 (1)
4♠ (3)
5♠ (5)
(1) Invite to game in .
(2) Cue for .
(3) No control, ♠ control, “I have a very interesting hand for a slam.”
(4) RKC for .
(5) Two keys and trump Queen.

In this way we got to a slam worse than that in . Diamonds never saw the light of day. This is one of the “little charms” of PCI.

(---)
(---)

Semifinal: Poland – USA

Problem 7       ++

In the below deal the Americans easily reached the slam played by East.
The Polish auction:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠J82
KQ6
K7
♣AKQJ10
♠K3
AJ1094
A5
♣7653

2♣
3 (1)
4
1
2
4♣
Pass


(1) Third Suit Forcing.

West bid Third Suit Forcing and 4♣ was unpleasant because trumps had not yet been set. 4 was intended as a slamtry but East, even if he knew it, Passed.

What was the mistake ? How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++
The mistake was bidding Third Suit Forcing rather than Forcing 2NT. Then it all fell apart.

The suggested auction:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠J82 KQ6 K7 ♣AKQJ10 ♠K3 AJ1094 A5 ♣7653
2♣
2NT (1)
3
4♣ (3)
5♣ (5)
1
2 
3♣
3NT
4 (4)
6 (6)
(1) Forcing 2NT. Never mind that West does not have ♠ stopped. If you know you are playing in a certain suit, 2NT does not need to have specific suits stopped.
(2) No shortness. The hand is not hopeless (if hopeless – 4).
(3) Cuebid.
(4) Cuebid below game – in response to partner’s cue – is obligatory.
(5) ”Are we losing two spades?”
(6) ”No. Only one”. With the Ace of ♠ East would bid 5♠, because there could be a grand slam.

(---)
(---)

Problem 8       ++

With the below hands both pairs reached a slam. Let us look at the Polish auction:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AQ64
763
AK632 
10
♠KJ82 
AJ10
1097
♣AKJ
1 2♠
4♣ (2)
4NT
6♠
1♠
3 (1)
4 (3)
5
(1) ”We have a fit.”
(2) ”I accept game, and, in case you have hopes for more, this is my shortness.”
(3) ”I have slam interest, and a cue, but no cue.”

On the Q lead, slam made.

Is slam correct ? How should it be bid in PCI Standard ?

Answer       ++
Slam isn’t good. On the given auction, a lead is normal, and then it takes a ♣ finesse to begin with. But even then there are handling problems if ♠ or are 4-1.

The proposed auction:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AQ64
763
AK632 
10
♠KJ82 
AJ10
1097
♣AKJ
1
2♠
3 (2)
Pass
1♠
2NT (1)
4♠

(1) Ask for distribution.
(2) Three hearts.

(---)
(---)

Problem 9       ++

The Americans after a 1 opening by East agreed ♠ and quickly got to slam, one down.

In the other room, the Poles opened a Wilkosz 2 (showing 5-5 distribution) and got to game, not even trying for slam.

Let us see how the hand should be bid with PCI:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠K102
AKJ1086
5
♣A84
♠Q8654
--
AJ87642
♣K

4♠ (2)
2♠ (1)
Pass
(1) Doubtful 1-level opening, with such a weak spade suit.
(1) W can imagine hands with partner that might yield slam, but by far most hands don’t give decent chances, so best to bid practically.

(---)

Problem 10     ++

Here the Americans stopped low:

W E W N E S Meaning of bids
♠AKJ8
K85
AK1053
♣J
♠Q95
AQJ92
2
♣9764

X
4♣ (2)
4

3♣
X
Pass

3
4 (3)
Pass
2NT (1)
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Minors.

(2) Cuebid.
(3) Cuebid.

Where was the mistake ? How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++
3 was pessimistic. But it could have ended well if he had bid more later.

The suggested auction:

W E W N E S Meaning of bids
♠AKJ8
K85
AK1053
♣J
♠Q95
AQJ92
2
♣9764

X
4♣ (2)
4

3♣
X
Pass

3
4 (3) 
6
2NT (1)
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Minors.

(2) Cuebid.
(3) Cuebid.

4♣ suggests ♣ shortness. East has an amazing hand. Outstanding trumps, nothing wasted in ♣, and a singleton . 4 checks to see if partner has a void in ♣ – then you can investigate grand! But East must at least bid 6.
(---)
(---)

Poland-Italy

Problem 11     ++

Let us analyze the bidding of a Polish pair, who did not reach slam.

W E W N E S Meaning of bids
♠Q
KQ
1098542
♣KQJ5
♠A75
4
AK763
♣A973
1
3
5
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 (1)
4 (2) 
Pass
2
Pass
Pass
(1) Strong raise.
(2) Splinter.

Where was the mistake in this auction ? How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++

The mistake was West’s – 3. First it did not announce the ♣ suit, which could be important given that the opponents could continue bidding, but also 3 was a signoff. In a situation that is forcing to 3, bidding 3 immediately shows the worst possible hand (even worse than Pass).

How should the auction have gone?

W E W N E S Meaning of bids
♠Q
KQ
1098542
♣KQJ5
♠A75
4
AK763
♣A973
1
3♣
5  (3)
Pass
Pass
Pass
2 (1)
4♣ (2) 
6 (4)
2
Pass
Pass
(1) Too strong for a splinter.
(2) Setting ♣ as trumps in order to ask for keycards in ♣ (those are the important cards).
(3) "I give up"
(4) ”If you had enough to bid clubs, slam is a foregone conclusion”

(---)
(---)

Problem 12     ++

W E
♠AK84
A97
AK843
♣6
♠76
KQJ5
965
♣A532

The Italians after a series of artificial bids got to 6, 2 down after a trump lead and did not split 3-3 (without a trump lead, East can duck a , then ruff a ♣, and use a trump to return to hand to collect 4 , 4 , 2 ♠, 1 ♣, and 1 club ruff).

How should the hand be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AK84
A97
AK843 
♣6
♠76
KQJ5 
965
♣A532
1♣
2 (1)
2♠ (3)
3NT (5)
1
2 (2)
3♣ (4)
Pass
(1) Odwrotka.
(2) Weak with 4 hearts (a strong hand is one which we would have opened)
(3) Natural - 4 spades.
(4) Seminatural – not bidding NT without a stopper
(5) Unfortunately there is no way to find a fit, and thus no slam.

The lesson of the hand is as follows:

If you open a strong ♣, and partner response one of a major, don’t use Odwrotka if you have two suits to show.

A similar situation would arise if opener had 4 ♠, 3 , and 5 ♣.

The proposed amendment:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AK84
A97
AK843 
♣6
♠76
KQJ5 
965
♣A532
1♣
1♠
2 (1)
3 (2)
4 (4)
4♠ (6)
1
1NT
3
4♣ (3)
4 (5)
6 (7)
(1) Five , preparing a full description of the hand.
(2) Seminatural – three or a feature.
(3) If partner likes , the hand can be upgraded.
(4) ”Can we bid slam?”
(5) Cuebid.
(6) Cuebid.
(7) ”Partner has invited slam and we have the Ace of ♣ and a source of tricks in ”.

(---)
(---)

Problrm 13     ++

W E
10953
3
A106
♣AJ1062
♠AKQJ8
AKQJ8
95
♣3

The Italians reached an “ambitious slam” which easily made.
The Poles quickly reached grand slam, which unluckily went down because ♠ were 4-0 and 5-2.

How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++

W E W E Meaning of bids
10953
3
A106
♣AJ1062
♠AKQJ8
AKQJ8
95
♣3

1♠
2
4 (2)
5
1♣
2
4♣ (1)
4NT
7♠ (3)
(1) Very strong splinter, because Odwrotka preceded it
(2) With 2 Aces and a singleton, you must react positively despite the minimum strength
(3) With reasonable layouts, grand slam should make

We note however, that if West had a different distribution, e.g. 4342, grand would be hopeless – even with 2 Aces with West. This points to the need for something more precise than Odwrotka – both in terms of strength and distribution. For those interested, see PCI Pro.

(---)
(---)

Problem 14     ++

♠KQJ1074
Q
106
10876
♠A
AK103
AKQ987
♣54

N

W

E 

S

♠85
J986
52
♣AQ932
♠9632
7542
J43
♣KJ

Luck was with the Poles as they reached 4♠X by North, 2 down for -300.

In the other room, this was the auction:

W N E S

X
4♠
5
7
2♠
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
4
5♣
6
Pass
3♠
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

The Queen of dropped, the split – so the play was not a problem. But to be honest the Poles overbid in the board.

How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++

W N E S Meaning of the bids

X
4♠ (1)
5NT (3)
6 (5)
Pass (7)
2♠
Pass 
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass 
4
5♣ (2)
6♣ (4)
6 (6)
3♠
Pass 
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Cuebid.
(2) Cuebid.
(3) RKC. If cuebidding takes us past 4NT, then 5NT assumes the role of Blackwood.
(4) One or four.
(5) Asks for Queen of trumps.
(6) No Queen.
(7) No Queen, no grand slam.

(---)
(---)

Problem 15       ++

On this hand the Italians played the normal contract of six hearts. One of the Polish pairs crept all the way to grand slam. This is how the misunderstanding happened:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠76
A964
A
♣AQ10742
♠KQ853 
KQ872
K43
♣--

2♣
3
4
5
6 (3)
1♠
2
4♣ (1)
4NT 6♣ (2)
7 (4)
(1) To East – shortness; to West – general cue
(2) To East – “I have a club void. What do you think?”
(3) ”Are we sure we know what we are doing?”
(4) ”Someone has to make a decision”

How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠76
A964
A
♣AQ10742
♠KQ853 
KQ872
K43
♣--

2♣
3
5♠ (2)
1♠
2
5♣ (1)
6
(1) Exclusion RKC.
(2) Two keys outside of ♣.

(---)
(---)

Problem 16       ++

W E
♠AKJ7
AQ106
KQ
♣KQ5
♠53
J32
AJ74
♣A1093

The Italians bid artificially and got stuck in 4NT.
The Poles bid a very direct 1♣-1NT-6NT. Is this the correct auction ?

How should it be bid in PCI ?

Answer       ++
West’s auction was quite flamboyant. East may have had a weaker hand and slam pretty remote. It’s optimistic to just shut your eyes and bid slam. A rationalist would bid as follows:

W E W E Meaning of bids
♠AKJ7
AQ106
KQ
♣KQ5
♠53
J32
AJ74
♣A1093
1♣
4NT (1)
6NT (3)
1NT
5NT (2)
(1) Invitational.
(2) "Pick a slam. Can we play in a minor ?
I have both of them.”
(3) ”Thanks, but I prefer no trumps.”

(---)
(---)

Problem 17       ++

♠AQJ1062
6
853
♣Q107
♠5
AKJ107
106
♣K8532

N

W

E 

S

♠9743
Q54
AKQ4
♣A9
♠K8
9832
J972
♣J64

Italian Auction (W-E):

W N E S Meaning of the bids

2
(1)
4NT
Pass

2♠
Pass
Pass
Pass
1NT
Pass
4
5 (2)
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
(1) Action.
(2) Two keys, but saying nothing about the trump Queen.

The West Italian player was put in a difficult position: he didn’t know about the trump Queen or whether there was a club loser.

The Poles bid more dynamically:

W N E S

2
4♣
4♠
5
Pass

2♠
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
1NT
3
4
4NT
6
Pass
3♠
Pass
Pass
Pass

Was this auction by the book ?

Answer       ++
It wasn’t textbook, but the players knew what they were doing. First, 3 should show four hearts. However, East took the view that because of his partner’s likely ♠ shortness, his hand was great. West’s 4♣ showed a side suit. Remember that in a competitive auction, a bid of a new suit is not a cuebid, but natural. Its purpose is to make life easier for partner if the opponents outbid us. Thus, if the opponents compete to 4♠, East should bid higher with fitting ♣ cards (double or Pass without). East, with both the ♣A and nothing wasted in ♠ saw some chance of slam. 4 communicated this. If West then signed off in 4, it would have meant that 4♣ was just showing distribution, and not serious, so game should be the limit. When however West bid on with 4♠, showing serious slam interest as well as short ♠, East could “see” the top honors and ♣ King. Without these key values, inviting slam would have made no sense. So he took matters into his own hands.

This last example shows that cuebids alone are not enough. Slam- bidding requires imagination, courage, and confidence in partner.

(---)
(---)

Opening Summary

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Opening Not vulnerable Vulnerable
1♣ 1) 12-14 balanced
2) 15+ with ♣
3) 18+ any hand
The same
1 1) 12-17, 5+
2) 12-17, 4441 with 4
3) 12-14, 5♣-4
The same
1/♠ 10-17, 5+cards 12-17, 5+cards
1NT 15-17 (may have 5-cards major) The same
2♣ 12-15, Precision The same
2 4-9,  Weak Multi - may be 5 cards 6-10, Weak Multi - 6 cards
2 4-9,  5 and a 4-cards minor 6-10, 5 and any other 5-card suit (may be ♠)
2♠ 4-9,  5♠ and a 4-cards minor 6-10, 5♠ and a 5-card minor
2NT 6-10; minors (5-5) The same
3 of a suit Preempt, 6+cards Preempt, 7+cards
3NT Gambling, in 3rd/4th suit to play The same
4♣/ Natural The same

General disscussion

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Reasoning Behind PCI Pro

Bidding systems can be divided into the aggressive and the precise.

The aim of the aggressive system is to quickly take the initiative in the auction and deprive the opponents of bidding room. An example of an aggressive system is: four card majors, weak NT. The most common one-level openings take up a lot of space. The reverse side of the coin is the lack of precision – increasing the level leaves less room for an exchange of information.

On the other side lie the systems where the bidding is opened as low as possible to allow a long and accurate exchange of information. A classic example is Precision which opens 1♣ more often than any other system.

Polish Club should be placed in the middle on the scale of aggressiveness. On the one hand it opens 1♣ more than most other systems, and on the other hand is an entire arsenal of aggressive 2-level openings.

It should be noted however that the Polish 2-suiters are no longer Polish – they are spreading faster than the swine flu virus. Losing the edge in this element, Polish club is a bit behind when it comes to aggressive bidding.

PCI Pro keeps the best of Polish Club but at the same time adds aggressiveness. Besides, in PCI Pro I introduce my favorite worldwide-accepted treatments, adjusted to fit the system.

Aggressive Openings
First let’s list the advantages and disadvantages of aggressive openings.
Advantages of Aggressive Openings
  1. Quick initiative in the auction – as a consequence, winning the partial battle;
  2. The ability to bid distributional games more often – with less HCP;
  3. Finding a viable contract or sacrifice;
  4. Communicating the best lead, should the opponents win the auction;
  5. Handicapping the opponents’ auction by removing bidding space.
Disadvantages of Aggressive Openings
  1. The chance of a bigger penalty;
  2. Giving the opponents more information to use when playing the hand, if they win the auction.

My proposition is the following:
We use aggressive openings in the majors, and only nonvulnerable.

Weak major suit openings give you the best chances to preempt the opponents. (Weakish 1♣ opening gains nothing – neither does it take much space away from the opponents nor directs a lead, nor accelerates finding a fit with partner.)

Using weak openings only nonvulnerable provides safety. Let’s note that vulnerable the penalty for down 2 or 3, even undoubled, is a big loss in a match, and disastrous at matchpoints. Quite difference is the case when we are just shelling out 50/undertrick, which can prove to be quite a good investment.

Note that preemptive openings have long been gauged against vulnerability. Why then should 1-level openings be any different ?

The design of major suit openings is the following:

  • The lower limit of the nonvulnerable openings is lowered by 2 HCP-;
  • 2/♠ openings are 4-9 HCP and promise both a 5-card major and at least a 4-card minor;
  • 2 - Multi is bid with 4-9 HCP – it may be opened with a good 5-card suit;
  • 3-level openings are weak, and very destructive in character.

Quiz       ++

What do you choose to open nonvulnerable with these hands ?

♠AKJ108 543 ♣J1087 1♠. The hand is too nice to open 2♠.
♠J9765 KQ QJ ♣Q762 Pass. Points, schmoints.
♠8 KJ1087 965 ♣J1087 2. Minimum opening. With all the points in the long suits – it is an offensive hand.
♠Q3 Q10765 J3 ♣J987 Pass. Don’t stretch to open with honors in the short suits.
♠KQJ76 87 53 ♣8654 2. Weak two in spades (clubs don’t count).
♠KQ10875 A32 ♣976 1♠. This hand is much stronger than the previous.
♠Q1087654 J105 ♣32 3♠. Nonvulnerable preempts are weak – destructive.
♠6 QJ9876 Q1065 ♣32 3 (or 2). You can afford to open 3 with a six card suit, if the suit is decent and is supported by a side four card suit.
♠KJ987 KQ865 3 ♣32 1♠. 9 HCP with 5-5 distribution is enough to open at the one level.
♠Q10876 KQ865 3  ♣32 Pass. Not vulnerable there is no systemic weak bid for 5-5 majors.

(---)

1/♠ Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Definition

10-17 with 5-cards in the bid suit.

Continuation

Careful !!

Bidding rules are similar to those of PCI Standard. But the difference is that the wider opening range reduces the precision of the auction. A range of 12-17 can be divided into two ranges:

  • 10-13 and 14-17 extended ranges for not vulnerable;
  • 12-14 and 15-17 narrow ranges for vulnerable.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner You 
1♠ ?

How do you bid not vulnerable, and vulnerable ?

Card Not vulnerable Vulnerable
♠J KJ87 Q987 ♣AJ72 1NT. 2♣.
♠Q108 87 A1076 ♣A1076 2♠. 2NT. Invite to game.

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

You  Partner
1♠
?
1NT

How do you bid not vulnerable, and vulnerable ?

Card Not vulnerable Vulnerable
♠AQ876 94 AQJ7 ♣K3 2. 2. (also).
♠KQ1087 J3 KJ4 ♣A104 2NT. (max opening). Pass.

(---)

Quiz 3       ++

You  Partner
1♠
?
2

How do you bid not vulnerable, and vulnerable ?

Card Not vulnerable Vulnerable
♠KJ987 Q3 AJ8 ♣K103 2NT. (14-17). 2♠. (12-14).
♠AK1076 AQ1076 ♣32 3.    (14-17). 2♠. (12-14).

(---)

2/♠ Openings Not Vulnerable: 5-4

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Definition

Five cards in the bid suit and a four card minor (at least), 4-9 HCP.

⇦ Continuation

2♠ (Over 2) Natural, nonforcing;
2NT A forcing relay.

⇨ Over the 2NT ask:

3♣ 4 ♣; partner may inquire for a 3-card fraction with 3
3 4 , no other major 3-card
3 4 and the other major 3-card
3♠ 5 ♣
3NT 5

Over these rebids the minor is agreed naturally, and the major – the cheapest cue.

Quiz       ++

How should the bidding proceed not vulnerable, West opening ?

W E W E Comments
♠43
AJ876
J876
♣54
♠AKQ97
K3
AK3
♣A32
2
3 (1)
Pass
2NT
4♠

(1) 4 , no 3 ♠.
♠543
AJ876
J876
♣5
♠AKQ97
K3
AK3
♣A32
2
3 (1)
4 (3)
5♣
5♠
6♠ (7)
2NT
4♣ (2)
4NT (4)
5 (5)
5NT (6)
Pass
(1) 4 diamonds, 3 spades.
(2) Sets ♠ (3♠ would set ).
(3) Cuebid.
(4) RKC ♠.
(5) King ask.
(6) ”Do you have anything else?”
(7) ”Absolutely nothing”
♠J3
AJ876
J8765
♣8
♠AKQ97
K3
AK3
♣A32
2
3♠ (1)
4 (3)
5♣
5♠ (5)
2NT
4 (2)
4NT
5 (4)
6
(1) 5 .
(2) Sets .
(3) Cuebid.
(4) Asks trump Queen.
(5) No.

(---)

3-level Openings

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

See also Pro / Openings / General disscussion about aggressive openings.

If we agree to allow destructive openings at the 3-level, then we must be appropriately conservative when responding.

Quiz 1       ++

What do we bid over partner’s 3♠ opening when not vulnerable, and vulnerable ?

Card Not vulnerable Vulnerable
♠A3 KJ3 AQ3 ♣QJ98 Pass. 3NT. Partner should have KQ 7th ♠.
♠Q3 AQ54 J3 ♣AQJ76 4♠. Pass.
♠AJ3 J982 ♣K10875 4♠. Perhaps he will make. 4♠. Sacrifice against 4 .

(---)

Note !!  Many times we have to choose: open preemptively, or quietly Pass ?

A strong reason not to preempt is being in second seat.

If your RHO Passes, it greatly increases the chance that your partner has a strong hand, and you are preempting him, not the opponents. In other words, the most profitable seats for preempting are first and third.

Special Sequencies

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

This menu covers special sequences.

Lebensohl

Lebensohl after our 1NT opening

This situation refers to when we open 1NT and the opponents overcall 2/♠.

Let’s look at it for the case of 2:

Us   Them  Us  
1NT 2 ?

X Negative (usually with 4 ♠), enough strength to compete.
2♠ Natural, nonforcing.
2NT Signoff with own suit, or gameforcing with 4 ♠.
3♣/ Natural, forcing.
3 Asks for a stopper, without 4 ♠
3♠ Forcing with (5) ♠.

After 2NT, opener is forced to bid 3♣.

Us   Them  Us  
1NT 2 ?

Pass  Signoff with ♣.
3 Signoff with .
Four ♠, no stopper, gameforcing
3♠ Five ♠, invite to game.
3NT Four ♠ with a stopper.

(My personal opinion is that the Lebensohl convention is clearly inferior to Rubensohl – when you show your suit prior to your strength. This will hopefully change in future versions of Polish Club.)

Lebensohl after the opponents’ weak two opening and our takeout double

This situation refers to when the opponents open 2 or 2♠ and one of our side doubles (whether direct or reopening).

Them  Us   Them  Us  
2♠ X Pass ?

2NT  0-7, or gameforcing with 4 .
3♣// Natural, indicating the longest suit, 8-11 HCP.
3♠ Asks for a spade stopper, without four hearts, gameforcing.

Conventions and Special Sequences

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard & Pro)

In this column we describe conventions (Std) and Special Sequences (Pro).

Jump-shift Responses

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Bidding a new suit with a single jump shows a gameforcing hand with a very good suit, and a slam chances. A very good suit would need just a singleton honor in partner’s hand to solve what the question of trumps should be.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner opens 1.
What do you bid with these hands ?

♠AQ9765 A3 K4 ♣K32 1♠. The suit is too weak to jump. A singleton honor in ♠ with partner does not mean ♠ should be trumps (yet).
♠K7 A3 Q4 ♣AQ108743 3♣. If partner has the singleton King or Jack of ♣ the trump suit has been found. If partner has the Jack, and we have a loser (king), we can find it out via RKC.
♠K7 A3 32 ♣AQ108743 2♣. The hand is a bit too weak in honor strength to jump. It requires too much in partner’s hand to think about slam.
♠AQJ104 A3 KQ2 ♣432 2♠. Then later support . If partner has the King of ♠, then it is easy to count the tricks for slam. Give partner: ♠K3 432 A107654 ♣A5 and there are 13 tricks in NT.
♠AQJ976 AKJ3 2 ♣Q3 1♠. Don’t jump with a good side suit. It may be better to play in .
♠AQJ972 32 ♣Q932 2♠. If partner bids 2NT, rebid ♣. But not to play ♣! Just to complete your distribution for partner.

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

You Partner
1 2♠
?

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠Q32 J3 AQ876 ♣K32 3♠. Spade fit, encouraging hand.
♠Q3 A3 AJ876 ♣K987 3♠. A doubleton Queen is a fit. And the Aces/Kings – these partner needs for slam.
♠J87 QJ KJ865 ♣KJ65 4♠. Minimum opening, and there is nothing to lure partner with.
103 AQJ87 ♣KQ654 3♣. Natural.
♠3 AJ3 AQJ1076 ♣J65 3. “Maybe are better than ♠, partner?”
♠Q KJ3 A108765 ♣Q65 2NT. Waiting. are too weak to rebid.

RKC and Exclusion Blackwood both can be used, and the jumped suit is trumps. Rebidding the jump suit sets that suit as trumps.

(---)

Fourth Suit Forcing

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Fourth suit forcing is a cheap bid in the only unbid suit. It is not a natural bid, nor does it promise any length or strength in the suit.

The goals of 4th suit are:

  1. Find out whether partner has a stopper in the suit for NT;
  2. Ask for more information about partner’s strength and distribution;
  3. Set partner’s suit in a forcing manner,;
  4. Set another specific suit in a forcing manner.

Examples of the Fourth Suit Forcing:

1 1
1♠ 2♣
1 1♠
2♣ 2
1♠ 2♣
2 2
1♠ 2♣
2 3

Fourth suit is not gameforcing after a 1-over-1 response. But only the player who bid the 4th suit may Pass below game.

Fourth suit is gameforcing over a 2-over-1 response.

Continuation over Fourth Suit Forcing       ++
In response to Fourth Suit Forcing:
  • A jump shows extra strength;
  • Opener shows a 3 card fit for partner if he has it;
  • With 5-5 shape opener rebids his second suit;
  • With 5-4 shape without a fit for partner, opener bids:
    2NT Minimum hand with at least a half-stopper (Qx) in the fourth suit;
    Rebids the opened suit  Minimum hand without a half-stopper;
    3NT Maximum hand and a stopper in the fourth suit;
    Three of the fourth suit Maximum hand without a half-stopper in the fourth suit.
(---)
Quiz 1       ++
How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠AQ1087
KQ876
32
♣2
♠J3
AJ3
1054
♣AQ986
1♠
2
3
Pass
2♣
3 (1)
4

(1) 4th suit
♠AQ1087
KQ87
Q32
♣2
♠J3
AJ3
1054
♣AQ986
1♠
2
3NT
2♣
3 (1)
Pass

(1) 4th suit
♠AQ1087
KQ87
32
♣J2
♠J3
AJ3
1054
♣AQ986
1♠
2
3♠ (2)
Pass
2♣
3 (1)
4♠

(1) 4th suit
(2) Does not promise 6 ♠.

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1 1♠
2♣ ?

How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠AQ432 K97 J97 ♣J7 3. Invite with fit.
♠AQ432 K97 A97 ♣K7 2. And on the next round raise , which would be gameforcing.
♠AQJ987 K32 ♣J32 3♠. Invite to 4♠.
♠AQ9876 AK2 ♣K32 2. And on the next round rebid ♠, forcing to game.

(---)

Third Suit Forcing

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Third suit forcing is when there are two unbid suits – responder’s rebid in one of them is 3rd suit forcing. Third Suit Forcing does not require 4 cards in the suit, and is forcing to game.

Quiz 1       ++

Is the last bid Third Suit Forcing ?

1
2 
2♣
2♠ 
Yes. Responder does not need to have 4 ♠ at all.
1
2♣
1 No. 2♣ is a completely natural bid. Third Suit Forcing is used by responder, not opener.
1♣
2
2
2♠
Yes. We do not consider 1♣ a natural bid, thus this is Third (not Fourth) Suit Forcing.
1
2
1♠
2
Yes. Responder has either 5 ♠ and 4 , or wants to force the auction without bypassing the 2-level.
1
1♠
1
2♣
No. The last bid by responder is 4th Suit Forcing.
1
2
1♠
3♣
Yes. 3♣ is forcing, not necessarily real ♣.

(---)
What are the uses of Third Suit Forcing ?
  1. To find out if there is a fit in this suit;
  2. To show worry about the unbid suit;
  3. To set partner’s suit in a forcing manner;
  4. To set one’s own suit in a forcing manner.
How does Opener proceed ?
As naturally as possible – with one exception:

Jump to 3NT shows four cards in the Third Suit and the stopper in the unbid suit.

Quiz 2       ++

How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠KJ107
A1095
K2
♣J54
♠AQ65
J6
AQ1087
♣32
1♣
2
3♠ (2)
Pass
2
2♠ (1)
4♠
(1) Third Suit
(2) Four ♠ without a ♣ stopper good for NT.
♠KJ107
A1095
K2
♣J54
♠AQ6
QJ6
AQ1087
♣32
1♣
2
3♠ (2)
Pass
2
2♠ (1)
4 (3)

(1) Third Suit
(2) Four ♠ without a ♣ stopper good for NT.
(3) 'OK, let’s try .'
♠KJ107
A1095
K2
♣KJ4
♠AQ6
QJ6
AQ1087
♣32
1♠
2
3NT (2)
2
2♠ (1)
Pass

(1) Third Suit
(2) Four ♠ and a ♣ stopper!
♠K10
A1095
J32
♣KJ104
♠AQ7
QJ6
AQ1087
♣32
1♣
2
2NT (2)
Pass
2
2♠ (1)
3NT

(1) Third Suit
(2) Promises a ♣ stopper, denies 4 ♠.

(---)

2NT Forcing

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

2NT Forcing is yet another gameforcing bid by responder. 2NT applies after a 2-over-1 response, or reverse.

Quiz 1       ++

Is the last bid 2N Forcing ?

1
2
2♣
2NT
Yes.
1
2
1♠
2NT
No. The initial response was at the 1-level
1
2NT
2♣ No. 2NT Forcing applies to responder’s bid, not opener’s. (the bid is forcing by common sense, not by convention)
1♠
2
2
2NT
Yes. Responder wants to find out more about opener’s hand.
1
2
1♠
2NT
Yes. Over a reverse, 2NT is forcing.
1
2♣
1♠
2NT
No. 2♣ was not a reverse.

(---)

What are the uses of 2NT Forcing?

  1. To find out more about partner’s hand, before we decide what suit to set as trumps;
  2. To find out more about partner’s hand at the lowest level possible, even when we know what trumps will be.

See the next quiz to check if you can make the proper use of 2NT Forcing.

Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1 2♣
2 ?

Partner has shown minimum (12 -14) with at least 5 .
How do you bid with these hands ?

♠A103 J2 K62 ♣AJ1087 2NT. If partner has 6 , then you will play in . If he has a four card ♣ fit, then maybe you belong to ♣. Else 3NT.
♠AK3 J3 642 ♣AJ1087 2♠. Third Suit. You can’t play in 3NT if partner has no stopper.
♠A65 Q4 K32 ♣AKJ83 2NT. You only really want to think about slam if you find an 8-card fit. So hope to hear 3♣ or 3 now.
♠AJ3 32 AK3 ♣AJ9865 2NT. 3♣ would be nonforcing.
1087 AK3 ♣AK9765 3. Third Suit. “Partner, do you have a ♠ stopper?”
♠75 KJ3 AQ52 ♣AKJ5 2NT. You don’t have to have a spade stopper if you have no plans on playing 3NT (there is a heart fit). With 2NT you hope to hear more about the layout of partner’s hand.

(---)

Continuation over Forcing 2NT

Further bidding is assumed natural.

Quiz 3       ++

You Partner
1 2♣
2 2NT
?

So far we have shown 5-4 with 12 – 17 HCP. How do you bid with the following hands ?

♠32 AQ765 KQJ86 ♣7 3. Five diamonds.
♠32 AQ765 KQJ8 ♣32 3NT. Don’t worry about the weak ♠ as partner bid 2NT so he should have a stopper (or plan).
♠KJ3 AQ654 K1087 ♣2 3♠. Partner wants to know our distribution.
♠K3 AQ6542 K1087 ♣2 3. True, are pretty weak but we you to show your sixth card.
♠K2 AQJ87 KQ102 ♣Q5  4NT. Partner didn’t expect that! If you go down one when partner was just looking for a sixth you can apologize.

(---)

Quiz 4       ++

How should the bidding proceed with these hands ?

W E W E Comments
♠2
AKJ65
K542
♣J42
♠KQ10
Q7
AQ3
♣A7653
1
2
3♣ (2)
Pass
2♣
2NT (1)
3NT

(1) Forcing 2NT.
(2) Three clubs.
♠2
AKJ652
KJ54
♣32
♠KQ10
Q7
AQ3
♣A7654
1
2
3 (2)
4 (4)
Pass
2♣
2NT (1)
3♠ (3)
4

(1) Forcing 2NT.
(2) Six .
(3) Cue for .
(4) cue, no ♣ cue.
♠32
AKJ652
KJ54
♣2
♠KQ10
Q7
AQ3
♣A7654
1
2
3 (2)
4 (4)
5 (6)
Pass
2♣
2NT (1)
3♠ (3)
4NT (5)
6
(1) Forcing 2NT.
(2) Six hearts.
(3) Cue for .
(4) ♣ cue.
(5) RKC for .
(6) 2 KC, no Q.
♠J32
AK652
KJ54
♣3
♠KQ10
Q7
AQ93
♣A765
1
2
3♠ (2)
4 (4)
5 (6)
Pass
2♣
2NT (1)
4 (3)
4NT (5)
6
(1) Forcing 2NT.
(2) Three spades.
(3) Sets .
(4) Cue.
(5) RKC for .
(6) 2 KC, no Q.

(---)

Magister

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Magister is an artificial 2♣ ask by responder after having responded at the 1-level in a major.

Quiz 1       ++

Which of the following sequences’ final bid is Magister ?

1
1NT
1♠
2♣ !!

Yes. Most common.
1♣
1NT
1
2♣ !!

No. Responder’s first response was not in a major. This is Stayman.
1
1♠
1
2♣ !!

No. The exception. 2♣ here is Fourth Suit Forcing.

(---)

Meaning of Magister

Magister asks about support and strength, and is at least invitational to game.

Note !  Responder’s 3♣ bid in Magister’s position is a signoff.

Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1♣ 1♠
1NT ?

How do you bid with these hands ?

♠KJ976 106 AQ65 ♣J3 2♣. Asking for three card ♠ support with an invitational hand.
♠KJ976 A6 AQ65 ♣J3 2♣. Asking for three card ♠ support with a gameforcing hand (the same).
♠AKJ87 106 AQ1076 ♣3 3. Showing 5 ♠, 5 . Partner should be able to tell where we should play. Perhaps even a 7 card ♠ fit.
♠A543 76 2 ♣QJ8765 3♣. (!) Signoff in ♣. As 2♣ is artificial, you need to put the signoff somewhere else.
♠AKJ87 106 3 ♣AQ1076 2♣. You have to start with 2♣ since partner would Pass 3♣.
♠KJ943 QJ654 43 ♣2 2. Natural, nonforcing.
♠KJ943 AQJ6 K32 ♣2 2♣. If partner does not have a ♠ fit, you can still discover a fit.
♠A543 76 42 ♣KQJ86 2NT. The system does not have a way of inviting with a 5 card minor. Those who are dissatisfied with the solution should refer to PCI Pro.

(---)

Continuation over Magister

Opener’s bids follow this scheme:

2 Minimum (12-13) without three card support for responder’s major;
2 of partner’s suit Minimum with three card support;
2 of the other major  Maximum with three card support;
2NT Maximum without support.

Quiz 3       ++

You Partner
1 1♠
1NT 2♣
?

How do you bid these hands ?

♠3 KJ76 AQ65 ♣QJ32 2. Minimum, no fit. A singleton in partner’s suit decreases the value of this hand.
103 KJ5 KQ1087 ♣A103 2NT. Maximum without a fit. The good suit increases the value of the hand.
103 KJ97 AQ1076 ♣A2 2NT. Partner did not ask about hearts – 2 would show a ♠ fit.
♠KJ3 76 AQ1076 ♣K105 2. Maximum with a fit.
♠Q87 Q6 AQ1076 ♣K105 2♠. Minimum with a fit.

(---)
The Magister bidder has choices on the following round:
  • Rebidding his own suit at the 2 level – nonforcing;
  • Bidding a game – partner has nothing more to contribute;
  • Bidding a new suit or 2NT – forcing.

Quiz 4       ++

Partner You
1♣ 1♠
1NT 2♣
2 ?

Partner has shown 12-13 with ♠ support.
How do you plan the rest of the auction with these hands ?

♠AJ976 2 ♣KJ9765 4♠. Why to show ♣? You are going to play 4♠ anyway.
♠AQ765 A3 32 ♣AQJ3 2NT. 4♠ is easy, but if partner bids 3♣ now, we can think about slam.
♠AQ87 K3 AJ107 ♣AJ2 2NT. Does partner have four ? Then there is a chance of a slam.
♠KQ10873 AQ3 ♣KJ5 4. Splinter for ♠.

(---)

Drury

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Drury refers to an artificial 2♣ response by a Passed hand to a 1/♠ opening by partner.

This response promises at least a 3-card fit for partner’s suit with at least a good 9 HCP.

We also use this convention in response to partner’s major suit overcall – in this case the condition of being a Passed hand is not needed.

Continuation over Drury

The major-suit opener has the following bids available:
2 A hand slightly better than an immediate return to the suit;
Rebidding his suit  Sub-minimum, game highly unlikely;
Any other bid Natural game try.

Personally, in response to Drury I recommend giving away the least information:
- Rebidding the suit with a weak hand,
- Bidding game with a wide range of strengths, and
- 2 - counter-try.
Bidding a side suit game try is a double-edged sword – on one hand it adds precision to game-bidding, but on the other it gives the opponents information.

Slam Conventions

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

The "Slam Conventions" section consists of two parts.
First comes an overview of the principles (in this "Conventions" Menu).

In the second part I propose a method: “Learning from the Mistakes of the Masters”. You can find it in the "Slam Bidding" Menu. The context is the Polish contingent in the 2000 Maastricht Olympiad quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. In each of the cases, one pair made a mistake in the bidding, reaching the wrong contract. The task of the reader is to find the proper sequence in Polish Club International. Then your solution will be compared with that proposed by myself and Krzysztof Martens.

Examples were selected by Krzysztof Martens, whom I thank for providing some of his training materials.

Martens also verified my proposed sequences as correct for Polish Club and suggested improvements and corrections. The final solution is that agreed upon by both of us.

Blackwood etc.

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

This menu entry and the entries below cover Slam Conventions.

RKC 1430       ++

RKCRoman Keycard Blackwood  asks for five keycards: the four Aces and the King of trumps. The trump suit has usually been set, but if not, it is taken to be the last-bid suit.

Responses:

5♣ 1 or 4 keycards;
5 0 or 3 keycards;
5 2 or 5 keycards without the Queen of trumps;
5♠ 2 or 5 keycards with the Queen of trumps.

(---)

Asking for the Queen of trumps, and Kings

After the RKCRoman Keycard Blackwood  responses (5♣ and 5♦), the next cheap step not trumps asks for the Queen of trumps. Responses are the following:
  • Cheap step = I do not have the trump Queen;
  • Next step = I have the trump Queen.
The ask for Kings is the next cheapest step outside of trumps:
Spades is trumps:

4NT 5♣ !! 1 or 4
?

5 Do you have the trump Queen?;
5  How many Kings do you have?

For examples of RKC in action I encourage you to continue on to “Learning from the Mistakes of the Masters”.

(---)

Exclusion Keycard Blackwood       ++

After trumps have been set, a jump in a side suit at the 5-level (or 4♠ when is trumps) is Exclusion Keycard Blackwood – it shows a void in the bid suit and asks for the number of keycards not counting the Ace of the void suit.
(---)

5NT RKC       ++

When a competitive auction (or cuebidding sequence) has pushed the level past 4NT, the ask for keycards is 5NT. Responses are analogous to those after 4NT (6♣ = 1 or 4, etc).
(---)

5NT Trump Ask       ++

If 5NT is not RKC, then it is a Trump Ask. Responses:
6♣ 0 top honors in trumps;
6 1 top honor;
6 2 top honors;
7 of trumps 3 top honors.
(---)
See also:
http://www.bridgebum.com/roman_key_card_blackwood.php

Trump Invite

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

A trump invite is a jump to 5 of the agreed major suit: “Partner, Pass with weak trumps, bid slam with good trumps.”

Cuebids

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

A cuebid is a slambidding tool that indicates slam interest and shows first- or second-round control.

First- and Second-round Control cuebids

A cuebid in a suit with an Ace or void is first-round control. A cuebid in a suit with a King or singleton is second-round control.

Honor cuebids and Shortness cuebids

A cuebid in a suit in which we have an Ace or King is an Honor cuebid. A cuebid in a suit in which we have a singleton or void is a Shortness cuebid.

Preference of Shortness cuebids

When we have shown 9 cards in 2 suits we give preference to Shortness cuebids (with no shortness we may bid 3NT as a general slam try).

Splinters

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Splinter       ++

A splinter is an artificial jump to the 3- or 4-level (rarely 5-level). It shows shortness in the bid suit, and sets the last-bid suit as trumps (if not set already).

You can find description of this convention in the Standard 1 Opening section.

(---)

Six of a Splinter       ++

This convention asks for a void in the splinter suit. We use this by bidding 6 of the suit partner made a splinter in. Responses are simply:
- grand slam in trumps = I have a void;
- small slam in trumps = I have a singleton.
(---)

Mini-splinter       ++

The mini-splinter occurs over a 1♥/♠ opening:

1-3♠ Mini-splinter, unknown shortness;
1♠-3NT Mini-splinter, unknown shortness.

This convention is discussed in the section on the 1 opening.

(---)

Autosplinter       ++

The autosplinter is the same as a normal splinter, except it sets the splintering side’s suit as trump, and not partner’s. This situation occurs only when partner has not shown any suit.
(---)

Handling Interference in Slam Auctions

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Over RKC

If over our RKC the opponents enter the auction, we use steps (DOPI):

Pass One keycard;
Double Zero keycards;
Next step Two keycards;
Following step Three keycards;
etc. ...

If for example over RKC the opponents bid 5, 5 shows two keycards, 5♠ – three, and 5NT – four. The reason we do not combine answers (1/4, 0/3) is that partner cannot be sure what partner has and cannot make the final decision. In an uncontested sequence, asker when not sure can assume the pessimistic view and sign off, leaving partner to bid on with the greater number.

The opponents double an RKC response

XX Penalty (“Don’t mess around with us.”);
other   As if no double (Pass does not exist).

The opponents double a cuebid

If the opponents double partner’s cuebid, then:
  • Redouble shows Ace of the suit;
  • Cuebidding another suit shows we will not lose two fast tricks in the suit (we have a singleton or Queen);
  • Pass asks for clarification.

Contested Auction

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

The menu entries below cover Contested Auction, i.e. competitive bidding sequences.

Double

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Negative Double     ++

The negative double is used after partner opens and one of the opponents overcalls anything up to and including 4. The aim is to find a trump suit from the suits not bid by overcaller or partner. A negative double implies no fit for partner’s suit.

The purpose of a negative double may be:

  • Showing the possibility of playing in one of the two unbid suits.

    1♣ 1 X !! Both four card majors

  • Showing four cards in the unbid major:

    1 1♠ X !! Four , says nothing about ♣

  • Forcing with a side five card suit (when direct suit-showing bid would be NF):

    1♣/♠ 
    1NT
    1♠
    Pass
    X
    2 !!
    Pass
    Five , forcing (direct 2 is NF in PCI)

    1  
    2
    2♣
    Pass
    X
    2♠ !!
    Pass
    Five ♠, forcing (direct 2♠ is NF in PCI)

    In both cases, rebidding the major suit after doubling initially is forcing for at least one round.

  • Double as an invite to 3NT:

    1  
    2♣
    1♠
    Pass
    X
    2NT !!
    Pass

    An immediate 2NT would have shown a gameforcing raise. 2NT after double shows an invite to 3NT.

(---)

Support Double       ++

We use a support double after we open at the 1-level, partner responds in a major, and our right-hand opponent overcalls below two of partner’s suit. This shows a 3 card fit for partner and an offensive hand.
Quiz 1       ++
Does the double show support ?

Us Them Us Them Comments
1 
!!
Pass 1♠ 2
Yes.
1 
Pass
Pass
Pass
1♠
!!
2
No. This is a cards double: extra HCP without short .
1♣ 
!!
Pass 1 2
Yes. Double promises a fit. (see: Third Seat Interference over 1♣)

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

You Them Partner Them
1♣
?
Pass 1 2

What do you bid with these hands ?

♠KJ7 J32 KQ97 ♣A87 Pass. Don’t make a support double with a trump stack behind the opponents.
♠A107 K97 32 ♣KJ1076 Support Double. Not showing extras, but an offensive hand.
♠A107 KJ7 3 ♣AKJ1076 Support Double. Let’s hope partner doesn’t Pass.
♠A107 KJ7 AQ3 ♣KJ103 Support Double – may be strong (see: Handling Interference by 4th seat).

(---)
(---)

Trap Pas

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

The Trap Pass is a consequence of the takeout double and negative double. With a hand with which we would like to penalize the opponents, we are forced to Pass. Partner is aware that the meaning of our Pass is ambiguous: either weak, or the desire to punish the opponents (though sometimes it’s a hand with HCP but no good call).

This knowledge means that partner should keep the bidding alive somehow.

Trap Pass over an Opponent’s Opening       ++

Them  Us Them Us
1
Pass
Pass
?
Pass X

Pass  Trap Pass – strength unknown.
2 13-16 – I don’t have a trump stack, and I couldn’t make a takeout double because I didn’t have three ♠.

Them  Us Them Us
1
XX
Pass
Pass
Pass X

Pass over the redouble indicates the desire to defend redoubled (“I have a Trap Pass”).

Pass of redouble by the player behind the doubled suit is to play. Pass by a player in front of the doubled suit indicates, “I have no clear preference which suit to play”.

(---)

Trap Pass over an Opponent’s Overcall       ++

We use the Trap Pass over an opponent’s overcall at the 2-level below partner’s suit.

We expect partner to re-open the bidding without any strength extras if we can still stop at the 2 level in his initial suit.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner Opp You
1♠ 2 ?

What is your plan ?

♠7 5432 KJ975 ♣432 Pass. If partner reopens the bidding with a double, Pass. Let’s hope they go down – even one.
♠7 AJ32 KJ975 ♣KQ2 Pass. If partner balances with a double – Pass. They should go for a number. Let’s hope that the penalty will be more than our game score.
♠KJ97 KJ975 ♣Q32 4♠. Experience shows that with a great fit for partner, it does not pay to Trap Pass.
♠J6 AJ73 A1032 ♣J103 Double. Negative. Declaring seems more lucrative than trying to penalize the opponents.

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

Unfavorable vulnerability.

Partner Opp You
1 3 ?

What is your plan ?

♠7 5432 KQ975 ♣432 Pass. If partner reopens with a double, Pass. And if it Passes out, well, they will go down undoubled.
♠7 AJ32 KQ975 ♣KQ2 3NT. You have no assurance partner will reopen, as the opponents are at the 3-level. And undoubled, their penalty will still be a horrible score for us.

(---)
Quiz 3       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♠ 2 Pass Pass
?

What is your plan ?

♠AQ1087 KQ64 6 ♣QJ3 Double. This does not promise extras.
♠AQ1087 KQ6 62 ♣QJ3 Double. A doubleton diamond is still justification for balancing.
♠AQ1087 K4 1063 ♣AJ3 Pass. Without shortness in the opponent’s suit, don’t reopen. (If partner has a Trap Pass, tough luck).
♠KQJ87 KQJ32 6 ♣43 2. The huge offensive potential makes the double less attractive.
♠AQ1087 KJ3 -- ♣KQ1072 3♣. It may turn out better to have doubled, but with a void it’s better to seek an alternative.
♠AQ1087 KJ32 -- ♣K1087 Double. The void is a strike against, but by doubling we might get to either of the unbid suits, playable contracts.

(---)
(---)

Western Cue

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

The Western Cue is a bid in a suit bid previously by an opponent with the goal of finding out whether partner has stopper in the suit. In response to this bid, partner bids NT, if he has a stopper in this suit, and bids something else without one, e.g:

Us   Them  Us   Them  Comments
1
2
1
Pass
X
2 !!
Pass
Asks for a stopper.

Let’s look at a situation where the opponents have shown two suits, e.g.

Us   Them  Us   Comments
1 2 (1) ? (1) Majors.

2  (the opponent’s cheapest suit) – “Partner, can you stop ?”
With stoppers in both majors, opener bids NT.
With a stopper but no ♠ stopper, he can bid: 2♠ = “I can stop , but not ♠. Where do you stand in ♠?”.
2♠ (the opponent’s higher suit) – “Partner can you stop ♠? I have covered”.

Over a Double of our Western Cue
If the opponents double a Western Cue, it becomes possible to specify our holding further:
  • Redouble shows the Ace and nothing else:
  • NT shows a stopper that is not just the Ace;
  • Bidding a suit shows shortness in the opponent’s suit;
  • Pass shows at least a doubleton in the opponent’s suit.
Half-stopper
By a half-stopper we mean a holding that by itself cannot take a trick in the suit, but in combination with a half-stopper in partner’s suit provides sufficient defense.

When we talk about a half-stopper we refer to these types of holdings:

K      Qx     Jxx     10xxx

So when combined with another such holding in partner’s hand, we stop the suit, e.g:

K      K       Qx      Qx   
Qx    Jxx    Jxx     10xxx

There are two ways to show complementary half-stoppers for NT:

  1. With the help of an opponent who doubles our stopper-ask:

    W   E  
    1
    Pass
    Pass
    2♣
    3
    XX 
    Pass
    X
    Pass
    3♣
    Pass
    3NT

    South’s Pass of the double denies shortness in hearts. North – with the redouble – shows a half-stopper (note that a XX shows the Ace only immediately over the double). South bids 3NT to confirm possession of another half-stopper.

  2. Without the opponents’ help.
    This situation can occur when the opponents’ suit is not spades, e.g:

    W   E  
    1
    Pass
    Pass
    2♣
    3
    3NT 
    Pass
    Pass
    3♣
    3♠

    North asked for a heart stopper, and South did not rule out 3NT – bidding 3♠ (in this case the only suit available below 3NT) showing a half-stopper in . North confirmed possession of a half-stopper himself with 3NT.

Example       ++
BIDDING CONTEST, “Bridge World”, Sept. 2009

W E
♠KJ63
J2
K106
♣9853
♠Q
10965
A7
♣AKQJ42

Auction suggested by editor(s) of Bridge World:

W   N   E   S  

3♣
3♠
1
Pass
Pass
2♣
3
4♣
Pass
Pass

It’s difficult to agree with this suggested auction. 3 should be a natural bid. If East wants to ask for a stopper, he should bid 3. The author commentary states:

In Poland most pairs play differently, the opponent’s suit as a Western Cue. Surprisingly this would have solved the problem much better, namely:

W   N   E   S  

3♣
3♠
1
Pass
Pass
2♣
3
3NT
Pass
Pass

The reasoning above is a bit stretched. Namely, the doubleton Jack is not a half-stopper. Still with the doubleton Queen, the Bridge World action would remain the same and the “Polish action” would surprisingly bring us home without stretching.

(---)

Bidding Over an Opponent’s Takeout Double

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Meanings of bids over the opponent’s takeout double
Over an opponent’s double of our opening, new suits are forcing at the 1-level, and nonforcing at the 2-level.

Over an opponent’s double of our opening, a single jump-shift is a fit- showing jump:

1 X 3♣ !! ♣ and at least 3 .

Over an opponent’s double of our opening, a double jump-shift is a Splinter:

1 X 4♣ !! Short ♣.

Note: Over an opponent’s double we don’t use minisplinters and strong splinters. Most important is to name the short suit in case the opponents wish to join us in the auction:

1 X 3♠ !! Short ♠.

1 X 3NT!! Good raise for .

The point of 3NT is to set up a forcing Pass if the opponents outbid us.

Over the opponent’s double of our 1♣ opening – 1 is a natural nonforcing response, with no lower limit of strength.

1♣ X 2♣ !! Natural, nonforcing, up to 10 HCP.

Over the opponent’s double of our 1NT opening, we bid as if there was no double.

Redouble
Redouble shows a hand with at least 10 HCP.

1♣ 
Pass

Pass
XX !!
?
2

2♠  Shows about 10 HCP with at least a doubleton ♠.
3♠ Shows a gameforcing ♠ fit.
3 Shows a gameforcing hand without a ♠ fit (asks for stopper).

Bidding over a redouble
An immediate rebid by opener at or below two of the opened suit shows a minimum hand.

An immediate rebid by opener above the 2-level in the opened suit shows extra strength and distribution.

1♠ 
?
X XX !!

2  Minimum hand, 4+.
2♠ Minimum hand, 6 ♠.
3♣ 5 ♠, 4(+) ♣, extras.

In the above sequence 3♣ is forcing (with a weaker hand she would have bid 2♣ the previous round).

Raises after a 1♥/♠ Opening and Double
Quiz       ++

Us   Them  Us  
1 X ?

Explain the meanings of the bids in these sequences:

Bid Meaning
Redouble If with a fit then:
10 HCP balanced; then support partner at the cheapest level, or:
Gameforcing with a fit; then we jump-raise partner.
1NT 7-11 HCP with a 3-card fit.
2 4-7 HCP with a 3-card fit.
2NT Invite to game with a 4-card fit.
3♣/ Fit-showing jump with at least a 3-card fit.
3 Preemptive with a 4-card fit.
3♠/4♣/4 Splinters.
3NT Strong raise with a fit (sets a forcing Pass).
4 Preemptive.

(---)

Bidding Over an Overcall

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

In the PCI Pro I propose a method of transfers which is becoming more and more popular – I hope they soon become standard.

Here let’s recall the standard general bidding rules in PCI:

A new suit is forcing at the one and three level, and nonforcing at the two level.

Us   Them  Us  
1♣ 1 ?

1♠ Forcing.
2♣/ Nonforcing.
3♣/ Forcing.

In order to force in a new suit you must either jump or start with a negative double.

Partner   Them  You  
1♠ 2 ?

What is your bid ?

♠A2 KQ964 Q2 ♣432 2. Nonforcing
♠5 QJ10765 32 ♣KJ32 2. Nonforcing.
♠A2 KJ964 32 ♣AJ2 Double. Bid in the next round. (Direct 2 would be non-forcing).
♠5 AQJ1076 32 ♣KJ32 3. Forcing with good .

A jump-raise of partner’s suit to the 3-level is preemptive:

Us Them Us
1 2♣ 3 !! Preempt.

Strong bids with a fit for partner’s suit
Cuebidding the opponent’s suit shows a limit raise.
2NT is gameforcing with a fit.

Us   Them  Us  
1 2♣ ?

3♣  Invite to game with a heart fit.
2NT  Gameforcing with a heart fit.

After a 1♣ opening, a jump cue at the 3-level is a transfer to 3NT:

1♣ 1♠ 3♠ !! “Bid 3NT; I have a stopper, but NT plays best from your side”

Handling Interferences

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Handling Interference Over our 2NT or Higher Openings       ++

Doubles are penalty.
(---)

Balancing by Opener       ++

A reopening double below two of opener’s suit does not promise extras:

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1
!!
2♣ Pass Pass

In the above sequence opener has at most a doubleton ♣, but he need not have extras.

A reopening double above two of opener’s suit shows extras:

Us   Them  Us   Them  Comments
1
!!
2♠ Pass Pass
At most two spades, extras.

(---)

Handling Interference by Fourth Seat       ++

Here we refer to the situation where opener’s right-hand opponent enters the auction after partner’s response.
After a 1N Response       ++
Pertinent auctions:

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣///♠ Pass 1NT 2♣///♠

Double is penalty over a major suit overcall. Double shows extra strength after a minor suit overcall.

The reasoning is thus: 1NT implies responder has most of his cards in the minors. With extra strength but no special distribution, opener offers a cards double to take advantage of the situations when responder has a stack in the opponent’s minor.

After a major suit overcall, it’s opener that threatens to have the stack. Responder over a Pass would usually just let the auction die there, so immediate action is needed.

(---)
After a 2-over-1 Response       ++
After a 2-over-1 the auction is forced to three of responder’s suit. Based on this, we use the following treatment:

After a 2-level overcall, Pass is forcing, and double is penalty.

After an overcall above three of responder’s suit, Pass is nonforcing, and double shows extras.

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♠
?
Pass 2 2♠

Penalty.
Pass Forcing.

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♠
?
Pass 2 3

Pass Nonforcing.
X “I have enough for game, please do something intelligent”.

(---)
After a 1♦ Response to a 1♣ Opening       ++

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣
?
Pass 1 1

1♠ Strong ♣ with 5 ♠.
X Takeout (or gameforcing hands).
1NT 18-20.
2♣ Natural, 15+
2 Natural, strong with .
2 Michaels – strong with 5 ♠ and a 5 card minor.
2♠/3♣/3 “Close to game, with a very good suit”.
2NT 21-23.

Note: When you open 1♣ and partner responds negatively (1 or Pass after overcall) you should not interfere with opponents’ auction unless you are strong.

(---)
After a 1/1♠ Response to a 1♣ Opening       ++
Even regular partnerships often have problems after interference in 1♣ auctions. We propose some clear simple rules:
  • If the overcall is at the 2-level below responder’s suit, then X shows a fit for partner – either weak or strong club variants.
  • 2 is still Odwrotka.
  • A cuebid of the opponent’s suit through 3 shows a strong ♣ without a fit for partner.
  • Starting from 3♠ and above cue bid is a splinter raise:
    shortness in the suit and 4 card support.

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣
?
Pass 1 1♠

X 3 , 12-17 (with 18+ use Odwrotka).
2♣ 5 ♣, 15+ (usually without three ).
2 Odwrotka.
2♠ Strong ♣ without a fit.
3♣ 5 , 4 ♣ (as without the overcall), strong.
3♠/4♣/4 Splinters..

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣
?
Pass 1/♠ 2

X Fit of at least 3 cards, weak or strong variants (including 18+ with a 4 card fit).
2NT Natural, strong ♣.
3 Strong, no fit.
4 Splinter.

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣
?
Pass 1 2♠

X Strong ♣, with fit (even 4 cards), or without.
2NT Strong ♣, stopper in ♠.
3♠ Splinter.

Us   Them  Us   Them 
1♣
?
Pass 1♠ 3

X Strong ♣, (may have 4 ♠ without short ).
4 Splinter.

(---)
(---)

Forcing Pass

(PCI Polish Club International  Standard)

Forcing Pass is one that says, “Partner I don’t know if we should outbid the opponents, so I’ll leave the decision to you, but you cannot Pass.” In recent years may be noted a tendency to restrict the number of Forcing Pass situations. This is probably due to the fact that in this age of computer-generated hands there often are high-level contracts based on distribution which, when doubled, just make easily.

Currently the general treatment is that Pass in a competitive auction just shows uncertainty as what to bid, but does not require partner to do anything. However, certainly there are still a few situations where Pass should be forcing, and here we will discuss them.

  1. Unfavorable vulnerability, and the opponents bid to the 5-level, e.g:

    Them  Us   Them  Us  
    a. 3♣ 4 5♣ Pass
    b. 3♣ 3 5♣ Pass
    c. 3♣ X 5♣ Pass

    In all the above sequences, Pass is forcing.

  2. On the way to game, a Forcing Pass situation is created when we bid a side suit or NT.
    Unfavorable vulnerability.

    Us  Them   Us  Them  
    1
    ?
    Pass 2 2♠

    4  Tactical; further Passes are not forcing.
    2NT/3♣/3 (et al)  Natural, creates a forcing Pass if our game is outbid by the opponents.

    Us   Them  Us   Them  Comments
    1
    ?
    Pass 2NT(1) 3♠ (1) Invite raise.

    4  Tactical; further Passes are not forcing.
    4♣/ Natural, sets up a forcing Pass if the opponents outbid Us.

  3. Pass is forcing at the 2-level after our 2-over-1

    Us  Them   Us  Them  
    1
    ?
    Pass 2 2♠

    Pass  Forcing.
    X Penalty.

  4. The opponents didn’t want to be in game, but did so only after we bid game, e.g:

    Us  Them   Us  Them  
    1♣
    3
    Pass
    1♠
    Pass
    4♠
    Pass
    4
    Pass
    2♠
    Pass

    The opponents were willing to let us play 3, but over 4 they pushed on.

    This last agreement can lead to confusion. An example is this hand from the US Nationals, San Diego, 2009.

    Example       ++
    N-S vulnerable.

    ♠Q83
    75
    Q986532
    ♣3
    ♠AK1076
    92
    J107
    1072

    N

    W

    E 

    S

    ♠J954
    AJ63
    K4
    ♣A94
    ♠2
    KQ1084
    A
    ♣KQJ865

    W   E  

    1♠
    Pass
    4♠
    Pass
    Pass

    Pass
    4
    Pass
    Pass
    Pass
    1♣
    2♠ 
    Pass
    Pass
    X
    1
    4♣
    Pass
    5♣
    Pass

    South felt that North’s Pass over 4S was forcing because the opponents did not want to play in 4♠ (West Passed 4♣, which could end the auction), and bid it only after N-S ended in game, as a defensive move.

    North, as you can see, was of a different opinion.

    A poll conducted among Polish experts gave a surprising result. One half of the experts thought that North’s Pass was forcing, and half did not! Even regular partners differed.

    The lesson from this is that every partnership should determine for themselves the situations for a forcing Pass and stick to those situations only.

    This hand I think the Pass should be forcing (see rule 4).

    (---)

Aggressive Responses

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

One of the tips I give beginning bridge players is: “If partner opens the auction with a suit, and you don’t have a fit, and you have a weak hand, then Pass as soon as possible.”

Experts do not listen to that advice. Experts bid whenever they have something to show. Let’s take a look at the following hands after partner has opened 1, and see what the follower of my rule does, and what an expert does.

Hand My reader bids An expert bids
♠KQ10765 1076 6 ♣1054 Pass 1♠
♠6 Q1097654 2 ♣J976 Pass 1
♠65432 KJ1097 2 ♣32 Pass 1 (!!)
♠65 732 3 ♣QJ109876 Pass 1NT (!!)

Remember that playing Polish Club you should not respond light to a 1♣ opening since partner can just be too strong.

What aims are the experts pursuing when they keep the auction alive with poor hands ?

  1. Disrupting the opponents’ auction, which cannot be based on counting HCP anymore The defenders (let’s say, the pair that did not open the auction) cannot focus solely on finding the best suit to play in at the lowest possible level – they must also figure out whose hand it is.

    Let’s suppose the auction proceeds:

    1 Pass 1♠ ?

    Most pairs play here that double is strictly takeout for the two unbid suits (♣ and here). And how to bid with strong hands ? Until recently there was no problem. The opening pair had half the deck (12 HCP for opener, 7 HCP for responder), and therefore the defender concluded that they were fighting only for a partscore. Today the response is often a weak hand – the total HCP cannot be counted on.
    The expert does not Pass up this hand:

    ♠65 732 3 ♣QJ109876
    He responds 1NT. If necessary he can run to ♣ – and the opponents have no idea who should be bidding to what level.

  2. Lead-directing
    A clinical example is:
    ♠65432 ♥KJ1097 ♦2 ♣32,
    with which an expert over an opening 1 would respond 1, and not 1♠, expecting that the opponents will eventually win the auction.

  3. Buying the auction in a part score
    Whoever enters the auction first has the initiative.

  4. Getting to game when the cards fit well
    If we want to bid like an expert, we would have to remember the fact that – like with opening – it pays to bid light not vulnerable.

Quiz       ++

Partner opens 1.
How do you bid the following hands depending on vulnerability ?

♠J65 K9876 J2 ♣543 Pass. Always. The hearts are not so strong that a lead in the suit by partner would be crucial, and they are not long enough to rebid.
♠KQ1097 875 ♣5432 1♠. Always. We preempt the opponents’ hearts, we have no misfit (diamonds fit), and in extreme cases we may have game in spades.
♠7 QJ109765 98 ♣1087 1. Always. We have so many we aren’t afraid to play them, even if partner bids very high.
♠KJ876 976 108 ♣J53 The hand is limited, since while the ♠ are not bad, they are not solid. I would decide to bid 1♠ not vulnerable, but Pass vulnerable.
♠J109876 108 1087 ♣32 1♠. But only at favorable vulnerability. Any other time I would lack the courage to bid.

(---)
Having explained all the benefits of aggressive responses, it is necessary however to mention one big “But”. This style of bidding disturbs opener’s count on the hand most of all, so without a good system of brakes this would not be worth playing.

The purpose of this part of the book is to propose a mechanism with two objectives:

  • To allow aggressive one-level responses;
  • To avoid disaster in almost all situations.
This mechanism cannot guarantee 100% security. But if you don’t take the risk, you will be behind the rest of the world, which is responding aggressively.

First let’s start with a classic example where an aggressive response brings us to a dead end. It occurs when opener jump-shifts, e.g:

1 
3
1 
?

“Partner, what are you doing? I wanted just to play in , at a low level.” Oh well, now we have to Pass because 3 would be forcing.

Fortunately in our arsenal we have established that 3 denies a fit (see: Raising responder after a 1 Opening). So the loss will be limited, just losing a part score.

1 
3
1♠ 
?

If we had bid 1♠ aggressively, and without a fit, then misery on us. 3♠ would be forcing so we have to just Pass and pray.

1 
3
1♠ 
?

Do we have 6 ♠, 2 , 1 , and 4 ♣? Then we would love to correct to , but that would be forcing, so we have to Pass and use whatever lucky charms we have available to hope.

The advantage of Polish Club is that the openings have a narrower range of strength that most other systems, so the jump-shift is not forcing. And in other situations we have a solution – Cheap Transfers.

Cheap Transfers

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Cheap Transfers is a gadget that sets into one schema a few ideas invented all over the world.
The proposed mechanism can be described by a single principle:

After a response at the 1-level:
The second bid by responder in the cheapest unbid suit is artificial and asks opener to bid the next higher suit.

Let us start with the example of the highest level that this convention is used: Opener jump rebids 2NT. The cheapest bid in an unbid suit is 3♣. For example:

1
2NT
1♠
3♣

The 3♣ means that responder wants to play as low as possible.
Opener is obliged to bid the next suit, in this case 3.

1
2NT
3
1♠
3♣
?

Pass “I want to play 3
3 “I want to play 3 (unless you correct to 3♠)”
3♠ “I want to play 3♠”
3NT “3♣ was natural, I am not sure about 3NT

A consequence of this is that any other bid suit at the 3-level is forcing.

1
2NT
1♠
?

3 fit, forcing
3 Natural, forcing
3♠ Natural, forcing

Similar treatment holds if the auction starts out:

1
2NT
1
?
or:
1
2NT
1♠
?

Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1
2NT
1♠
?

How do you plan the auction with these hands ?

♠QJ10976 J765 6 ♣J9 3♣. And over 3 by partner – 3♠ signoff.
♠KJ10976 KQ7 5 ♣A108 3♠. Forcing.
♠K108765 J83 1087 ♣3 ♣3. And over 3 by partner – Pass.
♠A10876 863 KQ6 ♣K3 3. Forcing.
♠AJ987 2 ♣KQJ1085 3♣. And over 3 by partner – 4♣ - forcing (an immediate 4♣ would have been a splinter for ).
♠AJ987 102 ♣J10876 3♣. And over 3 - Pass. This should be a better contract than 3NT. ♣ are buried this time.

(---)

Let’s take a look at Cheap Transfers at a lower level.

1
2
1♠
?
or:
1
2♣
1♠
?

In both above sequences our conventional rebid is 2. 2 is not available in the latter sequence because it would be suit preference. 2 has the following meanings:

  1. Signoff in ♠, or:
  2. Any gameforcing hand.
An important advantage of this arrangement is the ability to rebid a 5-card ♠ suit to invite at a low level. Rebidding spades (2♠) shows a stronger hand than signing off in spades – so opener is free to continue bidding.

Solve the quiz below to check if you can use Cheap Transfers at a low level.

Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1
2
1♠
?

How do you plan to continue the auction with these hands ?

♠KJ10875 Q75 3 ♣1086 2. And over 2♠ by partner, a polite Pass.
♠KJ976 742 2 ♣AQ104 2♠. Partner with a ♠ fit and good hand probably will whisper something more.
♠AQJ1087 K103 32 ♣J5 3♠. Invite to game with a good 6-card suit.
♠AQ10876 AQ3 J3 ♣Q2 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 3♠. Gameforcing with 6 ♠.
♠K1075 97 Q108 ♣AJ65 3. Invitational.
♠A1053 A64 J108 ♣A64 2. And over 2♠ - 3. Forcing. If partner bids 3NT, it will play better from his hand.
♠KJ97 QJ7 J5 ♣K953 2NT. Natural, nonforcing.
♠AKJ93 A97 J5 ♣K95 2. And over 2♠ by partner – 2NT. Forcing: “Let’s find the right suit first, and then think about slam.”

(---)

Even more interesting is the Cheap Transfer at a lower level still.

1
2♣
1♠
?

The cheapest bid in an unbid suit is 2 - transfer to 2: Signoff in 2 or 2♠, or any gameforcing hand.

Over the obligatory 2 by opener:

1
2♣
2
1♠
2
?

2 Better than transferring via 2 - a light invite – may be a doubleton , like a 2NT call that has no good ♣ stopper.
2♠ Invite with ♠.
2NT Invite with a good ♣ stopper.
3♣///♠ Invite.

Quiz 3       ++

Partner You
1
2♣
1♠
?

How do you bid these hands ?

Card Comments
♠KQ976 J4 Q1087 ♣K3 2♠. Invite with 5 ♠ (with a signoff type hand you would have bid 2).
♠KQJ1087 J5 A107 ♣43 3♠. Invite with 6 good ♠ (with a GF you would have bid 2).
♠KJ87 Q3 KJ108 ♣J76 2NT. Natural nonforcing with a good stopper.
♠KJ87 Q3 A763 ♣J76 2 (!). Light invite with at least two . If a doubleton, than no great stopper. An eventual 3NT is best played from partner’s hand.

(---)

Quiz 4       ++

Partner You
1
2♣
?
1♠
2

How do you bid these hands ?

Card Comments
♠K7 AQ976 KJ ♣QJ98 2. If partner wants to play 2 or 2♠, then that’s as high as you want to go.
♠A Q9876 KQJ ♣KQJ6 2. Despite the high number of HCP, no game will make if partner goes low.
♠J AJ10765 A6 ♣AQ107 3. Even if partner wants to play low, such a dynamic hand must try to push with 3.
♠KJ3 A10876 3 ♣AK53 2♠. Even if partner was dreaming of playing 2, you have to let him know about your solid extras and 3-card ♠ fit.

(---)

Quiz 5       ++

Partner You
1
2♣
2
1♠
2
?

How do you bid these hands ?

Card Comments
♠AJ976 J6 Q765 ♣J3 Pass. Don’t abuse the convention ! Your ♠ are too weak to rebid.
♠QJ10987 954 72 ♣J3 2♠. Better to play ♠ than (your ♠ are useless in a contract)
♠AJ986 KJ7 A54 ♣K3 3. Forcing, if bid after a Cheap Transfer.
♠KQ1087 Q5 AJ3 ♣QJ3 2NT. Forcing. You will play game, but the question is in what? ♠? ? ♣? NT? You have time, Forcing 2NT.

(---)

Let’s discuss the sequence: _b

1
1♠
1
?

There are various tools out there partnerships use: some treat 2♣ as Fourth Suit Forcing, and others two-way checkback.
I propose Cheap Transfer.

Let’s discuss the sequence:

1
1♠
1
2♣ !!

2♣ is a Cheap Transfer, preparing a signoff, or a game force.

1
1♠
2
1
2♣
?

Pass “I want to play 2”;
2/♠ Signoff in or ♠;
2NT/3♣///♠ Game forcing.

In these situations, other bids at the 2-level are slightly encouraging.

1
1♠
1
?

2 Better than going through 2♣ (may be a 2NT bid without a good ♣ stopper);
2/♠ Encouraging with 5 ;
2♠ Encouraging with a ♠ fit.
2NT Invite with a good ♣ stopper;
3♣///♠ Solid invite.

Quiz 6       ++

Partner You
1
1♠
1
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

Card Comments
♠K876 J876 Q76 ♣J5 2♣. And over 2, 2♠.
♠K876 A876 Q76 ♣J5 2♠. Better than going through 2♣.
♠Q65 KQJ87 Q3 ♣J54 2. Invitational with at least 5 .
♠65 KQJ765 32 ♣J54 2♣. Preparing a signoff in .
♠Q3 QJ987 J987 ♣J3 2♣. And over 2 by partner, Pass.
♠Q65 QJ87 Q54 ♣A53 2 (!). Light invite – ♣ too weak for 2NT.
♠Q65 QJ87 1054 ♣AQ3 2NT. Natural, nonforcing, good ♣ stop.
♠653 Q1087 KQ76 ♣A3 3♦. Natural invite.

(---)

Two-Way Checkback

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

For several years the convention known as Magister (One-way Checkback) dominated Polish Club (described in PCI Standard).
In other systems, and among many top Polish pairs, Two-way Checkback has become increasingly popular.

After a major suit response and 1NT rebid by opener, 2♣/ rebids are artificial:
2♣ shows an invite hand (or signoff in ),
2♦ is any gameforcing hand.

The reasons for the adoption of this treatment are as follows:

  1. Playing one check-back it is not possible to show an invite hand with a 4-card major and 5-card minor;
  2. Invitational hands should be bid tactically differently from gameforcing hands. Invite hands are general approximations, based on HCP. Losses arising from lack of precision are repaid with interest from the low information leaked to the opponents during the auction. However, when we have enough HCP for game, we need to be more careful in order to get to the best game, or find out if we have slam. Slam is more difficult to gauge than game, so the camouflage argument doesn’t hold water.

When is Two-Way Checkback Used ?

This convention is used in all hands that would have used Magister (One_way Checkback) from PCI Standard.

2♣ Checkback       ++

Definition
“I want to play 2, or invite to game.”
Continuation
Opener must bid 2, unless he has a strong ♣. Responder Passes (“I want to play 2♦”) or continues bidding naturally (“invite to game”).
Special Situations
Responder bidding NT after 2♣ is natural, but promises a 5-card major.
  • 2NT is invite with 5332 distribution;
  • 3NT is choice of game with 5332 distribution.
Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1
1NT
1♠
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠KJ87 Q103 J5 ♣KJ62 2NT. Totally normal.
♠KJ876 Q107 Q5 ♣K93 2♣. And over 2, 2NT. Invite with 5 ♠, good hand for NT.
♠KQ1087 105 Q5 ♣K1075 2♣. And over 2, 2♠. Invite with 5 ♠.
♠A876 96 J5 ♣KQJ86 2♣. And over 2, 3♣. Invite with 5 ♣.
♠A876 96 3 ♣QJ9876 3♣. “If 2♣ is not available, I have to bid 3♣ to sign off”.
♠QJ987 K109 K ♣QJ97 2♣. And over 2, 3NT. “Oh, sorry partner, not 5332, I had a ♣ in with the .”
♠Q10753 KJ75 1075 ♣3 2♣. Partner bids 2, and you Pass. An immediate 2 would have been gameforcing Checkback !

(---)
Opener has a Strong Club

Partner You
1♣
1♠
1
2♣

Opener may have a strong ♣ here. Then, instead of 2 opener bids:

  • 2 (18+), 5+ ♠, 3 (with 4 ♠ he would have used Odwrotka);
  • 2♠ (18+), 5+♠ without 3 ;
  • 2NT (18+), Natural with 4 ♠ (without 3 );
  • 3♣/ (18+), four ♠, 5+ card minor.
Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1♣
1♠
?
1
2♣

How do you bid the following hands ?

Card Comments
♠KQ106 AQ108 ♣AKJ3 2NT. This leaves room for finding a possible fit in either minor.
♠AQ106 102 3 ♣AKQJ98 3♣. This hand does not want to play 2. 3♣ is forcing, so it might get you too high (if partner intends to sign off in ), but you have to take the small chance.
♠KQ103 J52 ♣AQJ65 2. If partner wants to play just 2, you don’t want to go any higher. If he continues to bid, then you will surely get to game.
♠AQJ106 AQJ98 ♣AJ 2♠. An immediate 3 would tell partner about the fifth , but then you would never be able to convince partner of the fifth ♠.

(---)
(---)

2 Checkback       ++

Definition
Artificial game force.
Continuation
Natural, economical.
Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1
1NT
1♠
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

Card Comments
♠KJ987 QJ876 3 ♣J5 2. Nonforcing. Partner selects the suit to play in at a low level.
♠KJ987 AQJ4 Q2 ♣K5 2. Game force.
♠KJ98 A1087 ♣Q1053 3. Invite without 5 ♠.
♠KJ98 A1087 ♣KQ65 2. Game force. And on the next round raise .

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1♣
1NT
?
1♠
2

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠Q6 KJ7 J97 ♣KQ1082 3♣. It’s time to reveal the ♣.
♠Q63 KJ7 J7 ♣KQ1082 2♠. We have to communicate two important pieces of information – the ♠ fit and the fifth ♣. We choose the cheaper of the two (we have to bid economically).
♠Q63 KJ74 J7 ♣KQ108 2. Two things to show: and ♠. Economically !
♠Q6 KJ7 J974 ♣KQ108 2NT. Nothing new to show (yet).

(---)
Opener has a Strong ♣
The strong ♣ and gameforcing checkback don’t often occur at the same time. But when the situation does arise, it does not mean you have to play in slam. Perhaps opener upgraded for good distribution. Perhaps responder did too. There could be a misfit of massive proportions. “Economical” bidding allows for the full communication between partners.
Quiz 3       ++

Partner You
1♣
1♠
?
1
2

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠AQ1097 K4 AQ107 ♣A3 2♠. Rebidding ♠ shows 5+♠ and the strong ♣.
♠AQ1097 K65 AQ7 ♣A2 3. 5+♠ and 3 , strong g♣.
♠AQ109 Q97 ♣AKJ98 3♣. Time to show the ♣.
♠AKJ105 86 ♣AKJ75 2♠. Smells like a possible misfit – for now show the 5 ♠.
♠KQ108 KQ97 ♣AKQ7 2NT. Well, partner will not know that you have a strong ♣. But what is the alternative ? You will reveal strong ♣ later.

(---)
(---)

Auctions After Opener Rebids ♣

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

This section involves the sequence:

1♣
2♣
1/♠

Opener’s sequence shows a hand with at least 15 HCP and no upper limit. This can cause problems determining the right level contract, particularly when responder’s hand is strong.

The remedy for this situation is the Other Major convention. Suppose that responder used the 2 artificial game force over 2♣:

1♣
2♣
?
1
2

All bids by opener are natural and imply 15-17 HCP, with the exception of the other major (here 2♠). This means the hand has 18+ HCP. The rest of the auction unfolds naturally, but responder knows more about the combined strengths and can place the contract more precisely.

Let’s take a look at a particular example:

1♣
2♣
?
1♠
2

2 18+ HCP any hand; all other bids show 15-17 HCP

This raises the problem now of how to find a heart fit. The solution is as follows:

1♣
2♣
1♠
2 !!

Gameforcing, without 4 .

or:

1♣
2♣
1♠
2 !!

Natural, forcing for one round.

This treatment creates problem with weak responses (7-9 HCP) with 5 ♠ and 5 . The remedy is described in Jumps shifts in a major.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1♣
2♣
1♠
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠QJ9763 K3 J32 ♣87 2♠. Nonforcing.
♠KJ976 A107 1087 ♣Q3 2. Forcing ask.
♠KJ987 A1074 108 ♣Q3 2. One round force.
♠KJ987 K1074 108 ♣32 2. Natural, forcing for one round (if you do not use the suggested jumps shifts in a major).

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

You Partner
1♣
2♣
?
1♠
2

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠QJ2 Q4 J2 ♣AKQJ96 2♠. 15-17, 3 ♠.
♠KJ3 K32 ♣AKJ765 3♠. 15-17, 3 ♠, extra tricks.
♠KJ3 AK3 ♣AKJ765 2. 18+, for now.
♠76 AQJ3 Q2 ♣AQJ52 2NT. 15-17 natural. Partner is not interested in .
♠76 AQJ3 4 ♣AKJ987 3♣. 15-17, 6+ ♣.
♠A6 AQJ3 4 ♣AKJ987 2. 18+, says nothing about distribution.
♠76 AQJ3 ♣AKJ987 3. Natural, 15-17.
♠A6 AQJ3 ♣AKJ987 2. 18+, says nothing about distribution.

(---)

Odwrotka – Strong 2

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

The best thing about Odwrotka is not a structure of artificial responses for 2♦ relay bid. It is the fact that with that one bid opener informs of the strong hand with support in responder’s suit. The other virtue is the negative reasoning: other strong rebids of the opener deny support. In the chapter devoted to slam bidding I showed two cases when standard Odwrotka treatment failed. No wonder: most nice slams are bid on fitting distribution rather than on combined strength. In the survey for PCI Standard the voters decided to return to the 44-55-66 structure. Fine.

I present another structure that will likely be adopted because of its many advantages, including simplicity. This can be called: Odwrotka – Strong 2.

1♣
2
1/♠
?

2 Strong: a hand interested in slam or opening strength. All other responses are weak…
2♠ 4-card major without a 5-card minor.
3♣/ 4-card major with this 5-card minor; 9 – 11 HCP.
2NT 5-card major, side 4+card suit.
3 5M(332).
3♠ 6+cards in the major 1-suiter.
3NT “Sorry partner, my idea was to get you to play NT, I have just a 3-card major”

The unusual 2NT response has two benefits:

  • We can find a side fit;
  • The weaker hand should bid NT only when 3NT is unlikely to be the final contract.
After a 2♠ rebid, opener may describe his hand, or wait with 2NT.

1♣
2
2NT
1/♠
2♠ !!
?

Minimum, 4-card major, no 5-card minor.

3♣/ Natural, showing at least 4-card suit (5 cards if 7-8 HCP)
3♠ (after 1) 4-cards, natural. Rebidding the major = both 4-card minors.

After a 2NT rebid, opener may continue to mine for more information, asking with 3♣:

1♣
2
3♣
1/♠
2NT
?

Rebidding the major. 4 ♣
Else Natural, 4+card suit.

After a 2 rebid (strong), opener may easily satisfy his curiosity via a 2♠ ask. Further bidding is the same as the weak bids:

2NT At least a 5-card major, unbalanced;
3♣/ Natural, 4-cards in the suit and 4 ♠ (5+card minor impossible because it would have responded 2 of a minor originally);
3 5(332);
3♠ (after 1) 4 , 4 ♠ (here is the difference!) – after 1♠, this is normal 6+cards;
3NT 4333.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1♣
2
1
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠-- A1087 Q8765 ♣QJ65 2♠. Minimum, 4 , no 5 card minor. Systemically you could bid 3, but then finding a 4-4 ♣ fit would be impossible. Assume partner will ask with 2NT, and now 3 will show 4 cards in both minors (with the fifth a nice surprise).
♠KJ98 AQ106 J107 ♣32 2. Strong. This is almost opening hand with very good .
♠J432 J876 AJ5 ♣KQ 2♠. Minimum with 4 cards. 12 HCP ? Yes, but look what you have in our primary suits: and ♠ ! Do not encourage your partner to try for slam.
♠Q3 J9765 KJ ♣J432 3. I know, I’m being impish. I’ll give full credit for 2NT, but I don’t think bragging about a second suit does anything with all the honors in the short suits. If partner bids 3NT, you will happily Pass.
♠32 QJ6 A876 ♣J832 3NT. “Partner, I was so trying not to respond 1NT with the weak doubleton ♠, but I shouldn’t try to fool you any longer.”
♠2 QJ865 2 ♣KJ9765 2NT. 5 , unbalanced. Very unbalanced !

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1♣
2
2♠ (ask)
1♠
2 (strong)
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠AJ76 K3 KJ76 ♣765 3. Four . And how does partner know it is not five ? Well because you did not respond 2, just 1♠.
♠AJ76 KJ 9876 ♣KQ5 4NT. Don’t show this suit. On the other hand, 3NT sounds too weak with 14 HCP.
♠K9876 AQ765 Q2 ♣3 2NT. 5 ♠, unbalanced. Even must wait their turn !
♠KJ8765 KJ3 K2 ♣74 3♠. With ♠, you may use this response to show 6+cards. Had the original response been 1, then this would have shown 4 and 4 ♠ (so with 6-cards, the only options would be 2NT and 3 if desired).
♠KJ8765 KJ3 K32 ♣3 4♣. 6 ♠, short ♣.

(---)

Raising a Major Suit Response After a 1 Opening

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

One of the most difficult problems to solve is finding a major fit after opener jump rebids their suit:

1
3
1/♠

Some pairs like to play that 3 promises 3-card support for the major, and a 2NT jump rebid would be the same hand without 3-card support.

Neither natural, nor wise !

What for example does
♠987 6 AKQJ98 ♣A65
bid after:

1
?
1

2 is far too anemic, and grabbing declarership of NT is a mortal sin – the lead is best coming into partner’s hand for every suit except .

1 Response       ++

Rescuing us is the feature of Polish club that the hands that use the following sequence are rare:

1
2♠
1/♠

In fact we see very little reason for this auction: with very strong hands we open 1♣. Even with a solid opening, we see no reason to fear partner Passing a 1♠ rebid with a ♠ fit, thanks to the Cheap Transfer (partner can rebid 2♣, and over 2, 2♠).

I propose the following agreement:

1
2♠ !!
1 
Strong hand with 3 and 6+

Thanks to this treatment, opener with 6 can choose 2NT or 3 depending on the character of the hand. In both cases, it would deny a fit.

(---)
Quiz       ++

Partner You
1
?
1

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠KQ107 AQJ765 ♣K3 1♠. Take it easy !
♠72 AJ7 AQJ765 ♣K3 2♠. 6 and 3 , maximum opening.
♠KJ 43 KQ10876 ♣AQ7 2NT. “I don’t mind playing NT from my hand.”
♠K32 KQJ987 ♣A54 3. “If we play in NT, this time I’ll let you play it, partner.”

Continuation
We use the Cheap Transfer: 3♣ says we want to play in 3 or 3 and other bids (2NT, 3, 3) are forcing.

2NT asks for shortness ! Opener shows shortness if he has it, and otherwise bids 3 with a good suit, 3 with honors in partner’s suit, or 3NT with distributed honors.

(---)

1♠ Response       ++

After a 1♠ response the situation is more complicated because it’s difficult to just give up the ability to show a good hand with . On the other hand, rare is the hand that would want to Pass a 2 reverse either.

I propose that the 2 reverse has two meanings:

1
2 !!
1♠ 
Two meanings

1.  Reverse into hearts;
2. 6 with 3 ♠.

Continuation
2♠ is nonforcing, 2NT is forcing, and 3♣ is a Cheap Transfer.

1
2
?
1♠ 
2NT !!

Forcing

Rebids are practically natural:

3♣ 4 , 3 ♣.
3 6 , 4 .
3 4 , 3 ♠.
3♠ 3 ♠, 6 .
3NT 4 and two doubletons.

Quiz 1       ++

You Partner
1
?
1♠

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠K3 KJ76 Q10865 ♣A2 1NT. The hand is too weak for a 2 reverse.
♠3 AKJ7 AQ1096 ♣Q92 2. Natural reverse, or 6 with a ♠ fit.
♠KJ3 AQJ765 ♣A65 2. 6 with a ♠ fit, or a natural reverse.

(---)
Quiz 2       ++

Partner You
1
2
1♠
?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠KJ9765 1076 J ♣J96 2♠. To play.
♠QJ987 QJ98 32 ♣32 3♣. Cheap Transfer. Over 3 by partner – 3. If partner has ♠, he will move to 3♠.
♠AQJ98 Q1098 32 ♣32 4. “Pass, or correct to 4♠.”
♠AK983 AQ109 32 ♣32 3. Strong heart raise. If partner bids 3♠, then ♠ will be trumps instead.
♠QJ987 K8 1032 ♣1032 3♣. And over 3 - Pass.
♠AQJ8 53 A32 ♣J983 3. Forcing. “Why do I have to rush to declare NT with a doubleton ?”
♠QJ987 A3 J76 ♣Q93 2NT. “Let’s see what partner has, then figure out what to do.”

(---)
(---)

Jump-shifts in a Major

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

The convention concerns 2/♠ response to 1♣/ opening. The structure is the following:

2   5 ♠, 4+ , 7–9 HCP;
2♠ Invite to 3NT – transferring declarer play to partner.

On the minus plus is abandoning strong jump-shifts. On the plus side is the following reasoning: The first treatment comes handy when partner opens 1♣/ and then rebids his suit. Over 1♣ opening (and partner’s rebidding ♣) we want 2 to be forcing (see: Auctions after Opener Rebids Clubs). Over 1 opening (and partner’s rebidding ) we need 2 as a Cheap Transfer.

The second treatment has two advantages. Firstly, it allows for transferring declarer play if needed. Secondly, after 1♣ opening the treatment makes it possible to distinguish between 2♠ - invite and 2NT – forcing. No more do we need the worst response to 1♣: 3NT !

Quiz 1       ++

Partner You
1 ?

How do you bid the following hands ?

Card Comments
♠KJ976 QJ765 J ♣J9 2. This shows 5 ♠ and at least 4 .
♠KJ1087 AJ1087 32 ♣3 1♠. Just a bit too strong for 2.
♠K107 AQ7 J102 ♣J974 2NT. Invite. No transfer needed.
♠A32 K32 QJ2 ♣Q432 2♠. “You’d better be declarer in no trumps.”

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

You Partner
1♣
?
2♠

How do you bid the following hands ?

Card Comments
♠KJ8 73 QJ76 ♣KQ93 2NT. "Ugh. We both might be short of stop."
♠KJ8 73 QJ106 ♣AQJ3 3NT. "I’d prefer to be dummy. Can’t we change the system for a while?"
♠AQJ76 AQ74 J102 ♣A 3♠. Strange. If we play ♠, you will be declarer.
♠A32 K3 QJ2 ♣AQ432 3♣. Forcing.

(---)

Transfers After an Enemy Overcall

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

Using transfers after an opponent overcalls is gaining popularity. The reasons are similar to those over a 1NT opening:

  1. The contract is declared from a more convenient side;
  2. You can show your suit with a weak hand, or strong hand.

Let us discuss the first concept. If the opponent entered the auction, it is most likely they bid for the lead. So let him make the opening lead himself !

In the model case our hand has the Ace-Queen of a suit, and the defenders have the King. If the King is in front of the Ace, then the lead does not matter. But if the King is behind the Ace, then it is much better to have the lead coming towards our hand.

Consider some other combinations:

Kxx
AJ10xx
Qxx
KQx
AJ10xx
xxx

In each of the above layouts, it’s better to have the North hand declaring, and not the South hand.

Moreover, even with a good stopper it may be better to let partner declare:

Jx
K109xx
AQx
Qx
KJ10xxx
Axx
Jxx
AQxxx
Kxx

As we will also show, transfers can also be useful for the rapid determination of the total number of trumps, which can be crucial in competitive bidding.

In PCI we propose using transfers in the most basic situation:

The opponents overcall 1/ - transfers are played to majors and NT.

Us  Them Us 
1♣ 1 ?

We use transfers:
X At least 4 ;
1 At least 4 ♠;
1♠ Transfer to NT;
2 At least 5 ;
2 At least 5 ♠;
Other Other bids are natural.

Us  Them Us 
1♣/ 1 ?

X At least 4 ♠;
1♠ Transfer to NT;
2 At least 5 ♠;

This prompts the question: why have two different transfers to ♠? The answer is: to help partner out if the auction heats up.

Suppose that we play standard approach:

Partner Opp You Opp
1 1 1♠ 3/4

Should partner support us with three spades ?

If you want partner to outbid the opponents with three cards in your suit, transfer at the two-level. If not, transfer at the one-level.

Quiz 1       ++

Partner Opp You
1 1 ?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠KJ76 AQ92 Q62 ♣84 X. Four ♠. You will have time to get to NT if necessary.
♠K9762 KJ3 42 ♣Q76 X. At least 4 ♠. Do you want partner to outcompete the opponents’ with just three ♠? Absolutely not !
♠KJ1098 832 K32 ♣J3 2. If the opponents jump in , and partner has three ♠, it is definitely good to hear about it.
♠AJ1087 QJ54 ♣986 2. If the opponents bid 3, and partner does not raise ♠ (no 3 cards), you will raise to 4.
♠QJ10876 Q87 ♣986 2. “Partner, give me a boost if you have a ♠ fit.”
♠J9876 Q32 Q65 ♣KJ X. ♠ are too weak for 2.
♠AJ965 73 4 ♣KQ1093 2. If they raise to 3, and partner does not support ♠, you will introduce ♣.

Note! The transfer to NT merely states that it is best that this hand does not declare NT, so transferring may or may not show a stopper!

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

Partner Opp You
1♣ 1 ?

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠K103 AQ4 J102 ♣Q1043 1♠. “Partner, bid NT. Maybe you have the Jack or Ten of .”
♠AK175 J102 ♣AQ43 1♠. Partner will probably bid 1NT. Then ask with 2, “Partner do you actually have a stopper?”
♠K103 Q1043 J102 ♣K43 1NT. You don’t fear playing NT from your hand.
♠K103 K43 J102 ♣Q432 1♠. “If, partner, you have the Queen or Jack of , it is better to play NT from your hand. If not, nothing to worry about – I have them stopped.”

(---)
Note ! After we open 1, and they overcall 1, a transfer to NT may also be an invite or better raise (because 2 is no longer available – it is a transfer to ♠).

Quiz 3       ++

Partner Opp You
1 1 ?

What do you plan to do with these hands ?

♠K97 43 Q1092 ♣Q1043 2. You have a fit, so show it.
♠K97 J1092 ♣Q10432 3. Preemptive with a fit.
♠K97 43 Q1092 ♣AQ43 1♠. Transfer to NT. On the next round bid 3, invitational raise.
♠A97 43 QJ92 ♣AQ43 1♠. With this hand you should get to game. Therefore on the next round bid the opponent’s suit – 2: Forcing to game and asking for a stopper.

(---)

Continuations

(PCI Polish Club International  Pro)

After partner’s transfer to a major at the one-level, and fourth seat Pass:

  • Completing the transfer shows a 3-card fit;
  • Completing the transfer with a jump shows a 4-card fit;
  • 2 after 1♣ opening is Odwrotka.

Quiz 1       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♣
?
1 X Pass

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠875 K32 Q9 ♣AKJ87 1♠. Spades played from the right side.
♠875 AKJ KJ3 ♣Q987 1NT. Despite holding three ♠. What use would rules be without exceptions ?
♠Q432 A32 K43 ♣KJ3 2♠. The “pancake” shape should not lead us off the path – we have to show a 4-card fit.
♠KQ3 A32 K43 ♣AQJ2 2. Odwrotka.

(---)

Quiz 2       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♣
?
1 X 2

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠Q103 65 AJ103 ♣KQ65 X. Support double. Suggesting a Moysian fit.
♠Q103 KJ1A876 ♣KJ3 Pass. Defensive hand. Let them play it.
♠Q103 AJ3 A876 ♣AKJ X. Support double. Partner will probably bid 2♠, and we will follow with 2NT. Showing strength and fit.
♠J654 K32 A32 ♣A32 2♠. Duty is duty.

(---)
After a transfer to NT, the bidding proceeds a little differently after 1♣, than after 1:
  • After 1♣ and a transfer to NT, opener with a weak variant must bid 1NT, and all other bids show a strong variant;
  • After 1 opener is free to choose a most descriptive bid.

Quiz 3       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♣
?
1 1♠ Pass

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠K32 Q4 Q32 ♣AJ1076 1NT. Happy to declare NT. If partner has the King or Ace (or even Jack) of , it is best played from our hand.
♠K32 43 Q32 ♣AJ1076 1NT. We have no choice. 2♣ would be a stronger hand. If partner has no heart stopper, and wants to bid higher, he must ask with 2.
♠K32 K4 QJ2 ♣AKQ32 2NT. Strong ♣ with a stopper.
♠KJ2 32 KQ2 ♣AKQ32 2. Strong ♣ without a stopper.

(---)

Quiz 4       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1
?
1 1♠ Pass

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠KQ107 J3 AJ987 ♣J2 1NT. You have nothing new to show. Partner does not have ♠. You are not promising a heart stopper !
♠K3 32 AJ987 ♣KQ103 2♣. Descriptive. Partner may have ♣.
♠K3 J2 KQ10876 ♣Q32 2.Shows the sixth .

(---)
How do we bid after a two-level transfer ? If fourth seat Passes, you just assume responder has a weak hand and complete the transfer. Anything else shows a big hand or interesting distribution.

Quiz 5       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♣
?
1 2 Pass

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠32 AQ3 KJ98 ♣KJ98 2♠. True, you have 14 HCP and a good stopper. But relax, partner may have a wasteland.
♠Q32 32 A76 ♣AKJ98 3♠. If you go one down, apologize.
♠Q2 AQ6 AJ3 ♣AQ1032 2NT. Strong ♣.
♠6 87 KQJ3 ♣AKJ976 3♣. “Sorry partner, I have a better suit. True, 3♣ is forcing and we may get too high.”

Nefarious opponents have a bad habit of getting into our auction. However, if partner has transferred at the 2-level and we have 3-card support we should support him.

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Quiz 6       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1
?
1 2 3

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠K32 Q4 AJ10873 ♣K3 3♠. “Here come the cavalry, partner!”
♠K32 KQ Q10765 ♣Q97 Pass. “I refuse to support you because of the honors in .”
♠K32 AJ10873 ♣KQ2 4♠. Might go down. But if the hand in the first example bids 3♠, this hand is much better.

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Quiz 7       ++

You Opp Partner Opp
1♣
?
1 2 4

How do you bid the following hands ?

♠K432 987 KJ3 ♣AJ3 4♠. All signs are that partner has short , and you have nothing wasted. Although your distribution is unfortunate, you have to raise.
♠K32 87 A98 ♣KQ1087 4♠. Risky. But partner strongly suggested to outbid the opponents, via the 2-level transfer.
♠QJ3 QJ3 KJ ♣KJ1087 Pass.

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I wish all PCI players to let opponents buy the bidding – only when both sides do not make any game.