These pages have three purposes:
- To provide instructions for beginning players regarding how to use and respond to common conventions
- To serve as a starting point for partnership agreements between me and other players
- To document reasoning that will help both intermediate-level players like me and beginners to better understand bidding theory in general
To further these ends I have tried to flesh out details of conventions as much as possible and cover as many cases as possible in as logical a way as possible.
These pages aren't likely to be very useful to more experienced players since they were all written by me.
How to use this flowchart
On all pages, choose the first listed option that applies. If a section does not apply (e.g., "minimal hands") then skip all the options in that section.
Summary of conventions
These pages describe a 5-card major system, with strong notrump (15–17), 2/1 game-forcing, semi-forcing 1NT, strong 2♣ (22+), weak 2♦/♥/♠, Stayman, Jacoby transfers, Texas transfers, Smolen transfers, 2♠ minor Stayman, 2NT/3♣ minor transfers, negative doubles through 3♠, Michaels, Unusual NT, inverted minors, new minor forcing, Cappelletti, Lebensohl (after interference of 1NT openings, takeout double of weak twos, and reverses), Jacoby 2NT, Truscott/Jordan 2NT, 1430 Roman Keycard Blackwood, Italian-style control bids (starting above 3 of agreed suit).
I am the dealer, or everyone before me has passed → See Opening bids.
My partner has opened 1NT → See Responding to a 1NT opening.
My partner has opened 2NT → See Responding to a 2NT opening.
My partner has opened 1 of a major → See Responding to a one-level major opening.
My partner has opened 1 of a minor → See Responding to a one-level minor opening.
My partner has opened 2♣ → See Responding to 2C.
My partner opened 2♦, 2♥, or 2♠ → See Responding to a weak opening.
My partner opened 3 or 4 of a suit → See Responding to a weak opening.
RHO has opened → See Overcalls.
LHO has opened and my partner has passed → See Overcalls.
One of the opponents opened and my partner overcalled → See Responding to an overcall.
One of the opponents opened and my partner made a takeout double → See Responding to a takeout double.