Theory and Conventions


M J Bridge



Conventions 111 to C

2 good raise

A bid of 2, in response to partner’s opening bid of one major (and possibly 1) and a double by RHO, showing a good three-card raise.

2NT after opponents double

An immediate 2NT is regularly used to show good support for partner’s major in both contested and uncontested auctions (See Jacoby 2NT and 2NT high-card limit raise).

However it is almost universally used to show a good raise in each of the four suits after RHO has doubled the opening bid.

Also known as Truscott 2NT, Dormer 2NT, or Jordan 2NT.

2NT asking bid

I am using this term to describe the conventional bid by which responder to a weak two of a suit opening bid asks for a fuller description of opener’s hand.  On this site I link it with ‘Ogust’ responses.

2NT high card raise

In response to partner’s opening one of a major a bid of 2NT shows a good raise to the three-level or higher. This is consistent with standard usage in the contested auction, and permits a direct raise to the three-level to be used in a more preemptive manner.  You should incorporate either this or the game-forcing Jacoby 2NT into your methods.

2NT opening bid

This can be played either as strong and balanced or weak and artificial.

2NT overcall of 1NT

A conventional take-out device promising 5-5 shape in the minor suits.

2NT transfer to diamonds

This extension of four-suit transfers allows the use of two-tier transfer responses in either minor suit.

3 response to 2NT to show 5 spades and 4 hearts

A conventional bid promising four hearts and five spades played as part of the puppet Stayman convention.

3NT key-card ask

A way of playing Blackwood a level lower.

4NT pick a slam

Means what it says.

4NT two possible strains

Also means what it says.

Ace/king positives

This is my own convention in which a positive response to partner’s artificial strong two opening promises the ace and king of the bid suit (and 2NT promises the ace and king in the relay suit).

Acol 2 opening bid

In traditional Acol this bid promised either a no trump hand of twenty three or more points or was game-forcing based on a long suit and excellent top cards (traditionally five quick tricks).  It was paired with natural strong twos which covered other strong hands but were not game-forcing.

The phrase is frequently used to describe a bid which promises twenty three or more points, any shape, and may or may not be game-forcing.  This is mistaken both in terminology and methodology.  There are many quality hands which should force to game via this bid (if in the armoury) but which do not contain twenty three points.

Allerton and Jagger

My name for a complete system of responses to an opening bid of 1NT as played by Jeffrey Allerton and Chris Jagger, and the subject of a series of articles by Chris Jagger in ‘English Bridge’.

Anchor suit

Typically a suit which is promised by some other bid.

Thus if a 2 overcall of 1NT promised spades and another then spades would be the anchor suit.

Artificial strong twos

These are opening bids of two of a suit which promise a strong hand, but which do not usually promise the suit bid.  Typically each such opening bid will cover a number of specific hand-types.  The bid is invariably forcing for at least one round, and opener will usually define his hand-type with his second bid.

Typical of such bids are the Acol 2 bid, and the bids of 2 and 2 to be found in the ‘Benjaminised Acol’ system.


A conventional method of competing over 1NT.


A conventional method of competing over 1NT.


My preferred conventional method of competing over 1NT.

Assumed fit

A style of weak two-suited opening bid in which the opener assumes that a worthwhile sacrifice will be available in one of the two specified suits.

Usually the bid will be 2 (Ekren) or 2, and will specify at least 4-4 in the majors.

Baron 2NT

An immediate response of 2NT promising something like 16 to 19 points in a balanced hand.

Recommended facing an opening one of a minor but there are better uses for this bid facing one of a major

Baron over 2NT (not to be confused with the convention above)

A response of 3 to opener’s strong 2NT or artificial sequence to 2NT asks opener to bid four-card suits in ascending order or to bid 3NT if clubs is his only four-card suit.


A conventional method for overcalling 1NT.

On this site Landy, Asptro, Cappelletti, D.O.N.T., and transfer overcalls are considered for use in this situation.

Benjaminised Acol

A bidding system based on traditional Acol but replacing the structure of two-level opening bids with natural single-suited weak openings in the majors and artificial strong openings in the minors.

This system has quite a substantial following at club level, but these days it is only rarely to be found among the higher echelons of the game.

Benjamin 2

This bid shows an strong opening hand based on a single-suited hand of about eight to nine playing tricks.

It is usually played as forcing for one round, but not forcing to game.

Benjamin 2

Within the context of ‘Benjaminised Acol’ this bid replaces the Acol 2 opening bid, strong and game-forcing usually based on a hand of twenty three or more points.

Bergen Raises

A system of support bids when partner opens one of a major concentrating on both length and strength.


A convention in which a bid of 4NT asks partner to show how many aces he holds.

(See also Roman key-card Blackwood, Gerber, Kickback, Redwood, Minorwood, Voidwood, Lackwood, exclusion Blackwood.)

Broken suit transfers

A rarely encountered convention by which immediate three-level responses to 1NT show either a slam-try based on a long broken major suit or a game-going 4-4-4-1 hand.


A conventional method for overcalling 1NT.

On this site Landy, Asptro, Cappelletti, D.O.N.T., and transfer overcalls are considered for use in this situation.


A conventional method for overcalling 1NT.

On this site Landy, Asptro, Cappelletti, D.O.N.T., and transfer overcalls are considered for use in this situation.


Originally a complete system CAB now usually refers to a system of responses to an artificial game-forcing opening bid.

It features immediate ace-showing responses, and in some implementations also gives information relating to the king-holding.


A conventional method for overcalling 1NT.

On this site Landy, Asptro, Cappelletti, D.O.N.T., and transfer overcalls are considered for use in this situation.

Cappelletti (also known as Hamilton and Pottage)

A conventional method for overcalling 1NT.

Cheapest control

Certain bids, particularly cue-bids, are likely to be control-showing.  See separate entry below for ‘first-round controls’.  The alternative to first-round controls is to show the ‘cheapest’ control.  Such a control might be either first- or second-round.  These are particularly useful when a suit is bypassed thereby showing two immediate losers.  ‘Cheapest control’ showing bids are a little more versatile than first-round controls, but they are more difficult to handle.  Make your choice.

Checkback Stayman

A conventional rebid of 2 by responder following partner’s 1NT rebid.  The bid enables responder to investigate further the possibility of a major suit fit.

Competitive double

A take-out double made by advancer after LHO has opened in a suit, partner has overcalled in a suit, and RHO has joined in.

Cooperative double

A double following some earlier bid or double by partner showing values but with no clear contract in mind.  It does not promise a holding in the enemy suit and usually suggests only limited support for partner’s suit, if known.  Basically it passes the choice back to partner as to whether to bid on or to pass for penalties.

There are a number of situations in which it can be used, usually at a fairly low level.

The link takes you to the page on which partner has doubled the opening bid and responded has raised rapidly to the four-level (or higher).


An acronym for colour, rank, other which can apply in a number of situations.

This link takes you to its use as a system of two-suited overcalls

Crowhurst convention

A rebid of 2 by responder following opener’s wide-ranging 1NT rebid.

The bid requests further information regarding both strength and major suit holdings.


A particularly ambiguous term, used to describe both an artificial forcing bid in the opponents’ suit and also a control-showing bid in a new suit once a fit has been located.  The bid can be given a variety of different meanings, and should be considered and discussed separately in each of the various possible contexts.

Cue-bid  game-forcing

A traditional but obsolete use of the bid.


A bid by responder in the opponents suit to show a good raise of opener’s suit.

(When the same method is used by advancer it is known as the unassuming cue-bid).

Conventions 111 to C

Conventions K to P

Conventions QRS

Conventions T to Z

Conventions D to J

Context  -  A dictionary of conventions.