M J Bridge


Theory and Conventions



This page last revised 18th Sept 2019


This section constitutes the main bulk of the site.

It takes you systematically round the table,

looking at the bids and conventions available in each case;

explaining the whys and wherefores;

 suggesting logical and consistent interpretations;

and eventually building into a method (or choice of methods) in your bidding which are more than adequate to help you on your way to expert standard.

Click here, to take you to the section on opener’s first bid,

or follow the link above, centre- right, to take you to any subsequent point in the auction.


The theory which underlies several of the conventions and methods, or applies to a variety of situations;

a summary of the ‘rules of thumb’ which underlie good bidding judgement and practice;

how to combine the available conventions at various levels of experience and expertise.

Click here, or follow the link above, centre-left.


A dictionary of all the conventions discussed on this site

 (including several which are not recommended),

with links,

click here.


At present there are just a very few hands in this section, but I am adding to it all the time.

See the methods discussed on this site in use, and compare different methods on real hands.

Click here, or follow the link above right.


If you are already a competent bridge player, but new to the Acol system then the following two sheets each give a brief summary of the basic methods employed:-

a beginning method

extending your methods

Alternatively, for an all-purpose starting point go to the page

assessing your hand.


This site isn’t really targeted at the complete beginner, but provided that you understand

the hierarchy of suits (e.g. you can’t bid 1 over 1)

and the idea of counting tricks beyond six (e.g. 2 means that you have contracted to try to make eight tricks)

then you could do much worse than start with one of the links above.


Do you find that everyone you meet throws a different convention at you which ‘you must try’?

Here you will find a couple of lists of the most valuable conventions as you increase your repertoire through the beginner and improver stages.

Nor am I a great fan of summary sheets.

They sometimes have the effect of replacing understanding and thinking with a ‘rules is rules’ approach.

Nonetheless, I appreciate that they can be reassuring for a learner in the early stages and so you will find a selection of them here.

Acol Bidding in Bridge

Do you know the basics of how to play the game?  Yes -good.

And are you an expert yet?  No - good.

Is there something you want to know about bidding using the Acol system? Yes?

Then this site is for you.

If you want to learn about bidding in the British style known as modern Acol - that is a system built around a weak no trump, four-card majors, and limit bids - then I hope that this will be a good starting point.

And if you have chosen a different style of bidding then this might still prove a useful reference source for various conventions or bits of theory.

Just start with the links (above or below), and I trust that you will find more than enough to educate, stimulate, or inform.

Welcome to Mike Beach’s introduction to, and analysis of, all aspects of Acol bidding.