M J Bridge

Theory and Conventions



Not recommended

K Q 8 5 2

A 4

T 8 6

7 5 3

Partner opens 2♣.

Bid 2, if playing natural positives.

K Q 8 5 2


T 8 6

7 5 3

Partner opens 2♣.

A perfectly good game-going responding hand with a useful side-suit, but lacking the necessary ace and king.

Bid a 2 relay.

A Q 8

T 8 6 2

K 7 4

7 5 3

Partner opens 2♣.

You have the requisite ace and king.

Bid 2, if playing the traditional approach.

On other occasions the method can feel a bit silly:-

You will, perhaps, have gathered that I am not a fan of the method as exemplified above.

To my mind it is one of those double negative inferences which has gone wrong:-

to insist that you will not make a positive unless you hold at least an ace and a king is reasonable;

to suggest that you should make a positive response on any hand which contains an ace and a king begs for trouble.

If you do wish to adopt something along these lines then I would suggest that at the very least your suit should satisfy some minimum requirement of quality.

My suggestion is that you should adopt ‘natural positives’ (a source of tricks) and add this in as a further requirement if you so choose.

An ace and a king

A longstanding method which will be encountered in clubs throughout the country is that any response other than a relay is a natural positive promising at least an ace and a king somewhere in the hand.

In practice, natural means that the bid will be made in a four-card or longer suit.

Sometimes this works well:-

Opener’s first bid

Opener’s rebid

This page last revised 2nd Jun 2019

Context  -  Responder’s first bid - partner opened an artificial strong two - RHO passed - positive responses.