One club is artificial and the only strong, forcing opening bid.
All other opening bids, except one notrump, are in the range of 11-15 HCP
The opening bid of one diamond may be a singleton diamond.
The opening bid of two diamonds may be played several different ways.
The opening bid of two clubs shows at least a five card club suit.
The recommended range for one notrump is 14-16 HCP, but any range can be used.
Opening two notrump describes a hand with both minors.
Opener Bids One Club
The first response is an artificial step bid showing the number of
controls held by responder.
A king is one control, and an ace is two.
The first two responses are considered Negative
The other responses are positive and are game forcing.
After a positive response you never need to jump in the bidding.
Either an ace or two kings
Specifically an ace and a king
Specifically three kings
Opponents are sometimes in our auction and won't leave us
alone, so what do we do then?
We go to plan B.
Subsequent Bidding After the Initial Response to One Club
After a start of one club and the artificial control showing response,
all other rebids are natural. Opener's second bid either indicates a
five card suit or a balanced hand.
If opener's second bid is notrump at any level, it shows a balanced
hand. Responder can use Stayman, Jacoby transfers or Gerber after
such a rebid.
When the response to the opening bid is negative, which is
either one diamond or one heart, opener's rebid of one notrump
limits her hand to 18-20 HCP and may be passed. However, a jump
rebid in notrump by opener should indicate 21+ HCP.
After a positive response, opener has no need to jump to show extra
If the opener rebids a major suit showing at least five, responder
should immediately raise with support. Lacking support, responder
may either bid a new suit showing five, or rebid notrump. The notrump
bid does not promise stoppers, but simply denies support and also
denies a five card suit.
When responder has given a positive answer to the initial club bid,
such as one spade or higher, there is no need for a jump bid, which
means the bidding can be kept low during the rest of the auction.
If opener jumps after a negative response, it should be treated as an
absolutely Game Forcing Bid. (Approximately 23+ HCP.)
Opener Bids One Diamond
Although the opening bid is not conventional it might be only a singleton.
For that reason it should be treated as semi-forcing. Responder should
not pass with a weak hand and fewer than four diamonds. Responder might be
forced to bid a three card major in such a case.
Opener Bids a Major
Standard bidding responses can be used when partner opens a major.
An exception is that responder does not need to keep the bidding open
with a poor fit and only 6-8 HCP. (Remember, opener's hand is limited
to 15 points maximum.)
Opener Bids One Notrump
Again, all of the standard responses are used. You can use Jacoby transfer
bids or Stayman.
Opener Bids Two Clubs
Opener has promised a least five clubs with 11-15 HCP, but may also
have a four card major. Responder can initiate a game force by bidding
two diamonds. Further discussion can be found here:
Opener Bids Two Diamonds
There are several ways to use this bid, so you and your partner will
have to decide. Here are three suggested methods, but the one with
the highest frequency is the third choice, natural with no four card major:
Opener Bids Two Hearts or Two Spades
Some things just have to remain the same. These bids are standard
Weak Twos. You can use a 2NT response to ask for a feature, such
as an outside ace or king. Most players will only show a feature if they
do not have a minimum hand.
When your partner opens a weak two hearts or spades, there are
times you will have a big hand. Don't use Blackwood with those hands.
Use 4 as Gerber instead. You might be able
to stay one level lower than the competition if there are not enough aces to reach slam.
If you want to be even more sophisticated, use a response of 3
to ask opener how many of the top three honors she has in the major suit she opened.
3 = 0 Honors
3 = 1 Honors
3 = 2 Honors
3N = 3 Honors
Opener Bids Two Notrump
Another fun bid - this one promises both minors with at least 10+ HCP.
If partner just responds three of a minor, consider it non-forcing and pass.
But if partner jumps in one of your suits it's invitational and you can
accept with 14 or more points.
What if partner doesn't choose a minor, but instead bids three of a major?
Here's how to handle that. If you have opened with 5-5 in the
minors and have two or three in partner's suit, then by all means raise her!
If you can't raise partner's suit, don't go pass 3NT. Let partner make
that decision. When you rebid 3NT you are simply denying two-card support
for partner's major - You are not promising a stopper in the other major.
Partner may think 3NT is the best contract and let you play there.
Opener Bids at the Three Level
It's a preempt, right? Well, when was the last time you wanted to bid
4 as a natural bid over your partner's preemptive
opening? Hello. It's Gerber. Don't use Blackwood when partner
makes a premptive bid.
Gerber is used to ask for aces over notrump
bids and preempts.