Modified Cappelletti

This concept is variation to the Cappelletti Convention, also known as Hamilton and Pottage, and which is a defense method to an opening of No Trump by an opponent. The origin of this variation is unknown, but the reader should refer to the published article by Mr. John Blubaugh for a modified (revised) version of the original Cappelletti conventional defense method, which appeared in the Bridge Bulletin, December 1996.

It must be admitted that the original concept is so constructed that many variations may be formed. Mr. Michael Cappelletti is one of four bridge experts credited with devising the original defense method. The conventional method is employed either in the direct seat or in the balancing seat. However, variations of a concept are inevitably introduced to the bridge community and are adopted by it.

Note: An interview of Mr. Michael Cappelletti was published in the Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, March 13, 2007, Volume 50, Number 5, of the 50th Spring North American Bridge Championships held in St. Louis, Missouri. The essence of the interview represents his personal views on the concept behind this conventional method, and which also includes his personal views regarding this particular modified version. An excerpt of this interview in a .pdf file format is only preserved and archived on this site for future reference.

Note: This modification of the Cappelletti convention is somewhat dependent on the bidding system employed and can be altered or varied to meet the requirements of the particular bidding system.

Note: The reader and student of the game of bridge must be made aware of the fact that this particular variation of the Cappelletti convention may also be designated as Revised Cappelletti, under which designation an article was published in the Bridge Bulletin in December 1996. Both designations refer to the identical concept, but are different in the actual approach.

Note: It is also important for the partnership to listen intently to the announcement of the No Trump range. It is possible, depending on the range of the opened No Trump, to adjust the approach when deciding to compete.

Note: Some partnerships have agreed that the distribution of the holding, when overcalling could / may be reduced to 4-4 in both Major suits regardless of the state of vulnerability, otherwise the distribution is generally 5-4, 4-5, or 5-5 depending on the state of vulnerability. This is entirely a partnership agreement in all employed variations of the concept.


This article for a modified version of the original Cappelletti conventional defense method appeared in the Bridge Bulletin, December 1996.

Double: Any double is for penalty as in the original conventional method. Partner must pass.
2 :

Shows a single-suited holding in Diamonds OR a two-suited holding in an unspecified Major suit and an unspecified Minor suit. After a pass by the partner of the No Trump bidder, the advancer can bid 2, which is forcing for one round. Then the overcaller will either pass or raise with a single-suiter in Diamonds if holding stronger values OR bid the Major suit if the holding is a two-suiter.

If the overcaller shows the two-suited holding after the 2 bid, then the advancer can bid 2 No Trump to return to the actual Minor suit (Clubs or Diamonds), or pass if the Major suit is preferred.

2 : Shows both Major suits as in the original conventional method.
2 : Shows a single-suited holding in Hearts. Partner should pass after a No Trump opening by an opponent.
2 : Shows a single-suited holding in Spades. Partner should pass after a No Trump opening by an opponent.
2 NT: Shows both Minor Suits.
3 : A natural bid showing length in Clubs. Possible one-suited holding.

The strength of the hand is determined not only by the shape of the holding but may also depend on the state of vulnerability. The responses of the partner of the overcaller (or advancer of the intervenor) are also determined by the partnership agreement as there are no general guidelines except those adopted by the partnership.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

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