Club Systems

The bridge player sits down at the bridge table, the cards are dealt, the auction begins, and player to your immediate right opens with 1 Club. Bidding systems, over the years of the evolving game of bridge, have been devised to reach the best, the optimum contract by employing first this artificial bid. This opening bid is a forcing bid for the responder with the exception of immediate interference.

In order to find out what this bid means, you must take a look at the Convention Cards. There are many Club Systems available and the intention of this web page is to present as many as possible, which have been devised over the years. The bridge player should know what bidding system their opponents are employing and it would be worth the time and effort of the bridge player to learn of and about these bidding systems.

An attempt has been made to include the bidding system based upon the written material available. If the original bidding system has become outdated for whatever reason, the attempt has been made to present only the opening bids and possible bidding features. These are designated as Opening Bids.

 

If the Club System is not listed here, you may wish to consult our Main Glossary

Aces Scientific System
After the advent of the computer age, the computer was used to formulate and/or calculate a detailed bidding system, especially for the Aces Team organized by Ira Corn. With the help of the computer, different hands were researched, studied, and calculated for the best bidding action. The result was the Aces Scientific System.

Alpha Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Bertrnd Romanet of France around 1968.

Australian Standard Opening Bids
There are many versions of bidding systems in Australia, even Goren and Acol. The general consensus is that there is no one standard bidding system, but the general opening bids are presented.

Bangkok Club
As the name indicates, this Club System was devised in Thailand. Yes, there are bridge players in Thailand. Devised by Mr. Somboon Nandhabiwat this Club System was used with some success in several world championship tournaments.

Bernier Big Club Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised by Mr. Jerry Bernier and Mr. Mike Schmenk in the 1960s and is based on the Kaplan-sheinwold and Schenken Club.

Blue Club
The Blue Team developed a bidding system using a combination of the Neapolitan and Roman bidding systems. Combining the most favorable features of both bidding systems resulted in the formation of the Blue Club bidding system. The main proponents of this bidding system were Mr. Walter Avarelli, Mr. Benito Garozzo,Mr. Pietro Forquet, Mr. Massimo D'Alelio, and Mr. Giorgio Belladonna. They had great success at the bridge tournaments using the Blue Club System.

Blue Team Club Openings
Blue Team became the popular name for the Italian International Bridge Team, which had many international successes from 1956 to 1975. The captain and the members of the Blue Team devised a bidding system, which is still played today. The Blue Team Club was the result of the efforts of the Italian Bridge Federation, Mr. Carl Alberto Perroux, the team captain, and the team members, who dedicated themselves to the study of the game of bridge.

Blue Team Club System
The Blue Team Club System was mainly devised by Mr. Benito Garozzo. The Blue Team Club System is based on the principle that a 1 Club opening is forcing. The style of this system is called Canape, and this means that the opener can/should bid the short suits before he bids the long suits. Canape is a bidding method in which the opener bids his long suit on his rebid and was developed by Mr. Pierre Albarran from France.

Blue Team Club Responses
As the name implies, the opening will be 1 Club. The significance of this 1 Club opening is that it is defined as 1. forcing, and 2. shows 17 or more points using a 4-3-2-1 count. Sometimes it is also a distributional factor which may define a 1 Club opening with slightly less than 17 points, or a weaker 1 Club opening with exactly 17 points.

Blue Team Roman Responses to Blackwood
Even the Roman Blackwood Convention, a variation of the original Blackwood Convention, has a variation. This variation was devised by the Blue Team Club and was applied with some success. The Blue Team was the popular name given to the Italian International Bridge Team which had a series of huge successes starting in 1956 and ending in 1969.

Bowman-Hancock Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. John Hancock of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and additionally by Mr. Allen Bowman of Green Valley, Arizona.

Breakthrough Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Robert Sundby of Wisconsin.

A helping hand:

In his team's match against Hong Kong in the second round of the Rosenblum Cup Teams, Mr. Robert Sundby of Wisconsin realized an instant too late that he had missed a dramatic signal which would have helped partner Mr. Mike Linskens, also of Wisconsin, to make the switch to defeat Hong Kong's vulnerable game.

North
A762
K3
54
KQ982
West
10
9
AK109873
AJ73
East
KJ3
QJ862
QJ6
106
South
Q9862
A10543
2
65

Vulnerable: East/West
Dealer: West

West North East South
Linskens Sundby
1 2 2 (1) Double (2)
5 Pass Pass Pass

(1) Negative free bid.
(2) Showing spades.

Mr. Linskens led the King, taken by declarer's Ace. Declarer then led a spade. Mr. Linskens took his Ace, cashed the Queen and led another Spade. Declarer discarded his lone Heart on the King, ruffed his remaining Clubs and claimed.

Mr. Sundby realized immediately after he followed low to the Spades that he should have played the Queen, establishing dummy's Spades. Mr. Linskens then would have had no choice but to lead a Heart, defeating the contract.

The moral: lend partner a helping hand.

 

Bridge World Standard Opening Bids
This system was created by consensus of the readers of the Bridge World Magazine, with Edgar Kaplan as editor.

Bridge World Standard 2001 - Revised, Established Version
Bridge World Standard encapsultates common American expert practices, determined by polls, as a set of partnership agreements (and, where there is no consensus, non-agreements). It is used as a framework for problems in the Master Solvers’ Club, by impromptu partnerships, and as a basis for discussion by those who wish to formulate their own system.

Where the experts are in substantial agreement (with close cases decided, when possible, by the votes of Bridge World readers at large), those methods become part of the system. Where there are competing popular approaches, alternative methods, called leaves, are listed.

Bridge World Standard 2001 - Older, Projected Version
A consensus Bidding System developed in 1967 and periodically revised, previously in 1993, and then in 2001. It was based on the majority preferences of 125 leading experts and thousands of Bridge World readers. The methods used in the the system were determined by polls. A clear expert preference determined the treatment, while close questions were decided by the vote of the readers. Because it is a consensus system, the Bridge World Standard is rarely used by regular partnerships. It is, however, valuable in forming casual partnerships. Compare the Bridge World Standard Opening Bids listed below.

CAB Bridge System
A British system built around an artificial Two-Club opening with Ace-Showing responses and Blackwood. CAB is an acronym for 2 Clubs, Ace responses, Blackwood, and although the system is no longer used, the system did have some popularity in England during the decade of the Fifties. The CAB system was the result of a mixture of popular conventions as the name strongly suggests, and the main promoter of this system was Leslie Dodds.

Cable Car Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised by Mr. Steve Altus of California.

Cambridge Standard Opening Bids
Although the origin has not been confirmed, it is rather safe to assume that this method was devised by bridge players at the Cambridge University in England.

Carrot Club Bidding System
The Carrot Club, originally "Morotsklovern", (Swedish for Carrot Club), was invented by Mr. Sven-Olof Flodqvist and Mr. Anders Morath in 1972 for use in the European Championships in Athens, Greece. It was the system that won the European Championships in 1977, with two pairs playing Carrot. In the European Championships the Carrot team placed 1st in 1987, 3rd in 1989, 2nd in 1991, and 5th in 1993. In the World Championship they placed 3rd in 1987 and 1991, and in the Olympics 3rd in 1988 and 4th in 1992.

Clement-Oliver Opening Bids
These opening bids and the resulting bidding sequences, although unknown, originated with Mr. Bruce Clement and Mrs. Pam Oliver of Wellington, New Zealand.

Clone Opening Bids
This bidding system is a mixture between Carrot Club and the Tangerine Club.

Cloudberrry Club Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Max Odlund from Sweden in the late 1970s.

Cobra
Computer Oriented Bridge Analysis is the result of feeding a computer certain elements of the evaluation and distributional factors of card combinations by Mr. E.T. Lindelof.

Cobra Opening Bids
As a base for the entered data into the software application, Mr. E.T. Lindelof used the following opening bids, similar to the Schenken Club opening bids.

Cranberry Club Opening Bids
These opening bids constitute a simplified version of the Tangerine Club system and was developed by Mr. Jan Eric Larsson of Sweden, who developed the Tangerine Club system.

Crazy Diamond Opening Bids
These opening bids are from a bidding system used in The Netherlands and was developed by Mr. and Mrs. Arie van Heusden, Mr. Jaap Kokkes, Mr. Kees Kaiser and co-bridge players and has been published in the book by Mr. G.J.R. Forch with the title Bieden voor Gevorderden.

Crowhurst Acol Opening Bids
These opening bids are generally employed in southern England and are part of the Acol bidding system and represent a modification.

See also: Crowhurst

Culbertson Opening Bids
Mr. Eli Culbertson devised a standard version of opening bids to support his methods.

Danish Standard Opening Bids
Mr. F. Dahl
, in the early 1980s, described the system of Danish Standard opening bids.

Danish Trend Opening Bids
This version of opening bids is / was favored in The Netherlands.

DESY Polish Club Bidding System - (Inactive website)
This is a form of the Polish Club bidding system used in northern Germany. The designation comes from the fact that the players are employees of a company called High Energy Physics Laboratory located in Hamburg, Germany. Opening Bids

Deuces Scientific Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Don Varvel and Mr. Eric Taylor of Austin, Texas.

Dutch Acol Opening Bids
The
ACOL bidding system, developed and enhanced in England, has many followers in the bridge community and has gained world-wide acceptance. The guidelines of the ACOL bidding system are, however, not static and can be varied to fit the needs and requirements of individual partnership agreements. This is not only the case in England, but also around the world. One version of the ACOL bidding system in Holland is called Dutch Acol, and deals mainly with the opening bid. Although this variant has many similarities with the general guidelines of the ACOL bidding system, some of the opening bids differ.

Dutch Standard Opening Bids
There are many different bidding systems employed in Holland and are considered standard.

Eastern Scientific
This bidding system, which employs a 1 Club opening to show various shapes and strengths, is similar to the concept known as Standard American and was devised and developed mainly by Mr. Robert Goldman and Mr. William Eisenberg.

Efos Bidding System
The Economical Forcing System was used in international championships by leading Swedish players such as Mr. Jan Wohlin, Mr. Nils Olaf Lilliehook, and Mr. Gunnar Anulf. The concept is reported to have originated with Mr. Eric Jannersten. The idea behind the concept is to give the opener the most opportunity to make the most accurate and descriptive rebid, in order to describe his holding. As a result, most of the responses are artificial in meaning.

Efos Opening Bids
The Economic Forcing System introduced new features, especially after a No Trump opening. One of these features is the "Repeated" or Extended Stayman convention. The bidding system is similar to a Relay System in that, after an opening by one partner, the next, cheapest suit bid is considered either natural or a generally forcing bid.

Finnish Standard
This document, as detailed by Mr. Jukka Korpela, presents a foundation for the Finnish Standard Bidding System for bridge. Officially the standard is defined for the bidding panel of the Finnish Bridge magazine, but it is often regarded as a more general standard.

Finnish Junior Standard Opening Bids
These opening bids were developed in the late 1980s and has gained some amount of popularity among bridge players.

Goren Opening Bids
In the original version, Mr. Charles Goren proposed that any raise to the three level are absolutely game forcing and that all two level openings should also be game forcing and contain at least a 5-card suit of that denomination.

Jacoby Modern Opening Bids
Mr. Oswald Jacoby devised these opening bids during his bridge career with certain established requirements for the bridge player, intended to become standard. However, the concept of opening a 4-card Major suit was eventually replaced with the concept of a 5-card Major suit.

Kaplan-Sheinwold System
A bidding system developed by
Mr. Edgar Kaplan and Mr. Alfred Scheinwold based on five-card Majors and weak No Trump openings. The system has the purpose of precisely limiting the strength shown by all bids during the auction.

Kentucky Club Bidding System
The origin of this bidding system is unknown but the name can hold a clue.

Lea System
The Lea System is based on the 1965 privately published book, authored by Mr. Robert H. Lea of St. Paul, Minnesota, entitled Bridge is Easy With The Lea System. The system is based on a strong, forcing 1 Club opening, which promises 12 plus high card points.

Majeure Cinquieme Opening Bids
This is the name given by the bridge players in France to their bidding system, which is considered standard and which is translated as Five Card Majors. It is have been revised over time to some degree, but the general basics continue to be applicable.

MamiC Opening Bids
The concept of the MamiC Opening Bid system was devised by Mr. Richard Lighton of New Jersey around 1990. The concept is based on the Major-Minor-Canapé opening bidding system. This means that a 4-card Major suit is opened first before a 5-card Minor suit, and that a 4-card Minor suit is opened first before a 5-card Major suit.

Mock Swedish Opening Bids
This is a opening bidding system devised in 1993 by Mr. Richard Lighton of New Jersey, who was fascinated by the Muppet Show created by Mr. Jim Henson. Especially one character captured his imagination, and that was the Swedish Chef who spoke in babbled sounds and made absolutely no sense, but was comical and chaotic. The concept of the Mock Swedish opening bidding system is that several opening bids can have two different and distinctive interpretations.

Monaco Bidding System
The Monaco system was the original Relay System. It was devised by Mr. Pierre Ghestem of France around 1954, and used with Mr. Rene Bacherich in several World Championship tournaments. The main concept of the Relays some transfers is to bid in such a manner as to make the stronger hand become the declarer in the final contract.

New South Wales System
A variation of the Vienna System formerly used by Mr. Richard Cummings and Mr. Tim Seres and other Australians.

Tangerine Club Bidding System
The Tangerine Club is a Bridge bidding system based on a weak/strong 1 Club opening, followed by simple but efficient asking bids, light opening bids of one of a suit showing 10-14 points and at least 4 cards in the suit, a 1 No Trump opening of 12-14 HCPs and a balanced hand without five card majors, a natural 2 Clubs opening showing 10-14 points and at least 5 clubs, and weak two openings of 5-9 points and at least 5 cards in the suit.

Universal Club Opening Bids
The origin of these opening bids is unknown but is based on a system developed in the United States. The 1 Club opening bid has a definite limited range and shows a minimum of length in the Club suit. However, the 1 Club opening may show a stronger holding, which then has to be determined. These opening bids also employ the use of a 5-card suit whenever a Major suit is opened and the No Trump range has been extended. Generally any opening on the two level promises distinct distributional holdings. The opening bids are shown in the schematic below.

Universal Club Two Clubs Opening
In the Universal Club bidding system, origin unknown, the opening bid of 2 Clubs has been assigned a specific meaning, which is that it shows a three-suited holding, generally a distribution of 4-4-1-4, with values between 12 and 17 high card points. A minimum and a maximum point count is known and also the short suit, which is Diamonds.

Universal Club Two Diamonds Opening
In the Universal Club bidding system, origin unknown, the opening of 2 Diamonds has been assigned a specific meaning. This opening bid promises a three-suited holding. The required point count is between 16 and 21 high card points. This opening demands that the Diamond suit be one of the three suits as opposed to the 2 Clubs opening bid, which shows Diamond shortage.

Universal Club 2 Hearts and 2 Spades Opening
The Universal Club bidding system has relegated special, if not specific, information in the opening bid of either 2 Hearts or 2 Spades. Either of these two openings promise at least a 5-card card, or longer, and a second, unspecified second suit, also a 5-card suit, or longer. The point range is a minimum of 14 high card points and the upper range is unlimited. Therefore, these two opening bids are forcing for one round. They are not considered to be absolutely game-forcing in nature.

 

 

If you wish to include any of these these features, 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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