How to Fill Out The New ACBL Convention Card

Note: For historical purposes only.

Posted early 2000

The ACBL Convention Card is designed to be easier for players to use by making available pertinent information to opponents (a comprehensive overview of your system). It should provide players with a good idea of the methods they have chosen to play and make them more aware of calls that require an Alert (in red) or Announcement (in blue).

If what you play is a modified version of something on the card, check the appropriate box and add a note (in the same place) that clarifies what is modified. If what you play is not similar, don't check any box, make a separate note about it in the same section. If you see something that is unfamiliar to you, you probably do not play it, so skip it.

Note: It is your responsibility to make sure your methods are legal for the event. Check the appropriate convention chart, usually the ACBL General Convention Chart, occasionally the ACBL Mid-Chart or SuperChart. If there is any doubt, check with the tournament director.

Note: These instructions have been revised by the American Contract Bridge League and published online in .pdf file format. The bridge student is shown via pictures and explanations as to how to fill out a Convention Card. The bridge student can find these visual aids under Convention Card Instructions in our Glossary. These instructions, only in written form, are for the benefit of those bridge students, who do not have Adobe Reader installed.

 

ACBL CONVENTION CARD REGULATIONS

First a few miscellaneous things about the use .

NAMES: On this line you enter the first and last names of each member of the partnership (ACBL regulation for sectional and higher-rated tournaments). The writing on this line, as well as all other lines on the card must be legible.

TWO IDENTICAL COPIES: Each player is required to have a Convention Card legibly filled out and on the table throughout the session. Both cards of a partnership must be identical.

COMPLETE CARD: If a director determines that neither player has a substantially completed card, the partnership may only play conventions listed on the ACBL Limited Conventions chart and may only play standard carding. This restriction may be lifted by the director at the beginning of the next round once two completed cards have been approved by the director. Beginning with the second round after being notified about inadequately filled-out cards, the director will impose penalties. If only one substantially completed Convention Card is produced by a partnership, the director may give warnings or penalties at his/her discretion.

 

GENERAL APPROACH

In this section, you explain your general systemic approach. Several common systems can be specified just by checking a box. If your system cannot be easily explained by checking boxes, write it in on the line under "General Approach". If you play some version of Standard American, you can write that on the line.

TWO OVER ONE:

If you play two over one (e.g., 1 - Pass - 2 is a 2/1 response) game forcing or nearly so, you must check the appropriate box:

Game Forcing: Check this box if 2/1 is always game forcing except perhaps over an opponent's 1 No Trump overcall or takeout double.

Game Forcing Except When Suit Rebid: Check this box if responder's rebid of the 2/1 suit is non-forcing. Check the box if 1 - 2; 2 - 3 is invitational. If it is forcing, do not check this box. If there are exceptions to your general 2/1 style, check the appropriate box and write in the exceptions.

VERY LIGHT:

Check any boxes that apply to your partnership.

Openings: If you routinely open hands with fewer than 11 high-card points (HCP) that are not especially shapely, check this box.

3rd Hand: If you frequently open flat hands with 10 HCP or fewer with one of a suit, but only in the third position, then check this box.

Overcalls: If you routinely overcall on hands with fewer than 8 high-card points, check this box.

Preempts: If your preempts are undisciplined, frequent five-card suits for weak two-bids and six-card suits for three-bids, then check this box.

If close, judge whether you would open a hand such as

Q6
Q95432
J85
93

with 2 Hearts, or a hand such as

73
J84
74
QJ9542

with 3 Clubs non-vulnerable versus vulnerable. If so, check the "Preempts" box.

 

FORCING OPENING:

This section lists the strong bid(s) in your system. When you make this bid, partner is forced to respond with any hand. Check the one that applies to you: 1, 2, Natural 2 Bids. If you have no forcing opening, write "none" on the red line to the right.

Other: If something else is forcing for you (1 for example), check this box and write that forcing opening on the red line to the right. If you play NAMYATS (a four level opening of 4 to show a stronger than normal 4 opening and 4 to show a similar 4 opening), do not list 4 and 4 here, list them in the OPENING PREEMPTS section of the card.

 

NOTRUMP OPENING BIDS

Things are arranged differently on the new convention card - in three columns. The first two columns are concerned with 1 No Trump openings. The third column is where you describe your conventions and treatments after 2 No Trump and 3 No Trump openings.

1 No Trump:

Ranges:

List the range of your opening 1 No Trump bid. If you play any type of variable 1 No Trump opening range, put the different ranges on the card with a note to the right explaining when each applies.

5-card Major common

If you frequently open one notrump with a 5-card major, check the box.

System on over:

If opener's left hand opponent (LHO) takes action directly after the opening 1 No Trump bid, and your agreement is that your systemic bids (Stayman, transfers, etc.) are still in effect, then on the line to the right, list when they apply (over Doubles, over Natural Bids, over Any Call, etc.).

2 Clubs

Check the appropriate box indicating the meaning of a 2 response to 1 No Trump in your system.

Stayman: check this box to indicate a type of normal (non-forcing to game) Stayman (asking for a 4-card major)

Puppet Stayman: check this box if 2 Clubs asks for a 5-card major, 2 with a 4-card major, or 2 No Trump with neither a 4-card or 5-card major.

If 2 Clubs has some other meaning in your system, write it on the red line to the right.

2 Clubs

Check the appropriate box indicating the meaning of a 2 response to 1 No Trump in your system.

Transfer to Heart: Check this box if 2 is a transfer to hearts.

Forcing Stayman: Check this box if you play that a 2 response to 1 No Trump is game-forcing, and asks opener for a 4-card major.

2 Hearts

Transfer to Spades: Check this box if 2 Heart is a transfer to spades.

2 Spades & 2 No Trump

If you have conventional usages for 2 Spades and/or 2 No Trump, write that agreement on the lines to the right.

3-Level Bids

Starting at the top of the 2nd column, write in any conventional uses of 3-level bids. If you play these bids as natural and forcing you can just circle the symbol.

4 Diamonds, 4 Heart Transfer:

Check this box if playing Texas transfers (4 transfers to 4, 4 transfers to 4). If you play 4 transfers to 4 and 4 transfers to 4 , write this information on the line above, in the space below, or opposite "Other" at the bottom of the column. Remember, this latter usage requires an Alert.

Smolen:

Check this box if using this convention - responder rebids in the 4-card major when 5-4 (usually at the 3-level) after receiving a 2 answer to Stayman.

Lebensohl:

2 No Trump over an overcall (1 No Trump - 2 - 2 No Trump, for example) forces opener to bid 3 , after which various continuations are possible. Either bidding 3 No Trump directly (fast) or after first bidding 2 No Trump (slow) denies a stopper in the suit overcalled. After checking the Lebensohl box, you should write in fast or slow as appropriate.

Neg. Double:

If you use the negative double after an overcall, check the box and write on the line to the right through what level it is used.

Other:

On this line you describe anything that can't be said with the boxes and lines elsewhere in the section. Put here things like special runouts over a double of 1 No Trump.

2 No Trump

Range

Put in the agreed range for an opening 2 No Trump bid if playing this bid as natural.

Puppet Stayman:

Check this box if a 3 asks opener to rebid a 5-card major. If this box is not checked, it is assumed that you play regular Stayman. If you play some other conventional 3 responses, write it on the last line of the 2 No Trump box (beneath the 3 Spades line).

Transfer Responses:

Check Jacoby or Texas if you play 3-level and/or 4-level major suit transfers after a 2 No Trump opening.

3 Spades:

Describe any conventional usage of this response on the line to the right.

Other

The last line can be used to note other conventional responses to a 2 No Trump opening.

3 No Trump

Fill-in the range as appropriate. Use the additional line to describe any conventional responses to a 3 No Trump opening.

Conventional No Trump Openings:

If you play conventional openings such as 2 No Trump showing a minimum 5-4 or 5-5 in the minors or Gambling 3 No Trump, describe them here. If there is a point range, you can make use of the above point range areas with a distinct arrow pointing to the conventional description.

 

MAJOR OPENING

Expected Min. Length

The boxes about four-card and five-card majors clarify the minimum length that partner expects when you open one of a major.

Checking the 4 box for both 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th means you play four-card majors. If you only open 1 Heart with a four-card suit, put "1 Heart" over "4" and check "5" box for 1 Spade.

Checking the 5 box for both 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th means you play five-card majors at all times. Your partner always expects you to have five cards in the major suit you open.

Checking the 5 box for 1st/2nd and the 4 box for 3rd/4th indicates that you relax the five-card major openings in 3rd and 4th seat to the extent that your partner only expects four cards in the major you have opened when in that position.

 

RESPONSES to One of a Major

Double Raise:

Check the box that applies:
Force

If playing strong raises

Inv.

If playing invitational (limit) raises

Weak

If playing preemptive raises

After Overcall:

List here what a double raise is after an intervening overcall. Fill this in if a double raise is different after a competitive bid by an opponent. See Over Opp's T/O Double if the intervening call is a double.

Conv. raise: (Conventional)

Check any box that applies.
2 No Trump:

If you play that a 2 No Trump response to a one of a major opening bid shows support for opener's major, check this box. If the 2 No Trump bid also asks for a short suit in opener's hand (Jacoby 2 No Trump), check the 2 No Trump box and alert opener's response.

3 No Trump:

If three No Trump shows an opening hand with support for opener's major, check this box. If 3 No Trump shows a Splinter with 10-12 HCP and an unspecified short suit, or if 3 No Trump shows 4-3-3-3 with three-card support, write this on the Other line and draw a line to the 3 No Trump box.

Splinter:

Check this box if a suit bid at the four-level shows support for opener's major suit and shortness in the bid suit and values for game. If you play a different style of Splinter bid (invitational strength), check the box and explain your agreement on the "Other" line near the "Splinter" box.

Other:

There is a line here to clarify your support-showing responses or to describe any other treatments/conventions that show support for opener's major.

1NT:

Forcing

Check this box if a 1 No Trump response to one of a major is forcing, asking opener to clarify distribution. If you play 1 No Trump forcing only by an unpassed hand, check the Forcing box and write "UPH" by the box.

Semi-forcing

If you play 1 No Trump semi-forcing (opener can pass with a balanced minimum), check this box.

2NT:

If you play your 2 No Trump response as natural (a notrump hand), either check Forcing or Inv. (invitational) as appropriate. When invitational is checked, you must indicate the HCP range.

3NT:

If 3 No Trump is natural, indicate the HCP range.

Drury:

means you use an artificial 2 response to a third- or fourth-seat 1 or 1 opening to ask for the hand strength. If the weak response is to rebid the opened major, check Drury and the Reverse box. If the weak response is 2, check Drury only. If both the 2 and 2 response are used to check hand strength, check 2-Way. If you play that using Drury shows at least a 3-card fit with partner's major, check Fit.

Other:

This is a line to put in other agreements in response to major openings.

 

MINOR OPENINGS

Expected Min. Length

Mark the expected minimum length for one-level minor openings. It is good to make helpful notes if you have specific understandings, such as:

1 is opened with 4-4-3-2 distribution (exactly).

If your 1 opening is part of a big club system and promises 0+ or 1+ diamonds.

If you open 1 with 3-3 in the minors, opening 1 with a three-card suit only if the distribution is 4-4-3-2 exactly, check the 3 box but write an arrow pointing to 4 for the 1 opening, noting that 1 normally shows 4+ diamonds.

If you play that 1 or 1 shows 5+ in the suit, check the other box and write "5+" or whatever applies adjacent to the box.

 

RESPONSES to One of a Minor

Double Raise:

Check the box that applies:
Force

If playing strong raises

Inv.

If playing invitational (limit) raises

Weak

If playing preemptive jump raises

After Overcall:

List here what a double raise is after an intervening overcall. Fill this in if a double raise is different after a competitive bid by an opponent. See Over Opp's T/O Double if the intervening call is a double.

Forcing Raise:

If a forcing raise is something other than a double raise, check the appropriate box:
J/S in the other minor (Jump Shift)

Check this box if you use Jump/Shift in the other minor (1 - 2 or 1 - 3) to show strong support for opener's minor. If you have an agreement about the minimum length that this bid would show, write that on the same line, next to the box.

Single Raise

Check this box if playing inverted minor raises so that 1 - 2 or 1 - 2 shows a strong raise of opener's minor. Again, indicate any agreements as to minimum expected length.

Other:

On this line write any other special agreements you have for showing support for opener's minor opening.

Frequently bypass 4+Diamonds

If your style is to bid suits up the line, do not check this box. If you may systemically bypass a diamond suit to bid a four-card major, check the box and be prepared to answer questions about your specific tendencies in this area, if you have any agreement. If 1 - 1 is something special, write in the line to the right of Other at the bottom of this section.

1 NT/1Club:

Put in the applicable HCP range.

2 NT:

Forcing

Check this box if a 2 No Trump response to one of a minor is natural and game-forcing

Inv.

Check this box if 2 No Trump is invitational and also fill in the point range.

3 NT:
For a natural 3 No Trump response, indicate the point range.
Other:

Use this line for any other conventions or treatments that you use in response to a one-of-a-minor opening bid.

 

TWO-LEVEL SUIT OPENINGS

For each opening, put the HCP range on the line to the right of the suit symbol for each two-bid. Then, describe what hand types make the opening in the DESCRIBE section. Put any response and follow-up information in the RESPONSES/REBIDS section. There are also boxes to check below the HCP range in each two-bid box to describe the meaning of the two-level opening.

2 Clubs

Strong - Check this box if 2 Clubs is strong for you, either strong and artificial or strong and natural.
Other - Check this box if 2 Clubs is not strong (Precision 2 Clubs, weak 2 Clubs, three-suited 2 Clubs, etc). Be sure to clarify the meaning on the line under the DESCRIBE heading.
2Diamonds Resp:

If you play a response of 2 to a 2 opening as Negative (bad hand) or Waiting (for partner to describe their hand), check the appropriate box.

2 Diamonds, 2 Heart, and 2 Spades

For these openings check Natural if four or more cards are shown in the bid suit; check Conv. if four or more cards are NOT promised in the bid suit. If weak two-bids can frequently be bid on five-card suits, note this under DESCRIBE. Also, note any suit-quality requirements or other notables.

Under RESPONSES/REBIDS note any conventional responses to the opening 2-bid, or conventional rebids by opener. Also check any appropriate box:

2 NT Force

Check this box if a response of 2 No Trump is forcing and asks for a further description of opener's hand.

New Suit NF

Check this box if a response of a new suit is natural but not forcing.

 

OTHER CONVENTIONAL CALLS

Since new minor forcing , weak jump shifts, and 4th suit forcing are so common, there are boxes to check and lines to the right of the box to add a further description of the method. For new minor and 4th suit, make notes if some auctions are game-forcing and some aren't.

There are several other lines to put special understandings, such as defenses to Michaels cuebids or unusual notrump.

New Minor Forcing:

Check this box if after opener's 1 No Trump rebid you play that a rebid by responder of 2 of a new minor is artificial and forcing and asks for clarification about opener's support for responder's major, (e.g., 1 - 1; 1 No Trump - 2.) After checking the box, write "Inv" on the line next to the box if you play New Minor Forcing as an invitational call, or "G.F." if you play it Game Forcing.

2-Way NMF:

If you play that both 2 Clubs and 2 Diamonds are artificial and forcing, check this box instead and explain the differences between the two bids on the available line.

Weak Jump Shifts:

If you play that a jump shift by responder shows a long suit with a weak hand, check this box and write your agreement ("Over Minors", "In Competition") on the line to the right of the box.

4th Suit Forcing

If you play that in an uncontested auction, a bid of the fourth suit by responder is artificial and forcing, check the box to indicate if the bid is a 1 Round force or a Game force.

NOTE: It is your responsibility to make sure your methods are legal for the event. Consult the appropriate convention chart, usually the ACBL General Convention Chart, occasionally the ACBL Mid-Chart or SuperChart. If there is any doubt, consult with the tournament director.

 

SPECIAL DOUBLES

Negative:

If you use Negative Doubles, check the box and write in after thru the level up to 4 Hearts through which you use them - show highest overcall that a double of which would be negative, i.e., "thru 3 Spades" implies a double of a 4 Clubs overcall would be penalty (or "cards" if you make note of that somewhere in the Special Doubles section). If you use them over bids of 4 Spades or higher, check the "4 Spades+" box and note any higher level through which negative doubles are used. (Remember that negative doubles over bids of 4 Spades or higher require an Alert.)

Responsive:

Check and write in after thru as for negative doubles, if applicable.

Maximal:

Double used artificially to show game interest in a bid-and-raised suit. Applies when opponents bid the maximal suit (the one just under three of agreed suit), i.e. 1 - Double - 2 - 3 - Double is an artificial game try in spades. Check the Maximal if applicable.

Support Dbl:

Double by opener at 2nd turn shows 3-card support for responder's major, i.e., 1 - Pass - 1 - 1 - Double shows 3-card support. Indicate if you use support doubles and the level through which you use them.

Redbl:

If you also use the support redouble indicate this by checking this box.

Card-showing:

Checking this box means that you frequently make doubles that show values at low levels in situations where the unAlerted meaning of the double is penalty.

Min. Offshape T/O:

Check this box if, by agreement, you make takeout doubles with minimum hands which do not show support for the unbid suits. For example, if your T/O of an opening 1 Spade bid with KJx, xx, AQxx, Kxxx would not be unexpected to partner.

Other:

On the blank line at the bottom of the Special Doubles section, write anything else about special doubles that doesn't fit elsewhere.

 

NOTRUMP OVERCALLS

Direct:

Indicate the HCP range when you overcall RHO's opening bid with 1 No Trump.

Systems On:

Check if you play the same responses to a 1 No Trump overcall as to a 1 No Trump opening bid.

Conv.:

Check this box and add a description the conventional meaning of a notrump overcall. For example, you may play a "Sandwich No Trump" where 1 - Pass - 1 - 1 No Trump shows a weak hand with clubs and hearts.

Balancing:

Show range of a balancing 1 No Trump overcall in this type of auction: 1 - Pass - Pass - 1 No Trump: 15-17? 11-15? 9-11?

Jump to 2 No Trump:

Check the type of two-suiter shown:

Minors: If 1 - 2 No Trump or 1 - 2 No Trump shows both minors, check Minors.

2 Lowest: If 1 - 2 No Trump shows Diamonds and Hearts and 1 - 2 No Trump shows Clubs and Hearts, check 2 Lowest.

Conv.:

Check this box and add a description the conventional meaning of a Jump to 2 No Trump after RHO's opening bid. If you play any other conventional meanings of Notrump Overcalls, you may list them on this line.

 

SIMPLE OVERCALL

1 level:

Show the expected, basic agreed HCP range for a one-level overcall.

often 4 cards:

Check this box if you frequently overcall at the one level with a 4-card suit.

very light style:

Check this box if, for example, you overcall aggressively with AQTx and nothing else.

Responses to a Simple Overcall

New suit:

Check the box that best describes your agreements if partner bids a new suit in response to your simple overcall.

Forcing:

Check if new suit is forcing in response to an overcall. If sometimes forcing, sometimes not (other than by passed hand), do not check the box but be ready to answer questions.

NFConst:

Check if the response is constructive but not forcing.

NF:

Check this box if the response is non-forcing and also is not constructive. For example, check this box if you are likely to bid 2 with KT9xxx on an auction of 1 - 1 - Pass - You.

Jump Raise:

Check whichever box describes your agreement.

Forcing:

Check this box if a jump raise in the overcalled suit is forcing to game.

Inv.:

Check this box if a jump raise in the overcalled suit is invitational to game.

Weak:

Check this box if a jump raise in the overcalled suit is preemptive, and just shows length in your suit. Remember that this treatment requires an alert.

Other:

On the blank line at the bottom of the Simple Overcall section, list any other conventions/treatments that you play in response to a simple overcall.

 

 

DEFENSE VS NOTRUMP

This area is designed to be as flexible as possible. There are two basic columns. The first line is noted only as vs:. On this line you may label each column to indicate a No Trump range (weak - strong) or use one column for direct and the other for balance or some combination. Write the meaning of the bids in that column on the first line.

If you play each two-level call as natural, you can just circle the suit symbols. Otherwise you write alongside what that call indicates. For example, opposite 2 Clubs you could write "At least 5-4 majors" or "Unspecified one suiter".

Dbl:

On this line specify the meaning of a double in your defense to a 1 No Trump opening.

Other:

Use these 2 lines to note other defenses which were not described above. For example, negative doubles over 3-level interference.

 

JUMP OVERCALLS

Check appropriately. If you have different treatments for different situations (position, vulnerability), write them above the box that applies to that situation.

Weak:

Means less-than-opening strength is normally expected.

Intermediate:

Means opening strength is expected.

Strong:

Means at least a King better than a minimum opening bid is expected. Check more than one box if vulnerability or level or some other factor causes the agreement to change.

For anything relevant about jump overcalls not indicated above use the blank line at the bottom of this section (i.e., "some jump overcalls show two-suiters").

 

OPENING PREEMPTS

3/4-bids:

Sound:

Three and four-level preempts are roughly in accordance with the rule of 500 - you expect to take seven tricks vulnerable, six tricks non-vulnerable out of your own hand.

Light:

Preempts are frequently below "sound" ones but better than "very light". Note if it varies with seat or vulnerability.

Very Light:

Preempts at the 3-level would be made on

73
J84
74
QJ9542

Conv./Resp.:

For any special conventional preemptive openings like NAMYATS (a four level opening of 4 to show a stronger than normal 4 opening and 4 to show a similar 4 opening), responses to partner's opening preempt or other pertinent details use the bottom two lines of this section.

 

OVER OPP'S T/O DOUBLE

New Suit Forcing:

Indicate at what level(s) you play this treatment.
If a new suit bid at the 1-level is forcing (e.g., 1 - Double - 1) check this box. If a new suit bid at the 2-level is forcing, (e.g., 1 - Double - 2) check this box.

Jump Shift:

Check any boxes that apply.

Forcing:

Check this box if a jump shift after the opponent's takeout double is strong and game forcing.

Inv.:

Check this box if a jump shift after the opponent's takeout double is invitational to game.

Weak:

Check this box if a jump shift after the opponent's takeout double is preemptive.

Redouble implies no fit:

Check here if you tend to raise directly with a fit and reserve redouble for non-fitting hands.

2 No Trump Over:

Define 2 No Trump over an opponent's takeout double - do so by checking the appropriate box opposite the opening bid under the following categories: Limit+ (limit raise or better), Limit (limit raise), Weak.

Other:

Any other treatments.

 

DIRECT CUEBID

In this section indicate the meaning of a bid of the suit opened by your RHO (right hand opponent). Check the appropriate box or boxes opposite Natural, Strong T/O (takeout) and Michaels under the headings Minor, Major and Artif. Bid (artificial bid).

Natural:

Check this box in the appropriate column if you play that a bid of the same suit bid by your RHO shows a desire to play in that suit. Note that this agreement is alertable for both Majors and Minors.

Strong T/O:

If a cuebid shows a big hand short in the bid suit, check the box in the column for which this agreement applies.

Michaels:

Check the appropriate boxes and give details on the line below if you play Michaels (A cuebid of RHO's minor suit shows both majors, and a cuebid of RHO's major suit opening shows the other major and an unspecified minor suit. Usually this bid shows no more than a minimum opening hand, but some pairs play good-bad Michaels showing either a weak hand or a very strong one.) Other cuebids such as "top and bottom" (showing both the highest and lowest unbids suits) should be described on the blank line at the bottom of this section.

If 1 - 2 shows a club suit even if the 1 is a natural opening (also for 1 - 2), check the Natural box under Minor. If you play this bid as natural only over artificial openings of 1 and 1, check the Artif. Bid box.

Other cuebids such as "top and bottom" should be described on the blank line at the bottom of this section. You may also use this line to indicate if you have agreements for cuebids in the balancing position.

 

VS OPENING PREEMPTS DOUBLE IS

Check Takeout and note the level of preempt through which the double is takeout if applicable. If a double of a preempt is for penalty, mark the Penalty box. If you play takeout through a certain level but penalty above that level (for example, takeout through 4 Hearts and penalty above), you should check the takeout box and write in 4 Hearts after thru, and then check the penalty box and write 4 Spades+ by the side.

Conv. Takeout:

If you play penalty or optional doubles, you normally would use some suit overcall as a takeout bid. If so, indicate here. "Cheaper minor" would describe one such convention.

Lebensohl 2 No Trump Response:

Check here if a 2 No Trump response to a double of an opening two-bid is Lebensohl, requesting a 3 Clubs reply.

Other:

On this line, add any other details such as two-suit overcalls over preempts.

 

SLAM CONVENTIONS

Gerber:

If you ever use 4 Clubs to ask for aces, check this box. Since only unusual ace-asking conventions on the first round of bidding are Alertable, it is important to indicate when 4 Clubs is used as ace-asking.

4 No Trump:

Indicate the type of 4 No Trump slam try that you use. Mark the appropriate box even if you frequently use a bid other than 4 No Trump to ask for aces/key cards.

Blackwood:

Check this box if you use regular Blackwood with standard responses (5 shows 0 or 4 aces, 5 shows 1 ace, 5 shows 2 aces, and 5 shows 3 aces).

RKC:

Check this box if you use Roman Key Card Blackwood with the king of trump counting as an extra "ace". 5 shows 0 or 3 aces, 5 shows 1 or 4 aces, 5 shows 2 or 5 aces without the queen of trump, and 5 shows 2 or 5 aces with the queen of trump. Remember to not alert this bid, but to explain it after the face-down opening lead.

1430:

Check this box if you invert the first two responses to Roman Key Card Blackwood with 5 showing 1 or 4 aces and, 5 showing 0 or 3 aces.

If you use Roman Blackwood (shows only aces, and shows which two of four aces are held), or declarative-interrogative (where 4 No Trump is a general slam try), or Culbertson or any other use of 4 No Trump, describe the 4 No Trump variation on one of the blank lines in this section.

Also use these lines to indicate special ace-asking bids used:

"Kickback" means that four of the suit over your trump suit is used as Roman Key Card (4 when hearts are trump, 4 when clubs are trump, etc). "Redwood" means that 4 or 4 can be used as Roman Key Card, the suit not in focus as a trump suit. If a raise to four of a minor is used as RKCB or for other understandings, indicate it here. There should be sufficient room to write an explanation of what you are playing rather than just "Kickback" or "Redwood".

vs Interference:

Check the appropriate box if you have any special ace-showing responses over interference over 4 or 4 No Trump.

DOPI

means that double shows zero aces/keycards, and pass shows 1 ace/keycard, etc.

DEPO

means that double shows even number of aces/key cards while pass shows odd number of aces/key cards.

Level:

On this line indicate the level at which you play DOPI and DEPO. For example: "DOPI@5 lvl, DEPO@6 lvl".

ROPI

is used over a double and means that redouble shows zero, pass shows 1 ace/keycard, etc.

 

CARDING

LEADS:

Circle card led from various holdings in each section - versus Suits and versus Notrump. No card circled announces standard leads (the card shown in bold type) - King from A-K-x, top card from an interior sequence (jack from K-J-10, 10 from K-10-9, etc). Circle any exceptions to standard leads.

LENGTH LEADS:

4th Best

If you lead the fourth best card from suits like Q-8-6-2 (lead the 2) or K-J-8-6-2 (lead the 6), then check the appropriate box(es). It is understood that you lead third best from three cards, and lead the appropriate honor from sequences or interior sequences when you choose to do so. Your leads from small-cards-only should be circled under previous section.
vs SUITS:

If you lead fourth-best against suit contracts, check this box.

vs No Trump:

If you lead fourth-best against notrump contracts, check this box.

3rd/5th Best

These boxes indicate that you lead third best from suits with an even number of cards and lowest from suits with an odd number of cards. e.g. lead the 6 from Q-8-6-2, lead the 3 from K-J-8-6-3, lead the 2 from Q-9-7-6-5-3-2.
vs SUITS:

If you lead 3rd/5th against suit contracts, check this box.

vs No Trump:

If you lead 3rd/5th against notrump contracts, check this box.

Attitude vs. No Trump

Check this box if you lead lower from stronger holdings and higher from weaker ones against notrump contracts.

If you have other agreements, put them on the line at the bottom of this section.

Primary signal to partner's leads:

While many pairs may vary their primary signal to partner's opening lead depending upon dummy's particular holding and the auction, there is usually an agreed meaning except for special circumstances. Check your primary or normal agreement.

Attitude

Check this box if the card you play to partner's opening lead shows your attitude towards the suit lead (whether you play standard or upside-down signals).

Count

Check this box if the card you play to the first trick shows your count in the suit that partner lead, whether your signal is standard (high from an even number, low from an odd number) or upside-down (low from an even number, high from an odd number).

Suit preference

If the card that you play to the first trick shows suit preference to the other two suits (other than trump and the suit partner lead) then check this box. If you only make this signal when there is a singleton or void in dummy in the suit partner lead, then do not check the box.

 

DEFENSIVE CARDING:

There are boxes to check for follow-suit signals (signals you give when you must follow suit.) You should check the combination of boxes that describe your defensive signaling against suit and notrump contracts. It may be necessary to write some clarification in addition to check the appropriate boxes.

Standard:

Count:

High-low shows an even number of cards in that suit, while low-high shows an odd number of cards.

Attitude:

A high card shows interest in that suit, low-high shows disinterest.

Suit preference:

Playing a low card shows preference for the lower-ranking offsuit (not trump and not the suit led); playing a high card shows preference for the higher-ranking offsuit.

If these definitions describe your agreement, check the boxes under vs SUITS and/or vs NT. If you have some exceptions, check the Except box and write them in the lines provided.

Upside-Down:

If your agreement is the opposite of standard, then you are playing upside-down. While it is permissible to play any combination of standard and upside-down signals against suits and notrump, you must mark your card correctly and CLEARLY. Check the appropriate boxes to indicate when you play these discards. Either note the upside-down portions as exceptions or draw a line from the Except box to the appropriately checked boxes under Upside-Down:.

FIRST DISCARD:

On these lines, describe your discards. If you check nothing, you are announcing standard discards, with the emphasis on attitude.
Lavinthal

Check this box if you tend to discard suits you don't like while giving suit preference for other suits.

Odd/Even

Check this box if you discard odd-ranked cards to encourage in that suit and even-ranked cards to discourage in that suit and possibly give suit preference.

Whatever it is you are playing, either check the appropriate boxes or write it on the line and check whether it applies vs SUITS and/or vs NT.

OTHER CARDING:

In this section, list other defensive signals that you play.
Smith Echo

This is a method to indicate encouragement (by either partner) for the suit initially led by echoing on declarer's run of a long suit in dummy or his hand. Lack of an echo implies a desire for a switch, check the appropriate box(es) to indicate if you play this signal vs SUITS and/or vs NT.

Trump Suit Pref. (Preference)

Check this box if you discard with three trumps to indicate a preference for one of the other suits.

Foster Echo

Check this box if your agreement is that partner of the opening leader follows suit with his second highest card when he cannot beat dummy's card or the card that was led.

SPECIAL CARDING PLEASE ASK:

Check this box if you have agreements that are unusual and/or cannot be clearly noted on the card. As Declarer it is always a good idea to check a defender's card and ask questions when you see that this box has been checked.

 

Always check the Convention Chart for permissible carding methods as some are not permitted.

 


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