In the game of bridge, a most important feature is to pronounce the very first bid, or open the auction. Many bridge partnerships have therefore developed partnership understandings to the significance of these opening bids. The responses and rebids are more or less traditional in their interpretations, and use the normal conventions to establish the final contract.

It is important for the individual bridge reader to understand that the origins of most versions of opening bids are clouded in mystery and no one truly knows the precise moment when they appeared.

Note: Below is an photograph of Clare College (left) and part of King's College, including King's College Chapel (centre), built between the year 1441 and the year 1515.

Note: Also included in this presentation is the updated version for the year 2009 of the The Cambridge University Bridge Club Standing Orders preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: Former opening bids and bidding systems are also archived on the website of the University of Cambridge from the years 2008-2009 and also from the year 2005, which were written by Mr. Robert Richardson.

     
     

Below is the chart for the Cambridge Standard Opening Bids, which are outlined and presented online by the University of Cambridge in England. A summary of the bidding system of the University of Cambridge can be found by clicking on the picture above. This information is also only preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: For a more comprehensive study of the Cambridge Standard Bidding System the student should examine the write-up of Mr. Robin Michaels (source) and which has also only been archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Opening Bids Only

Bid   Strength   Meaning
1 :   12-20 high card points   Shows a 3-card plus Club suit.
1 :   12-20 high card points   Shows a 3-card plus Diamond suit.
1 :   12-20 high card points   Shows a 5-card plus Heart suit.
1 :   12-20 high card points   Shows a 5-card plus Spade suit.
    Note: The general guideline is to bid the longest suit, or the lowest 4-card suit, or the highest 5-card suit.
1 NT:   12-14 high card points   Shows a balanced holding; partnership decides whether one round forcing.
2 :   23+ high card points   Shows any shape.
2 :   6-10 high card points   Shows a 6-card plus Diamond suit.
2 :   6-10 high card points   Shows a 6-card plus Heart suit.
2 :   6-10 high card points   Shows a 6-card plus Spade suit.
2 NT:   20-22 high card points   Shows a balanced distribution.

Most of the partnerships employ Inverted Minors after a Minor suit opening. Included in the partnership understanding is that a 2 No Trump response after a Major suit opening indicates at least a 3-card support but only invitational values. Any Two Over One response is considered to be game forcing, otherwise the response should not exceed 1 No Trump.

 

 

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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