The origin of the Kentucky Club bidding system is unknown. The concept behind this bidding system is that the system employs a forcing 1 Club opening for only two distinctly types of holdings, which are:

1. Balanced holdings with 15 plus high card points, and
2. Suit-oriented holdings with at least game-forcing values and/or strength..

Opening Bids

Note: All other holdings are bid in a natural manner and these bids are considered natural.

Bid Values Meaning
1 : 15-19 high card points Shows balanced shape, or
  22+ high card points Shows various game-forcing shapes.
1 : 11-21 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Diamond suit.
1 : 11-21 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit.
1 : 11-21 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit.
     
1 NT: 15-17 high card points Shows balanced shape, but generally a rebid by opener, or
  12-14 high card points Shows balanced shape, vulnerable, no 5-card Major suit, or
  11-14 high card points Shows balanced shape, non-vulnerable, no 5-card Major suit.
     
2 : 11-21 high card points Promises a 5-card plus Club suit.
2 : 11-14 high card points Distribution: 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0.
2 : 7-10 high card points Promises a 6-card Heart suit.
2 : 7-10 high card points Promises a 6-card Spade suit.
2NT: 20-22 high card points Shows balanced shape.

A distinction is made if the holding contains a 5-card Minor suit and if the holding contains the required values for a 1 Club opening and a 1 No Trump rebid showing 15-17 high card points and a distribution of 5-3-3-2. If the 5-card suit is a Major suit, then the opening should be that particular Major suit instead of a 1 Club opening.

Opener's Response

The distinction between the two possibilities of the 1 Club opening is that the opener, with a suit-oriented holding instead of a balanced holding, simply rebids his suit, showing 22 plus points and not the 15-17 points for a No Trump rebid. The level of the No Trump rebid by the opener also contains information about the point range and are identified in the chart below.

Opener Partner Meaning of Opener's rebid
1 response Promises 15 plus points and balanced; 22 plus points and suit-oriented.
1 NT Shows values between 15-17 high card points.
2 NT Shows values between 18-19 high card points.
3 NT Shows values 23 plus high card points.

The opening of 2 No Trump shows values between 20-22 high card points, and the rebids by the opener show different values. This difference is important to remember.

Response Method

Any response of 1 Diamond to a 1 Club opening is considered a positive response and promises 6 plus high card points. However, this particular first response by the responder does not, in itself, convey the information that the responder will bid again. Other responses after a 1 Club opening and their meanings are shown below in the schematic. It is important to realize that any first response of 2 Hearts or higher is based on the assumption that the 1 Club opener may have a No Trump holding.

Opener Responder Meaning
1 1 Positive, promising 6 plus high card points.
1 Promises a 4-card plus Heart suit and 0-5 points.
1 Promises a 4-card plus Spade suit and 0-5 points.
1 NT Promises both Minor suits; 0-5 points; 5-5 vulnerable and 5-4 non-vulnerable.
2 Promises a 4-card plus Club suit and 0-5 points.
2 Promises a 4-card plus Diamond suit and 0-5 points.
2 This is a transfer to Spades; promises 8-9 points.
2 This is a transfer to Clubs; promises 8-9 points.
2 NT Promises 9-10 points and is invitational.
3 This is a Jacoby Transfer to Diamonds; promises 8-9 points.
3 This is a Jacoby Transfer to Hearts; promises 8-9 points.
3 NT Promises 10 plus high card points and is to play.
4 This is a transfer to 4 Hearts - South African Texas Transfers.
4 This is a transfer to 4 Hearts - South African Texas Transfers.
4 Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit and is to play.
4 Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit and is to play.

Three Level Responses

A jump by the responder to the three level in one of the Major suits has a different meaning altogether and can be varied according to the partnership preference.

The general guideline is that a jump to 3 Hearts indicates a distributional holding in both Minor suits with at least a 5-4 distribution when non-vulnerable and at least a 5-5 distribution by unfavorable vulnerability and that the Club suit is somewhat stronger and is considered to be only invitational.

The jump to 3 Spades indicates a distributional holding in both Minor suits with at least a 5-4 distribution when non-vulnerable and at least a 5-5 distribution by unfavorable vulnerability and that the Diamond suit is somewhat stronger and is game-forcing. These two bids can be modified by the partnership accordingly.

 

 

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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