This conventional method was devised by Mr. David C. Carter of St. Louis, Missouri, United States, born in the year 1906, (Source: OEofB, 1976, page 600), and also independently by Mr. Olle Willner, born in the year 1923, of Stockholm, Sweden, which he described in the Swedish bridge magazine Bridge Tidningen.

Note: The designation for this particular concept or conventional method is also known as Dutch Texas Transfer Bids. The two designations Texas Convention and also the Carter Transfer, named for Mr. David Carter were also in use.

Information and Explanations

Mr. Olle Willner published a series of articles beginning at the end of the year 1953 and ending early in the year 1954. In order to understand the origins it must be stated that the two mentioned bridge experts devised the concept to easily accommodate certain bidding sequences with certain bidding guidelines.

Note: The mystery behind the inclusion of the word Texas in the designation remains unsolved. Why this particular concept achieved or culminated with this designation has not been explained in any known bridge-related publication. This designation becomes more cryptic and inexplicable since the concept was devised by one person living in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, and by another in the country of Stockholm, Sweden.

Note: The origin of the word texas (other spellings: tejas, tayshas, texias, thecas, techan, teysas, techas) had wide usage among the Indians of present East Texas even before the coming of the Spanish, whose various transcriptions and interpretations gave rise to many theories about the meaning. The usual meaning was friends, although the American-Indian tribe of Hasinais applied the word to many groups, including Caddoan (a family of Native American languages), to mean allies (as opposed to enemies). The Hasinais probably did not apply the name to themselves as a local group name. However, they did use the term as a form of greeting as in Hello, friend (again, as opposed to enemy.)

However, it was owing to the efforts of Mr. Oswald Jacoby, who promoted the concept, meaning that it was he, who brought the concept from its limited isolation to or toward recognition, and to have the concept advance to the mature state of acceptance and favorable reception by the general bridge community through promotion and furtherance.

Note: Mr. Alan Truscott, in his publication The New York Times Bridge Book, copyright 2002, makes the assumption that it is unlikely that Jacoby knew about this, so this is another example of simultaneous invention, like the calculus. Mr. Alan Truscott makes the assumption that Mr. Oswald Jacoby was unaware of the published series authored by Mr. Olle Willner and published in the Swedish Bridge Tidningen magazine / journal.

The Texas convention employs a transfer bid and is therefore sometimes referred to as Texas Transfers or Texas Transfer Bids. Most partnerships play according to the intention of the original Texas Transfer conventional method that Texas Transfer bids are employed when the responder holds only game values, not slam values. If the responder holds slam values, then the responder should, by agreement, first employ Jacoby Transfer bids on the two level, and following acceptance of the transfer bid continue with a slam bidding method.

The Texas convention is employed by the responder after partner opens 1 No Trump or 2 No Trump, in order to have the stronger hand become the declarer in a Major suit game contract. In the case that the responder has values and proper distribution in Hearts, which allows for a Heart suit game contract, then the responder immediately jumps to 4 Diamonds in order to transfer partner to 4 Hearts. When the responder holds game values and proper distribution in Spades, then the responder immediately jumps to 4 Hearts in order to transfer partner to 4 Spades.

Examples of Responder's Holdings

South   North South   North
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A109
 
A74
K87542
98
KQ
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A109
 
QJ87543
A8
A64
4
1 NT   4 1 NT   4
4   Pass 4   Pass

In both bidding sequence it is the No Trump bidder, who becomes the declarer.

In both cases for the Major suits described above, it is of the utmost importance that the responder has game-going values, but not slam potential, otherwise the Texas convention should not be employed. The concept was originated with the understanding that both transfer bids occur on the four level, and that the No Trump bidder is forced to accept the transfer.

Note: The original conventional method, as devised, requires that the partnership employ Texas Transfer bids after interference by the immediate opponent through an overcall up to and including 3, but this is valid only after a 1 No Trump opening. If the opening bid is 2 No Trump, then the Texas Transfer bids are played as systems off by immediate competition.

Extended Texas Convention

There is an extension of this concept or conventional method, which allows the partnership to transfer also to Diamonds and also to Clubs. This extension of the Texas convention is normally not designated as the Extended Texas Convention, although the designation would be apt. It is employed in the following manner as shown in the two illustrations.

South   North South   North
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A107
 
4
K6
A86542
KQ95
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A107
 
4
A8
A64
QJ98543
1 NT   4 1 NT   4
4 5 5 Pass

The reason behind this extension is to include a game force for a Minor suit. The requirements, as are the disadvantages, the same. The responder should have game forcing values and at least a 6-card suit before employment. If these requirements are not met, then the responder must find another bid or call. By competition the same conditions apply as with the transfer bids to Hearts and Spades.

Note: It is also important to remember that the responder could employ the Jacoby Transfer convention first to transfer to a 6-card Major suit instead of using the Texas Transfer bids. The question arises as to why there should be two distinctive methods of transferring to the same suit. The concept carries with it the idea that a Jacoby Transfer, followed by a game bid, invites the No Trump bidder to slam.

Employing the Texas Transfer bids does not invite the No Trump bidder to consider slam, but only a game contract. The second difference is that the bid of 4 No Trump after a Texas Transfer bid is a definite slam-try and is not a quantitative bid, whereas the bid of 4 No Trump after a Jacoby Transfer is considered to be only quantitative. This, of course, is by partnership agreement.

Example

South   North   Meaning
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A109
 
QJ76543
AK
A64
4
   
1 NT       Agreed range is 15-17 high card points and balanced distribution.
    4   Initiation of Texas convention.
4       Acceptance of the transfer bid.
    4 NT   Not a quantitative bid. Slam try with Spades as the established trump suit.

Interference - Competition

If and when the opponents interfere, especially with an immediate overcall, the general consensus is that the responder, provided that the level of interference is not too high, continue with the Texas transfer bid. If the overcall has interfered with the comfort level and has disturbed the features of the Texas conventional method, then the general consensus is that all suit bids by the responder are to be considered natural. This means that the majority of partnerships have adopted the understanding that all Texas conventional transfer bids are in effect with any competition up to and including a bid of 3 Spades. However, all continuances following any preempt on the four level, especially by the immediate opponent, should be considered to be natural.

Note: In case of an intervening overcall, other partnership understandings have agreed to include the features of the Texas conventional method only through to and including 3 Clubs (see original concept above), after which all bids by the responder become natural. Partnership agreement.

Note: In case of an intervening overcall, other partnership understandings have agreed to include the features of the Texas conventional method only through to and including 3 Diamonds, after which all bids by the responder become natural. Partnership agreement.

Variation of Texas Convention - Dutch Texas Transfer Bids

A variation of the Texas conventional method is played in The Netherlands, or parts thereof, and which is referred to unofficially as Dutch Texas Transfer Bids. The concept behind this variation is based on the fact that the conventional method of Gerber is surrendered and the immediate first response of 4Clubs becomes a Transfer bid to Diamonds. Following the completion of the transfer, the responder would then sign-off in either Major suit.

The alleged advantage of this variation is that the transfer would allow the responder, holding either one or two tenaces, to become the declarer instead of the No Trump bidder.

South   North South   North   Meaning
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A107
 
AQ
A86542
64
985
K98
QJ10
KQJ7
A107
 
AQJ1053
85
AQ4
64
   
1 NT   4 1 NT   4   The first response of 4 is a Dutch Transfer Bid to Diamonds. Gerber is suspended.
4 4 hearts 4 4  

 

 

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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