The california club system overview


Download 0.83 Mb.
Date conversion29.03.2017
Size0.83 Mb.
1   ...   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12

A.♠ Axxx ♠ KQxx 1C 1NT (13-15 HCP)

♥ Kx ♥Axx 2C (Stayman) 2H (4 spades)

♦ KQxx ♦Ax 2S (ask) 3H (excellent support)

♣ AQx ♣Jxxx 4C (Gerber or 1430-optional) (answer-2aces/3 KC)


B.♠ Kxx ♠ Axxx 1C 1NT

♥ AQxx ♥ Kx 2C 2H (4 spades, 2-3 hearts)

♦ Ax ♦ Kxx 3C (ask) 3S ( 4-card support-Hxxx)

♣ KQxx ♣Axxx 4C (Gerber or 1430) 4S (2)


C.♠ AKJxx ♠ Qxxx 1C 1NT

♥ x ♥ AKxx 2S 3H (4-card support - Hxxx)

♦ AKJx ♦ xx 4C (Gerber or 1430) 4S or 4NT

♣ Kxx ♣ Axx 5C 5D or 5H (1)

6S or 7S

D.♠ x ♠Axx 1C 1NT

♥ KQJ10xx ♥Ax 2H (ask) 2S (poor support)

♦ KQx ♦Axxx 3H (ask) 3NT ( Hx)

♣ AKx ♣J10xx 4C (gerber or 1430) 4H or 4NT (3)

5C 5D or 5H (0)


E.♠ A ♠ Jxx 1C 1NT

♥ Kx ♥ AQx 2NT (5+clubs) 3D (fair support)

♦ KJ10x ♦ Axxx 4C (Gerber or 1430) 4H (0 or 3)

♣ AQJxxx ♣ Kxx 4S (kings?) 4NT (0)


As promised, I will now outline the better way to bid minimum positive balanced hands. In this system, they are defined as hands with 9-12 HCP, slightly stronger than the Precision equivalent.

The 2C response to 1C is the first of four two-level responses that have

more than one meaning. These extra meanings allow the description of a wide variety of hands. This is a prime example.

The 2C response describes either a hand with 9+HCP and at least five clubs OR a balanced hand with 9-12 HCP. Since the bid is forcing to game

no matter which hand it shows, there is plenty of time to determine which it is. As to why this slightly more complicated method is worth the effort, it all comes down to the same two reasons cited throughout this little treatise:

  1. The strong club opener will declare the hand and remain at least partially hidden; the weak hand comes down as dummy.

  2. The lead will come up to the strong hand, giving us a positional advantage.

Responder defines his hand with his second bid. A rebid of 3C is the most obvious way to show the 5+ clubs. There are some other bids which show clubs plus side suits or singletons, but 3C is the primary vehicle. The balanced hand is often shown by a raise of 2NT to 3NT or by the use of 3D as Stayman. The entire scheme will become clearer when we outline opener’s possible bids after 2C.

The simplest case is when opener has a balanced or semi-balanced hand. He bids 2NT. His point count is not important. There is no need to jump with a big hand. If responder has the balanced 9-12 HCP hand, he either bids 3D (Stayman) to find a 4-4 major fit or raises to 3NT. If he has clubs, he almost always bids 3C. Once in a while, he may reverse into 3H or 3S or splinter at the four level with 4D, 4H, or 4S to show a big hand.

When opener has a suit-oriented hand, he bids his long suit. If his suit is diamonds, one set of responses is used. If it is a major, a second slightly different, set of bids is used. The responses follow some logical general rules that are intended to make them reasonably easy to remember. As always, they are meant to make the 1C opener the declarer in as many situations as possible.

The first general rule is that if responder bids 2NT, it has something to do with a major. Over 2D, it shows both majors. If the opener has a side 4-card major, he bids the suit and becomes declarer in any major suit game or slam.

This is one of the few situations where having responder declare no trump may actually be beneficial. With an unbalanced hand, opener may be short in at least one major, and responder should have both of them covered.

Over 2H or 2S the 2NT bid shows a 4-card raise. Responder will never be declarer in that case.

The second rule is that if responder bids a major in response to opener’s first rebid of two of a suit, he is DENYING four cards in the suit. Over 2D it shows four cards in the opposite major. Over 2H or 2S, it merely shows a non-fitting balanced hand. A corollary of this rule is that a bid of 3D in response to 2H or 2S is artificial. It SHOWS four cards in the opposite major.

The third rule is the most obvious. A bid of 3C shows 5+ clubs. It may a

be a non-fitting hand or contain a delayed raise of opener’s suit.

The fourth rule is also not rocket science. A simple raise to three of opener’s suit shows a three card raise. After both the three card and the four card raises, the cheapest bid is a form of Ogust, asking for strength and suit quality in steps. Those steps will be outlined in the system summary.

The fifth rule is that jumps to four of opener’s suit and splinter bids in new suits both show four card support and a 5+ card club suit. Obviously,

a splinter precludes any possibility that responder has the balanced 9-12 HCP hand. The jump to four of opener’s major is merely the same hand with 5-4-2-2 distribution. The simililarities between the two types of hands should make these bids easier to remember.

Finally, jumps to 4C indicate a very good suit and at least 13+ HCP. Again, this is hardly likely to confuse anyone.

Here are the bidding schemes:


1C 2C

2NT= 17+,HCP, balanced or semi-balanced hand

Responder now defines his hand as follows:

3C = 5+clubs (may have a 4-card major)

3D = Stayman (balanced hand with at

least one 4-card major)

3NT = balanced hand with no major

This leaves the rebids of 3H and 3S free for better than minmum

hands with 5+ clubs and a side major. I would define them as

having 13+ HCP, 5+ clubs, and four of the OPPOSITE major,

which will make the 1C bidder the declarer in any 4-4 major fit.

So: 3H = 5+ clubs , 4 SPADES, 13+ HCP

3S = 5+ clubs, 4 HEARTS, 13+ HCP

Others may choose to make them simply natural.

Bids at the 4-level all show good 6+ card club suits and 13+ HCP.

4C shows 6+ clubs and no short suit. 4D,4H, and 4S are all splinter bids. So:

4C = 6+clubs, 13+ HCP, no short suit

4D = 6+clubs, 13+ HCP, 0-1 diamonds

4H = 6+clubs, 13+ HCP, 0-1 hearts

4S = 6+clubs, 13+ HCP, 0-1 spades

When responder uses 3D as Stayman, he defines his hand as limited to 12 HCP. If also balanced, opener will usually not try for slam unless he holds

at least 20 HCP. If responder signs off at 3NT, opener may bid a second suit at the four level, hoping for a 4-4 fit there. With no fit, responder can sign off again at 4NT. Any suit bid is a cue bid, confirming a fit in the second suit and some slam interest.

If a 4-4 major fit is found, responder can raise to four with any ordinary holding. With a maximum and slam interest, he may cue bid in a new suit rather than making a direct raise. Opener may sign off at four of the agreed major or make a return cue bid to indicate slam interest . 4NT would be ace-asking (1430).

Here are some example hands for the 1C-2C-2NT sequence:

A.♠ AJx ♠ Kxx 1C 2C

♥ Kx ♥ AQxx 2NT 3D (Stayman)

♦ AQ109 ♦ Jx 3NT

♣ KJxx ♣ xxxx

B.♠ AQ10x ♠ Kxxx 1C 2C

♥ Kx ♥ QJx 2NT 3C (9+ HCP, 5+ clubs)

♦ KJxx ♦ x 3S 4S

♣ AJx ♣ KQxxx P or 4NT (1430) - may wind up at 5S

C.♠ Kx ♠ Axx 1C 2C

♥ KJ10x ♥ Axxx 2NT 3D

♦ AQxx ♦ Jx 3H 3S (cue)

♣ AQx ♣ Kxxx 4NT (1430) 5H

6H (probably on 1 of 2 finesses)
D.♠ AKQx ♠ xxxx 1C 2C

♥ xx ♥ Ax 2NT 3C

♦ AKxx ♦ Qx 3S 4C (cue)

♣ Qxx ♣ AKxxx 4D 4H

5D 6C

7C or 7S 7S or 7NT

E.♠ QJx ♠ Axx 1C 2C

♥ Ax ♥ x 2NT 3C

♦ KQ10xx ♦ AJx 3D 4H (6+ clubs,13+HCP)

♣ AQx ♣ KJxxxx 4NT 5D (3 KC)

7C or 7NT
F.♠ K10 ♠ AQx 1C 2C

♥ AQJx ♥ xxx 2NT 3NT

♦ Ax ♦ Kxxx

♣ KQxxx ♣ xxx

G.♠ 109xx ♠ AJxx 1C 2C

♥ KJ ♥ Ax 2NT 3H (5+C,4S,13+HCP)

♦ AKQ ♦ xx 3S 4H (cue )

♣ Axxx ♣ KQxxx 4NT 5H

6C,6S, or 6NT


1C 2C-

2D 5+ diamonds in an unbalanced hand.

Responder still answers as if it is a Stayman request for a 4-card major.

Responder’s Answers

2H = DENIES 4 hearts, SHOWS 4 spades

2S = DENIES 4 spades, SHOWS 4 hearts

2NT = shows BOTH majors, 9-12 HCP

3C = 5+clubs, no major

3D = balanced raise,, 3+ diamonds

3H, 3S = splinters, hence 5+clubs

3NT = balanced hand, 9-12 HCP

Good major stoppers / no 4-card major

4C = 6+ clubs, GOOD suit, 13+ HCP

4D = 4+diamonds, 5+ clubs, 13+ HCP

When responder shows a major, he may still have 5+ clubs. He may show

his club suit if he gets a chance to bid it below game.
Here are some example hands:
A.♠ x ♠ Qxxx 1C 2C

♥ A109x ♥ x 2D 3H (splinter, 5+ clubs)

♦ AKJxxx ♦ Qx 4NT 5C

♣ KQx ♣ AJxxxx 6C P

B.♠ AQx ♠ Kxxx 1C 2C

♥ AQx ♥ xx 2D 2H (0-3 hearts, 4 spades)

♦ KQJxxx ♦ xx 2NT (waiting) 3C

♣ J ♣ AQxxx 3NT

C.♠ x ♠ KQxx 1C 2C

♥ Ax ♥ Qxxx 2D 2NT

♦ AQJxx ♦ Kx 3C 3D

♣ AQ10xx ♣ xxx 3H 3NT

D.♠ KQx ♠ A 1C 2C

♥ x ♥ xxx 2D 3C

♦ KQxxxx ♦ AJxx 3D 4D

♣ AKJ ♣ Q10xxx 4NT 5H

1C 2C

2H=5+ hearts responder raises or rebids semi- naturally, showing or

denying a second suit and / or shortness)
2S = no fit,denies 4 spades (opener rebids 2NT, 3H )

2NT = 4+ card heart raise (3C next is OGUST)

3C = 5+ clubs (may make delayed slam try of 4C,4D,4H

after opener rebids 3D,3H,3S,3NT

3D = shows 4 spades (opposite major) , balanced hand

3H = 3 hearts, balanced , (3S = Ogust query)

3S = singleton spade, 5+clubs,4 hearts (1435 or 1426) (9-12 HCP)

3NT= a balanced MAXIMUM (11-12 HCP), good major stoppers

(use sparingly-can bid 2S to let opener declare NT)

4C = 6+ solid clubs, 13+HCP

4D = singleton diamond, 5+ clubs, 4 hearts [3415 or 2416] 13+HCP

4H = 4-card raise, shows 5 clubs, four hearts, 2-2 on side

Here are some example hands:
A.♠ A ♠ Qxx 1C 2C

♥ QJ10xxx ♥ Axx 2H 3H

♦ AKx ♦ Qxxx 3S 4C

♣ KQxx ♣ Axx 4NT 5H


B.♠ Kx ♠ Axx 1C 2C

♥ AKQxx ♥ x 2H 3C

♦ AQxxx ♦ Kxxx 3D 3S

♣ x ♣ KJxxx 4D 5D


C.♠ KQx ♠ Jxx 1C 2C

♥ AQxxxx ♥ Kxxx 2H 2NT (4-card raise)

♦ AKJx ♦ Qx 3C (Ogust) 3H (Hxxx)

♣ ♣ KJxxx 5C (exclusion BW) 5D(0)

D.♠ QJxx ♠ Kxxx 1C 2C

♥ AKJxx ♥ Qx 2H 3D(4 spades)

♦ x ♦ Qxx 3S 4S

♣ AQxx ♣ Kxxx P or 4NT (may wind up in 5S)


1C 2C

2S=5+ spades responder raises or rebids semi-naturally,with
2NT = 4-card raise (3C Ogust query, as before)

3C = 5+clubs,may make delayed slam try of 4C, 4D, 4H

3D = shows 4 hearts (opposite major)

3H = denies 4 hearts, shows balanced non-fitting hand

3S = 3 spades,balanced (3NT-Ogust query,as above)

3NT = balanced 9-12 HCP, good tenaces

4C = 6+solid clubs, 13+ HCP

4D = singleton diamond, 5+ clubs, 4 spades [4315 or 4216] (13+HCP)

4H = singleton heart, 5+ clubs, 4 spades [4135 or 4126] (13+HCP)
Here are a few example hands::

A.♠ AK109x ♠ QJx 1C 2C

♥ x ♥ xx 2S 3C

♦ AQxx ♦ xx 3D 3S

♣ KJx ♣ AQxxxx 4C 4S

4NT ( 1430) 5C (1 KC)

5D (Q ?) 5S (yes)

6C or 6S P or 6S

B.♠ QJ109x ♠ Kxxx 1C 2C

♥ AKxx ♥ Jxx 2S 2NT (4-card raise)

♦ KQx ♦ Ax 3C (Ogust) 3H ( Hxxx )

♣ A ♣ QJxx 4NT (1430) 5H

C.♠ AQJxxxx ♠ K 1C 2C

♥ Kx ♥ Axx 2S 3C

♦ ♦ Qxx 3S 3NT

♣ AKxx ♣ QJxxxx 4C 4H

5D 5S

D.♠ KQxxx ♠ Jx 1C 2C

♥ AQJxx ♥ 109xx 2S 3C

♦ AJ ♦ Qx 3H 4H

♣ x ♣ AKJxxx P or 4NT (may wind up in 5H)

The Ogust inquiries about responder’s trump support are fairly simple.Since

trump is agreed , extra space to find a fit in another suit is not a concern.

Therefore , I am using a standard set of responses, rather than the type used

on page 128. That is , the first two bids show minimum hands; the next three

show maximums. For a 3-card raise,“good” support is defined as Qxx,Kxx,

or Axx. “Super” would be two of the three top honors. “Poor’ is Jxx or less.

For a 4-card raise, Qxxx or better is “good” and two of the top three honors

is “super.”

The general scheme is:

3-card raise 4-card raise

1st step = minimum, “poor” suit xxx to Jxx xxxx to Jxxx

2nd step = minimum, “good” suit Qxx to Axx Qxxx to Axxx

3rd step = maximum, “poor” suit xxx to Jxx xxxx to Jxxx

4th step = maximum, “good” suit Qxx to Axx Qxxx to Axxx

5th step = maximum, ‘super’ suit AJ10,AQx, AJ10x, AQxx,

KQx, AKx KQxx, AKxx

Note; This is certainly not the only way the three and four-card raises could

be handled. One could just as easily use 2NT for all maximum raises and raises

to three to show minimum raises. Then the Ogust answers would describe the

length of the raise and the suit quality. The scheme I have chosen is just a

personal preference.


The next three two-level responses to 1C all serve a particular purpose. They may have a primary positive meaning, but they all also function as ways to transfer contracts involving weak hands with long suits into the hand of the 1C opener. The concealment and lead advantages they achieve are considerable.


The 2D response to a 1C opening bid has two distinct functions. It shows a 5+ card diamond suit and 9+ HCP (like Precision, Schenken, etc.) OR

it shows a 7+ card HEART suit with less than 9 HCP and no more than one of the top three honors in the suit. The description I just gave of the diamond hand needs to be qualified. The 2D bid includes two specific positive diamond hands. Two other positive diamond hands are shown by the 2H response, which will be described in the next section.

Opener asks which hand responder holds with his first rebid, which is often 2H. Following our usual pattern, responder avoids bidding hearts first in almost all cases where the suit might become trump. When opener’s first rebid is 2H, that takes care of the problem. When it is 2S or 2NT, the continuations are designed to make sure that the strong club bidder almost always declares the contract.

The continuation procedure is relatively simple. If opener has a minimum or non-fitting hand for hearts, he bids 2H. If he has a better hand-one that he wouldn’t mind playing in 3H if necessary- he bids 2S or 2NT. Responder can now retransfer into 3H or even 4H if he has the heart hand. Any other bid shows the positive response in diamonds. After the definition of responder’s hand, further bidding is fairly natural. Responder does try to avoid bidding NT first in situations where he might wind up declaring NT from his side. He may, however, bid NT conventionally when he holds the 7+-card heart suit, since the contract will generally wind up in hearts.

It will be easier to describe the entire bidding scheme if I give a precise description of exactly which diamond hands are covered by the 2D response.

Responder only bids 2D to show a positive diamond response when he has

  1. a single suited hand (usually 6+ diamonds) or 2) a hand with 5+ diamonds and a 4-card heart suit. This limits the number of descriptive rebids he has to make.

Note: A hand with a exactly five diamonds and 5-3-3-2 distribution falls between the cracks of our response system. If the suit is very solid (AKJ10x, KQJ10x, etc.) I would treat it as a diamond one-suiter and bid 2D. With a mediocre suit, I would treat it as a balanced 9-12 HCP hand

and bid 2C.

Here is an outline of the entire setup:
After 1C 2D=either 9+HCP with 5+ diamonds and one of

these specific holdings -5 diamonds / 4+hearts

or 6+ diam and no side 4-card suit OR

a preemptive hand with 7+ hearts and no

more than one top honor

( hands with diamonds and a black side suit

will be covered by the 2H response )

responder has a weak hand with 7 hearts. With a minimum hand or a hand

that is a poor fit for hearts, he simply accepts the transfer or bids his

own independent 6 or 7 card suit.

Opener’s rebids:

2H - willing to play 2H opposite a very weak hand with hearts

2S - 5+ card spade suit, willing to play at least 3H or 3S opposite

a weak hand with 7+ hearts

2NT - extra strength or exceptional heart fit, willing to play

at least 3H opposite a weak hand with 7+ hearts

3C or 3D - probably a good 6 or 7 card suit with 0/1 hearts

Responder’s second bids now become fairly easy, because there are only 4 possibilities…………..9+ HCP with 5+ diamonds and 4 hearts,

9+ HCP with 6+ diamonds and no side suit, 0-4 HCP with 7+ hearts

or 5-8 HCP with 7+ hearts.

After opener’s 2H rebid, responder will clarify with :

Pass- very weak hand with hearts

2S - (4 card spade suit impossible) - relay to 2NT (This relay starts

the description of all 5D, 4H hands and all slam tries with

6+ diamonds and at least 13 HCP)

Direct 3-level bids (no 2S relay) show 6+diamonds and 9-12 HCP.

3C- 9-12 HCP, 6+ D, no 4-card side suit, 0-1 club

3D- 9-12 HCP, 6+ diamonds, no 4-card side suit or short suit

3H- 9-12 HCP, 6+D, no 4-card side suit, 0-1 hearts

3S- 9-12 HCP, 6+D, no 4-card side suit, 0-1 spades

Any of those last 4 bids is game-forcing,and natural continuations ensue.

Now let’s flash back to responder’s continuations after his 2S relay.
After 1C – 2D -2H - 2S- 2NT (forced) responder continues with:

3C= 9+ HCP, 5D, 4H, black singleton (3D asks, 3H=sing. club,

3S= sing. spade)

3D = 9+ HCP, 5D, 4H, 2C, 2S

3H, 3S = feature, 6+ D, 13+ HCP, slam interest

3NT= club feature, 6+ D, 13+ HCP, slam interest

4C, 4H, 4S= 0-1 card in suit, 6+ D, 13+ HCP, slam interest

But opener will not always be considerate enough to bid 2H over 1C-2D.

Don’t forget that opener’s 2H rebid can be passed. What if opener does not

want to risk being passed in 2H? He must bid something other than 2H. With

extra values and a 5+ card spade suit, he may bid 2S, with the understanding that

he has to be able to handle a 3H contract or insist on a 3S or 4S contract. With

extra values or a good heart fit, he may bid 2NT, again saying he can make 3H

opposite a weak hand. So we need a set of continuations for opener’s 2S and

2NT rebids, which we will get to after a brief detour into the minor suits.

. Opener may bid a super club or diamond suit after 1C-2D , though it might again

be better to bid 2H and play there if partner’s only values are in his long suit. At

any rate, those bids are not forcing but they are highly encouraging.. Responder

can pass with the worst possible hand. With a 5-8 point heart preempt, he can try

to get to 3H via a 3D retransfer (if available) or a simple 3H over 3D. Further bidding

in those cases will be essentially natural.

Returning now to to opener’s 2S and 2NT rebids, responder needs to handle

both his preemptive heart hands and the game – forcing hands with diamonds.

As in other situations, our bids are designed to transfer all of the heart contracts into

the hand of the 1C opener.After 2NT, that is accomplished by a retransfer bid of 3D.

After 2S, however, it is more useful to have 3D show a 6+ card diamond suit without

a spade fit.

Therefore, a conventional 2NT bid is used to show the heart preempt over

opener’s 2S: Given that opener may have very long spades and responder has a

7+ card heart suit, it should be very unusual for responder to end up declaring a NT contract. Here are the bidding schemes for those two situations:

After 1C-2D- 2S :

Pass- 0-4 HCP, 1-2+ spades, not willing to make things worse by bidding

2NT= conventional- 7+ hearts, 5-8 HCP (or very weak,void in spades and

willing to take a risk that he can get to a better 3H contract)

3C = 9+ HCP, 5D, 4H , 0-2 S (3 D asks spade length- 3H = 0-1. 3S = 2)

3D = 9+ HCP, 6+ D, 0-2 spades

3H = 9+ HCP, 5D,4H, 3-card spade raise

3S = 9-12 HCP, 6+ D, 3-card spade raise

4C = 13+ HCP, 6+ D, 3S, 0-1 club

4D = 13+ HCP, 6D, 3S, 2C, 2H

4H = 13+ HCP, 6+ D, 3S, 0-1 heart

Notice that the 2NT bid tends to be be fairly constructive- from 5-8 HCP

with 7+ hearts.Occasionally, though, responder may just be making a desperate

run from 2S with a pathetic hand and a spade void. In order to give him a last out ,

I suggest using a 2-way transfer acceptance scheme. With a hand that can make

4H opposite almost any 7-card heart suit opener should jump to game. If willing

to be in game opposite a fair preempt (say 5-7 HCP) but happy to stop at 3H

opposite real junk, he should bid 3H, letting responder pass or bid four. With a

maximum, responder can even bid a singleton on the way to 4H.

Note:You will notice that 3C and 3D deny a 3-card spade holding, while 3H and

3S are simple 3-card spade raises. If responder should happen to have 3 spades and

7 hearts, he can first transfer with 2NT and then bid 3S.

After 1C- 2D - 2NT

3C = 9+HCP, 5+D/4H - opener can now bid 3D or 3H, letting

responder bid out his shape - (after 3D-3H = 3451 / 3S =1453 /

3N =2452) (after 3H- 3S=1453, 3N =2452, 4C = 3451)

3D = RETRANSFER ( 0-8 HCP, 7+ H) (with 5-7 HCP and a decent

suit, responder will raise 3H to 4H or bid a side singleton)

3H/3S = 9+HCP, 6+D, feature in suit

3NT = 9+ HCP, club feature

4C = 13+ HCP, 6+ D. 0-1 club, slam interest

4D = 13+ HCP, 6+ D, no short suit, slam interest

4H = 13+ HCP, 6+ D, 0-1 heart, slam interest

4S = 13+ HCP, 6+ D, 0-1 spade, slam interest
Here are some example hands:

A.♠ AQx ♠ x 1C 2D

♥ x ♥ K10xxxxx 2H(to play if weak) P

♦ KJxx ♦ Qx

♣ AQJxx ♣ xxx

B.♠ AQx ♠ xx 1C 2D

♥ Jxxx ♥ AQxx 2NT 3C (4H, 5+D, 9+HCP)

♦ KJ ♦ Axxxx 3H 3NT ( 2-4-5-2 )

♣ AQxx ♣ xx 4H P

1   ...   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12

The database is protected by copyright © 2017
send message

    Main page