This English version has been translated by Mr. Gerben Dicksen, and it is to him that we owe a debt of gratitude.

Note: The following is a translation of the introduction for this publication by the Bridge Federation of The Netherlands.

Biedermeijer ® Blue is an extension of the previously published Biedermeijer ® Green. The Biedermeijer ® standard bidding systems Green, Blue and Red have been established and are supported by the Dutch Bridge Bond. The association believes that bidding systems should be established for bridge players with different skill levels. This idea is the basic impact of the series Biedermeijer ® systems. Blue goes a step further than Green. The bidding theory is extended and there are some new conventions introduced. However, the system is based on natural bids. Through exercises in each chapter and the bidding examples can this version of Biedermeijer ® can be tested together with your partner. A system map of Bidder Meijer ® Green is included.

Note: The original description in the language of The Netherlands is included below. Apologies if several characters do not appear correctly.

Biedermeijer® Blauw is een uitbreiding van het eerder verschenen Biedermeijer® Groen. De Biedermeijer® standaard biedsystemen Groen, Blauw en Rood, zijn vastgesteld en worden ondersteund door de Nederlandse Bridge Bond. De bond gaat ervan uit dat er biedsystemen moeten zijn voor bridgers van verschillende niveau's. Dit gezonde idee wordt uitwerkt in de serie Biedermeijer® systemen. Blauw gaat een stapje verder dan Groen. De biedtheorie wordt uitgebreid en er worden enkele nieuwe conventies geïntroduceerd. Toch blijft het systeem gebaseerd op natuurlijke biedingen. Via oefeningen bij elk hoofdstuk en de biedwedstrijden kunt u deze versie van Biedermeijer ® samen met uw partner testen. De bijgevoegde systeemkaart is meteen in de praktijk te gebruiken.


Project Biedermeijer® Blue

One size larger

Building up a bidding system is comparable to growing a tree. Those who want to keep it simple and for whom the first courses suffice, they can limit themselves to Biedermeijer® Green in our Dutch version or to Biedermeijer® Green in our English version. But others will want to expand their bidding system. The tree can grow, it will develop new branches and leaves.

Biedermeijer® Blue is the next version. We are still talking about a natural system. In Biedermeijer® Blue we do not bid in a complicated or artificial way, like the Multi 2 opening bid, the Dutch Two Bids (Muiderberg) or Ghestem. Blue does give more opportunities to put pressure on the opponents. Besides Green and Blue there is Biedermeijer® Red for tournament players.

Recapping: The Green Menu:

We start off by expanding on Biedermeijer® Green. We agreed that each of the three systems would leave room for choices. The standard convention cards allow us to mark deviations of the standard system. Some examples for the green system:

* An opening bid on the one level can also be made with 12 HCPs.
* Instead of Jacoby transfers (2 / 2 after 1 NT and 3 / 3 after 2 NT), 2 / / after 1 NT can be "to play" and 3 / / after 2 NT can be natural and forcing.
  You can allow opening 1 NT with a 5-card Major.
* You can choose not to play reverse bids.
* You can choose to play Fourth Suit Forcing.
* Negative doubles after overcalls (up to an exact level).
* Not just Blackwood but also control bids.

Note that this list is formulated in a way that it denotes deviations from the standard system.

At the end of this article there will be a similar "menu" for Biedermeijer® Blue.

Opening Bids
As we progress (or want to bid more aggressively), we can loosen the requirements for an opening bid of one in a suit. In Biedermeijer® Blue you can open the bidding with 11 HCPs if you want. It would go too far to open every hand containing 11 HCPs.

I will mention two tricks to find out if a certain hand is worth an opening bid. First of all the Rule of 20: open the bidding with one in a suit if the sum of the HCPs and the length of the two longest suits is 20 or more.

Another advice: subtract one point for an Aceless hand. In the point count Ace=4, King=3, Queen=2, Jack=1 an Ace is underrated and a Jack is overrated.

In Biedermeijer® Blue we open 1 with a 5-card suit, or with 4-4 in the Majors. 1 promises a 5-card suit.

We will add another convention to our arsenal of opening bids: the Gambling 3 NT: a hand with a solid 7-card Minor with few (a Queen or less) side values.

Menu for the Opening Bids
In the standard system 1 promises a 5-card suit or 4-4 in the Majors and 1 promises a 5-card suit. Therefore the only 3-card holdings that are opened with 1 are 4-3-3-3 and 4-3-3-3. In the menu you have the following options:

* All opening bids can be made on a 4-card suit.
* 5-card majors, 1 / can be bid on a 3-card suit.

In Biedermeijer® Blue we still play strong Two-Bids, but you can choose to play:

* 2 and 2 show a Weak Two Bid: A good 6-card suit and 6-10 HCPs. See also the end of this article.

Responses to the Opening Bids.
Biedermeijer® Blue allows a few new responses to opening bids of one in a suit. See also Steunen in the Dutch BRIDGE Magazine, February 2000, page 48.

After a double of partners opening bid of 1 or 1 , you can use the Truscott convention:

West   North   East   South
    1   dbl   2 NT

A 2 NT response in this auction shows 4-card support in Hearts and invitational strength (10-11 points).

The bid of 3 is now free and can be used to bid more aggressively on other hands. 3 is weaker than 2 NT and promises 3-7 HCPs with a 4-card Heart suit and extra distribution, or a 5-card Heart suit.

If you use this "trick", even if you are not doubled, it is up to you.

The same choice is available for the 3 NT response over 1 or 1. Many experts use this 3 NT bid to show good trump support and opening strength (about 12-15 HCPs). The direct raise to game (i.e. 1 - 4 and 1 - 4) is now free for (much) weaker hands with good distribution (for example a singleton or void, or 5-card trump support). You can also interpret these bids as raises with added distribution points. Such a jump to 4 or 4 on a weak hand is already more aggressive, and puts pressure on your opponents.

There is another new response in the standard version of Biedermeijer® Blue. A double jump in a new suit over 1 / 1 (like 1 - 4) is a Splinter. A Splinter bid shows a singleton or void in the bid suit, 4-card support in partner's suit and about 11-13 HCPs.

Over partner's opening bid of 1 NT you can use more transfers than in "Green". Many top players use 2 as transfer to Clubs and 2 NT as transfer to Diamonds. Especially this last bid is dangerous. 2 NT looks like a natural bid and some prefer to use 3 as transfer to Diamonds.

In the standard system 4 over 1 NT is "Ace asking" (Gerber). Note: only after 1 NT. The agreement that 4 is "always" the Ace-asking bid is not part of the standard system.

We will keep the standard responses to normal Blackwood. The answers are 5 with no Aces, 5 with one Ace, etc. The Roman responses or Roman Keycard Blackwood are optional.

Finally, we have to agree on the responses to the Gambling 3 NT. We pass when we hope that partner will make 3 NT, but with a weak hand we retreat to 4. Partner can pass this, or bid 4 if that is his long suit. With a real strong hand we bid 4. We know what partner's suit is, and partner will now show a singleton, or sign off to 5 or 5.

Options by Responding to Opening Bids

* After 1 / we play the 3 NT response as natural.
* After 1 NT we play 2 as a transfer to Clubs and 3 as a transfer to Diamonds.
* After 2 NT our 3 response is Niemeijer (see below), and 3 / are transfers.
* The (Roman) responses to Blackwood: 5: 0 or 3 Aces, 5: 1 or 4 Aces, 5: 2 Aces, and 5: 2 Aces and the King of trumps.
* 4 NT asks for the Aces using Roman Keycard Blackwood (see below).
* 2 NT after an opening bid of 1 / shows an invitational hand with trump support and the jump to 3 / is weaker: Truscott even without opponents making a Takeout Double.

The conventions that are part of the menu in "Biedermeijer® Green" are now part of the standard system. It concerns the following three conventions:

* Fourth Suit Forcing
Sometimes your are stuck during the auction. You do not have good support for partner's suit and you lack a stopper for NT.


Partner opened 1, and naturally you respond 1, but what do you bid if partner rebids 1? You are stuck. You can not rebid your own suit nor support partner's suit. The solution is an artificial bid in the fourth suit, in this case Clubs. 2 asks for a further description of opener's hand.

Fourth Suit Forcing usually sets up a game forcing sequence. You can only pass below game if opener responds at the two level.

* The Negative Double
After partner's opening bid of 1 and an overcall of 1 by RHO, you may be stuck.


Responses of 2 and 2 show a good hand and a 5-card suit, so that is not possible. The solution is a Negative Double. Doubling 1 shows at least four Hearts and at least 7 HCPs. It is important to show your holdings in the unbid Major suits. In the exercises you will find another typical situation for a Negative Double.

* Cue Bids
When you are investigating slam, Blackwood (Ace asking using 4 NT) is not always sufficient or useful. The response to 4 NT might not give enough information to judge if the slam is good or bad. In a suit contract you can also use a singleton or void to control a side suit. An example:


Partner opens the bidding with 1, you bid 2; and partner raises to 3. You can now bid 4 als cuebid. Ace asking does not make much sense. As you can see, also in Biedermeijer® Blue you have the possibility to deviate from the standard system. Use the menu and allow your tree to grow.

Conventions: Weak Two, Niemeijer and Roman Keycard Blackwood

* The Weak Two Bids
The Weak opening bids 2 and 2 on a 6-card suit with 6-10 HCPs is not very popular in The Netherlands (alternate treatments like the Multi 2 are more widely used), but in other countries it is very common. The main advantage is that the suit is known, and this allows fast preemptive actions by responder.

Just like all other conventions, the Weak Two bid has consequences for the other opening bids. The Strong Two Opening bids do no longer exist, so hands that are normally opened with 2 or 2 will often be opened with 1 or 1.

* Niemeijer
Niemeijer (also known as Puppet Stayman) can be used instead of Stayman to get a suit contract in to the strong NT hand after an opening bid or rebid of 2 NT. With Niemeijer one can also discover a 5-card Major suit in opener's hand: The rebids after 3 discriminate between four- five-card Majors. In Biedermeijer® Blue we use a simplified version. There are three conventional responses to 2 NT:

- 3 asks for four- and five-card Majors
- 3 shows five or more cards in Hearts
- 3 shows five or more cards in Spades

The responses to 3 are complicated (after 3 and 3 bidding continues naturally):

West   North   East   South
2 NT   Pass   3   Pass
- 3 : Exactly four cards in one or both Majors
- 3 : 5-card Hearts
- 3 : 5-card Spades
- 3 NT: No 4- or 5-card Major

After 3 , 3 and 3 NT, responder determines the final contract, after 3 the bidding continues artificially:

- 3 : I have a 4-card
- 3 : I have a 4-card
- 3 NT: To play
- 4 : I have at least 4-4 in the Majors

Due to this relay bidding, the strong hand will always declare.

* RKC Blackwood
This is short for Roman Keycard Blackwood. Roman means that the first responses are 0/3 and 1/4 Aces. Due to the large difference between 0 and 3 Aces, or between 1 and 4 Aces, it is almost always clear which of the two options is the actual one.

Keycard means that the King of trumps counts as a fifth Ace, and that one can show the Queen of trumps.

These are the responses to 4 NT (The King of trumps is the 5th Ace):

- 5 : 0 or 3 keycards
- 5 : 1 or 4 keycards
- 5 : 2 or 5 keycards without the Queen of trumps
- 5 : 2 or 5 keycards with the Queen of trumps

Forget about the response for five Aces, one rarely applies Blackwood with a hand that has no Key Cards.

This ends the translation by Mr. Gerben Dirksen, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for his time and effort to undertake such a translation. We have changed nothing in the translation except for perhaps spelling and punctuation. The web page has been formatted to the present form.



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 A` nnouncements, 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.