Bridge players from around the world enjoy gathering at the bridge table, and playing with other bridge players from around the world. In the history of the game of bridge, this gathering usually meant that different bridge playing systems were applied, since there was no one officially-recognized bidding system for everyone. From these bridge players came the concept of establishing a bidding standard.

The Bridge World Standard is the result of many bridge experts and the opinions of many individual bridge players, who elected and voted on the foundation of the devised bidding system created. It became the first consensus bidding system in the history of bridge. The result was that all bridge players could gather, play bridge, and actually understand the bidding.

The first publication of the Bridge World Standard was in 1967, and was revised throughout the following years. The most major revision occurred in 1993, which is listed below, and was based again on the opinions of bridge experts and individual bridge players alike. Most of the revisions were the responsibility of the Bridge World Magazine and its readers.

It must be kept in mind that the synopsis below is simply a foundation without explanation. The explanations could fill several books, and that is not the intent, but rather to present an overall view of the major bidding and playing aspects of the Bridge World Standard.

Source: The Bridge World

Opening Bids and Responses

5-card Majors in First and Second position

Minimum balanced hand: a good 12 points

1 NT: a good 15 points to a bad 18 points

Jacoby Transfers

Splinter rebids (jump after transfer)
Game raise is a Slam try
1 NT - 2D - 2H - 2S is forcing only one round

1 NT - 2S shows both Minors (Minor suit Stayman)
1 NT - 3H is invitational, Major 2-Suiter
Texas Transfers

1 NT - 2C - 2 any suit - 2S is invitational
1 NT - 2C - 2D - 2H is weak
1 NT- 2C - 2 any suit - 3 any Minor suit is forcing

Smolen (1 NT - 2C - 2D - 3 any Major shows 4 in the bid Major and at least 5 in the other Major)
1 NT - 3 any Minor invitational (Use Stayman to force)

2 NT: a good 20 points to a bad 22 points (small doubleton is acceptable)

Jacoby Transfers
2 NT - 3S shows both Minors (Minor suit Stayman)
Texas Transfers
High Gerber (5C asks for Aces when 4C has been otherwise applied)

2 Clubs is artificial and strong

Natural responses
2D response is neutral (weak or no good suit)

Second negative is a cheaper Minor up to 3D (0-4 HCP)

Positive response requires a good suit


Weak Two-bids

2 NT response asks for feature if at maximum
New-suit responses are forcing

Weak "gambling" 3-bids
Game-level opening

New-suit is an asking bid with step responses

3NT: Gambling (shows little outside strength)

4D response is artificial (the assumption is asking for singletons)

Responses to Major Suit Opening

1 NT response is forcing
Two-over-One response promises a rebid
Limit jump raise

Four trumps
Cheapest rebid asks for shortness

2 NT response, strong raise (asks shortness) (perhaps a sort of Jacoby 2 NT)
3NT response is natural and shows 16-17 points
Passed-hand responses:

1 NT shows 6-12 points
2C is a strong raise
3C is natural

Responses to Minor Suit Opening

Single raise is strong, 10 points and up, denies a Major
Jump raise is weak (Inverted Minor raise)
1 NT response shows 8-10 points after 1C, 6-10 points after 1D
2 NT response is natural, game force
Up-the-line may be ignored with moderate hand
2C response to 1D promises a rebid

Partnership Bidding

Splinter Raises

Double-jump-shift after a Major opening
Single jump in Fourth suit if one level above a Reverse
Single jump in Third suit if on the 4-level, or Reverse
Double jump in Fourth suit
Four of opener's Minor after a new-suit rebid
Jump-shift by 2D responder to 2C
New-suit jump after a single Major raise
Double new-suit jump after a 1 NT response

Slam Methods

Roman Key Card Blackwood with trump Queen asking

5 NT (2 Key Cards) or higher response with a void (bid the void suit or 5 NT if higher suit than trump)
5 NT rebids invites seven, asks King cue-bidding (bid non-trump Kings up-the-line)

Cheapest-weakest responses to grand-slam force (if not showing 2 of top 3, the less you have the less you bid)
Gerber after 1 NT or 2 NT opening or rebid
Picture jumps in forcing situations (the reverse of fast arrival. For example, if a raise to 3 of a Major is forcing, bidding that is unlimited while bidding 4 shows good trumps

Other Methods

Fourth-suit bidding

Nonforcing by passed hand unless a Reverse
1C - 1D - 1H - 1S may be weak
Promises another bid at the 2-level
Game force if a Reverse or at the 3-level

Third-suit bidding

Game force if a Reverse or at the 3-level
Otherwise does not promise a rebid

Opener's suit-over-suit Reverse promises a rebid
Responder's Reverse is a game force
All non-jump-shift secondary jumps by one-over-one responder is invitational
Opener's jump rebid to four of the original Minor is a strong raise
Unbid Minor is forcing and artificial after 1 NT rebid (requests support) and/or (requests 3-card support in first suit)
After 2 NT jump by opener, 3C is artificial, and may be a prelude to signoff (form of the Wolff convention)
Re-raise to 3 of Major is preemptive
After opener's Reverse, cheaper of 2 NT and Fourth suit is neutral

Competitive Bidding

Negative Doubles

After a suit opening, through 3S (including opener's suit)
After a 1 NT opening, at the 3-level
Suggests length in unbid Major
Of 1H shows four Spades
Of 1S after Minor opening shows 4 or more Hearts
Repeat same-suit double by negative doubler for takeout

Weak Jump Responses after Overcall of Minor Opening

Over overcall

Jump raise preemptive
Cue-bid is forcing raise
Jump cue-bid is Splinter

Over two-suited overcalls

Cheapest cue-bid is a raise
Next cue-bid shows an unbid suit
Unbid suit non-forcing

Over Minor Michaels

Unbid suit is nonforcing
Major suit shows a stopper

Over Major Michaels

Cue-bid in the enemy's Major suit is a limit raise or better
New suit forcing

Support doubles and redoubles when a raise to two is available. Except 1C - (pass) - 1D - (1S) - double shows Hearts

Over a Double of Partner's Suit Bid

New suit forcing at the one-level only
Jump-shift is non-forcing
2 NT is a limit raise or better
Double jump in new suit is Splinter

lebensohl After Two-level Overcalls of 1 NT

Jump cue-bid by opener is Splinter raise
Pass and pull strong in forcing situation (If you pass, forcing, partner doubles, then you bid something you could have bid earlier, it is stronger than if you had bid it directly)

Defensive Bidding

Michaels Cuebids

In Minor shows the Majors, in Major shows the other Major and an unspecified Minor
In direct and reopening position over suit one-bids and over 1 NT response
Weak or quite strong


Direct jump cue-bid is natural over Minor, asking for stopper over Major
Takeout doubles of preemptive openings through 4H, otherwise for penalty
Maximal overcall double of raised suit
Reopenings: 1 NT shows 10-14 points, 2 NT shows 18-19 points
In Fourth seat over a response: 1 NT and cue-bids are natural
After a 1 NT overcall: 2C is Stayman, jumps invitational
Double of free new-suit bid by responder shows Fourth suit plus tolerance
Cappelletti over 1 NT (all situations) (2C shows a 1-suited hand, 2D shows both Majors, 2 any Major shows that Major and an unspecified Minor)
Direct 2 NT is unusual for lower unbid suits (weak or quite strong)
After cue-bids, all new-suit bids are forcing
Takeout doubles: May be light with shape. New-suit rebid is very strong
Preemptive jump overcalls and preemptive jump raises of overcalls
Responsive and extended responsive doubles (Opening-Overcall-Raise-Double as informatory is extended responsive. Technically, responsive doubles means only in Opening-Double-Raise-Double)

After takeout doubles
At the 2-level after an overcall
After a preempt

Mixed-raise advances of overcalls
Cuebid by advancer is forcing until a suit is bid twice or game

After a double of a Weak Two-bid, either position by unpassed hand
Following 1 NT overcall

Opening Leads

Versus suits

Third from even
Low from odd
All other leads old-fashioned



If you wish to include this Bridge World Standard, 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 any 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.