Dutch Spade

As the record has it this system was invented by Mr. Maximiliaan J. Rebattu (aka Maxin the year 1982 while vacationing on the beach. However, this approach is, more accurately, designated as a conventional opening method rather than a complete bidding system. The concept revolves around the idea of employing transfer bids by bidding one rank lower in order to accomplish the transfer.

Description of the Concept

The method also uses the concept of a forcing pass system, and may be therefore described both as an opening bidding system and a conventional method, but not as an established bidding system.

Note: See also the Forcing Pass Systems compilation of Mr. Jan Eric Larsson and Mr. Ben Cowling of June 19, 2001, which is presented in .pdf file format and will automatically be opened by your browser.

Note: Mr. Maximiliaan J. Rebattu was born in the year 1939 in The Netherlands. He has won, as of 2012, 16 National Bridge Titles. He is a long-time bridge journalist and teacher in Amstelveen, The Netherlands. His greatest achievement in the playing of the game was to be second in the World Pairs in Biarritz in the year 1982. Unfortunately he and his partner, Mr. Anton Maas, had originally been proclaimed already the winners but because of a disputed scoring error the result was that they had taken second place. Source: The New York Times column of Mr. Alan Truscott of October 11, 1982.

Note: The date of the photograph of Mr. Maximiliaan J. Rebattu below is unknown. Any information as to this photograph would be greatly appreciate.


Parameters of the Dutch Spade

In the evolution of the Forcing Pass Systems of the time, especially in Europe, Mr. Maximiliaan J. Rebattu conceived of an opening bid transfer approach, which is sometimes referred to as a bidding system. This opening bid approach can be employed in all positions since the pass by one partner already becomes a forcing action. The following illustration demonstrates that the partnership, which employs the Dutch Spade, is forced to bid. In the following example only West and East have agreed to employ the concept of the Dutch Spade.

Dealer   West   North   East   Meaning
Pass               No bid at this time.
    Pass           This pass already becomes a forcing pass even if the partner has zero points.
        Pass       No bid at this time.
            Bid   Partner is forced to bid even when holding zero points, since the partnership agreement of employing a forcing pass approach is forcing.

Transfer Bids

Pass: This is a transfer bid to Clubs.
1 : This is a transfer bid to Diamonds.
1 : This is a transfer bid to Hearts.
1 : This is a transfer bid to Spades.
1 : The first bid of 1 Spade is not a transfer bid to Clubs, but rather a random bid promising values ranging from zero points to about 10 points.


By immediate interference the responder, or advancer, may pass and take no action when holding fewer than competitive values. If the responder holds zero points, then the responder is forced to bid when there is no competition. However, with any immediate competition, then the responder, or advancer, should take some action holding a pre-agreed minimum amount of values, generally about 8-10 points per partnership agreement and (strongly recommended) at least a 5-card higher-ranking suit than the opposing player bids or implies.

Otherwise, all continuations are according to partnership agreements.



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.