Majeure Cinquieme Opening Bids

This is the general designation given by the bridge players in France to the bidding system mostly employed by partnerships, and which is considered standard. The designation is translated as Five-Card Majors (or Fifth Card). They have been revised over time to some degree, but the general basics continue to be applicable.

This designation includes all bidding systems, which employ the requirement of a minimum length of five cards in a Major suit, when that Major suit is opened or the bid of the Major suit serves as an overcall. This is in opposition to other bidding systems, which include the allowance of opening or overcalling with a four card Major suit, whereby such an approach is considered by many as more natural.

Note: The main difference between these two bidding agreements is the fact that the responder can safely show support if the agreement is to open a 5-card Major. Conversely, the responder must have a at least 4-card support if the agreement allows for a 4-card Major suit opening.

Note: This agreement, in great part, replaced previous agreements employed by many bridge experts such as Mr. Giorgio Belladonna of Italy, who had great success at the bridge table during the 1950s and 1960s with the agreement of employing 4-card Major suit openings.

Note: These opening bids are presented from the year 1985/1986. These opening bids may have experienced slight evolutions, but they continue to form the foundation of the approach designated as Majeure cinquième.

The opening bids and their requirements are shown below. The approach, as defined by the opening bids of Majeure cinquième, does not include any bid with multiple meanings.

Opening Bids Only

Bid   Strength   Meaning
1 :   12-22 high card points   Promises a 3-card plus Club suit.
1 :   12-22 high card points   Promises a 3-card plus Diamond suit.
1 :   12-22 high card points   Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit.
1 :   12-22 high card points   Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit.
1 NT:   15-18 high card points   Shows balanced shape.
2 :   18 plus high card points   Shows any shape; suit must be a 5-card plus suit, or
    23-24 high card points   Shows balanced shape.
2 :   23 plus high card points   Shows any shape.
2 :   8-11 high card points   Promises 6 Hearts.
2 :   8-11 high card points   Promises 6 Spades.
2NT:   21-22 high card points   Shows balanced shape.

A 2 Clubs opening shows, depending on the partnership understanding either a holding with 8 or 9 winning tricks or a holding with 4 or 5 losing tricks. A 2 Diamonds opening, however, is absolutely game-forcing; partner may not pass before game is reached.

Note: Also for additional information Mr. Michel Lebel has authored a book titled La Nouvelle Super Majeure 5éme: Le Bridge Standard Francais, published by Editions Du Rocher of Monaco in the year 1982 (ISBN-10: 2268001598), which describes these opening bids in detail.

Note: For additional information visit the French Bridge Federation.

Note: The Majeure Cinquiéme bidding system is very similar to and, in many instances, identical to the Forum D bidding system, which is mainly employed in the country of Germany.



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.