CAB Bidding System

The designation of CAB is an acronym for Two Clubs, Ace-asking, Blackwood, and although these responses are no longer widely used, the system did have some popularity in England during the decade of the 1950s. The major contributions to the development of the CAB bidding system is accredited to Mr. Leslie William Dodds, born in the year 1903 and died in the year 1975.

Mr. Leslie William Dodds was an international bridge personality from England. He was a member of the British team, which was victorious by winning in the year 1955 the Bermuda Bowl, which was conducted as 5th World Team Championship in New York, New York, United States, from January 9 to January 14, 1955. His team mates were Kenneth Konstram, Adam Meredith, Jordanis Pavlides, Terence Reese, Boris Schapiro, Reginald Corwen (npc).

Note: To date this is the only team from Britain, which has won the Bermuda Bowl. However, second place was reached by the British team in the year 1950 with Lesile William Dodds, Nico Gardener, Kenneth Konstam, Joel Tarlo, Louis Tarlo, Maurice Harrison-Gray (npc).

Note: Any additional information as to the biographical background of the bridge personality of Mr. Leslie William Dodds, especially photographic material, would be greatly appreciated.

Bridge Victories and Original Originator / Author

His victories at the bridge table also include winning the European Championship in the years, 1948, 1949, 1950, and 1954. He also won with his partners the Gold Cup in the years 1938, 1949, 1956, 1960, and 1961.

Although there were several other contributors to the CAB bidding system it was Col. George Gordon Joseph Walshe, who is credited with actually inventing the concept during the mid-1930s. This early period in the game of organized bridge experienced various bidding systems devised by the more experienced bridge players, and which were supposedly destined to become the foundation stone of conventional bidding. Col. George Gordon Joseph Walshe was born in the year 1873 and died in the year 1959, and lived in London, England.

It became a desire of Mr. Leslie William Dodds in later years to actually and actively promote the response method by further developing and hopefully improving the concept.

CAB Responses to a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening is a feature of the CAB bidding system. The strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening conveys the same message to partner in both the Acol and Standard American bidding systems. Col. George Gordon Joseph Walshe, in collaboration with Mr. Leslie William Dodds, conceived a method, whereby the partner can specify the location of Aces, the number of Kings, and also determine the number of Queens.

Response Method

The following schematic will assist in understanding this concept. No examples are provided since the concept is rather straight-forward and self-explanatory.

Opener Responder Meaning
2 2 This is a negative response showing 8 or fewer points, and no more than 2 Kings in any suit.
2 An idle bid.
2 Promises the Ace of Spades even if it is a singleton, but does not indicate any strength or values.
3 Promises the Ace of Clubs even if it is a singleton, but does not indicate any strength or values.
3 Promises the Ace of Diamonds even if it is a singleton, but does not indicate any strength or values.
2 NT Shows no Ace and 8 plus points, including at least 2 Kings.
3 NT Shows 2 Aces, any suit.
4 NT King-Asking. Partnership employs favorite form of Blackwood.
5 NT Queen-Asking. Partnership employs favorite form of Blackwood.

A certain advantage is that since the number of Aces has been already disclosed on the first response of the partner, then the opener can employ 4 No Trump as King-Ask and 5 No Trump as Queen-Ask. The responses are according to partnership agreement.



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.