The origin of this conventional method is unknown. The concept is that any bid of 4 No Trump by either partner inquires of the partner a response, which would communicate the number of held honors, namely the specific honors of Ace, King, and Queen.

Speculation as to the Origin

Note: Although the assumption is such that the originator(s) of this conventional method conceived the idea during the 1940s and/or 1950s, it becomes necessary to emphasize that this assumption cannot be substantiated owing to a considerable lack of information.

Note: This assumption about the original date of the concept, however, becomes the primary proof since the convention method is first mentioned and described in short detail first in The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge, published first in the year 1984 by Crown Publishers, Inc.

Note: The assumption is also that the R/H in the designation pinpoints Mr. Ranik Halle, born August 24, 1905, in Baku, and died May 20, 1987, in Oslo, Norway, as the author and/or originator. Mr. Ranik Halle was born in Baku, and the name on the birth certificate is Andronik Saradscheff, which is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. The town is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. After his father was killed in the oil fields around the city of Baku Mr. Halfdan Halle assisted his best friend's wife, whom he later married. Andronik Saradscheff was adopted by Mr. Halfdan Halle, and his birth-name was changed to Ranik Halle. He emigrated to Norway in the year 1916, two years after the beginning of the Great World War. Source. Biography.

Author: Culbertson, mannesket og spilleren, 1947, published by Dreyer in Oslo, Norway, LC: 62048414.

Mr. Ranik Halle was a bridge personality in Europe, who edited published bridge articles and authored regularly bridge columns. He represented Norway in European Championships ten times, placing second in 1938. He also won 12 National Championships of Norway. He was also the President of the International Bridge Press Association between the years 1960 and 1964. He served also as the President of the Norwegian Bridge Association (Norsk Bridgeforbund), and later as an Honorary Member, He served on the Advisory Board for the publication Bridge Encyclopedia.

Note: Any additional information, especially photographic material, for the bridge personality of Mr. Ranik Halle would be greatly appreciated.

Note: The links for the following Nordic Bridge Union tournaments has been taken off line or relocated on the Internet. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated in finding any possible and reliable source.

Tournaments Played by the Nordic Bridge Union

Nordic Bridge Union - 1946 - Source. Location: Oslo, Norway.
Rank Country   Team Mates
First Norway II   Ranik Halle, Robert Larssen, John Knudsen, Jens Larsen, Per Nielsen, Gunnar Johansen
Nordic Bridge Union - 1947 - Source. Location: København, Denmark.
Rank Country   Team Mates
Second Norway II   Iver Andresen, Leif Christiansen, Ivar Dæhlin, Leif Falck-Pedersen, Sverre Gisholt, Ranik Halle, Harald Hansen, Gunnar Johansen, Robert Larssen, Per Nielsen, Carl Stang-Wolff
Nordic Bridge Union - 1949 - Source. Location: Helsingfors, Finland.
Rank Country   Team Mates
Second Norway I   Leir Christiansen, Leif Falck-Pedersen, Andreas Schrøder-Nielsen, Ranik Halle, Edward Bundi
Nordic Bridge Union - 1951 - Source. Location: Hankø, Norway.
Rank Country   Team Mates
First Norway I   Andreas Schrøder-Nielsen - Ranik Halle (pc), Bjørn Larsen - John Knudsen
Nordic Bridge Union - 1962 - Source. Location: København, Denmark.
Rank Country   Team Mates
Third Norway II   Kåre Jensen,Gunnar Aslaksen, Halvard Reidarsen, Carl Stang-Wolff, Alfred Maal, Louis Vegsund, Ranik Halle (NPC)
Nordic Bridge Union - 1964 - Source. Location: Oslo, Norway.
Rank Country   Team Mates
Third Norway   Hans Bie, Jon Bjørgan, Ranik Halle, Bjørn Larsen, Hans Lynum, Christian Mathiesen, Harald Michaelsen, Preben Mørk, Arne Olsen, Per Olsen, Jan Roth, Magnar Øien

Explanation of the Concept

As conventional methods for bidding more accurately in the game of bridge, and as the art of communication became more specific, bridge writers, authors, and columnists involved themselves with the science of communication by conventional methods. Various concepts approached this principle of the game with attempting to specify the suit quality of the holding.

The R/H 4 No Trump conventional method of attempting a slam try states categorically that a non-jump of the bid of 4 No Trump after the discovery of a trump suit, not No Trump, is the initiation of the R/H 4 No Trump conventional method. If the rebid is a jump bid, then this does not fit the parameter of the conventional method and is defined differently.

The 4 No Trump bid by either partner inquires about the suit quality only, and specifically about the presense or absence of the top three honors, namely the Ace, King, and Queen of the trump suit.

The responses of the partner to communicate the nature of the suit quality is as follows. All responses, which can vary according to the trump suit, are divided into four side suits.

Asker   Side Suit   Meaning
4 NT       The trump suit has been firmly established and the bid of 4 No Trump inquires about the suit quality of the responder. The bid of 4 No Trump may not be a jump bid.
    5 Trump   If the responder bids five of the established trump suit, then the responder does not hold any of the top three honors of the trump suit.
    Lowest   Promises either the King or Queen, but not both.
    Middle   Promises 1 Ace.
    Highest   Promises any two of the top three honors of the trump suit.
    5 NT   Promises all three of the top three honors.

Illustration to Clarify the Concept

Example 1
North   South   Meaning
1       North has opening values.
    1   Bidding up the line South promises at least a 4-card suit in Spades and sufficient values to respond.
4       North promises sufficient game values with even minimum values held by South.
    4 NT   R/S 4 No Trump Convention. South inquires about the suit quality held by North in Spades. The parameter of the concept is met since the bid is not a jump bid.
5       The responder bids five of the established trump suit since the holding contains not one of the top three honors.
    Pass   South, knowing that the King and Queen of trump is missing should not risk bidding a slam. The odds that the King-Queen are both off-side are unfavorable to the declarer. Thefield must also be respected and the expectation is that all other competitive players will be in a 5-level contract only.

Additional Notes About the Concept

Note: as the bridge student can readily recognize the response is based on the suit of the trump suit. This means that the responses differ from an established fit in Hearts as opposed to an established trump suit in Diamonds.

Note: This conventional method inquiring about the suit quality of the trump suit has declined in popularity since this principle was based on the principle as outlined in many of the publications of Mr. Ely Culbertson. Other conventional methods have replaced this particular concept and has the advantage of being more accurate. The introduction, for example, of the Blackwood conventional method and any Blackwood-style method allows the partnership to more precisely place the missing Aces, Kings, and/or Keycards. In some methods, and if the bidding space allows, then the partnership can also inquire about any possible missing Queen.



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.