Aaron Goodman Trophy
This trophy is awarded to the team representing Canada in the Women Teams competition at the World Bridge Games (formerly World Team Olympiad).


ABA - American Bridge Association
An abbreviation for American Bridge Association, one of the governing bodies for organized bridge in America. The ABA was founded in 1932 in Buchroe Beach, Virginia, United States, within the boundaries of the new Mid Atlantic Section to encourage duplicate bridge among African-American bridge players. In 1936, the ABA merged with the Eastern Bridge League, a group of New York City bridge clubs headed by Mr. Morgan S. Jensen.

American Auction Bridge League
This organization was an off-shoot of the American Whist League, which was founded in 1927 by a group of Middle Western bridge enthusiasts. The group was led by Mr. Henry P. Jaeger and Mr. C.W. Aldrich of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. E.J. (NedI) Toben and Mr. Robert W. Halpin, both of Chicago, and Mr. Ralph R. Richards of Detroit, Illinois. Its declared purpose was to foster the cause of competitive bridge, and to this end the American Auction Bridge League sponsored local and sectional tournaments and annual championships for national tittles.

As contract events began to dominate the American Auction Bridge League's tournament calendar the word Auction was quietly and symbolically dropped from the organization's title. Mr. William E. McKenney, a tire dealer from Cleveland, Ohio, who had joined the American Auction Bridge League as a statistician, tinkered with the rubber bridge code to adapt it for tournament play. He also changed the shape of the whist-sytle duplicate tray, used to retain the original deal, from square to oblong and proposed certain improvements in vulnerability markings. In 1929 Mr. William E. McKenney was elected Executive Secretary of the League, a position he was to hold until the winter of 1948. Source: Bridge Players Bedside Companion.

An abbreviation for American Bridge League. An organization founded in the year 1927 at Hanover, New Hampshire, United States, but which was originally the American Auction Bridge League. The American Bridge League amalgamated with the United States Bridge Association in the year 1937.

An abbreviation for African Bridge Federation. An organization founded in 1996 as a subzone of the Bridge Federation of Africa, Asia & the Middle East to administer bridge in the African continent. In 2000, the African Bridge Federation (ABF) was recognised as an official zone, Zone 8 of the World Bridge Federation. The countries of the ABF are: Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Reunion, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

An abbreviation for the Association of Bridge Professionals. An association of professional bridge players formed in the year 1981. The association was reorganized in the year 1982 as an accredited professional organization by the American Contract Bridge League.

Abbreviations Used Online - Online Bridge Text-Messaging - Coded Language of the Keyboard
Many innovative, original, and creative symbols, letters, and alpha-numerical signs have been introduced to the game of online bridge. The mastery of such signs and symbols assists the online player from around the world to better play with another player from a different part of the world. This universal language has been adopted by many. We appreciate any and all printable contributions to this list.

Above The Line
Points that do not count toward game; points other than those scored for tricks bid and made. Refers to Rubber Bridge scoring.

Absolute Force
A bid which makes it incumbent on partner to guarantee that another bid can be made by the player making the forcing bid. Unless the bid is overcalled or doubled immediately, the partner is under conventional obligation to make some call other than a pass.

Maureen Hiron
, creator of aBRIDGEd™, is an internationally known game designer, bridge player, and author. As a game designer, Maureen has over 50 games published world-wide.

As an expert bridge player, Maureen Hiron has represented both England and Great Britain in international competitions. She also co-authored, along with her husband Alan M. Hiron, Beginning Bridge, Easy Guide to Bridge, and Bridge for Beginners. Her syndicated column appears in the London-based newspaper, The Independent, and is followed by thousands of bridge enthusiasts.

Maureen Hiron created aBRIDGEd™ for people who enjoy playing cards but do not have the time, or interest, to learn the complex bidding systems that are part of playing the game of bridge. Bridge players spend years honing their skills and developing their strategies. aBRIDGEd allows players to focus on the beauty of card-play, rather than the bidding. It can be learned in 20 minutes and enjoyed from the first game. If players choose to go on to learn bridge, the transition will be much easier if they have played aBRIDGEd. They will be familiar with the basic structure and card-play techniques of the game of bridge.


Absy Convention
This conventional method is a variation of the Stayman convention and was devised and developed by Mr. Rafael Absy of Argentina. The concept includes the capability to show a 4-card Major suit, deny any 4-card Major suit, or show both 4-card Major suits, and to communicate minimum or maximum values of the No Trump range.

An abbreviation for American Bridge Teachers Association.

ACBL The Bulletin
Starting in the year 1942 The Bulletin was published bi-monthly instead of monthly. This information is rather inadequate since the term bimonthly refers both to happening every two months or happening twice a month, which is more accurately referred to as semi-monthly.

ACBL Information
Please visit our separate web page for information published by the American Contract Bridge League.

ACBLmerge is a free (open source) program developed by Mr. Matthew Kidd to merge hand records, double dummy results, and electronic scoring data with ACBLscore output, creating HTML output for websites. ACBLmerge was inspired by the program Mr. Evan Bailey wrote to merge hand records with the results generated by ACBLscore, the DOS based program used by directors. His software was used at Adventures in Bridge until 2012 when the club switched to ACBLmerge. The ACBLmerge program provides greatly enhanced functionality. Source of Information.

ACBL Standard Yellow Card System Booklet 1988
The ACBL Standard Yellow Card game is one where all partnerships have agreed to play the system exactly as described in this publication. The object is to provide a simple, modern method which will lead to a good, solid understanding in a partnership. Also a .pdf file, which will automatically be opened by your browser.

ACBLscore® is software used by bridge clubs to score duplicate bridge and report results to the ACBL. ACBLscore® will handle almost any variation of movement, including individual. It can rank a stratified game with up to three strata, and can score by matchpoints, IMPs or Swiss Teams. It supports a database of players so that it will compute handicaps, print mailing labels, among other important club features. The software was developed by Mr. Jim Lopushinsky during the 1980s. Upon his retirement from ACBL he was presented with the Distinguished Employee Award in the year 2004. To date he is the only ACBL member to have ever received this recognition.

Download ACBLscore®

1. of a game-try or a slam-try or an invitation to take a particular action, make the call suggested or invited, or a move in that direction;
2. of a transfer, make the call suggested by the transfer.

Accredited Bridge Teachers
The ACBL has trained bridge teachers since 1986 through the TAP (Teacher Accreditation Program) developed by Audrey Grant. The TAP introduces bridge teachers to the most successful methods for teaching bridge to beginning players. It is offered at all NABCs and when requested regionally.

According to Hoyle
A term or phrase to designate the action of following a correct procedure, whether legally, ethically, technically, customarily, habitually, etc.

The highest-ranking card.

Ace from Ace-King
A conventional opening lead agreement.

Ace Grabber
This designation refers to a player who leads or takes Aces at the very first opportunity. This action, however, almost always establishes tricks for the opponents or eventually assists the declaring side.

Ace High
1. a term dating from whist days indicating that the Ace is the highest card in the suit or the cut. This term has become obsolescent in bridge because the alternative procedures associated with other games have been generally forgotten;
2. descriptive of a suit held by one player in which the Ace is the top card.

Ace Identification Convention
A variation of the Gerber convention to locate the position of the Ace or Aces held by the responder.

Ace-King-Queen 7th
A term, which refers to a holding of seven cards headed by the Ace, King, and Queen in any one suit.

The Ace of Clubs Competition
This competition was created in 1984 to recognize achievement at the club level. As with winners in the Mini-McKenney races, the Ace of Clubs champions are recognized at the unit level as well as ACBL-wide. Points won only at the club level, excluding the North American Open Pairs and the Grand National Teams, are counted in these races. The Ace of Clubs Competition is divided into several categories:

Rookie:   0-5 points
Junior Master:   5 to 20 points
Club Master:   20 to 50 points
Sectional Master:   At least 50 points, including 5 silver
Regional Master:   At least 100 points, including 15 silver plus 5 red or gold, of which 5 must be gold, 15 must be red or gold and 25 must be silver
Life Master:   300-500 points
Bronze Life Master:   500-1000 points
Silver Life Master:   1000-2500 points
Diamond Life Master:   5000-10,000 points
Grand Life Master:   10,000 or more points

This catagorization has been altered as of January 1, 2006. The above parameters have changed as of this date for the Ace of Clubs and the Mini-McKenney masterpoint competitions at all levels and will be determined by the total masterpoint holding of a player at the start of the year, and no longer by the designated rank.

The categories in which players will compete will be: 0-5, 5-20, 20-50, etc., up to and including 10,000 plus masterpoints. This change has taken place to rectify the problem or problems, in which players compete in the same category year after year owing to their lack of certain pigmented points.


Changes in the Category

This catagorization has been altered as of February 6, 2011. The changes made as of January 1, 2006, have been altered at the summer meeting in Toronto, Canada, when the American Contract Bridge League Board of Directors announced that the Ace of Clubs contest will be renamed in honor of Grand Life Master Helen Shanbrom of Tamarac, Florida, United States, who was born in the year 1919 and died October 13, 2013.

Helen Shanbrom has been one of the most active players in the ACBL for decades and has won the top category of the Ace of Clubs more times than any other member in ACBL history. The Helen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs contests recognize player masterpoint achievements at clubs.

Note: The requirements remain the same following the changes. However, all categories are presented designated as the Halen Shanbrom Ace of Clubs Masterpoint Race.

Ace of Contract Teachers
This was the affectionate honor bestowed on Mr. Edwin Hall Downes owing to his promotion of the game of bridge by publishing bridge books and articles and broadcasting the game of bridge over the radio in the 1930s.

Aces Club Opening Bids
The Aces Club opening bidding system was played by Mr. Bob Hamman and Mr. Bobby Wolff in the American Aces Team. The similarity to the bidding system of Blue Team Club is evident and the differences are only slight.

Ace Showing Responses
These are responses to a forcing strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bis that are based on the theory that the opener with a powerful unbalanced or semi-balanced hand is more interested in the first-round controls of his partner than in his long suit or general strength.

Aces Scientific Bidding System
Mr. Ira Corn of Dallas, Texas, had a goal and that was to reclaim the World Team Championship Title to the United States. With his financial aid, he formed a group of professional bridge experts, purchased a set of computers, and developed the Aces Scientific System. Mr. Robert Goldman acted as perhaps the chief designer.

Aces Team
The Aces Team was a group of professional bridge players organized, acquired and hired by Ira Corn of Dallas, Texas. His intention was to reclaim the World Team Championship Title to the United States.

Ace Values
This is a valuation method devised by Mr. Adam Meredith and Mr. Leo Baron, which is also classified as a distributional valuation. The method was developed as part of the Baron System. The principle behind the concept is that when valuing a holding for a raise of partner's suit, then the honor trick value of the holding is added to the following distributional values.

Acol According to Lewis and Hancock
A summary, written in the year 1987, of the Acol bidding system devised and played by Mr. A. Hancock and Mr.B. Lewis. Their first names remain unknown and any contributed information would be appreciated. This outline has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Acol Basic Bidding System
The Acol System was the brain-child of various bridge players, among whom were Mr. Maurice Harrison-Gray, Mr. Iain Macleod, Mr. J. C. H. Marx, Mr. Terence Reese and Mr. S. J. Simon. The history of the Acol System is rather unique in that it was first employed in 1934 in a relatively small North London Bridge Club located on Acol Street, and hence the name.

Acol Bidding System
A popular British system based on simple, natural bidding, four-card majors, weak or split No Trump openings. This is a bidding system named after the street where the bridge club was located and where the beginnings of this bidding system were devised and originated.

The Acol system evolved from discussions by Mr. Jack Marx and Mr. S.J. Simon at the Acol Bridge Club in Acol Road in Hampstead. These were fueled by the 1933 Culbertson's America vs. England match. Mr. Jack Marx and Mr. S.J. Simon formed the first Acol Team with Mr. Harrison Gray and Mr. Iain Macleod in 1935.

They completely dominated the previously preeminent teams (Ingram, Beasley, and Lederer), winning everything in sight. The Acol team, augmented by Leslie Dobbs and Mr. Kenneth Konstam, won the 1936 Gold Cup. Shortly thereafter Mr. Terence Reese joined the Acol group. By the end of the 1930s, half the tournament players in England had adopted the new methods, including such players as Mr. Boris Shapiro, Mr. Niel Furse, and Nico Gardner, who was head of the London School of Bridge.

A version of Acol, based entirely on the original concept devised by the bridge players named above, has survived and is today referred to as the Stone Age Acol, which is still played in parts of England.

Note: The rendition of the street sign for Acol Road in the London Blorough of Camden is, according to readers, not the exact replica of the original street sign. It was contributed, however, to this site by a reader.

Acol Bidding System by George Jesner
This is a comprehensive bidding system for the Acol System devised by Mr. George Jesner. Many of the features have to be memorized. Since it is so extensive, it is suggested that the interested bridge player take the time to discover the logic and reasoning behind this bidding system.

Acol Conventional Methods
A list of various conventional methods employed by bridge players, whose approach to bidding styles is based on the Acol bidding system.

Acol Direct King Convention
This is a bid of 4 No Trump asking the partner for the number of Kings held after one partner has made a bid specifically indicating the number of Aces already held, which is possible after the partner has shown zero Aces. This convention is part of the Acol Bidding System and is generally employed after an Acol Two-Bid has been raised directly to the game level, or after a Gambling 3 No Trump opening, especially if this opening denies the possession of a side-suit Ace, but which may contain side-suit Kings.

Acol Four No Trump Opening - Acol 4 NT Opening
This is a feature of the Acol System and is an opening bid asking immediately for the number of held Aces.

Acol General Leads and Signals
As with any other bidding system, the lead can define several things such as attitude or preference or count. These are essentials in any bidding system, and the Acol system is no exception. With the lead or a later discard, bridge partners are able to send signals communicating useful and important information.

Acol Opening Bids
The Acol bidding system found its origin in the country of England, from where it spread to the United Kingdom. The bidding system has seen many evolutions and changes since its inception. The opening bids of this bidding system are especially important to the bridge player since they form the foundation, upon which all continuances are based.

Acol Three No Trump Opening - Acol 3 NT Opening
I n the early days of the evolution of the game of bridge the bridge players in England adopted the concept of opening the auction with a bid of 3 No Trump. The parameters of this opening bid were not exactly precise, although defined to a certain degree. It is from this concept that the Gambling 3 No Trump conventional method is derived.

AcolPlus or Acol Plus
This designation has several meanings in The Netherlands since Biedermeijer is the official bidding system of the Dutch Bridge Federation, or NBB, De Nederlandse Bridge Bond. When taught to beginners, it is often referred to as Acol, Dutch Acol, Acol2000 or AcolPlus. This is because Biedermeijer is a trademark of the NBB, so textbook authors cannot call their own variant of the system Biedermeijer.

Acol2000 or Acol 2000 or Acol
This designation has several meanings in The Netherlands since Biedermeijer is the official bidding system of the Dutch Bridge Federation, or NBB, De Nederlandse Bridge Bond. When taught to beginners, it is often referred to as Acol, Dutch Acol, Acol2000 or AcolPlus. This is because Biedermeijer is a trademark of the NBB, so textbook authors cannot call their own variant of the system Biedermeijer.

Acol Two Bid
A strong, but forcing opening bid, which strongly suggests distributional strength.

Acol Two No Trump
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown. This defense method held a certain popularity in the early stages of the evolution of the game in the United Kingdom, and it is only presumed that this defense method was devised in the bridge club in London on Acol road, for which the bidding system was named, to show a two-suited holding of game forcing strength.

This is a designation for one of the suits in older playing cards.

Action Double
This is another designation for the Maximal Double.

1. an aggressive method and/or action of a player;
2. to take tricks in the hope of establishing tricks quickly, especially in a risky defensive play.

Active Defense
A risky defensive policy aiming to develop or cash tricks quickly, usually because dummy has a suit that will provide discards for declarer’s losers.

Active Double
This is a call employed in competitive auctions, which strongly implies additional offense strength in case partner may wish to continue to compete. This particular double also indicates strongly the willingness to defend the contract of the opposing side.

Active Ethics
A primary objective of the ACBL is to instill in all players the concept that vigorous efforts should be made to provide equity in the game of bridge. Every player should take extra effort to make certain that the opponents have in no manner been harmed through incomplete or misleading information as to the meaning of conventional calls and treatments. An aggressive approach along these lines on the part of each and every individual will ensure that the game of bridge remains a game that everyone can enjoy.

Adequate Trump Support
This is generally an expression to describe a sufficient holding of a particular suit by either partner, which would be required to be shown as an agreement upon the suit to become established as the trump suit in a suit contract.

Adjusted Score
In tournament bridge, a score artificially assigned to adjust for an irregular occurrence by a Tournament Director or an Appeals Committee when either an infraction of the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge or a procedural error has occurred. The Director is empowered by the Laws to take such action.

1. a bid, double or redouble after partner enters the auction by doubling or overcalling;
2. any such bid, double or redouble;
3. the first action by the partner of the player who makes the first move for the defensive side, and the player who makes it. An example is a response to an overcall.

Advance Cuebid
The advance cuebid is, simply stated, a cuebid of a first round control. However, the difference in the bidding sequence is the fact, that only one partner knows the suit agreed upon. Since this is the case, the partner left in the dark does not know exactly what his partner is up to, and this can lead to a certain ambiguity.

Advance Sacrifice
A sacrifice bid before the opponents bid to their intended contract.

Advance Save
A sacrifice bid by the opponents before their opponents can reach their best final contract. A bid which also disrupts the line of communication between the opponents.

Advanced lebensohl
Advanced lebensohl deals with the bidding situation created for the responder of the opener, who has opened the auction in a suit, and there is an immediate overcall of 1 No Trump. This variant of Lebensohl was devised by Mr. Glenn McIntyre of Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

The partner of a player who overcalls or overcalls a double and who is first for his side not a passed player after the opponents have opened the bidding.

Advanced Senior Master
A rank once used by ACBL to denote a player just below Life Master rank. This rank is now known as NABC Master.

Either opponent of declarer, or, during the auction, a player on the other side. The laws of 1963 use opponent for the latter and the defender for the former. Senior adversary was synonymous with declarer’s left-hand opponent, and Junior adversary with his right-hand opponent.

Afair Conventional Responses
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. These responses are employed by the responder after partner opens with a strong No Trump to show a certain distributional pattern.

A Good Year
A film starring Russell Crowe, premier 2006. The plot line is that after years of no contact with his Uncle Henry (Albert Finney), London banker and bond trader Max Skinner learns that Henry has died intestate, so Max inherits a chateau and vineyard in Provence, France. Max Skinner spent part of his childhood there, learning maxims and how to win and lose, and honing his killer instinct.

Max Skinner travels to France, intent on selling the property. He spends a few days there, preparing the property to be sold. But the memories, a beautiful woman, and a young American woman, who says that she is Henry's illegitimate daughter interrupt his plans. Did Max the boy know things that Max the man has forgotten is the story line by the writer and novelist Mr. Peter Mayle.

It is in this film that Max Skinner, speaking candidly about his doubts and plans with his friend and estate lawyer from London, utters the words that "Bridge is not a game played by real men."



1. The understanding that a suit has been chosen as a trump suit and/or No Trump.
2. The understanding that the partnership has chosen to adhere to a mutual agreement regarding bidding and play.

Agreed Suit
A suit in which a partnership has located and announced a fit.

Agreement, Definition of - Definition of Agreement

1. The act of agreeing.
2. Harmony of opinion; accord.
3. An arrangement between parties regarding a course of action; a covenant.
4. Law: a) a properly executed and legally binding contract; b) the writing or document embodying this contract.
5. Grammar: correspondence in gender, number, case, or person between words.

Alan Fairlie Trophy, The
The Alan Fairlie Trophy is awarded to the winners of the Individual Championship for players below the rank of Master and conducted by the Scottish Bridge Union. The tournament was first conducted in the year 1972.

Alarm Clock
Used as an adjective, the term applies to a call or, more commonly, a defensive play intended to alert partner to an unusual situation. The following deal is taken from the 2006 World Teams in Verona, Italy. The contract is 4 and is declared by South. The lead is Ace (or King, depending on agreement). East, behind the dummy, actually recognizes an opportunity to defeat the contract if he/she can compel West to lead a Diamond on the second trick.

East knows that West has the King (or Ace). East has a singleton 10, which has to be eliminated before the defense strategy can possibly work. If West leads a Diamond on the second trick, then as soon as declarer begins to pull trump, East will win with the Ace, lead back a Club, which West will win in order to lead another Diamond, which then results in four tricks for the defense and defeats the contract.

In standard signalling, if East plays the 2, then West will assume that East is not interested in Clubs and perhaps logically switch to a Heart. If East plays the 7, then West assumes that East wishes a continuation of Clubs. If East plays 10 or 9, then this can be interpreted as a suit preference signal, which would also show the higher of the two non-trump suits or Hearts. Therefore, the Queen serves as an alarm-clock signal requesting an almost illogical switch to Diamonds. It is important to remember that a signal to show suit preference on the first trick would be ineffective in this case, if not unnecessary.


Alarm Clock
Used as a noun, the term applies to a call or defensive play intended to alert partner to an unusual situation.

Alarm-Clock Leads
Also colloquially known as wake up calls. These leads are applied when defending a contract. It constitutes an unusual lead which strongly suggests to partner the suspicion of an unusual situation, such as a possible ruffing strategy by the declarer. If the lead-card does not conform to any other interpretation, then the lead should be considered to be unusual. The general guideline is to lead the fourth highest from five or six cards, and to lead the fifth highest from seven cards.

An abbreviation for the Albania Bridge Federation.

Albarran - De Nexon Responses
This concept was introduced and devised by Mr. Pierre Albarran and Mr. Baron Robert de Nexon of France and authors of the bridge book: Notre Methode de Bridge, published 1935. This treatment and/or convention is used only after a 2 Clubs opening by the responder. Fundamentally, the Albarran - De Nexon convention is Ace Showing, providing information to the 2 Club bidder before he/she has a chance to define and describe his/her holding.

Albert H. Morehead Chapter of the IBPA
A designation for the American section of the International Bridge Press Association formed in 1967 and named in honor of Mr. Albert H. Morehead, former Bridge Editor of The New York Times. Mr. Albert H. Morehead was critically ill at the time of this honoring. In 1975, the President of the Chapter, and also President of the IBPA, was Mr. Richard L. Frey.

Albert H. Morehead Memorial Library
This bridge library is located at ACBL Headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. It is one of the largest bridge libraries in the world with more than 3000 volumes, books, reference material, many artifacts and historical documents. The library is named in honor of Mr. Albert H. Morehead, a member of the ACBL Bridge Hall of Fame, who was a noted bridge author and ACBL official. Mr. Morehead bequeathed his private collection of bridge-related material to the ACBL, where it became the nucleus of the library.

Albert Two Clubs Responses
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. The Albert Two Clubs bid is response method to a strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid by partner. This conventional method is also applicable even if the responder has previously passed and the strong, artificial 2 Clubs opening bid has occurred in third or fourth seat.

Alcatraz Coup
This is an action intentionally performed by a player or partnership to produce an advantage, a benefit, an undeserved profit for the perpetrator. Any such action in the game of bridge is deemed inappropriate, unsuitable, and in most instances punishable.

A technique used by bridge players, at any level, to draw the opponents' attention to unusual agreements. The player is required to pronounce the word Alert verbally, and the player is also required to wave the alert card or at least to tap the alert card in the bidding box. Generally the Alert Card is placed on the table by each player before the bidding is initiated. This is to make certain everyone has heard that a play has said alert.

Post Alerts - Essentially, conventional bids above the three level, and made at the opener’s second turn to bid or later, must be explained after the auction is over, and before the opening lead is made.

Pre-Alerts - If the bridge partnership employs an unusual bidding approach, an unusual bidding system, or an unusual bidding convention, then this partnership is required to pre-alert such as soon as the opponents are seated at the table and before any bidding is initiated. Generally it constitutes a warning about the employment of such unusual methods unfamiliar to most players, especially at the club level. Many of these can be found on the Mid- or Super Convention Charts, which should be posted at the bridge club. These methods are normally employed in high-level bridge competition. In most instances it is also the obligation of those partnerships employing such methods to provide a written defense to the opponents upon request, which would follow the Pre-Alert.

Alert Procedure Summary
A short summary of the Alert Procedure compiled March 2002, issued by the American Contract Bridge League, and contributed to this site by Mr. Marvin French of San Diego California, United States. Included are Pre-Alerts, detailed Alert bids, Announcements of bids, Delayed Alerts, and bids which do not need to be Alerted or Announced. This is a .pdf file and will be opened automatically by your browser without being downloaded to your computer, but which can also easily be printed easily back-to-back on one sheet of paper for private use.

Alert Procedure
The objective of the Alert procedure is for both pairs at the table to have equal access to all information contained in any auction. The requirement of any voiced Alert or Announcement and all Pre-Alerts is a method of making the opponents aware of or bringing their attention to the fact that a call has a conventional or unexpected significance or meaning.

Alexandre Two Bids - Alexander Two Bids
The origin of the Alexandre Two Bids, aka Alexander Two Bids, remain unknown. Any information as to the origin of this concept would be greatly appreciated. The concept is based on parameters of opening the auction or by overcalling, if possible, a suit on the two level.

All-American Regional Championships
This bridge tournament was a four-day event contested annually in the American Midwest. The event began in the year 1938 and was generally conducted in Cleveland and/or Akron, Ohio, United States. Later the tournament was also contested in the cities of Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, United States. The tournament was normally conducted during the year to include the American holiday named Memorial Day.

Allan Flitch Trophy
The Allan Flitch Trophy is a tournament conducted under the supervision of the Scottish Bridge Union by the East District Congress. The tournament is conducted as a Pairs Championship and entry is restricted to married couples. The event was first conducted in the year 1962.


Allen Conventional Responses
A convention allowing responder to explore for a 4-4 Minor suit fit.

Allen Over Two Clubs
This is a conventional method devised by Mr. Ellen Allen of Summerville, South Carolina, and describes a three-suited holding of game forcing strength. After a 2 Clubs strong, artificial opening the responder is required to automatically bid 2 Diamonds, which is an artificial response. After this sequence, a jump rebid by the opener to three of a Major suit or four of a Minor suit promises a 4-4-4-1 or a 5-4-4-0 distribution with shortness in the suit bid.

Alligator Coup
See: Crocodile Coup

All Purpose Cuebid
This is a designation used to describe a generalized approach by the responder, and in some circumstances by the advancer. This low-level cuebid, which is at least one-round forcing, asks for additional information about the hand of the partner. The prevailing circumstances is such that the holding of the responder or advancer is still ambiguous and the player requires further description. The factor that this particular cuebid is game forcing is per partnership agreement.

All-Western Regional Championships
These bridge tournaments were contested annually in San Francisco, California, United States normally in the months of August or September.

This is a colloquial term that refers to a 6-3-2-2 hand pattern.

Alpha Asking Bids
These are Control Asking Bids and are a feature of the Roman System and target the controls in a side suit. See: Roman Asking Bids. They are also regarded as a part of the Super Precision system and were targeted towards the goal of discovering the responder's support for the suit opened at the One Level. Alpha Asking Bids are also a feature of the Kaplan-Sheinwold System.

Alpha Opening Bids
These opening bids were devised and developed by Mr. Bertrand Romanet of France around 1968. The subsequent responses and rebids follow the pattern of relay bids and canapé bidding sequences. The bidding system employs the use of opening a 5-card Major suit as opposed to a 4-card Major suit, and the weak No Trump opening, the use of the 2 No Trump bid as a transfer to the next higher suit Clubs.

Altered Crash
This is perhaps a colloquial designation for the Crash Convention After Artificial 1 Club Opening Bid, a version by Mr. Roberto Scaramuzzi. This variation is attributed to Mr. Roberto Scaramuzzi, (Department of Mathematics, Louisiana State University) which has not been substantiated, only mentioned and uploaded to a chat board on February 1, 1995. This version of the Crash conventional method has been altered to defend against a strong, artificial 1 Club opening bid.

Alternative Squeeze
The Alternative Squeeze, or as it is sometimes known, the Either-Or Squeeze, is a simple squeeze played as a double squeeze.

Alternative Threat Squeeze
The Alternative Threat Squeeze is a hybrid form of Compound Squeeze and must meet certain special conditions and requirements.

A British colloquialism for describing the situation when both sides are vulnerable.

amBIGuous Diamond System
The origin of The amBIGuous Diamond bidding system is unknown. We are very thankful to Mr. Marvin French of San Diego, California, for contributing this information. The amBIGuous Diamond system is designed for matchpoint bidding. It combines the advantages of real-suit bidding with the bidding of notrump with all notrump-type hands (and only notrump-type hands). The bidding system permits and features four-card major opening bids. This information has only been archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

The origin of this designation is unknown. This is a compilation, with added variations, of the methods based on the Two Over One bidding system devised by Mr. Benito Garozzo for the Italian 2000 World Junior Championships. If the reader would prefer the system in pdf file,then, depending on the browser, the file will be either downloaded to your computer and opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader or opened within the browser. An English version can be viewed by clicking on .pdf file English Version.

Ambulance Service
Colloquial and/or slang: A term for rescuing partner from an impending large penalty.

American Bridge Association - ABA

American Bridge Teachers Association
The name for a non-profit professional organization composed primarily of bridge teachers, but which also includes tournament directors and bridge writers. The organization is dedicated to promoting higher standards of bridge teaching and playing. The organization was founded in 1957 by a charter membership of 150. The association is divided into ten regions, and each region is headed by a regional director. The ABTA Quarterly Magazine is published for all members with pertinent information. The ABTA also is responsible for selecting the prestigious Book of the Year Award for the best presented and written bridge-related publication. See Book of the Year Awards.

Besides naming the Book of the Year the ABTA also names the ABTA Book of the Year Award for the Beginner/Novice category.

The ABTA also presents annually the ABTA Apple Basket Award for the Best Teacher Tip.

The ABTA also presents annually the ABTA Master Teachers of the Year for those teachers, who are recognized for their experience teaching bridge, knowledge of the game, and support of their fellow instructors.

Since the introduction of the computer and software for the bridge player the ABTA has had a role in promoting this medium as a device for providing instructions to the beginning bridge player. The ABTA also recognizes annually the person(s) contributing to this medium and awards special citations.

In special circumstances the ABTA presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to a person, who has served in an outstanding manner, fashion, or made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of the game of bridge.

American Leads
Such leading techniques were a feature originally in the game of Whist before the present-day game of bridge evolved. They were employed to provide partner with a count when a solid suit was being led. The lead of the Jack followed by the Queen of the same suit, for example, shows a solid seven-card suit.

These American Leads were devised by Mr. Henry Jones, aka Cavendish, of London, England, and by Mr. Nicholas Browse Trist of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Such leading signals have become obsolete, but they are, however, considered by bridge historians to have been a milestone and a significant element in the development of defensive signals.

Note: The link is to the publication American Leads Simplified, authored by Mr. Henry Jones. The publication is the Third Edition, published in the year 1892, and is in a .pdf file format and will open in a new window. This .pdf file is only archived and preserved on this site for future reference.

American Leads Origin

This lead method was devised at during the period of the card game Whist to give partner a count when a solid suit was being held. The lead of the Jack of Hearts, for example, followed by the Queen of Hearts showed a solid seven-card Heart suit. The developers were Mr. Henry Jones Cavendish of London, England, and Mr. Nicholas Browse Trist, born in the year 1840, of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The concept of American Leads was introduced around 1874-1875.

Note: Although these particular leads have been obsolete for some time, they were considered a milestone in the further development of defensive leads. The two popular books during that period, which described in detail the American Leads are: American Leads at Whist, 1891, Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons, New York, LC: 05001295 and American Leads at Whist: With Directions for Play, c1892, 1894, Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons, New York, LC: 28010160, both books by Mr. Fisher Ames.

American Whist League
The AWL was founded in Milwaukee in 1891 as a central organization to control and promulgate the laws of Whist. After 1940 the American Whist League existed in name only. Its sponsorship of tournaments between representatives of member clubs provided incentives to stimulate the competitive aspects of games of the bridge family. From the inception of this organization the members established official laws, rules, a code of ethics, boards, methods of scoring, and movements of boards and players for all sorts of games up to teams of sixteen.

The tournaments of the American Whist League, which were designated as congresses, were contested for the:

1892 - 1934:   Hamilton Trophy (Club Teams of Four
1895 - 1934:   Minneapolis Trophy (Club Pairs)
1896 - 1911:   Brooklyn Trophy (Auxiliary Association members)
1901 - 1934:   Associate Members Trophy (Mixed Pairs)
1908 - 1934:   Manhattan Trophy (Mixed or Women's Pairs)
(1908 - 1934):   Congress Trophies

Amsterdam Club Bidding System
Only the opening bids of this bidding system is presented. This approach was developed in earlier stages of the game of bridge, as many other bridge bidding systems or approaches, and additional information is not available. The Amsterdam Club System has undergone many changes, multiple variations have been added, and the system has been modified. Only the opening bids are presented.

The appraisal of a bidding or playing situation. It is generally used in reference to the play of the cards.

Anchor Suit
The guaranteed suit when a player has shown a two-suiter with only one suit specified. Only that suit that has been specified is the Anchor Suit. When playing the Michaels convention or the Astro convention, one suit at least is always specified, and it becomes the Anchor suit.

Andersen Cuebid - Andersen's Cuebid
This is another designation for the defense method which deals with 1. the Non-Jump Cuebid Overcall, 2. the Jump Cuebid Overcall, and 3. the Double Jump Cuebid Overcall to communicate that the holding is one-suited and that this suit is a solid to semi-solid suit.

This is a verbal method employed to indicate the meaning of a call. It is distinguished from the verbal Alert, which upon request must be explained, in the sense that it clarifies the call with a short explanation as in the instance of the opening of 1 No Trump and announcing the range per partnership agreement. In ACBL sanctioned play, if the 1 No Trump range is between 15 and 18 points, then no announcement is neither necessary nor required. All other ranges require an announcement. A second example is when a bid is forcing for one round, which must be accompanied with the short announcement by the partner that the bid is forcing or semi-forcing.

Announcement Procedure
The use of Announcements are an extension of the Alert System, and is a method by which a player uses either a one word or a short phrase to inform the opponents directly the significance of a call or bid by the partner. This procedure may change according to the policies and decisions of the ACBL and should be reviewed periodically. The procedure is employed in the following instances:

1. If the 1 No Trump range is not 15 to 18 points, then the partner is required to announce the range according to the partnership agreement.
2. After an opening of 1 No Trump and the partnership agreement is that a response is a transfer bid, then the partner must announce this by stating: Transfer.
3. If, per partnership agreement, a first response of 1 No Trump after a Major suit opening is forcing, then the partner must announce: Forcing or Semi-Forcing.
4. If, per partnership agreement, an opening in either Minor suit may signify a holding containing fewer than three cards, then the partner is required to announce: May be short.

Anti Against No Trump Openings
The origin of this concept or conventional defense method is unknown. This is a designation for a defense method against a No Trump opening by an opponent. The bids are designed to show either a one-suited holding or a two-suited holding by the intervenor. The advancer is the partner of the intervenor.

Anti-Bart Convention
Note: This link is no longer available. Mr. Josh Sher of Washington D.C. and Mr. Marc Umeno of Cleveland, Ohio, United States, published this online write-up as a variation of the Bart conventional method. This write-up has been only archived and preserved on this site in a .pdf file for future reference

Anti-Lemming Convention
This conventional response method following a 1 No Trump opening bid by partner allows the responder to communicate weakness in both Major suits. This method was devised by Mr. Alan Fraser Truscott. The one requirement is that the responder must hold a certain distribution with game values.

A principle of choosing the suit for the opening bid to facilitate a rebid. See: Principle of Preparedness

Anti-Flannery Variation
The origin of this variation is unknown. The basic concept is employed mainly in bidding systems using the canapé approach, meaning that the shorter suit is opened or bid first before the higher-ranking suit. The fundamental concept can also be employed in several variations of the Blue Club bidding system developed by Mr. Benito Garozzo and used by the Blue Team during their successful reign in the world bridge tournaments in the 1960s, in which the canapé approach was mainly employed. The off-shoot of this bidding system, designated sometimes as Lancia, origin unknown, also uses this variation to some degree, but this cannot be confirmed. Source is: publication The Blue Club as adopted and translated by Mr. Terence Reese, 1969, ISBN-10: 0571092659 / ISBN-13: 978-0571092659.

Antifragment Bids
An older designation for a Splinter bid or singleton-showing bid. Sometimes misused for / confused with the Fragment Bid, which is a variation of the Splinter bid, and which is an unusual jump that guarantees a fit for the last named suit of the partner, promises a singleton or a void in the suit in which the jump is made, and strongly suggests slam possibilities.

This term, an adjective for a call, means to place or tend to place the less advantageously located partner as the declarer.

Anti-Splinter Bids
Various bids used in responding to an opening of a major to show opening values but no short suit.

Antigua Contract Bridge Association
Postal Address
The Tamarinds - Factory Road
P.O. Box 384
St. Johns
Telephone: +1-268-462 1459
Fax: +1-268-462 1444

Apfelbaum - Murray Apfelbaum Discovery Play
A tactical play devised by Mr. Murray Clark Apfelbaum, who died August 3, 2016, which proved not very successfull in its execution. The designation is a Minnesota-colloquial term to describe an action, which referrs to trying to gain information on how to handle the tump suit by first playing sidesuits and consequently getting cross-ruffed, obviating the guess in trump, but losing several additional tricks during the execution.

An appeal is a request by a bridge player for a review of a ruling by a director. This may be the case in the local bridge club and at all other bridge events organized by a sponsoring organization. Any ruling by a director may be appealed if so wished by a bridge player(s), but, in general, an appeals committee does not have the authority to overrule the director on a point of bridge law or regulation.

Appeals Cases
Once attention has been drawn to an irregularity or an irregularity in the procedure as set forth in the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge occurs, then a ruling by the appointed Director must be made based on these Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. The bridge player, as stated in the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge, has the right to appeal said ruling. It is our attempt to archive and preserve such published Appeals on this site, mainly in .pdf file format form for the benefit of the reader, student, and visitor. These appeal cases may be found on the Internet in different form and in different location.

Appeals Committee Handbook
This handbook is created to educate members about Appeals Committees. The process begins with the Tournament Director, who enforces the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. The Tournament Director can adjust scores (Law 12) and give procedural penalties (Law 90). Each player then has a right to appeal the ruling (Law 92). An Appeals Committee hears that appeal (Law 93).

Appeal Without Merit Points
A point system for tracking appeals without merit was adopted for use at NABCs beginning with the 1998 Summer NABC in Chicago.

Appendix Movement
A method of adding an additional table to a tournament without changing the number of deals played.

Appendix Mitchell
A form of a bridge movement, by which the scoring comparisons are allegedly more sound. The director puts out 3 boards each on tables 1 through 8. Then the director moves table 9 near table 1, and has the players share (relay) boards. The extra pair is #10 E/W and they sit out the first round. Every round the N/S pairs move to the next higher table and the boards move to the next lower table. E/W pairs leaving table 9 sit out for 1 round at table 10 before entering the next round at table 1. There is an E/W Skip after round 4. All the boards in play are now played 9 times rather than 7 or 8. All the pairs now play 21 or 24 of the 24 boards in play rather than 27 or 30. The sit-out is always after playing E/W at table 9.

The Appendix Mitchell can be used to remove an unnecessary set of boards and therefore improve comparisons for any number of tables that include a half table using the same algorithm. If the number of board sets in play is even there will be a skip after half the rounds have been played; if the number of board sets is odd there is no skip. The maximum number of played rounds is the number of board sets (1.5 less than the total number of tables). Therefore it is not ideal for 8.5 tables because it would limit the movement to seven rounds and imply 4 board rounds and a 4 board sit out. However, any half table greater than 9.5 works equally well.

Appendix Pair
A method of adding an extra pair in a movement. The appendix pair will be stationary at some point, replacing the pair scheduled for that position that sits out for a round. A pair can not be appended at a table, which already has a stationary pair.

Appendix Table
This is a method of expanding sections to accommodate additional tables without increasing the number of boards in play. This method is especially useful for adding late pairs or tables to a Howell movement. The result of adding appendix tables to the seven-table Howell game has led to the Three-Quarter Movement for eight, nine, and up to twelve tables.

The use of appendix tables in Mitchell movement games is possible, although infrequently employed, except as adapted into certain Guide Card Movements for two-session events. One use that is popular is that of a Novice Table appendix to a regular game where inexperienced players may be accommodated without delaying the regular game. The application of the appendix table principle by former National Tournament Director Mr. Paul Marks has made the Rainbow Movement adaptable for numbers of tables one or even two greater than a prime number such as 7, 11, 13, 17, etc.

The technique of handling an appendix table is not difficult. In a Howell movement, a table(s) may be appended to any table where there are two moving pairs. The North-South pair at the base table is instructed to remain stationary as is the East-West pair at the appended table. Boards are constantly relayed from the base table to the appended table, and as moving pairs arrive at the base table to sit North-South, they are instructed to play at the appended table, then to resume their regular progression. In a Mitchell game, a table may be appended to any section that consists of a prime number of tables. Boards are placed on the base table and are relayed with the appended table. Throughout the game the boards move regularly to the next lower table within the prime section. The East-West pair at the base table remains stationary, as does the North-South pair at the appended table. All other pairs move each round, East-West moving to the next higher table and North-South skipping one table to the next higher table.

Approach Forcing System
A common bidding method in which responder's new-suit bids are forcing. The earliest system to endorse this concept was the Culbertson system, later the Goren System, and then the Standard American System, and other later developed systems. The original concept of Mr. Ely Culbertson was to emphasize the necessity for slow suit exploration in preference to a precipitate excursion into No Trump.

Note: In the publication The Baron System of Contract Bridge, authored by Mr Leo Baron and Mr. Adam Meredith provide a specific definition of Approach Forcing for the bridge player. This excerpt from their publication of 1948 is as follows:

Approach methods are those by which the maximum amount of information is exchanged at the lowest possible level while ensuring that the bidding shall not die except in certain recognised ways.

Approach Principle
Note: Also referred to as an Approach Bid. Study and experience in the day of Auction Bridge lead Mr. Ely Culburtson to conceive the idea that opening a suit and exchanging information slowly between the two partners was preferable to a No Trump opening of various ranges and guessed responses, which was customary in the early stages of bridge.

Apricot Sundae
Slang: this term means a weak Heart-Diamond two-suiter, derived from the phrase "a red, sticky, unappetizing mess".

Archer System, The
This is the designation employed for a bidding system described and explained in the publication The Archer System: The Dynamic New Revolutionary Winning System of Contract Bridge, 1955, Publisher: J.H. Collins and Associates, Chicago, Illinois, United States, ISBN: B000VB991O, LC: 55031008. The author of the publication is Mr. James Henry Collins. The information is not available as to whether Mr. James Henry Collins is also the originator of The Archer System. Any additional information is appreciated.

Argentina Bridge Association (WBF) - Asociación Bridge Argentino - (Argentina)
Queda constituida la Asociación del Bridge Argentino, fundada el 20 de abril de 1944, cuyo objeto es reunir en un organismo único a los aficionados al bridge y a las entidades de la República en las cuales se practica ese juego como actividad organizada en forma estable y sin propósitos comerciales, para dirigir con unidad de intenciones y de medios el movimiento bridgístico argentino en asuntos de orden general y de interés común. A estos fines promoverá y difundirá la práctica del bridge, organizará los campeonatos de bridge y designará los equipos que han de representarla en los certámenes internacionales.

Además podrá: contratar maestros de bridge, organizar congresos, editar y propiciar publicaciones que propendan al adelanto del bridge; patrocinar las iniciativas que interesen a la afición; promover y presidir concursos interclubes; convenir con otros organismos las bases que regirán en adelante para la adjudicación de los campeonatos sudamericanos, panamericano y mundial; unificar las reglas y la terminología que deberán imperar en el país. La Asociación del Bridge Argentino está capacitada para adquirir muebles e inmuebles y contraer obligaciones así como para realizar cualquier clase de operaciones con los bancos oficiales, mixtos y/o privados del país y del exterior.

Quedan expresamente excluidos de las actividades de la Asociación las cuestiones de índole religiosa o política así como la práctica de los juegos de azar y -particularmente- la de los denominados bancados; la Asociación del Bridge Argentino queda constituida por tiempo indeterminado.

History Outline and Summary
In 1932 a group of bridge enthusiasts founded the Club de Bridge Argentino, the first exclusively dedicated bridge institution in South America. The second did not appear until five years later when the Bridge Club of Punta Arenas, Chile, started its activities.

Artful Dodger, The

In the timeless novel by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) titled 'Oliver Twist', Chapter 25, the character of Artful Dodger, when playing dummy by a game of Whist with Mr. Fagin, Master Charles Bates, and Mr. Chitling in the den of Mr. Fagin, is commended for 'wisely regulating his play by the result of his observations on his neighbor's cards.' The scene can be read in its entirety in a .pdf file, which has only been preserved and archived on this site. Other sources on the Internet carry the entire content of this classic book and unforgettable story.

A call that, through pre-arrangement between partners, does not indicate a desire to play the bid being stated, doubled or redoubled; or does not indicate interest in the strain named.

Artificial Bids on the One Level
In the evolution of the game of bridge various conventional methods have been developed, which have been defined as strong opening bids promising a certain minimum of values. The attempt has been made to present a list of such methods, such approaches, such systems.

Art In Bridge
There are many artists, sketchers, painters, cartoonists, who have created amusing, entertaining, and wonderful representations of the world of playing cards, of card games. The BridgeGuys.com have compiled and listed some of these representations for your leisure and enjoyment.

See: Little Roman Club System Opening Bids

Arrangement of Cards
This is the act of sorting the cards in one's own hand or, by the declarer, in the dummy. This includes the conventional placing of the trump suit.

Arrangement of Tables
Although this may seem obvious, this action of arranging the tables either a duplicate tournament or at other events is considered an important factor. The arrangement, of course, depends largely on the size and shape of the playing space and the anticipated number of tables which must / should be accommodated. A "hairpin type" of arrangement is more desirable than a straight line arrangement for sections in order to bring the last table into proximity with the first in each section. Care must be taken so that players do not inadvertently see or have the chance to unintentionally view the hands in play at other tables close by. An arrangement of tables, for example, in a pattern as the following

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
  15   14   13   12   11   10   9  

may prove convenient and conserve space because rows can be closer together, makes it very difficult for players not to see a hand of another player at a different table.

Arrangement of Tricks
In duplicate bridge this is the act of turning a card face down on the edge of the table immediately in front of a player after four cards have been played to a trick, with the long axis of the card pointing to the players who won the trick. See Law 65 of Contract Bridge.

In Rubber Bridge this is the act of collecting the cards played to a trick by a member of the side that won the trick and then turning them face down on the table so that the tricks are identifiable in proper sequence. See Law 66 of Contract Bridge.

Artic Club
This concept was devised and developed by Mr Gordon Bower in Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. The system is named Arctic because Mr. Gordeon Bower first played the system in Fairbanks, Alaska (though Fairbanks actually has only a sub-arctic climate). Its first use in a large game was at the Great Salt Lake Regional, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, May 17, 1996. This information has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: Mr. Gordon Bower is also the founder of TaigaBridge. He learned to play bridge the Friday after Thanksgiving, 1991, making up a fourth with his high-school girlfriend and her brother when her mother decided they needed to learn how to play. Source. This information about TiagaBridge has also only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: The visitor will determine immediately that the original website, on which the system was presented online, no longer functions since the website has been taken off line.

Note: On November 4, 2014, an email message was received from Brian, who contributed the following posting from Mr. Gordon Bower from Fairbanks, Alaska, United States. We have posted the pertinent information received from him below, which was posted online late in 1999. We are very very thankful for this contribution from Brian.

I came across a reference to Arctic Club on your site. One Google search later I was at the .pdf file on your site, and I note that you mention that you hope the author would come forward to claim credit. I have not seen a post by him in many years, but I can give you the initial self-introductory posting he made - see below! The posting was made in late 1999.

Hi, all... Gordon Bower here, from Fairbanks, AK... I am delighted to discover this list! I've wanted to find a forum devoted to bidding theory discussions for a long time, but never found one, and never had the energy to start one myself. I don't currently play on OKBridge (shortage of time and money) but hopefully that won't disqualify me. :)

In real life I am a statistician for the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Bridgewise I direct the local club, teach sporadically, and try to hit most of the regionals in the Northwest. I have a passion for exploring slightly bizarre bidding ideas, and in particular, seeing just how much one can get away with and still be GCC-legal in the ACBL. (Never mind that my game would improve much more if I concentrated on bettering my declarer play for a few months!)

I have invented and tested quite a number of systems over the last five years or so, most of them forcing-but-not-always strong-1C systems. One of these, Arctic Club, turned out to be remarkably similar to Don Varvel's Unassuming Club, despite their having been developed independently. I played that system with considerable success (and considerable raised eyebrows) in a number of events in 1996 and 1997 and put up part of the system notes on the web. More recently I have been developing a slightly more artificial descendant of that system, thanks to having a more experimentally-inclined partner these days. More on that another day. :)

Aruba Bridge Federation - Contacts
Postal Address
17 Beuajonstraat
Telephone: +297-5-824 953
Fax: +297-5-824 953

Ascherman System
A new method of calculating the result of Duplicate Pairs Tournaments as described by Mr. Herman De Wael, the Ascherman system is an alternative way of scoring the results in a Pairs Tournament. Its ease of use and internal logic should make it the only way of scoring in the next century.

Asking Bid
Also known as the Culbertson Asking Bid. A bid that requests information about a specific feature of partner's hand, for example the number of Aces, controls in Spades, quality of Heart support. In the original version, developed by Mr. Albert Morehead, which was later refined further by Mr. Ely Culbertson, Asking Bids were generally used after it became evident that a slam was a distinct possibility. The concept found its place in many of the conventions over time, such as Blackwood and Gerber, and other Bidding Systems have incorporated this concept to locate first round control, second round control, and even the location of the control. This incorporation of the concept itself has lead to the renaming of this concept and is today known by many different designations, but they all have the simple concept of Mr. Albert Morehead as their foundation. Examples: California Cuebid and Western Cuebid.

Asking Cuebid
A cuebid in the enemy-shown suit that asks partner to bid No Trump with a stopper in that suit; sometimes called California Cuebid or Western Cuebid.

Asking and Telling Cuebids
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. The concept is not to be mistaken for the Fourth Suit Forcing conventional method. These are cuebids below the level of 3 No Trump and are generally attempts to reach a final contract of 3 No Trump. When the partnership, without competition, has bid two suits, then the cuebid of the third suit is a Telling Cuebid, looking for a stopper in the fourth suit. When the partnership, without competition, has bid three suits, then the cuebid of the fourth suit is an Asking Cuebid, asking for a stopper in that suit. With competition the partnership must decide the continuances.

Opener   Responder    
1   2    
3   3   3 is a Telling Cuebid
Opener   Responder    
1   2    
3   3   3 is an Asking Cuebid

A:son 74 Defense Method-ASON 74
This conventional method was developed by Mr. Mats Nilsland and Mr. Rolf-Eric Andersson in the year 1974. The basic concept is two-fold in that an opening bid in a Major suit shows exactly 4 cards and attempts to conceal a balanced to semi-balanced holding from the opponents. The concept for the former purpose of showing distribution became abandoned and emphasis was placed on the method as a defense method against the opening of No Trump by an opponent.

The basic concept or structure of A:son 74, an abbreviation for Andersson, one of the developers and the last two digits of the year, was developed for interference following a 1 No Trump opening by an opponent. In essence the defense method employs a similar structure to the responses of Stayman, Transfer Bids, and also Minor Suit Stayman.

Norwegian Description: Konstruerat av Rolf-Eric Andersson och Mats Nilsland av 1974, därav systemets namn. Högfärgsöppning visar precis fyra kort i färgen och utgör grunden i systemet. Därmed lämpar sig A:son kanske speciellt väl för partävling. Source.

Aspro Convention
Mr. John Terence Reese devised this defense method and based it on the Astro Convention. Mr. John Terence Reese also provided a specific designation to the intervening Aspro player, which is astronaut. For whatever reasons behind the choice for the designation, it seems that Mr. John Terence Reese decided to name the conventional concept after a popular British brand of aspirin.

Asptro Convention
A method of defending against a 1 No Trump opening showing one of the Major suits and an unspecified second suit. The designation is also a combination of two similar defense methods: Asptro-Astro. This conventional method is a defense method employed after an opponent opens the auction with No Trump.

Middlesex Asptro Defense Method
The origin of this defense method is unknown. The particular variation of the original Asptro convention is generally limited to a weak No Trump opening bid by the opposition.

To raise a suit first bid by partner.

Assiste Bidding System - Il sistema Assist
The link is to the website of Bridge Assist. This bidding system was devised and developed by Mr. Romolo Napoletano and was published as Il sistema Assist. Il naturale rapido, 1999, by Editore Mursia (Gruppo Editoriale). The translation can be found on the website of Mr. Daniel Neill. This material has only been archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Association of Professional Bridge Players
This was a group of experienced and expert bridge players organized by Mr. Ron Feldman of Petaluma, California, United States. The purpose of this Association was for bridge players to come together and play bridge for a certain amount of prize money. Arrangements were made for this particular bridge event to be held and conducted at the 1983 Summer Nationals, which were to be conducted in July 1983 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The total prize money was promoted as US$50,000 and the First Place winner was to receive a total of US$10,000.

Note: The patronage of the scheduled and pre-arranged prize money bridge event in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, at the 1983 Summer Nationals, was assumed by the American Contract Bridge League, which had a negative effect among the participating bridge players, the majority of whom declined the invitation to participate at this venue. Instead the event was conducted in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, United States, in early May 1983 and offered a total prize fund of US$200,000 to the winners.

Note: Mr. Ron Feldman had conducted and successfully completed a prize money bridge event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, in November 1982. It was upon this bridge event that a continuation was sought to coincide with the 1983 Summer Nationals conducted by the ACBL.

Note: Mr. Ron Feldman was also the originator and pioneering trail-blazer for the Marquette Hotel Bridge Carnival and also for the Stars of Tournament Bridge events, which were also bridge events conducted at the highest level of bridge for prize money.

Astro Defense Method - Astro Convention
This conventional defense method uses the bid of a Minor suit overcall after a strong No Trump opening or a weak No Trump opening to show a particular distributional holding and can be employed either in the immediate seat or in the balancing seat. The terminology comes from the names of the bridge players, who devised the convention: Mr. Paul Allinger - Mr. Roger STern - Mr. Larry ROssler.

Astro Roth-Stone
This conventional defense method was devised by Mr. Alvin Roth and Mr. Tobias Stone, two successful bridge personalities, partners, and authors. This version of the Astro defense method, employed after a No Trump opening by the opponents, shows a two-suited holding of two known suits.

Half Astro Defense Method
This is a variation on the concept of the Astro conventional method devised by Mr. David Collier of Manchester, United Kingdom. Source is his online BlogSpot. The significance of the designation is unknown.

Grano-Astro Defense Method
This variation of the Astro conventional defense method following a 1 No Trump opening bid by the opposing side is credited to Mr. Matthew Granovetter. This variation expands also upon the original version not only with the employment of the double but also with the expansion of the number of possible overcalls.

Modified Astro Defense Method
This variation, or modification, of the Astro conventional defense method is used to expedite the description of a Major suit two-suiter after a strong 1 No Trump opening to show a two-suited hand. The range of the No Trump bid is limited by the range of 15-18 high card points.

Pinpoint Astro Defense Method
Using these modifications or variants of the original Astro conventional defense method, the overcall may have a better possibility of conveying a more accurate description of any two-suited holding to partner.

Astro Cuebid
T he Astro Convention, which shows a two-suited holding by bidding a Minor suit after an opponent has opened the auction with 1 No Trump, was devised by Mr. Paul Allinger, Mr. Roger Stern, and Mr. Larry Rossler. The Astro Cuebid is also an invention of these bridge players to indicate a two-suited holding after an opponent opens the auction on the one level with a suit bid.

Astronaut - Bridge Player in Space
It is not a common occurrence that a bridge player becomes an astronaut. Mr. Greg Johnson, however, is an astronaut and a bridge player. It was at the 52nd Spring North American Bridge Championships conducted in Houston, Texas, United States, and reported in the Daily Bulletin on Sunday, March 22, 2009, Volume 52, Number 10, that Mr. Greg Johnson presented to the representatives of ACBL the Ace of Spades card, which he had carried aboard the Shuttle Endeavor in the year 2008.

Athall Cup
The competition for the presentation of The Atholl Cup is conducted by the East District of the Scottish Bridge Union. It is a Knock-out picot teams event. The event was first contested in the year 1933. The event was the Atholl Bridge Club Pairs from the year1935 to the year 1939. During the years 1939 to 1945 the competition was in abeyance. In the year 1946 the competition was reinstated as aTeams of Four competition.


To take the initiative in bidding or play at some risk. Used particularly with reference to the opening lead.

Attacking Lead
An opening lead intended to institute active defense.

This concept is used in bridge and may determine whether a defender does or does not want a suit led, continued by partner, or does or does not want to show strength in it. A defender's attitude toward a suit is usually described as encouraging or discouraging and this information is specified by the played card according to the carding concept employed by the players according to a partnership agreement.

Attitude Lead or Attitude Signal
A lead, or signal, which indicates a defender's attitude. The attitude signal indicates the level of interest toward the suit, in which the signal is given. Common practice include positive and negative attitude signals.

A relatively high card shows positive attitude toward the suit being led.

Or a relatively low card shows negative attitude toward the suit being led.

An echo is a positive attitude signal consisting in a high card followed as soon as possible with a lower card.

Auby-rutern - Auby Diamond
The Auby-Diamond is a system  that was designed for playing only when non-vulnerable. This system was developed and is attributed to Mr. Daniel Auby of Vallentuna, Sweden.

The bidding; portion of a deal in which the players bid for the right to name the final contract. According to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge, the auction has then ended after three passes and when the first card to the first trick is faced.

Auction Bridge
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, this game is either of two card games, Auction Bridge and Contract Bridge, that are derived from Whist and retain its essential features. The predecessor of Contract Bridge. The third step in the evolution of the general game of bridge. Its predecessors were Whist and Bridge Whist. It was first played in 1903, but the precise circumstances are still disputed. The first code of laws governing the play of auction bridge was set forth in 1908. Auction bridge was faded out after the introduction of Contract Bridge in 1926.

In this form of bridge the players bid against one another for the right to declare the trump suit; each bid is an undertaking to win the specified number of tricks, and the winner of the auction is penalized if he or she does not make the bid. Auction bridge was developed in the early 1900s and by 1910 had almost completely displaced Bridge Whist.

Penalty points and bonus points are scored above the line, that is, not counted toward game; points are scored below the line only by the side winning the auction and only if it makes at least as many tricks as it bid. No score is accumulated for the first six tricks; each additional trick counts 6 points if the trump suit is Clubs, 7 if Diamonds, 8 if Hearts, 9 if Spades, and 10 if there are No Trumps. A total of 30 or more points below the line completes a "game". The first side to win two games completes the rubber and gets a bonus of 250 points. At the conclusion of each rubber the scores are totaled without distinction between points below or above the line.

Penalties for failure to make a contract, that is, the number of tricks bid, are awarded to the defending side as bonuses and amount to 50 points for each undertrick. If the contract has been doubled by the defenders, the penalty is 100 points for each undertrick; if redoubled by the bidding side, 200 points. If a doubled contract has been made, the side that made the bid scores double the trick value below the line, plus a bonus of 50 points for making the bid, plus an additional bonus of 50 points each for any overtricks. Corresponding redoubled scores are four times trick value; 100 points for contract; and 100 points for each overtrick.

Bonuses are given for the holding of honors, the five highest cards of the trump suit, or the four aces if there are no trumps. If one side holds three honors, it scores 30 points; four honors, 40 points; five honors, 50 points. Four trump honors in one hand and one in partner's hand count 90 points, and all the honors in one hand count 100 points. Bonuses are also awarded for slams; 50 points for a small slam, that is, for taking 12 of 13 tricks; 100 points for a grand slam, or taking all 13 tricks.

Reverse Auction Bridge
In the evolution of card games the attempt was to find a binding agreement on how the scoring was to be calculated. Many forms of the card games were invented and tested. However, many of these forms did not last long among the more active card players. The Reverse Auction Bridge game was intended to remedy a certain inadequacy of other forms of the card games, which preceded it.

Auction Bridge, Outline of
Authored by Charles Stuart Street in the year 1909, in New York, New York, United States. The official title is: Auction Bridge: Being a Concise Statement of The Rules of the Game - Together With An Elucidation of the Essential Points a Bridge Player Must Know in Order to Play Auction.

Nullo Auction Bridge
During the transition from any form of the game called Whist there were many other attempts to establish a variety of card games, which demanded bidding and declaration. One of these was called Nullo Auction Bridge, whereby the nullo was introduced between any bid in Spades and No Trump equally on the same level. The nullo counted 10 per trick. This information is presented as outlines in the yearly publication of The Official Rules of Card Games, 26th Edtion, 1922, as published by The U.S. Playign Card Co.

In the publication Robertson's Book of Firsts by Patrick Robertson, published by Bloomsbury,, London, Berlin, New York, and Sydney in November 201, ISBN-10: 9781608197385,it states:

Auctions Possible in Bridge
The possible number of bridge auctions, as has been mathematically calculated is:


The following number, as has been mathematically calculated, for the possible number of bridge deals is:


This number is spoken: 53 octillion, 644 septillion, 737 sextillion, 765 quintillion, 488 quadrillion, 792 trillion, 839 billion, 237 million, 440 thousand.

August Convention
See: Two-Way Stayman

August Two Diamonds - August 2 Diamonds
This conventional method was devised by Mr. William J. August, who was born in Northampton, Massachusetts, United States. After a No Trump opening by partner, the August 2 Diamonds convention is designed to show a weak holding of a 4-card Major suit and a 5-card Minor suit. It is considered to be a variation of Two Way Stayman.

Australian One Club System, The
This is the designation given to a bidding system in the game of bridge and which is explained and clarified in the publication titled The Australian One Club System: Contract Bridge, published in the year 1959 by Angus and Robertson, Sydney, Australia, and the Library of Congress code is LC: 59032792. The author is Mr. William Noall. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated.

Australian Standard Opening Bids
There are many versions of bidding systems in Australia, even Goren and Acol, which have evolved over time with the introduction of new and newer bridge concepts. The general consensus is that there is no one definite standard bidding system and the presented information represents, in approximation only, perhaps the most common version of the opening bids with the most desired requirements. For additional information, visit the Australian Bridge Federation.

Australian Stayman
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. As the designation contains the name of a country even questions directed to the Australian Bridge Federation provides no plausible origin. However, since the country of Australia consists of seven different bridge associations and federations it is quite apparent that the knowledge about the origin of this conventional method shall remain unknown until a bridge player steps forward and claims ownership.

Australian Trump Asking Bidsx
The origin of these Trump Asking Bids is unknown, but the designation rather definitely establishes the country of origin. They were devised solely for the purpose of reaching and bidding a safe slam contract. These bids are employed when the partnership is attempting slam, but these bids are also useful when bidding a questionable game contract, as opposed to other conventional methods, which deal only with bidding slam contracts.

Austrian Blue Club Bidding System
Mr. Stefan Zijlstra has composed an Austrian Blue Club Writeup. He has compiled and posted this information in 1999 to the Forum, which is an online discussion group. The visitor can download this information in a .pdf file format. Mr. Stafan Zijlstra has also included the preface that the included conventions and their sequences are a personal view of the author. The reader should bear this in mind.

Note: Whether or not this this information reflects the original intent of Mr. Benito Garozzo has not been established. This information is also only preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: This version of the Blue Team Club, translated by Mr. Daniel Neil l, is considered to be a variation of the concept as established by Mr. Benito Garozzo, but maintains the original concept as closely as possible.

Austrian Blue Club Opening Bids
This is a variation and modified form of the original Blue Club bidding system, or Blue Team Club, devised by Mr. Benito Garozzo, which was employed by the famous Blue Team and had great popularity in the 1960s and 1970s.

Note: The presented opening bids of the Austrian Blue Club bidding system are more explanations than defined. The author, Mr. Stefan Zijstra, who has preserved this information, presents the opening bids as logical conclusions.

The bids and responses of this conventional method are unknown. If any visitor has this information we would appreciate any and all assistance. The conventional method signifies any call which shows support for partner and the values for game opposite a non-minimum opening. This includes calls that could alternatively contain game values. See Orange Book 2002.

Referring to a squeeze maturing regardless of the opponent's position at the table.

Automatic Squeeze
A simple squeeze which will operate against either opponent.

Automatic Two Diamonds Response
A treatment devised by several partnerships, whereby the only response permitted to a strong artificial Two Clubs opening must be 2 Diamonds.

Autosplinter - Auto Splinter Bid
A call that indicates a short suit in a holding with one long suit, such as a bid that announces the singleton in a distribution of 6-3-3-1. This particular call can also be employed to indicate a void in a holding with one long suit as with a distribution of 6-4-3-0. The long suit should be either a 6-card plus suit, but it could also be a solid 5-card suit. For example, after a 2 No Trump opening the responder may employ a three-level Jacoby Transfer to either Major suit. After completion of the transfer a No Trump rebid or the bid of a new suit is considered natural, a self-raise to the four-level is a definite slam try, and a new suit jump is an auto-splinter showing a one-suited holding with shortage (defined as singleton or void) in the bid suit.

The mean arithmetic average score on one deal, or over one session, in a duplicate bridge contest.

This term describes a moderately below-average matchpoint score and is typically awarded as a result of an irregularity in the procedure of the game.

Average Expectancy
The term applied to the expected holding of the partner of the opening bidder. It may refer to one-third of the missing cards of a suit or one-third of the missing honor strength. The fraction will vary as the bidding progress. It was much used in the Culbertson System in his arguments for pre-emptive bids.

Average Hand
A hand that contains ten high card points. This basic assumption furnishes the player with a simple yardstick for measuring the relative high card strength of a given hand, and may assist materially in estimating the game potential or penalty expectancy of any bid.

This term describes a moderately above-average matchpoint score, which is typically awarded as a result of an irregularity of an opponent.

Average Score
An average score is one-half the matchpoints possible on a given deal or in a particular session of a matchpoint pairs tournament.

A plan of play, usually by declarer, that makes it impossible, difficult or expensive for a particular opponent to gain the lead.