The concept behind the conventional method designated inverted psycho suction is the development of Mr. Thomas Andrews. Following the original concept of the original suction conventional method it was evident from the original version that the responder and the No Trump bidder could easily formulate a defense method to penalize the competition with a penalty double. Source.

Mr. Thomas Andrews realized the flaw in the original version and devised psycho suction, which allows the interfering side to compete without revealing sufficient information about the competitive bids, and thus permit the No Trump bidder and the responder to construct a counter-defensive method based on zero information. Such a proposed defense method would allow the responder of the No Trump bidder the choice between two bids, which is either to pass or to double.

Note: The concept of the suction conventional method is not permitted in events governed by the ACBL General convention chart, except as a defense to artificial opening bids (such as Precision, strong 2 openings, Flannery, and similar opening bids.)

Note: This guideline also includes any and all variations of the suction conventional method.

Note: As a strong recommendation to all partnerships, who would prefer to employ the suction conventional method in ACBL sanctioned tournaments, it behooves the partnership to inquire in advance as to whether or not such this conventional method is permitted.

Note: Reference is provided for all partnerships to the Current ACBL Restrictions, authored by Mr. John Vega and Mr. Marty Lavine, for any supplementary information in this regard. Such information can also be found on the ACBL website.


Original Version of the Suction Conventional Method

In order to understand the modification of the original suction conventional convention it is important to know the original version. Once an opponent has opened the auction with 1 No Trump, which shows generally the accepted range of 15-17 points, then the following overcall scheme, called suction, can be employed to show certain distributional holdings.

The suction overcall shows either the next higher-ranking suit or the two suits above the next higher-ranking suit.

Opponent   Overcall   Meaning
1 No Trump   2   Suction: shows either Diamonds or both Major suits.
    2   Suction: shows either Hearts or both black suits, Spades and Clubs.
    2   Suction: shows either Clubs or both red suits, Hearts and Diamonds.
    2   Suction: shows either Clubs and Hearts, or Diamonds and Spades.

Note: The advancer, partner of the overcaller, generally puppets to the next higher-ranking suit. Then, if the overcaller has a two-suited holding, then the overcaller corrects.

Psycho Suction Variation

The intention of Mr. Thomas Andrews, in developing a variation of the suction conventional method, is to prevent the No Trump bidder and responder from forming a counter-defensive method and employ a method allowing either the call of double or the call of pass once the overcaller has employed the suction conventional method.

The concept, as a variation, allows the player to have either the actual suit of the overcall or the next two higher-ranking suits. The entire outline is as follows.

Opponent   Overcall   Meaning
1 No Trump   2   Psycho Suction: shows either Clubs or both red suits, Hearts and Diamonds.
    2   Psycho Suction: shows either Diamonds or both Major suits.
    2   Psycho Suction: shows either Hearts or both black suits, Spades and Clubs.
    2   Psycho Suction: shows Spades or both Minor suits.
    2 NT   Psycho Suction: shows either of the two non-touching suits, Clubs and Hearts or Diamonds and Spades.


The continuances are generally based on the agreement of the partnership. However, as the author readily admits, in some instances may indeed be disastrous in the result of the interference, particularly by unfavorable vulnerability. Owing to this reason of danger, so states the author, is precisely why the word psycho is part of the designation of the conventional method.



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.