Short-cut Summary for Easy Memorizing the System.

  1. On 1C opening (showing 16+ points):
    1. There are no distributional relays (asking distribution of partner's hand) in any conditions (on negative, strong or positive but limited replies). However on
    2. & on negative reply i.e.1D (showing less than 8 points):- There is only Jackson relay by the opener showing higher points (1H shows 19+ and on further denial, 2C shows 22+)
    3. & on strong reply i.e. 1H :(showing 12 +, irrespective of his distribution) asking opener whether he has additional strength i.e. whether 19+ or not:- If opener has 19+, he bids 1S (irrespective of his distribution). All other normal bids shows 16-18 & natural
    4. & on positive (but limited) reply (showing 8/9-11 points):
      1. All normal calls are natural describing each other's distribution to find out suitable fit as bidding is not going to stop below game level.

      2. Immediate jump to 2NT, after either partner has shown 5 cards major suit is Jacoby Relay asking for a singleton (simple/jump reply with singleton/void).

      3. All immediate single (double) jump replies in another suit, after 5 cards suit has been shown by either partner, are Splinter bids showing singleton (void) in bid suit. (Any time both on 1C opening as well as suit call opening, jump shift bids after five cards suit has been shown, are splinter bids). However single jump in same colour, by 1C opener on responder's five card suit, shows 19 - 21 points & no singleton whereas jump to game shows bare minimum points.

  2. On Suit call opening (i.e. 1H/1S/2C/2D showing minimum 5 cards suit & 11/15 in case of major & 14/15 points in case of minor) as well as 1D opening (showing 11-13 & no 5 card major suit):
    1. Next higher suit calls are Distributional Relays (except on 1H/1S opening wherein opener has to show first 11-13 or 14-15), asking opener to describe his hand further
      1. If earlier shown 5 cards suit, first priority, by opener is to show 4 cards suit, if any. Otherwise repeat original suit, if 6 carded or NT.

      2. If earlier shown 5 cards suit followed by 4 cards suit then next show 3 cards suit, if any, otherwise bid NT. In case of 5-4-4-0 distribution, jump in 3rd suit shows 4th suit void.

      3. While relaying, if opener has shown a) only 6 carded suit, b) two 5 carded suits or c) one 6 carded and other 4 carded suits, next relay is for singleton (simple/jump reply with singleton/void).

      4. While relaying, if opener has shown a) five cards suit followed by NT or b) two 4 cards suits, then on next relay show two cards suit. However if shown only 6 cards suits followed by NTthen show 3 cards suit (indicating other two suits double-ton).

      5. On relay, after showing 5 cards suit, oener's single (double / triple) jump shift bid shows 6-5 dist. (7-5 or 6-6 or 7-6 dist).
      6. In case opponents interfere with suit call:
        1. Before relay - then first double is first round relay (showing generally game going points). However subsequent doubles on further interference are for penalties, but if relayer wants further distribution from opener then he should continue with next higher suit calls.

        2. After relay:- then bid your five cards suit, if any, otherwise double if opponent's suit was going to be opener's reply, bid NT if two stoppers and pass with no/one stopper in opponent's suit with balanced hand.

    2. In case of major suit opening, immediate jump to 2NT by responder is Jacoby Relay asking for singleton (simple/jump reply with singleton/void). However in case of 1D opening it shows exactly 12 points with balanced hand.

    3. Immediate single(double) jump (including 4C) in another suit by responder, after opener has shown 5 cards suit, is Splinter Bid showing i) singleton (void) in bid suit, ii) goodtrump fit, iii) at least game or more values & iv) slam interest if opener has no wasted values in singleton(void) suit. Note : It is obvious that singleton shown by splinter bid, generally should not be an honour card & in no case it should be Ace or King. However if it is Q or J, then its HCP should not be added in arriving at total pts of combined hand as it is going to be wasted.

    4. Your action, after splinter bid by Partner:
      1. If wasted values, then sign off in the game immediately.(You can have min.i.e .11-13 or max.i.e. 14-15).

      2. If no wasted values, then:
        1. Take over the control by RKCB,(You can have min. i.e 11-13 or max. i.e 14-15) OR

        2. Show your singleton, if any, by bidding that suit after splinter bid given by partner so that partner can re-evaluate his hand further in the light of your singleton.(You can have min. i.e 11-13 or max. i.e 14-15) OR

        3. If no singleton, but no wasted values but 14-15, you raise trump suit, if you are below game level. If you are at the game level then raise the trump suit, if point range permits. OR

        4. Bid 3NT, if you have A,K of splinter bid & 14-15 so that the partner can take a decision in term of discards of side suit or it will help in assessing remaining high card points in your hand.

  3. Other Important Points:-
    1. Whenever major suit is matched (including on 1C opening), immediate next suit bid shows singleton in bid suit. Supporter of the major suit now revalues his hand depending on whether he has wasted values or not.

    2. Whenever minor suit is matched (including 1C opening), now original minor suit opener should bid 4 cards major suit, if any, so that his partner can take decision accordingly.

    3. Whenever Club suit is opened at 3 level or above, Ace asking bid will be by 4NT.

    4. Cue bid at 3 level is directional asking bid telling partner to bid NT if one stopper (it is sometimes used to find out whether there is wasted value or not in opponent's suit). Cue bid at 4 level and above shows void & below game level singleton. Repeat of cue bid shows void.

  4. On 2NT opening (showing minimum two 5 cards minor suits with 12/15 points), Singleton Relay is by 3H. Reply by opener a) of one major suit (generally three cards but it may be two cards also) show other major void {indicating 5(6)5(6) - 0 - 3(2) dist}, b) of minor suit shows bid suit minor 6 cards and two major singleton and c) of 3NT shows 2(1)-1(2)-5-5 distribution.

  5. On weak 2 level major opening (2H/2S minimum 6 cards suit & 7/9 points), 2NT is relay for singleton. (simple/jump reply with singleton/void) whereas 4C is special RKCB for two key cards & trump Q.

  6. On 3 level pre-emptive bid (3C/3D/3H/3S, minimum 7 cards suit & 5/7 points), next higher suit call (including 3NT) is Relay for singleton (simple/jump reply with singleton/void). whereas 4C is special RKCB for two key cards & trump Q.

Summary of Various Relays used in System.

    1. What it is?
      Bid of Next Higher Suit by Responder for asking distribution of various suits of opener, is Distributional Relay. It is forcing for min. one round reply.

    2. When made?
      1. Basically it is made, only after one of the partners has made normal opening bid of suit call (1H/1S/2C/2D showing min. five cards of suit & 11/15 or 14/15 pts. However in case of major suit first relay is strength asking and further relays are distribution asking) or on 1D opening call (showing 11/13 pts and no 5 cards major suit)
      2. It is never made on a) 1C opening bid (showing 16 plus pts.), b) suit Overcall (showing 5 cards suit & 5/15 pts) or c) any weak/ pre-emptive suit opening bid (showing 6/7 cards suit & 5/9 pts).

    3. Special significance:
      1. Relayer (opener's partner) is the captain for almost entire further proceeding. Relayer will generally decide the final contract - its level & suit - after knowing the distribution of opener's various suits. It might be part game, game or slam.
      2. Opener has to go on describing his distribution up to game level as long as responder continues relay.
      3. Relayer never jumps (except in rare case of splinter bid, on second four cards suit by single/double jump showing singleton/void. Generally it exactly shows second suit five carded, first suit doubleton and jump suit singleton/void.) However, on first relay, opener jumps (double/triple jump) in second suit having 6 - 5 dist (showing 7 - 5 or 6 - 6 / 7 - 6 dist). Jump in the same suit shows seven cards suit headed by A, K, with Q or J 10 (showing 7-2-2-2).

    4. Requirement:
      1. Game/slam zone:-Generally relayer has min. game values or more in combined hand (in which case, relays continue till game level).
      2. Border-line game zone:-If specific distribution is available, having at least 9/10 pts when suit opening bid made (in which case one/two relays will be made).
      3. Sign Off zone:-Having Next higher suit with 7-9 pts (in which case there will no second relay)
        Note:-Passed hand can relay on suit call opening but never on 1D opening.

    5. Replies: After five cards suit is shown
      1. Opener has to give priority to four cards suit, if any, otherwise bid a) original suit if six carded, or b) NT. On further relay, a) show three cards suit (showing 5-4-3-1 dis), if earlier shown four cards suit, otherwise bid NT (showing 5-4-2-2 dis) or repeat (jump) original suit if six(seven) carded showing 6-4-2(1)-1(2) {7-4-1(2)(0)-1(0)(2) dist}, b) show two cards suit if earlier bid NT, (indicating remaining two suits three carded) (c) show singleton, if any, in case earlier shown six carded original suit {indicating 6(7)-1-3(2)-2(3) dist. However jump reply shows void indicating 7-0-3-3 dist.} or further repeat original suit if seven carded, generally broken suit (indicating 7-2-2-2 dis.)

      2. Jump Reply in second suit shows original suit six carded & second suit five carded. On further relay, NT shows 6-5-1-1 dis. whereas bid of third suit shows void in bid suit. However jump in same suit shows seven cards suit headed by A, K, with Q or J 10 out & no singleton.

      3. Double jump in second suit shows original suit seven carded and second suit five carded or both suit six carded. On further relay bid of third suit shows void in bid suit {showing 7(6)-5(6)-void-1 dist.} whereas triple jump in second suit shows original suit seven carded and second suit six carded.
        Note:-In case of jump reply, relay can continue beyond game level and Ace asking bid may be with 5 NT.

    6. Precautions:
      1. From above (E), it can be seen that after reply of second relay, opener's distribution is practically known fully, in order to place the final contract (its level as well as suit) by the responder & shall bid accordingly before making 3rd relay unless there is slam interest or some special reason. Relayer should be prepared for all possible replies to third relay and it should not happen that it may be embarrassing reply such as crossing 3NT or 4 level suit game contract if that might be your limit.

      2. Relayer should give some thought after 1st / 2nd relay, regarding who is going to be declarer, either opener or responder. In case of opener becoming declarer, minimum relays should be used so that declarer's hand is not exposed unnecessarily which might help opponents in finding correct defence.

      3. Relays must not be used just routinely but with specific purpose in mind such as you want to find out particular suit dist. in opener's hand.

  2. RELAYS FOR SINGLETON:-( confirms matching of opener's suit except on 2NT opening bid)
    1. Seeking Singleton:
      1. Jacoby 2NT:- Immediate jump to 2NT on partner's one level five cards major suit bid (both on 1C opening as well as suit bid opening) is Jacoby 2NT relay asking for singleton of 5 cards major suit bidder.

      2. On 2NT opening:- In case of 2NT opening (showing min 5 cards of both minor suits and 12/14 pt), 3H is Relay for singleton/void of opener's hand. Bid of Major suit (Generally 3 cards but it may be 2 cards) shows other major void & bid of minor suit shows six cards bid suit minor & two majors singleton whereas bid of 3 NT shows 2(1)-1(2)-5-5 dist.

      3. On weak opening:- In case of two level weak major suit opening (2H/2S showing min 6 cards suit & 6 to 9 pts), bid of 2NT by responder is Relay for singleton.(Simple/Jump reply with singleton/void).

      4. On Pre-emptive Opening:- In case of three level pre-emptive opening bid 3C/3D/3H/3S, showing min seven cards suit & 5/7 pts), bid of next higher suit (including 3NT) is Relay for singleton.(Single/Jump reply with singleton/void).

    2. Showing Singleton:-(Always confirms almost good trump fit of opener's suit).
      1. Splinter Bid: For showing singleton (void), after one of the partner has shown min five cards suit, Splinter Bid is made by his partner by immediate single (Double) jump in singleton (void) suit, telling opener of five cards suit to revalue his hand in light of singleton (void) suit shown by him. Thus Original suit bidder has to take the decision depending upon whether his hand contains wasted values( in which case he immediately bids the game) or not in singleton (void) suit. In case original suit bidder has no wasted values in splinter suit then he can also show his singleton suit by bidding his singleton suit on splinter bid response. Now splinter bidder can further reviews his hand in light of this new information and bids accordingly. In case of no singleton as well as no wasted values but 14-15 ,either he raises the trump suit or bids 3NT if he has A,K of splinter suit.

        Essential requirements are (a) good (min 4 cards with 1 honour)/grand trump fit,(however, in case of void , 3 card trump can be considered if more pts or good shape) (b) atleast game or more values in combined hand, (c) Singleton/ void in bid suit and (d) potential slam possibilities (not mere game) if original suit opener has no wasted values.

        On IC opening (showing 16 plus pts.), splinter bid can be made by either partner any time, after one of the partner has shown min five cards suit. This is applicable in all cases including negative replies (however in case of negative reply normally it can be made by the negative replier and not by 1C opener)

        On suit bid opening (1H/1S/2C/2D showing min. 5 cards suit and 11-15 or 14/15 pts), splinter bid will be made by the responder immediately on opening bid. However on 1D opening (showing 11/13 pts & no 5 card major) it will be made after first relay's reply in case it shows five cards minor suit or 4 card major suit. (Note : It is obvious that singleton shown by splinter bid generally should not be an honour card & in no case it should be Ace or King. However if it is Q or J, then its HCP should not be added in arriving at total pts of combined hand as it is going to be wasted). Note; for your response after splinter bid by your partner, please see Annexure - I page 2 under item 2(d).

      2. After major suit fit:- Whenever major suit is matched (including 1C opening), immediate other suit call (by major suit opener) is singleton in bid suit. Now supporter of major suit, revalues his hand depending upon whether he has wasted values in singleton suit or not.

    1. Strength asking relay: On major suit opening i.e. 1H/1S showing 11-15pts., first relay by next higher suit i.e. 1S/1NT, is strength asking bid i.e. whether 11-13 or 14-15. Immediate next suit bids i.e. 1NT/2C shows 11-13 pts and any other bids i.e 1NT/2C/2D/2H/2S/2NT/3C shows 14-15 pts and next 4 cards suit or 6 cards suit or balanced hand. Further relays are distribution relays.

    2. Additional strength asking relay: On 1C opening bid (showing 16+), 1H bid by responder shows strong hand i.e. 12+ (irrespective of his distribution) and is relay for additional strength of opener i.e. whether 16-18 or 19+. In case opener has 19+, he bids 1S (irrespective of his distribution). All other bids are natural showing 16-18 & 5 cards suit or balanced hand i.e. 1NT/2C/2D/2H/2S. There are no other relays on 1C opening except Jackson relays on negative reply of 1D.

    Jackson relay is used only by 1C opener (artificial showing 16 plus pts.) after getting negative reply of 1D (artificial showing less than 8 pts), to show higher points range by bidding 1 H (artificial) for showing 19 plus points. (In case of having five cards Heart suit & 16-18 pts, opener has to bid 2H or alternatively 1NT if bad Heart suit) After getting 2nd negative reply of 1S (artificial showing less than five pts.) in response to 1H bid, opener bids 2C (artificial) to show 22 plus pts. to which responder replies with 3rd negative bid of 2D (artificial showing less than 2/3 pts) or as per holding. Now onwards all further bids are natural.

Summary of Relays Immediately after Opening Bid in the System.

Bid Meaning Holding Relay Bid Meaning
1 1C Artificial/Forcing 16+ & any Dist. 12+ & any Dist 1H (Artificial)Forcing Addl.strength asking bid (i.e.whether opener has 19+ or 16-18) If opener has 19+ then he has to bid 1S (artificial) irrespective of dist. All other bids i.e.1NT/2C/2D/2H/2S shows 16-18 with 5 cards suit or balance. Notes: Further bidding in both cases will be Natural.
2 1D Artificial/Non Forcing. 11-13/15 and NO 5 cards Major (may have 14-15 if 4-4-4-1 Dist). 13+ or 11/12 with 4/5 card major. 1H (Artificial Forcing for 1 round). Strength/Dist asking Relay (except 2NT, all other bids are Natural & 11-13). Reply as per holding i.e. 1st show 5 cards minor suit, if any, otherwise bid 1S/2H If 4 Cards major, otherwise bid 1NT. On 2nd relay show 4 card suit if earlier shown 5 cards minor suit. If earlier shown NT then 2D shows 4 cards Dia & 3C denies 4 cards Dia.
3 1H/1S Natural/Non Forcing. 11-15 & min 5 cards Major Suit. a) 13+ or 11/12 & 4/5 cards other major. 1S/1NT (artificial / forcing). strength asking relay i.e. 11-13 or 14-15 If 11-13, bid immediately next higher suit, irrespective of dist i.e. 1S/1NT (artificial). All other bid shows 14-15 and natural. Note : In case of 14-15 & 5 cards H suit & bal, reply will be 2NT (and not 1NT). Similarly in case of 14-15 & 5 cards S suit & next 4 cards club suit , bid will be 3C (¬ 2C) . Subsequent forcing bids by responder will be by next immediate higher suit bid. i.e. relay for dist of opener.
b)13+ & min 3 cards support. 2NT (artificial/forcing) Major suit matching and asking for singleton. Bid singleton,if any, (you cannot show 11-13 or 14-15) otherwise bid 3NT if 14-15 & repeat of same suit shows 14-15 & 6 cards & bid of game shows 11-13.
4 1NT Natural/Non forcing. 14-15 & no 5 cards major.(can have 5 cards or singleton Minor). i)11+ 2D (artificial/forcing). Forcing stayman or game. Reply lower major first , if any, in both cases. If no major then show 5 cards minor, if any, on 2D otherwise bid 2NT.
5 2C/2D Natural/Non Forcing. 14-15 & min 5 cards minor suit. 11+ & any dist. 2D/2H (art/forcing) Dist asking relay. Reply as per holding.
6 2H/2S Natural/Non Forcing(weak). 8-10 & min 6 cards major suit. 15+ & support. 2NT (artificial / forcing). Relay for singleton. Bid singleton suit, if any otherwise repeat the suit if min., 3NT if max and 4 of major if 6 cards headed by AKQ or 7 cards.
7 2NT Artificial/Non Forcing. 11-14 & min 5 cards of both minor suit. 12+ & any Dist. 3H (artificial / forcing). Relay for further distribution. Reply of i)one major (i.e. 3S/4H) shows other major void ii) 3NT shows 5-5-2(1)-1(2) dist iii) 4C/4D shows 6-5-1-1-dist iv) jump in minor shows 6-6 or 7-5 dist.
8 3C/3D/3H/3S pre-empt(Natural / Non Forcing). 6-9 & min 7 cards of bid suit. 15+ (of A & K) & support. Next immediate higher suit bid i.e.3D/3H/3S/3NT). Relay for singleton. Reply as per holding.

Identifying Trump Suit For R.K.C.B.

For bidding slam in suit contract (sometimes, even though after trump matching, final contract may be in NT), it is important to find possession of trump king and queen in combined hand for which R.K.C.B. Ace Asking Bid is used. For this, trump suit is to be identified earlier. Partner who does not have trump queen (and sometimes trump king also) & if he is going to take over control by Ace Asking Bid, then he should endeavour to identify the trump suit earliest without any ambiguity, More particularly for relayer (as he is captain of proceeding) because his partner is totally in dark regarding which suit is going to be trump. Further, partner who has trump queen and king, need not worry for identifying the trump suit. He will get the other required information by simple Ace/King/Queen Asking bids.

There are two following ways for identifying trump suit.

  1. Direct Route:-
    This is simplest way which is done while exchanging information regarding each other's suit below game level. When one partner has shown five cards or min four cards suit, then his partner, should show immediately, if he has required support (min 3 cards in case of 5 cards suit otherwise minimum 4 cards). This identifies trump suit. (When six cards suit is shown, then support with two cards if it contains one of the honour card out of three.) Above generally happens on 1C opening showing 16 plus pts.

  2. Indirect Route:-
    1. Singleton Relays:- Almost all singleton Asking relays confirm the trump as opener's suit (except on distributional Relay & 2 NT opening showing both minors).
      These are
      1. Jacoby jump to 2 NT over one level five cards major suit (1C opening showing 16 plus pts & major suit opening showing 11/15 pts).

      2. Two level weak major opening (of 2H/2S showing 6/9 pts & six cards suit) by 2NT.

      3. Three level preemptive opening (of 3C/3D/3H/3S showing less then 8pts & 7 cards suit) by next higher suit.

    2. Splinter Bids:- All Splinter Bids showing singleton/void confirms his partner's suit (i.e. bidder of 5 cards suit call) as trump (1C opening showing 16+ pts, major suit bid opening showing 11-15/14-15 pts and 1D opening showing 11/13 pts).

    3. Jump or simple 4 NT Ace Asking bid:-While relaying, when jump to (or simple) 4 NT Asking bid is made after second suit of min four cards, second suit is treated as Trump suit.(Because had 1st suit matched, then it would have been asked via 2 NT or direct 4NT).

    4. When 6 cards suit is shown then Ace asking bid by 4NT instead of 4C Gerber (either by normal or jump) is identifying 6 cards suit as trump.

    5. When 5 cards major suit is opened & relayer after strength asking bid and after ward by distribution relays, if Ace asking bid is by 4NT (& not by 4C which is Gerber) then 5 cards major suit is treated as trump.

    6. Two Suit Matching:-When both five cards minor and four cards major suit are matched, then Both suits are to be treated as Trumps. This will happen normally on 1C opening or on 2NT opening (showing 12-14 points & 2 minors) if responder is asking RKCB by 4NT. (Note: use two suits RKCB).

Various Types Of Defensive Signals

  1. Attitude Signal:-
    1. Natural i.e. while following the suit led by the partner, if you play high card, it is encouraging & if low card, it is discouraging.
    2. Upside Down/Reverse i.e. while following the suit led by the partner, if you play Low card, it is encouraging & if high card, it is discouraging. Advantage is that declarer may not notice the implication of small card (unlike high card draws immediate attention of not only your partner but equally of declarer also). For example when both dummy and your partner have got doubleton of the suit on your lead of A from AKxx.., declarer may get caught off the guard and may ruff with small card routinely on continuation of the suit.

  2. Discards:-


    1. Please keep in mind that discards should not cost a trick to the partnership.
    2. First discard is very crucial hence be very careful while making or be watchful of first discard.

    1. Natural i.e. If discarded card is higher than interest in that suit and if discarded card is lowest than no interest in that suit.
    2. Laventhal Discard i.e. no interest in suit discarded but if it is Low card discard then interest in Lower suit & if it is high card discard then interest in higher suit. Note:- Sometimes if safe discard is not available then higher card shows interest in that suit. This generally will happen when you have more then 5 cards long suit & in remaining two suits you have to protect three cards Queen or so then you may have to discard high from long suit to show interest that suit. Partnership should be able to decipher such situation.
    3. Cyclic Discard i.e. no interest in suit discarded but if it is Low card discard then interest in immediate Lower suit & if it is high card discard then interest in immediate higher suit. Here you have flexibility to indicate the interest in the same suit by discards from two suits (i.e. Lower card from immediate Higher suit or Higher card from immediate Lower suit) depending upon from which suit you can comfortably spare the discard.

  3. Suit Preference Signal:-
    1. Natural Signal:- Highest (sparable) card shows interest in Higher suit and Lowest (sparable) card shows interest in Lower suit. (Higher card shows continuation of the suit & lower card shows non continuation of the suit). Generally this is used on opening lead when opener's lead holds the trick and dummy has singleton (or there is no further trick in the suit) or while giving ruff to partner, to indicate further entry with the leader for giving further ruff.
    2. "Switch in time" signal:-On opening lead, you give 'obvious shift' signal combined with Attitude. (i.e. at trick one, third hand's encouraging signal not only wants you to continue the suit but also does not want to shift to dummy's 'weakness' obvious shift. Discouraging signal shows has tolerance for obvious shift suit). However Second Trick onwards, both partners give Suit Preference signals either following declarer's or partner's suit.

  4. Note:-Obvious Shift can not be (1) Suit led (2) Trump (3) Dummy's Suit headed by AKQ or four of the five top honours (4) Dummy's Singleton or void in suit contract & (5) Natural suit bid by declarer. However it will be (1) Opening leader's bid suit (2) Leader's partner's bid suit if opening leader has not bid the suit (3) Dummy's Three card suit headed by at most one honour (out of five) in suit contract. In no trump, dummy's short suit (4)When there is no weak three card suit, then shortest suit & (5)when there are two equal length suits then suit with fewer honours & when equal nos. of honours then lower-ranking suit.

  5. Count Signal:-
    1. Generally not played (except in NT contract, when dummy has long suit with short in side suit entries, High card, followed by low card, shows even no. of cards in the suit & Low card, followed by High card, shows odd no. cards in the suit).
    2. Normal:-High card (followed by Low Card) shows Even No. of cards and Low card (followed by Higher Card) shows odd nos. of cards in the suit. Disadvantage is that sometimes it get confused with attitude signal.

  6. General Note:-

    1. Defensive signals are suggestions to the partner to guide for further play (with sole purpose of defeating the contract by combined partnership) and not always necessarily having actual holding it is suppose to show. For example (1) you lead A from Akx, partner may encourage to show doubleton even if he has tripleton rags, (a) if he wants you to cashout AK & he has others sure tricks to defeat the contract when dummy has tripleton Q or (b) when dummy has doubleton of that suit & he wants declarer to ruff high from dummy to promote trump trick for himself or (c) he does not want in any shift in other suit which might be damaging to the partnership. (2) You lead Q from QJx and its hold the trick, partner may discourage you even though he holds A or K, so that you shift to another suit where he hold AQ over dummy's King etc.

    2. In case of slam contract, you may deviate from the standard practice, once in a while, (in case if you find that there is no other way to defeat contract), to misguide / induce, declarer to select wrong line of play so that sure contract fails. For example (1) You have doubleton Q10 of trumps over dummy's J9x and declarer play A or K of trump from his hand, you drop Q which may induce declarer to take so called obvious trump finesse of 10 from your partner's side. (2) if you are sure that partner hold side suit King under dummy's AQ, you may give signal to show interest in that suit which may induce declarer not to take that sure finesse and may adopt some other line of play.

  7. Smith Echo Signal:
    This is used against No trump contract which allows one partner to tell the other whether he likes the suit that was led. After declarer wins his first trick, he will normally play his own long suit. At each defenders first opportunity the defender's signals while following declarer's suit - high-low means he likes the opening lead (Smith Echo) and low-high means he doesn't like it. This is simple smith echo signal.

    However sometimes, you do not get two chances to show the smith echo hence advance smith echo signal is used which is (i) opening leader uses reverse Smith Echo Signal and (ii) third hand uses simple Smith Echo Signal.

Various Types Of Opening Leads

It is obvious that before making opening lead, you have to take into account bids of opponents as well your side, if any.

  1. Against NT contract:-
    1. When your side has not bid any suit or Doubled during auction:-
      1. First preference should be given to the lead from top of sequence of.
        1. Minimum three cards consecutive sequence (i.e. KQJx or QJIOx etc.) or
        2. Two consecutive sequence followed by fourth in sequence (i.e.KQ10x or QJ9x etc) or
        3. From interior sequence (i.e.AQJx or KJ10xx etc)
        4. However when Ace is opening lead it is for Attitude i.e, The lead of A is from AKxx. and asks partner to signal whether he likes the lead or not. But the opening lead of King is for count i.e, the lead of K is from AKJ10.. (or from KQJ..) and asks partner for drop of queen or give count if he has no Queen.

      2. Next best preference should be given to fourth best from longest suit.

      3. When any of the above choices are not available then lead from top of nothing preferably from short suit. It might hit your partner's suit. (If you have 4 cards or longer without any honour, then lead 2nd highest, followed by Highest).

    2. When your side has bid the suit during the auction:-
      1. Lead the 3rd best from three cards (rags) or more if you have not supported Partner's suit during auction.(This helps partner to count declarer's holding in the suit).
      2. If you have supported the partner then lead the Highest or Lowest if you have min. one honour in the suit.

  2. Against suit contract:
    1. When no suit is bid by your side:
      1. Opening lead of the singleton should be given first preference. (However if singleton is dummy's/declarer's long suit, think twice/thrice before leading it).
      2. Next preference should be given from doubleton (i.e. lead high card first, followed by low card later on).
      3. Lead from top of sequence should also be preferred. But only min. two consecutive (not three unlike against NT) sequence is required. However in case of AKx…(or Ace doubleton, so that as & when partner gets lead he can give you ruff) Lead the Ace and from KQx.. lead King.(This is followed not only during the opening lead but afterwards also when you or your partner is on lead any time during the play).

      4. Exceptions:Lead the King from AKx when

        1. You hold AK doubleton.
        2. You are leading against a five level contract or higher or
        3. You are leading partner's bid suit.

      5. From three or more cards suit having no honour, lead third best or fifth best according to no. of cards in the suit. However in case of 3rd best card, you might have at your the most J or 10 & in case of 5th best at the most Q. This lead gives count of your suit to your partner & many times help in placing no. of cards (& probable honours) of opponents in other suits for better defense during the play.

      6. M.U.D.:-From three / four cards suit having No Honour, lead Middle card first, followed by Upper card and then Lower card. When you play MUD then lead of small card in opening lead, promises Honour in the suit and High card promises no honour. Disadvantage is that you are not sure whether (i) it is from Doubleton, (ii) or from Middle or (iii) from high card having no honour. By the time you find out, sometimes it may be too late, making defense little difficult.

    2. When your side has bid the suit:
      1. Highest of partner's suit if you had supported the suit or lowest if you have at least one honour in the suit. If you have not supported the suit, then 3rd best or high card from doubleton.
      2. If your side has bid the suit & supported and still you lead side suit then it has to be singleton & more particularly if it is long suit of opponent.

      Note:- Generally, against Suit contract, Ace is not underled on opening except in case of Little Slam contract, if you are void of a suit, you underlead your Ace to put partner on lead to get the desired ruff. You lead Small card if you are void in lower suit and high card if you are void in Higher suit.

  3. Other than opening lead:-
    Lead of low card generally promising at least one honour in the suit and high card promising no honour in the suit except in case surround play. {i.e. when dummy has J,10 or 9 which you have "surrounded" (either side of dummy's card) together with one more higher card, then lead the card that you will lead imagining dummy's card with you. For example dummy has i) A 9 5 or ii) 10 6 4 and you are having i) Q 10 8 2 or ii) K J 9 5 over the dummy, lead i) 10 or ii) J}.

General Note:
In case of slam contract, you may deviate from the standard practice, once in a while, (in case if you find that there is no other way to defeat contract) to misguide / induce, declarer to select wrong line of play so that sure contract fails. For example (1) You have doubleton Q10 of trumps over dummy's J 9 x and declarer play A or K of trump from his hand, you drop Q which may induce declarer to take so called obvious trump finesse of 10 from your partner's side. (2) if you are sure that partner hold side suit King under dummy's AQ, you may give signal to show interest in that suit which may induce declarer not to take that sure finesse and may adopt some other line of play.

D.O.N.T. (Disturb Opponents No Trump)

Overcalls after opening of strong one No Trump by opponents.

  1. D.O.N.T. Bidding (In both Direct and Balancing seat)
    1. Double Any one suiter (Partner must bid 2C which will be passed or corrected).
    2. Two Clubs Clubs & any higher suit. (Min. 4-4 or better, usually at-least 9 cards.)
    3. Two Diamonds Diamonds & any majors (-do-).
    4. Two Hearts Hearts & Spades (-do-).
    5. Two Spades Spades (Weaker than double followed by IS).
  2. Notes:

    1. In Direct Seat, you should have good points because partner of NT opener is unlimited. However in balancing position, you can have very few points but must have Decent Distribution.
    2. At unfavourable Vulnerability, be more cautious.
    3. (Optional). Against weak No trumps opening, interfere only with Decent hands i.e. at least opening bid strength or better.

  3. Responses to D.O.N.T. Over-calls:-
    1. Responding without game interest (99% of the time):-
      (The overriding concept is safety. Try to play in any undoubled contract. Do not worry about getting best spot but try only playable spot).
      1. Responses after overall of 2C (i.e. clubs & any higher suit).
        1. With three or more clubs Almost always pass (except 3/4-3/4-3/4-3 may bid 2D hoping for finding 4-4 fit).
        2. With Two or Fewer Clubs Almost always pull for other suit (except with two suiters of your own, say 5-5, & doubleton club, you might guess to pass in fear that other suit of partner might be your singleton).
        3. If you pull to 2D, partner will pass with second suit being Dia. hence you should have atleast as many Dia. as clubs. (Examples i) 4-4-3-2, ii) 5/4-4/5-2-2, iii) 5-5-2-1 or iv) 5/4-4/5-3-1).
        4. If you pull to 2H/2S, it is your suit.
        5. Raise to 3C is pre-emptive.
        6. Three of New Suit is your own suit & invitational.

      2. Responses after overcall of 2D (i.e. Diamonds & any Major)
        1. With three or more Dia. Usually Pass (Unless you have three in each major).
        2. With Two Dia. Sometimes you Pass if you fear misfit (e.g. 5-1-2-5 or 4-2-2-5 fearing two red suiter).
        3. Pulling to 2H, partner will pass with two red suits but will pull to 2S with Dia. & spades.(You may risk 2H with 2-4-4-3 so that on 2S you can go back to 3D).
        4. Bids in New Suits starting with 2S are your suits.
        5. Raise to 3D is pre-emptive.

      3. Responses after overall of 2H (i.e. Hearts & spades):-
        1. With equal lengths in Majors, pull to 2S if you want NT bidder to lead.
        2. Bids three of Majors are pre-emptive.

    2. Responding with game Interest (1% of the time):-
      The responder with game interest has to bid 2NT to ask for more information.
      1. After 2C overcall & 2NT response:-
        1. 3C All minimum (After which 3D is pass or correct to other suit).
        2. 3D/3H/3S Maximum & called suit being other suit.

      2. After 2D overcall & 2NT response:-
        1. 3C Dia. & Hearts with Minimum.
        2. 3D Dia. & Spades with Minimum.
        3. 3H/3S Dia. & called Major with Maximum.

      3. After 2H overcall & 2NT response:-
        1. 3C Minimum & longer/better Hearts.
        2. 3D Minimum & longer/better spades.
        3. 3H/3S Maximum & longer/better in Bid Suit.

  4. Response after D.O.N.T. Overcall is doubled:-
    1. Pass Tolerence for suit overcalled.
    2. Redouble Asks for other suit.
    3. New Suit Responder's own Suit.

Comparison of Opening Bids In (A) Standard (B) Precision & (C)Modified Precision


  1. Bidding information regarding:
    1. Point range
    2. Bid Suit & Other suits status
    3. Whether Forcing or not

  2. Point Range wise Grouping of opening hand:
    1. Opening 11/12 to 15
    2. Semi Strong 16 to 18/19
    3. Semi Strong 16 to 18/19
    4. Very Strong 22 plus

  3. Observations for Standard & Precision are as it is generally played.

Opening Bid (A) Standard (B) Precision (C) Modified Precision Remarks





(Minor Suit Opening)

(a) 12-21, Very wide range of nine pts which require rebid to define range by repeating the suit / NT or reverse / Jump bid (showing opening or semi strong / strong hand). Further Responder's reply shows only min. 4 cards suit & 6 plus points which also need further rebid to show longer suit & point range by repeating suit or jump etc. These results, most of the time, not able to describe each other’s hand fully below game level.

(b) Min.3 cards of bid suit (which is of not much use). Generally it denies five cards major (except in case of 6 cards. minor & 5 cards major, where, depending upon whether opener has reversible strength or not, either 5 cards major or 6 cards minor suit is likely to be lost). Further due to rebid difficulty, (i) even in case of 5 cards minor & 4 cards major, one of the suit is likely to be lost or (ii) you have to be bid 4 cards Dia. First & then 5 cards clubs later, giving false picture of hand.

(c) Non-forcing:- This sometimes results in inferior fit part game or missing the game (particularly when you have highest point range) if partner passes & opponent do not help by bidding.

(a) 16 plus. Min. semi strong hand & on responder's denial, you can show strong (19 plus) very strong (22 plus) by 1 H & 2 C respectively using Jackson Relay. On positive reply (as all calls are natural with 5 cards suit) each other's hands can be described fully below game level

(b) Min Zero of bid suit. Any Distribution. Only pt. showing bid.

(c) Forcing - No chance of inferior fit part game or missing the game.

Both Precisions are definitely better as it define semi strong hand & forcing whereas in standard neither strength nor suit is certainty and non forcing (resulting in few times in inferior fit part game or missing the game.)

(a) 11-15. Wide range of four points. Responder will have some idea where they stand. Further Responder's two level or jump replies are only forcing. Many times opener will not be able to define whether he has lower or higher range which may not matter much for game but for slam, it is important.

(b) Min 2 cards of bid suit. Generally denies 5 cards major suit. To show 5/6 cards Dia., you have to repeat Dia bids. Further responder's suit bid shows min 4 cards of bid suit & 8 plus points, hence you can not support immediately with 3 cards.

(c) Non forcing.

(a) 11-13. Only two point range enables responder to know mostly immediately where they stand. Further Responder's all Relay bids (by next higher suits) are always forcing with the result, opener is able to describe fully his hand below game level.

(b) Min. Zero of Bid suit. No 5 cards major.

(c) Non forcing but practically forcing when responder has 5 cards suit & 6 plus pts. (Few times you may land in 5/2 suit fit instead of 4/4 or 4/5 fit of other suit when responder has no game force strength).

Precision is better than Standard for at least is defines opening hand but modified precision is further better because, in both cases there is no certainty regarding bid suit but in modified precision, narrow point range of only two, makes it possible for Responder to judge the hand more accurately.






(Major Suit Opening)

(a) 12-21. ...Do...s (1/1a)

(b) Min 5 cards of Bid suit. Sometimes on 1 NT response (which is no more natural. Only shows less than 9/10 pts but might have void / singleton in opener's suit and 5/6 cards in lower suits), results into inferior fit and part game when opener can not further rebid having min. hand & no singleton.

(c) Non forcing. Sometimes missing game (particularly when you have highest pt range) if partner passes & opponent do not help by bidding.

(a) 11-15 ...Do.... as 2(a)

(b) Min 5 cards of bid Suit. Few times on 1 NT response (which is not natural but shows less than 9/10 pts). It might result in inferior fit part game.

(c) Non forcing. No chance of missing the game.

(a)11-15.----Do--as 2 (a)-

(b) Min 5 cards of Bid suit. All responses except relay are natural showing 7 to 9 pts & non forcing, you can bid at two level also. NT response is natural (shows doubleton of opener's suit & balanced hand). This avoids inferior fit contract.

(c) Non-forcing. No chance of missing the game.

Precision is better than Standard for at least defines opening hand but modified precision is further better because in both cases there is certainty regarding bid suit but in modified precision, after 1st relay, narrow point range of only two, makes it possible for Responder to judge the hand more accurately.


1 NT

(a) 15-17 or 16/18. Point range of Three.

(b) Generally Balanced hand

(c) Non-forcing. However for response only one stayman available.

(a) 13-15. Point range of three.

(b) Generally Bal. hand.

(c) Non-forcing. For response two stayman (non-forcing/forcing) available giving more flexibility.

(a) 14-15. Point range of two.

(b) Generally Bal. hand

(c) Non-forcing. For response two stayman (non-forcing/forcing) available giving more flexibility.

Both Precision are better than Standard because of availability of two stayman (Non forcing / forcing ).



(a) 22 plus. Very strong hand.

(b) Any distribution.

(c) Forcing: Unables to reach in correct contract

(a) 11-15.---Do---as 2(a)

(b) Min 5 cards of Bid suit. Either 6 cards club suit or 5 cards club suit with 4 cards Major.

(c) Non Forcing.

(a) 14-15.----Do---- as 2(a)

(b) Min 5 cards of Bid suit. May or may not have 4 cards major.

(c) Non forcing.

No special advantage in any system.



(a) Some play weak Dia. Suit, then 8 to 11. & some play multi, then 5 to 21.

(b) Min 6 cards of Bid suit if weak. If multi, then min 6 cards of weak major or strong bal. hand.

(c) Non Forcing. In case of multi, practically forcing.

(a) 11-15. ---Do--- as 2(a)-

(b)Singleton/Void of Bid suit. Remaining three suit 4 carded.

(c) Non-Forcing but practically forcing if responder does not have Dia. Suit.

(a) 14-15. ---Do--- as 2(a).

(b) Min 5 cards of Bid suit. May or may not have 4 cards major.

(c) Non forcing.

Multi of Standard is superior.


All further two/three level opening bids are weak/pre-emptive in all the system except 2 NT in standard shows 20-22 and balanced hand whereas in modified precisions (and some people play in precision also) shows two minot suits.

Statistics for Various Types of Distribution of a Hand

In all, there are 39 nos. of various possible distribution of hand, depending upon length of a suit.
These can be broadly divided into four major groups viz

  1. Balanced Hand (B.L.H.) in which there is no five cards suit.
  2. One suit hand (O.S.H.) in which there is five or six cards suit.
  3. Two suits hand (T.S.H) in which there are two suits of min. five cards each and
  4. Very long suit hand (V.L.H.) in which there is one long suit of min. seven cards suit. In any deal each one will get one of above four groups hand.
  1. Balanced Hand (B.L.H.):
    In this group, there is No Five cards or higher length suit. Maximum suit length is Four cards. On an average, this group accounts for 35% (almost one-third) of total hands dealt. Following three types of possible distribution, along with its frequency, in this group is shown.
    Sr No Distribution Percentage Frequency
    Group Overall
    1 4-4-4-1 9 Comparatively rare & bordering to O.S.H. 3
    2 4-4-3-2 61 Most common 21.5
    3 4-3-3-3 30 One third of time 10.5
    Total 100 35


    1. B.L.H. is weakest from Distribution Strength point of view.
    2. Generally NT contract should be attempted (as there is no ruffing value) when both opener as well as responder has B.L. hand.
    3. As a declarer, you can expect at least one (often two) B.L. hand in each deal while trying to place distribution of cards between the defenders.

  2. One suit hand (O.S.H.):
    In this group, there is one five or six cards suit and is dealt out most often-49% (almost Half the times) of total hands. Following six type of possible distribution of O.S.H. hands along with its frequency is shown.
    Sr No Distribution Percentage Frequency
    Group Overall
    4 5-3-3-2 32 One third times & bordering to B.L.H 15.5
    5 5-4-2-2 21 Half of the times 10.25
    6 5-4-3-1 26 Half of the times 12.75
    7 5-4-4-0 2 Rare 1.0
    8 6-3-2-2 11 One out of five hands in group. 5.5
    9 6-3-2-1 8 4.0
    Total 100 49


    1. There are 33% chances of having singleton hence O.S. hand has some ruff value which give definite possibility of getting low card tricks in trumps.
    2. As a declarer, generally you can expect two (often three) O.S. hand on the table. Even when freak hand has been dealt, there will be one O.S. hand.

  3. Two suits Hand (T.S.H.):-
    In this group (belonging to family of freak hands), there are two, min. five cards suits covering about 12% (though less frequency but still enough frequency) of total hands dealt. Following 10 types of possible distribution of T.S. hands along with its frequency is shown.
    Sr No Distribution Percentage Frequency
    Group Overall
    10 5-5-2-1 27 3.25
    11 5-5-3-0 7 1.0
    12 6-4-2-1 40 5.0
    13 6-4-3-0 11 1.25
    14 6-5-1-1 6 0.75
    15 6-5-2-0 5 0.50
    16 6-6-1-0
    17 7-5-1-0 2 0.25
    18 7-6-0-0
    19 8-5-0-0
    Total 100 12


    1. When you are having a freak hand, there will be more freak hands on the table. Very often the defenders will have T.S. or V.L. hands resulting into very competitive bidding on the table (This is applicable to next group of V.L. Hands also.)

  4. Very Long Suit Hand (V.L.H.):
    In this group (belonging to family of freak hands), there is one long suit with min. Seven cards or more covering only about balance 4% of total hands. There are 20 types of possible combinations in this group, out of which following sub group of four (having seven cards suit length) has occurrence of 88% whereas subsequent sub group of four (having eight cards suit length), b) sub group of seven (having 9 & 10 cards suit length) and c) subgroup of four (having 11 & 12 cards suit length) has rare (11%), very rare (1%) and never (o%) occurrence respectively. Percentage Frequency
    Group Overall
    20 7-2-2-2 (20) (0.80)
    21 7-3-2-1 48 88% of V.L. Hands and 1.92
    22 7-3-3-0 (10) out of this 7-3-2-1 accounts (0.40)
    23 7-4-1-1 (10) for 48% (0.40)
    Remaining 16 Dist. 12 0.48
    Total 100 4


    1. same as T.S.H. group.
    2. L.S.H. is strongest from Distribution Strength point of view.
    3. Unlike O.S.H./T.S.H. group, support (of min.3 cards) from partner not going to make material difference in trick winning potential but important is the trick value in remaining three suits where Ace and King are going to count more than Q and J point value.
    4. If both the partners are having L.S. Hands than it need cool thinking. Partner who is void of entries in this hand should get preference on having his suit accepted as trumps.

Balance hand group (B.L.H.) (35% - almost 1/3 times) and One suit hand group (O.S.H.) (49% - almost half the times) accounts for 84% of total hands and in most of the systems are taken care almost equally. However in Modified Precision System, you are able identify very accurately all the nine distributions. This gives you about 25% advantage in bidding than in other systems by avoiding / biding borderline game / slam by locating singleton / void or mirror distributions etc.

However real advantage of this system lies in freak distributions hands Viz. Two suits hands (T.S.H.) group (14%) and Very Long Suit hands (V.L.H.) Group (4%). Both these groups are stronger and strongest respectively from distributions strength point of view i.e. with less points you can make game / slam. Almost all the 10 distributions of T.S. Group (14%) and remaining four distributions of V.L. Group (88% of 4 % Group) are identified routinely below game level in this system (which is not possible in other systems) when opening bids are either suit bid or 1D. This gives about 75% more advantage than other systems in these groups, as it can be seen from the ten examples attached to letter to bridge friend.