SAYC Bridge Conventions

SAYC Bridge Conventions

Here are some of the conventions that should be played under normal circumstances. Trying to put all we play in one place in a simple manner Your profile should say:

Point Count

The point count needed for various levels of bidding are:

Opening Suit Bids

My recommendations are as follows: Honor (Quick) Tricks: Opening Point Count (HCP)
Add Distribution Points OR add points for length beyond 4 in any suit ADD SUBTRACT Principle: Open when

Rule of 20

This is an interesting rule to decide when to open. It says, that you count your HCP and add the two longest suits and if they add to 20 you can open. So if you open with 11 points, you should have a 5 carder suit and a 4 carder suit. You should also have Honor Tricks. You can have 10 HCP and two 5 card suits

Short Club (5542)

We keep hearing about short Club and better minor.
When you have 3-3 in minors, bid 1
When you have 4-4 in minors, bid 1
What do we do with a 4-4-3-2 distribution. In Better minor, you will bid 1 In Short C you will bid 1. You should alert Short Club even if you do not have a short Club. Say "May be short" in the alert box. This also means has to be 4 carder for you to bid 1
With longer suit, bid that suit first, with same length, higher suit first
The 5542 is a way to say you bid 5 card majors, 4 card and 2 card

If playing Short then:
1 - 2: 6 - 9 HCP, 5 carder
1 - 2: 6 - 9 HCP, 4 carder

In either better minor or short club:
1 - 2: 6 - 9 HCP, 3 carder
1 - 2: 6 - 9 HCP, 3 carder

4-way Transfer

This is preferred on 1nt/2nt calls. 1nt - response On a transfer if you have 17 points and 4 carder support u can super accept it by saying 3 or 3
If you use 3-way transfer with 2 to transfer to 3 or 3, then if is your
suit you have to correct it to 3 and partner does not know how many points
you have and will pass. With 4-way once transfer has happened to stronger
hand , you are still in control

Bidding at two level

Once partner has opened a bid..Say 1 or one , and you are bidding in
response at two level. You must have 11+ points (10 in a pinch). For major
it is 5 carder and for minor can be 4 carder


A lot of confusion exists with it. The simplest way to put it is if you bid at one level and then bid a higher suit in the second level it is considered to be a reverse. This means you should have 16+ points
eg. S:A H:AKJ D: KJxx C: Kxxxx
1 - 1
2 - is considered a reverse. Since is higher than 1.

1 - 1
2 - is considered a reverse since is higher than 1

Unusual 2nt

This shows two lower suits of the remaining three unbid suits. 5-5 distribution.
Notice that spades does not come up in the bidding. You can bid 1S and the then bid and repeat other side suit if need be.
The point count depends on the vul situation.
If same vul (both vul or non-vul) then u need to have matching points (opening hand 12 - 15).
If favorable vul u can be weak (10-11)
. If non-favorable then u need to be 16+ (strong)


Michaels is a raise of the opps suits and shows 5-5 in two suits as below


On major bid by partner shows 4 card support for partner

Jacoby 2NT

J2NT is used on a major response only. Note: if 5-5 in H/S bid higher suit first
The questions to be asked for response are: 1 - 2NT: 13+ HCP, 4+ card support 1 - 2NT: 13+ HCP, 4+ card support


2/2: weak preempt by partner. 2NT asks to describe more (i need support and strong opening hand)


This is used on 1NT and you have 5/4 in majors and game going hand 1NT - 2 2 (no major)
2 = 5 and 4
2 = 5 and 4
partner can chose between 5 card major or 3NT. Bid your 4 carder is easiest way to remember
Some play smolen at 3 level, so you will have to decide.


Also known as CAPP. When the opps open NT your responses are


This is similar to CAPP. Disturb Over NT. when opp bid 1nt

Inverted Minor

Normally 2 of minor means 6 - 9 points and 3 means 10-12.
Inverted minor is other way round. On a minor bid, 2 of the minor is forcing with points 10-12.
3 of minor is weak and pre-emptive in nature.

Rules for Preempts:

Rule of 11

Leading 4th best in NT: Subtract from 11 the card that has been led. Thats the
number of cards higher than that led card which are outside. See what dummy
has and what u have and then u can guess what the op has

Law of Total Tricks

If opps call a suit and partner overcalls and you are non-vul and support for
partners suit then add the two suit lengths and go to that level directly


play 1430 or 0314
K of trumps if known is a key card. You bid 1430/2-Q/2+Q.
When you bid 4nt is is key card asking. You include all 4 aces and K of trumps if known in the response The Kings are bid 04/1/2/3 simple blackwood but we do not count the K of trumps again if it has been counted before

2 Bidding

2 shows 22+

Types of Doubles

Take out Double

You need a pattern of two different kinds
  • 12-15 points, Minimum of 3 card support in all other suits, optionally short in ops suit OR
  • 16+ HCP and any distribution Responder: 0-8 points bid cheapest 4 card suit 8-10 points and stopper in opps suit bid 1 NT with 9 points jump bid 11+ points cue bid opps suit.


    Partner opens NT and the opps throw in an interfering bid.
    If that was the bid you were going to say for your staymen or transfer bid,
    DOUBLE. That means opps "stole my bid" and your partner will either bid
    his/her major for staymen or accept the transfer.
    This will allow the big hand to remain hidden.
    If not playing Leb, Audrey Grant advises systems on over a X or 2
    (X here is stayman). Over any other bid she recommends natural,
    with a cue bid being stayman.

    Balancing Double

    Minimum of 9-10 HCP"S
    bidding goes as follows:
    opps-1 spade; my partner passes; opps partner passes; I then double.

    Negative double

    One suiter hand
  • 6 point rule applies
  • example: ptnr opens 1 club, opps bid one heart, responder X's-meaning hand contains 4 spades.
  • If responder bids 1 spades the hand contains 5 spades.
    Two suiter hand
  • Example: Opps-1 diamond;partner-pass;opps responder 1 heart; I then X. I hold 4+ in suits not mentioned and can support either suit.
  • 10 point rule applies. Remember ops also have atleast 18 HCP


    Standard carding is when you play a high card on a card to show interest in
    that suit so partner can lead that suit again
    UDCA: Upside Down Count Attitude is the other way.
    Low card shows interest and high card discourages.


    Discards come in two flavors.