How strong is "strong?" Some play that 2C shows only game-forcing
hands. Others play that 2C shows near game-forcing or
better hands, with "near game-forcing" meaning 8/9 tricks with
a long major or 9/10 tricks with a long minor.
Below are the common forms of responses (numbered) and the
not-so-common forms (*).
1. 2D response
2. Point responses
3. Control resposes
* Albert 2C responses
* Paradox responses
* Romex responses and follow-ups
1. Negative, positive and waiting 2D
The main purpose of these three is to make a cheap bid (2D).
This leaves as much room as possible for opener to describe
their hand further.
B. Positive 2D.
The 2D bid shows 8+ hcp or an ace and king. This
bid immediately tells partner that slam is possible.
All other bids are weak.
C1. Waiting 2D and second negative.
In response to 2C, suit responses show good suits and
at least eight hcp, and NT responses show stoppers in
all suits. Without a suitable hand for a positive
bid, responder bids 2D. Responder waits for opener to
describe their hand. After opener's rebid, responder
shows a weak hand -- that will pass a minimum rebid --
by making a second negative, often the cheapest minor.
C2. Waiting 2D and super-negative 2H.
An immediate 2H response shows 0 to 3 or 4 hcp and
is passable by opener. 2D is waiting, and other
responses are positives.
Responder's bids show point ranges. The ranges vary among
partnerships. Here is an example of step ranges:
3. Control count steps
Responder's bids show controls (ace = 2, king = 1). Here
is an example range that I've seen:
|2D||0-1 controls; responder rebids in the cheapest minor to show a second negative|
* Albert Two Clubs
(described in the Granovetters' book "Conventions at a Glance")
|2S||five card or longer spade suit|
|2N||five card or longer heart suit|
|3H||0-2 points, balanced hand|
|4H/S||AKQJxx or AKQxxxx of major|
|2D||waiting, but positive|
|2H||negative for hearts, maybe not spades|
|2S||negative for spades, positive for hearts|
|2N||4 controls in more than two suits|
|3C||4 controls in two suits|
|3H||2-2-4-5 shape, 6+ hcp, less than Qx in the majors, an honor in each minor|
|3S||2-2-5-4 shape, 6+ hcp, less than Qx in the majors, an honor in each minor|
|3N||solid seven card minor, no side A or K|
|4C/D||solid seven or eight card major (C=H, D=S), no side A or K|
|4H/S||semi-solid seven or eight card major|
2C-2H/2S. Opener's jump rebids show their five in the
their original bid (2H/2S even though these showed controls)
and four in the other major, i.e., 2C-2H; 3S shows four
spades and five hearts and 3N shows four spades and six or
more hearts. Also 2C-2S; 3N shows four hearts and five or
Romex Raise. With no agreed trump suit, the inability
to raise below game, and without a short suit, opener or
responder can make a Romex Raise of 4NT to show a strong
raise. The strong raise shows extras in cover cards (ie,
queens, shortness, etc).
Fourth Suit Raise. Similar to the Romex Raise, after three
suits have been bid, bidding the fourth suit is used to show
a strong raise.
2C-2x; 3C-3D/3N. After opener rebids 3C, responder bid of
3D asks for a four card major. Responder's bid of 3N over 3C
shows an unbalanced hand with diamonds, so the 3D ask does not
guarantee that responder has a major.
Search for the Four-Four Fit. After a 5-3 or 5-4 fit
has been found, opener asks responder to show a good, side
four card suit (at least Qxxx) in an effort to find a superior
grand that requires a 4-4 fit. Opener makes the ask by "making
a meaningless bid," ie, jumping in a new suit or rebidding in
NT when a previous NT bid was a trump asking bid.
Asking bids. Opener has at his disposal two types of
asking bids: trump (TAB) and control (CAB). Romex plays
that a Romex Raise or a Fourth Suit Raise is TAB. Also, a
nonjump to 4NT (and 3NT after three level agreement) is TAB.
the quality of the trumps with the responses in steps: 1st,
minimum; 2nd, minimum length with honor (A/K/Q); 3rd, extra
length no honor; 4th, extra length with honor; 5th, minimum
with two honors; 6th, extra length with two honors. CAB
asks for the controls held in a suit with the responses:
1st denies first or second round control; 2nd has second
round control; 3rd has first round control; 4th has KQ;
5th has AKx(x...); 6th has total control. A repeat of
CAB in the same suit asks for third round control: 1st
step denies, 2nd step shows doubleton, and 3rd shows the