Opening Bid:   One Heart or One Spade

You don't need to change how you open a major nor how you respond to one, but keep in mind one of the primary advantages of a forcing club system...  Immediately you know your partner has fewer than 17 points when he opens 1 or 1, and that's a huge advantage.

Opener's Jump Rebids
From long ago ol' Charlie Goren told us that a jump rebid in our suit promises 16-18 HCP and a jump shift has 19-21 points.   We have to redefine those bids...  A jump rebid has no more than 16 points and should have at least a 6-card suit.  A jump shift also has no more than 16 points and has very good distribution, probably 5-5 in the two bid suits.

Responder's Jump to Game
Normally a jump to game by responder is done with a "Weak Freak" - A hand with few points and at least five trumps.  In a forcing club system responder knows that his partner's opening bid has no more than 16 points and might want to close the auction by going directly to game with 10+ points.  If you use this, be sure to alert the opponents.


Below are two treatments that are not part of any club system and you do not need to play them, but they work well and they are fun to play.

Responder's Jump Shift
Most players today play that a Jump Shift by responder is a weak bid, but many expert level players are giving up on this treatment and many are now using Soloway Jump Shifts showing a hand with at least 16 points.  Unfortunately, we don't get that sort of hand very often.  We do however, get 6-card suits with 8-10 points frequently.
    A Jump Shift by responder shows at least a 6-card suit and 8-10 points
Almost all hands meeting this criteria will have either 7 or 8 losers, using the modern Losing Trick Count.  If you want to give this agreement a name, think of it as the 6-8-10 rule.

Simple Raise is Game Force
Universally, players will raise their partner's 1 or 1 opening bid with at least 3-card support and 6-10 HCP.  It has been that way since the earliest day of bridge.  But you could also show that hand by bidding a forcing 1NT and then raising partner's major, which would leave the immediate raise available for a different agreement.  We can use it as a low-level game forcing call with possible slam interest.

These are the opener's rebids after responder raises to the 2-level:
  • Jump to game - A minimum hand with perhaps 11-12 HCP
  • Rebid three of the major - 13-15 points, and conserves bidding room for responder
  • Bid a new suit - 15+ points and first round control in the cue bid suit
  • Rebid 2NT - A weak major with points outside the suit suggesting that a 3NT contract may be best