Opening Bid:   One No Trump

Players who use a forcing club system frequently use a different point-count range for the opening bid of 1NT, with a range of 14-16 being the most popular, but 13-15 is also often used.  If you are comfortable with the 15-17 range and want to continue with that agreement you will be with the majority of players.  If you choose to try the 14-16 range it will be easiest if you simply use all of the same agreements that you use for 15-17, but be sure to make the small adjustments you need to allow for a 14 point hand.  You will find you are opening 1NT more often, too, and most of them will be with 14 points.

13-15 HCP
Some players who adopt this range continue to use Stayman and Jacoby Transfer bids, but others have decided to make some changes...  They will not open 1NT with 13-15 points if they have a 4-card major.  Partner alerts the opening bid and says, "No four card major."  That eliminates the need for Stayman.  If responder has a 5-card major he either bids it at the 2-level which is non-forcing or he jumps to the 3-level with a game-going hand.

10-12 HCP
This range is often called the "Suicide No Trump" for obvious reasons.  It's exciting and leads to tops and bottoms and almost never an average result.  If you want to use this, give up Stayman and Jacoby Transfers.  You will play a lot of doubled contracts, too.  Once you open this bid, responder is the captain and makes all subsequent decisions.

8-10 HCP
Now that's just silly and not worth a discussion, but you will see it at the table on rare occasions.  Probably with two ernest young men still talking about the disasters they just had at the previous three tables.  Don't play it, and if you get opponents who do, dig out the red card.



Responses
These agreements are not part of any normal Forcing Club system, but you should consider them.  However, the agreements you have been using for years and years will work just fine.

Redouble
Most players continue to sue both Stayman and Transfers after an opponent either doubles for penalty or doubles as a conventional call, but that means you cannot bid either 2 or 2 if you have a weak hand with a good minor.  The soluition is to redouble as a relay to 2 which you can either pass or correct to 2

All 3-Level Responses
Any jump bid response at the 3-level is natural and game forcing.  Hey, that's simple and easy to remember!

Is there more?  Of course there is...

Opener rebids 3NT with only a doubleton in support, else he cuebids his lowest ace, promising at least 3-card support.  Since that establishes the trump suit all subsequent bids are control-showing.  Do not lapse into Blackwood after you start a cue bidding auction!  If you or your partner bid 4NT treat it as a cuebid showing the ace of trump.

Two Spades or Two Notrump Responses
Both bids are artificial and forcing...
  • The 2 response forces partner to rebid 3NT, after which responder can bid either minor as an Invitational Minor - That's 6-card suit with two of the top three honors and nothing outside.
  • The 2NT response forces the opener to rebid 3 which responder may pass or correct to 3 - Responder has a weak hand and hopefully a 6-card minor.
If responder has both minors, perhaps 5-5 in the two suits, he can use either of the two forcing bids and then rebid a "Surprise Major" which should be alerted - Not only does it promise both minors but the major suit bid is either a singleton or a void.  The choice of either initial response, 2 or 2NT, is used to indicate the relative strength of the response - The 2NT response shows a stronger hand, but the surprise major bid forces to game with either response and the 2NT call suggests a slam.