ACBL GENERAL CONVENTION CHART
The conventions listed below must be allowed in all
ACBL sanctioned tournament play (other than in events with an upper
restriction of 20 or fewer masterpoints and events for which the ACBL
conditions of contest state otherwise) and at club-level events with
multiple-site overall masterpoint awards. Clubs have full authority to
regulate conventions in games conducted solely at their clubs.
1. An opening suit bid or response is considered
natural if in a minor it shows three or more cards in that suit and in a
major it shows four or more cards in that suit. A notrump opening or
overcall is natural if not unbalanced (generally, no singleton or void
and only one or two doubletons).
2. An overcall in a suit is considered natural if, by
agreement, it shows four or more cards in that suit.
3. A sequence of relay bids is defined as a system
if, after an opening of one of a suit, it is started prior to opener's
**Unless specifically allowed, methods are disallowed
1. ONE CLUB OR ONE DIAMOND may be used as an
all-purpose opening bid (artificial or natural) promising a minimum of
10 high-card points.
2. FORCING 1NT OPENING BID indicating a balanced or
unbalanced hand and a minimum of 16 HCP.
3. TWO CLUBS ARTIFICIAL OPENING BID indicating one
a) a strong hand
b) a three-suiter with a minimum of
4. STRENGTH SHOWING OPENING AT THE TWO
LEVEL OR HIGHER that asks for aces, kings, queens, singletons, voids or
trump quality and responses thereto.
5. TWO DIAMOND ARTIFICIAL OPENING BID
indicating one of:
a) both majors with a minimum of 10 HCP.
b) a strong hand.
c) a three-suiter with a minimum of 10
6. OPENING BID AT THE TWO LEVEL OR
HIGHER indicating two known suits, a minimum of 10 HCP and at least 5-4
distribution in the suits.
7. OPENING NOTRUMP BID AT THE TWO LEVEL
OR HIGHER indicating at least 5-4 distribution in the minors.
8. OPENING THREE NOTRUMP BID indicating
a) a solid suit or
b) a minor one-suiter.
9. OPENING FOUR-LEVEL BID transferring
to a known suit.
1. ONE DIAMOND as a forcing, artificial
response to 1.
2. ONE NOTRUMP response to a major suit
opening bid forcing one round; cannot guarantee game invitational or
3. CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES WHICH
GUARANTEE GAME FORCING OR BETTER VALUES. May NOT be part of a relay
4. TWO CLUBS OR TWO DIAMONDS response to
third or fourth-seat major-suit openings asking the quality of the
5. SINGLE OR HIGHER JUMP SHIFTS AND/OR
NOTRUMP BIDS AT THE TWO LEVEL OR HIGHER to indicate a raise or to force
6. ARTIFICIAL AND OR CONVENTIONAL CALLS
after strong (15+ HCP), forcing opening bids and after opening bids of 2C or higher. (For this classification,
by partnership agreement, weak two-bids must be within a range of 7 HCP
and the suit must contain at least five cards - See #7 under
7. ALL CONSTRUCTIVE CALLS starting with
the opening bidder's second call.
8. CALLS THAT ASK for aces, kings
queens, singletons, voids or trump quality and responses thereto.
9. ALL CALLS AFTER A NATURAL NOTRUMP
opening bid or direct overcall, EXCEPT for natural notrump opening bids
or overcalls with a lower limit of less than 10 HCP or with a range of
greater than 5 HCP (including those that have two non-consecutive
ranges). See #7 under DISALLOWED.
1. CONVENTIONAL BALANCING CALLS.
2. CONVENTIONAL DOUBLES AND REDOUBLES
and responses (including free bids) thereto.
3. NOTRUMP OVERCALL for either
a) two-suit takeout showing at least 5-4
distribution and at least one known suit (At the four level or higher
there is no requirement to have a known suit.) or
b) three-suit takeout ( at least three
cards in each of the three suits.)
4. a)JUMP OVERCALLS INTO A SUIT to
indicate at least 5-4 distribution in two known suits and responses
b)SIMPLE OVERCALLS INTO A SUIT to indicate a minimum of 10 HCP,
at least 5-4 distribution in two known suits and responses thereto.
5. CUEBID of an opponent's suit and
responses thereto, except that a cuebid that could be weak (fewer than
10 HCP) directly over an opening bid, must show at least one known suit.
6. DEFENSE TO:
a) conventional calls (except see #9
RESPONSES and REBIDS above and #7 under DISALLOWED below),
b) natural notrump opening bids and
overcalls, except that direct calls, other than double and 2C must have at least one known suit.
c) opening bids of 2C
7. Numbers 4 through 8 under RESPONSES
AND REBIDS above APPLY TO BOTH PAIRS.
1. Conventions and/or agreements whose
primary purpose is to destroy the opponents' methods.
2. Psyching of artificial or
conventional opening bids and/or conventional responses thereto.
Psyching conventional suit responses, which are less than 2NT,
to natural openings.
3. Psychic controls (Includes ANY
partnership agreement which, if used in conjunction with a psychic call,
makes allowance for that psych.)
4. Forcing pass systems.
5. Relay (tell me more) systems.
6. Opening one bids which by partnership
agreement could show less than 8 HCP. (Not applicable to a psych.)
7. CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES, REBIDS AND A CONVENTIONAL
DEFENSE TO AN OPPONENT'S CONVENTIONAL DEFENSE after natural notrump
opening bids or overcalls with a lower limit of fewer than 10 HCP or
with a range of greater than 5 HCP (including those that have two
non-consecutive ranges) and weak two-bids which by partnership agreement
are not within a range of 7 HCP and or do not show at least five cards
in the suit.
Dual-message carding strategies are not approved
except on each defender's first discard. Except for the first discard,
only right-side-up or upside-down card ordering strategies are approved.
Encrypted signals are not approved. In addition, a pair may be
prohibited from playing any method (such as suit preference systems at
trick one), when they are deemed to be playing it in a manner which is
not compatible with the maintenance of proper tempo (much like dual
message signals). This decision may be appealed to the tournament