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ACBL Tech File
Convention Chart

 

This document is provided courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League

2990 Airways Blvd. S Memphis TN 381163847
9013325586
S Fax 9013987754

     NOTE: to view the latest revision of the handbook,
download the latest version of ACBLScore

     (Rev.NABC041)                             CHARTS.041 (PAGE 1) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     ACBL GENERAL CONVENTION CHART

     1. 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.

 

     DEFINITIONS

     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 rebid.

 

     **ALLOWED - Unless specifically allowed, methods are disallowed **

     OPENING BIDS

     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 of:

         a) a strong hand

         b) a three-suiter with a minimum of 10 HCP

     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 HCP.

     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 one of

         a) a solid suit or

         b) a minor one-suiter.

     9. OPENING FOUR-LEVEL BID transferring to a known suit.

 

     RESPONSES AND REBIDS

     1. ONE DIAMOND as a forcing, artificial response to 1 club.

     2. ONE NOTRUMP response to a major suit opening bid forcing one

        round; cannot guarantee game invitational or better values.

     3. CONVENTIONAL RESPONSES WHICH GUARANTEE GAME FORCING OR BETTER

        VALUES. May NOT be part of a relay system.


 

 

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 2) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     4. TWO CLUBS OR TWO DIAMONDS response to third or fourth-seat

        major-suit openings asking the quality of the opening bid.

     5. SINGLE OR HIGHER JUMP SHIFTS AND/OR NOTRUMP BIDS AT THE TWO LEVEL

        OR HIGHER to indicate a raise or to force to game.

     6. ARTIFICIAL AND OR CONVENTIONAL CALLS after strong (15+ HCP),

        forcing opening bids and after opening bids of 2 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 DISALLOWED.)

     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 fewer than 10 HCP or with a range of greater than 5 HCP

        (including those that have two nonconsecutive ranges). See #7

        under DISALLOWED.

 

     COMPETITIVE

     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 thereto.

         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. TRANSFER RESPONSES/ADVANCES to overcalls where the call shows

        length or values in the suit of the transfer.

     6. 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.

     7. 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 2 clubs must have at least one known

         suit.

         c) opening bids of 2clubs or higher.

     8. Numbers 4 through 8 under RESPONSES AND REBIDS above APPLY TO BOTH

        PAIRS.

 

     DISALLOWED

     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.


 

 

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 3) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

     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.

 

     CARDING

     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

     committee.


 

 

     (Rev.NABC032)                                     CHARTS.041 (PAGE 4) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     ACBL MID-CHART

     This chart applies to:

 

     1. All NABC+ events with no upper masterpoint restrictions played at

        an NABC.

     2. All unrestricted Flight A regionally rated events at an NABC.

     3. Any bracket of a bracketed KO at an NABC which contains no team

        with a bracket designator (average masterpoints of the entire team

        or top two players) of less than 1000 points.

 

     This chart (or any part) may apply to any sectionally or regionally

     rated event or tournament at sponsor's option provided that this has

     been included in tournament advertising. (The requirement for

     advertising does not extend to use in Flt A or high brackets of KOs.)

 

     When using a method permitted by the Mid-Chart but not by the General

     Convention Chart, a pair is required to:

     1. Pre-Alert the method(s)*

     2. Have a written description of the method(s) available for the

        opponents.

     3. Except for those methods authorized by sections below with an

        asterisk (numbers 2, 3, and 9 under ALLOWED), have a copy of the

        approved suggested defense available for opponents. Approved

        defenses are available in the ACBL defense database at

        www.acbl.org.

 

     A defense to a method which requires the above pre-Alert may be

     referred to during the auction by both pairs.

 

     To get a defense approved, a complete written explanation of the

     method and a complete written defense must be submitted to ACBL in

     Memphis, attention Chief Tournament Director by regular or e-mail to

     chief.tournament.director@acbl.org

 

     In addition, a method may be approved experimentally for Mid-Chart

     events. In order to have a method approved experimentally, a complete

     description with suggested defense must be submitted to ACBL,

     attention Chief Tournament Director, as above.

 

     ALLOWED ** Unless specifically allowed, methods are disallowed **

     1. All of the ACBL General Convention Chart.

     2. *Relay (tell me more) systems that promise game-forcing values.

     3. *All other constructive rebids and responses are permitted -

        except for:

         a.  relay systems that show less than game-forcing values,

         b.  conventional calls 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 (see #9 under RESPONSES AND REBIDS

             and #7 under DISALLOWED on the General Convention Chart) -

             however, this prohibition does not extend to notrumps that have

             two non-consecutive ranges neither of which exceeds 3 HCP, and


 

 

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 5) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

         c.  conventional calls after a weak two-bid with an agreed range of

             more than 7 HCP or an agreement where the suit length may be

             four cards (see #6 under RESPONSES AND REBIDS and #7 under

             DISALLOWED on the General Convention Chart). THIS APPLIES TO

             BOTH PAIRS.

     4. Any call that promises four or more cards in a known suit, except

        that weak opening at the two-level or higher that show hands with

        two suits must be no less than 5-4 distribution in the two suits.

        (See items #6 and #8 in DISALLOWED below.)

     5. Opening 2 Diamond showing a weak two-bid in an unspecified major

        and may include additional strong (15+ HCP) meaning(s).

     6. A 2 Spade or 2NT opening bid showing an unspecified minor or both

        minors.

     7. A transfer opening bid at the two-level or higher showing a weak

        bid in the suit being transferred to or a type or types of strong

        hand.

     8. Any strong (15+ HCP) opening bid.

     9. Notrump overcall as a two-suit takeout showing at least 5-4

        distribution.

     10. *Defense to natural notrump opening bids and overcalls.

     11. Any opening bid at the three level or higher showing an

         undisclosed solid suit.

 

     DISALLOWED

     1. Conventions and/or agreements whose primary purpose is to destroy

        the opponents' methods.

     2. Psyching of artificial opening bids and/or conventional responses

        thereto.

     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 except those that are game-forcing.

     6. Opening one-bids which by partnership agreement could show less

        than 8 HCP. (Not applicable to a psych.)

     7. Psyching a conventional agreement which may show less than 10 HCP

        and which is not permitted by the General Convention Chart. This

        includes psyching responses to or rebids of these methods.

     8. Any weak opening bid which promises an unknown suit may not

        include as the unknown suit the suit named (the suit opened).

 

     CARDING

     Same as listed on the General Convention Chart.


 

    

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 6) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     ACBL SUPER-CHART

     This chart applies to all NABC+ events with no upper masterpoint limit

     played at an NABC in which contestants play segments (no change of

     opponents) of 12 or more boards. This chart (or any part) may be used

     at a sectionally or regionally rated event or tournament at sponsor's

     option in any event with 12-board or longer segments provided this has

     been included in tournament advertising.

     Pre-Alerts are required for all conventional methods not permitted on

     the ACBL General Convention Chart. Description of, and suggested

     defenses to, such methods must be made in writing. A defense to a

     method which requires the above pre-Alert may be referred to during

     the auction by opponents of the convention user.

     For NABC+ events in which this chart is permitted, pairs playing

     SuperChart methods must furnish the above descriptions of their

     methods to the Director-in-Charge of the event the day prior to the

     session in which they choose to play them.

 

     ALLOWED  * * Unless specifically allowed methods are disallowed * *

     All of the ACBL MidChart plus any other non-destructive convention,

     treatment or method except that:

     1. Artificial weak bids at the two or three level (including those

        with strong adjuncts) must possess:

         a)  a known suit, or

         b)  one of no more than two possible suits not to include the suit

             bid.

     2. Defenses over opponents' natural suit bids must promise:

         a)  for non-cuebids showing a single-suited hand, one of no more

             than two possible suits

         b)  a cuebid which could show a weak hand with four or more cards

             in the suit bid must promise four or more cards in another

             known suit.

     3. The prohibitions contained in item #9 under RESPONSES AND REBIDS

        on the General Convention Chart are effective for this Chart.

        (However, this prohibition does not extend to notrumps that have

        two non-consecutive ranges neither of which exceeds 3 HCP.)

 

     DISALLOWED

     1. Conventions and/or agreements whose primary purpose is to destroy

        the opponents' methods.

     2. Psyching of artificial opening bids and/or conventional responses

        thereto.

     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. Opening one bids which by partnership agreement could show fewer

        than 8 HCP. (Not applicable to a psych.)

     6. Psyching a conventional agreement which may show fewer than 10 HCP

        and which is not permitted by the General Convention Chart. This

        includes psyching responses to or rebids of those methods.

 

     CARDING

     Same as listed on the General Convention Chart.


 

 

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 7) 

                                                       ___________________ 

     ACBL LIMITED CONVENTIONS

     (May be used in games with an upper limit of 20 or fewer MPs)

 

     CLUBS: Club management shall determine the conventions permitted in

     club games with an upper limit of 20 or fewer masterpoints.

 

     LOCAL & HIGHER EVENTS:

     The sponsoring organization of local and higher rated tournaments may

     determine the conventions permitted in games with an upper limit of 20

     or fewer masterpoints.

 

     OPENING BIDS:

     A 1 Club opening bid may be both artificial (says nothing about clubs)

     and forcing (partner must respond at least once), but opener must have

     at least 10 HCP. A negative 1 Diamond response may be used.

 

     A 2 Club opening bid may be artificial and strong. It may be balanced

     (a hand stronger than a traditional 2NT opening) or unbalanced (a hand

     with which you would open a strong two-bid if playing that way).

     Further bidding will describe the hand.

 

     A 3NT opening bid may show a hand with a long, solid suit (gambling).

 

     RESPONSES AND REBIDS:

     A jump shift of one or more levels (into a suit or into notrump) may

     be used either to force to game or to show a raise of partner's suit.

 

     Any meaning may be given to the responses and rebids after an opening

     bid of 1NT. Exception: if the 1NT opening has a point range which

     exceeds 5 HCP, or if the 1NT opening has an agreed lower limit of

     fewer than 10 HCP, responses and rebids may not be conventional --

     they must be natural.

 

     Any meaning may be given to the responses to and rebids after an

     opening bid of 2 Clubs or higher. Exception: if the opening bid is a

     weak two-bid with: (a) an agreed point range of more than 7 HCP, (b) 

     an agreement that the bid suit can contain fewer than five cards, or

     (c) an agreement that the hand can contain fewer than 5 HCP, responses

     and rebids may not be conventional - they must be natural.

 

     Any call may be used to ask partner or to respond to partner about

     aces, kings, queens, singletons, voids or trump quality with the

     exceptions noted above.

 

     COMPETITIVE AUCTIONS:

     Any meaning may be given to a double or a redouble.

 

     A notrump overcall or jump overcall may be use to show a two-suited

     hand (at least 5-4 distribution in the two suits). At least one of the

     suits must be known. The second suit may be known or unknown.

 

     Any meaning may be given to the cue bid of an opponent's suit.


 

 

                                                       CHARTS.041 (PAGE 8) 

                                                       ___________________ 

 

     Any meaning may be given to calls used to defend against opponents'

     conventional calls or opening bids of 2 Clubs or higher.

 

     Any meaning may be given to calls used to defend against natural

     notrump opening bids or overcalls except that direct calls other than

     double and 2 Clubs must have at least one known suit.

 

     DISALLOWED:

     Conventions and/or agreements with a primary purpose of destroying the

     opponents' methods are not allowed (e.g., a bid telling nothing about

     the bidder's hand, made simply to use up bidding space).

 

     Agreements allowing the partnership to open the bidding at the one

     level with fewer than 8 HCP are not allowed. This does not preclude a

     psychic opening bid.

 

     Psyching of artificial opening bids or conventional responses to

     artificial opening bids is not allowed.

 

     Psychic controls (bids designed to determine whether partner has

     psyched or to clarify the nature of the psych) are not allowed.

 

     Relay systems (one player tells nothing about his own hand while

     interrogating partner about his hand through a series of conventional

     calls) are not allowed.

 

     CARDING:

     A discard (a card played while not following suit) can convey a

     message to partner. The message can pertain to the length of the suit

     of the card discarded, to the attitude toward that suit (desire to

     have partner lead that suit) or to another suit (no information about

     the suit of the card discarded). A pair may decide to attribute the

     attitude message (good-bad) to the cards on either a higher-to-lower

     basis (a higher card is more positive than a lower card) or a

     lower-to-higher basis (a low card is more positive than a higher

     card).

 

     A discard may carry more than one message, but only at each defender's

     first discard of the deal. Dual-message discards are not permitted as

     second or subsequent discards. Encrypted signals (the order and/or

     message is based on information known to the other defender but not

     yet to declarer) are not allowed at any time.

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