Polish Club

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Polish Club (Polish: Wspólny Język, literally "Common Language") is a bridge bidding system which was developed in Poland, where it is the most popular bidding system, and which is also used by players of other countries. It is a type of small club system.

In the Polish Club, a 1♣ opening bid is forcing for one round but does not necessarily show a strong hand; in most versions of this system it shows either a weak balanced hand (about 12-14HCP), a natural 1♣ opening or any strong hand. Consequently bids of 1, 1 and 1♠ are limited to about 18HCP, and also 1 shows at least four diamonds (five in some versions of the system).

The 2♣ opening is usually reserved to show a limited hand with long clubs and possibly a 4-card major, similar to the Precision 2♣ opening.

The following outline of the system is based on that given in System licytacyjny Wspólny Język 2005 - opis skrócony ("Polish Club 2005 - a brief description") by Krzysztof Jassem.

1♣ opening[edit]

  1. 12–14 HCP, no 5-card major, no 4-card diamond suit. Five clubs are possible if the hand is balanced. Opener should not bid clubs on the next round – even in competition.
  2. 15–17 HCP, five clubs, unbalanced distribution. Opener bids clubs in the next round.
  3. 18+ HCP, any distribution.

1 response[edit]

  1. negative: 0–8 HCP. In the 7–8 HCP range, Responder should not have a 4-card major (the response of one of a major is 7+HCP, the 1NT response is 9–11 HCP).
  2. 9–11 unbalanced; either both minors (5-4), or one poor minor. (The hand does not qualify for any of the responses: 1NT, 2 in a minor, 3 in a minor).
  3. 12–16 HCP balanced without a 4-card major. The hand is not suitable for declaring no trumps.
1♣ - 1
?
1/1♠ = better major (3 cards is possible)
1NT = 18–19 HCP, balanced
2♣ = 15+ HCP, natural
2 = artificial GF, exclusive of 2-suiter hands
2, 2♠, 3♣, 3 = 5+ in the bid suit, semi-forcing
2NT = 22–24 HCP, balanced
3/3♠/4♣ = GF, 2-suiter (5-5):
3 – with hearts, then Responder’s 3♠ shows preference over hearts, 3NT asks for a minor, 4♣, 4 are cue bids with agreed hearts, 3♠ – spades and a minor, then 3NT asks for a minor, 4♣, 4 are cue bids, 4♣ – minors.

1/1♠ responses[edit]

7+HCP, 4+ cards, can have longer minor if less than GF

1♣ - 1/1♠
?
2♣ = 15+, one-round force, then Responder’s 2 forces to game.
2 = Relay, 18+ HCP, promises at least 3 cards in Responder’s major.
2 = (After 1♠ response) 5+, (18+ HCP), GF
2NT = 18+ HCP, (semi-)balanced, denies 3-card support in Responder’s suit.
After 1♣-1/1♠-2, Responder bids as follows ("Bubrotka"):
2 = 7–10 HCP, 4 cards in the bid major
2♠ = 11+ HCP, 4 cards in the bid major
2NT = 11+ HCP, at least 5 cards in the bid major
3♣, 3 = 9–11 HCP, 5 in the bid minor, 4 in the bid major
3 = 7–10 HCP, 5 cards, unbalanced (then 3♠ asks for a shortage, 3NT asks for a side suit)
3♠ = 7–10 HCP, 5332 with 5 in the bid major
3NT = 7–10 HCP, 6 cards in the bid major

1NT response[edit]

9–11 HCP, no 4-card major

1♣ - 1NT
?
2♣ = natural, 15+ HCP, GF
2, 2, 2♠ = 5+ cards, 18+ HCP, GF

2♣/2 responses[edit]

5+ cards, GF, can have 4-card major

2/2♠ responses[edit]

Strong jump shift (semi-solid suit)

2NT response[edit]

12+ HCP, GF no 4-card major

3♣/3 response[edit]

Good 6-card suit, invitational (9–11 HCP)

3/3♠ responses[edit]

7-card suit with 2 high honours, nothing outside

1 opening[edit]

4+ cards, 12–17 HCP possible canape: 4 diamonds; 5 clubs are possible if weak (12–14 HCP)

  • 2♣ response – natural, promises 5 clubs, one-round force. Rebidding diamonds by Opener shows length (5 diamonds) and does not specify strength. The other 2-level bids show 4-card openings in the range of 12–14 HCP.
  • 2 response – inverted minor, 10+ HCP, 4 diamonds
  • 3 response – preemptive
  • NT responses: 1NT = 7–10 HCP, 2NT = 11–12 HCP; both deny a 4-card major.

1/1♠ openings[edit]

5 cards, 12–17 HCP

  • 1NT Response – not forcing

Responder’s 2NT is forcing after the suit is repeated. 1 1♠/1NT 2 2NT = forces to 3 of a major; opener shows shortage, and 1♠ 1NT 2♠ 2NT = forces to 3 of a major; opener shows shortage Two-over-one response – forces to three of that suit.

  • 2♣ response is semi-natural.

Rebidding the suit by Opener shows a minimum and does not show length. 2NT rebid by Opener shows strength (15–17 HCP).

  • 2NT response – limit raise with support
  • Jump raise – preemptive

Two types of Splinter bids 1 - 3♠ = any shortage, 9–12 HCP (then 3NT asks shortage) 1♠ - 3NT = any shortage, 9–12 HCP (then 4♣ asks shortage) 1 - 3NT = spade shortage, 12–16 HCP 1/1♠ - 4♣, 4, 4 (after 1♠) = bid shortage, 12–16 HCP Drury-fit by a passed hand 2 of the bid major is the weakest rebid. Jump shift by a passed hand – invitational (9–11 HCP)

1NT opening[edit]

15–17 HCP

Opener’s 2 does not deny four spades. Responder’s subsequent bidding is natural: forcing at the 3-level, non-forcing at the 2-level. Also: 1NT - 2♣; 2 - 2♠ = invitational (7–9 HCP), 5 spades, 4 hearts, and 1NT - 2♣; 2/2♠ - 3/3 = transfer, agrees Opener’s suit, GF

  • Jacoby transfers 2/2

Transfer to hearts (2) does not deny five spades. Responder’s new suit at the 3-level forces to game. Also: 1NT - 2; 2 - 2♠ forces to 3 (8+ HCP)

  • 2♠ response – transfer for clubs. Opener may choose between a positive 2NT, and a negative 3♣. Responder may continue by showing shortage.
  • 2NT response – limit
  • 3♣ response – transfer to diamonds, weak or strong Opener is obliged to bid 3. Responder may continue by showing shortage.
  • 3 – natural, inviting
  • 3/3♠ – 5431 convention: GF, both minors: at least 5-4, shortage in the bid suit

2♣ Opening[edit]

Precision: 5 clubs and a 4−card major, or 6 clubs, 11–14 HCP

  • 2 response – relay, forcing to 3♣. Opener shows a 4-card suit (3 shows extras) or makes a choice between 2NT and 3♣ with long clubs.
  • 2/2♠ response – not forcing, good 5-card suit (7–11 HCP)
  • 2NT response – weak support in clubs or GF two-suiter. Puppet to 3♣. Opener must bid 3♣. Responder either passes or shows his suits: 3 = diamonds and hearts, 3 = hearts and spades 3♠ = spades and diamonds.
  • 3♣ response – limit raise (invitational)
  • 3/3/3♠ response – limit, good 6-card suit

2 opening[edit]

Weak two in a major (limited Multi), 6+ cards, 6–11 HCP.

  • 2/2♠/3/3♠ response – pass or correct
  • 2NT – relay, forcing to 3 of the major

Opener bids: 3♣ = good opening, 3 relays and 3 shows spades. 3♠ shows hearts. 3 = hearts, minimum opening 3 = spades, minimum opening

  • 3♣ response – GF, any one-suited hand, puppet to 3.
  • 3 – game-invitational with support in both majors

Opener bids 4♣ with hearts and 4 with spades if the invitation is accepted.

  • 4♣ response – asks Opener to bids the suit below his major. Opener bid 4 with hearts and 4 with spades.
  • 4 response – asks Opener to bids his suit.
  • 4/4♠ response – to play

2/2♠ openings[edit]

Polish two−suiters, 6–11 HCP.

  • Opening 2 = any 5-5 with hearts (spades possible)
    • 2♠ response = pass or correct
    • 2NT response – asks for another suit. With hearts and spades Opener bids 3. Other responses – natural
  • Opening 2♠ = 5 spades and 5 of a minor

2NT opening[edit]

5-5 in minor, 6-11HCP.

  • 3 asks to bid a longer minor or a longer major if minors are equal.
  • 3♠ – natural, forcing

3NT opening[edit]

Gambling (no stopper outside)

  • 4 asks for singleton.

Conventions in an uncontested auction[edit]

Jump shift[edit]

Strong, semi−solid suit, slam interest

Fourth suit[edit]

Invites to game after an initial one-over-one response. Responder may pass in the subsequent bidding but Opener may not. Fourth suit forces to game after a two-over-one response.

Third suit[edit]

If Opener raises the third suit, that promises four cards in the suit and denies a stopper in the unbid suit. 3NT bid by Opener shows four cards in the third suit and promises a stopper in the unbid suit.

Forcing 2NT[edit]

Responder’s 2NT is forcing after a two-over-one response.

Odwrotka[edit]

After a 1♣ opening and a response in a major, 2 is Odwrotka (a "fit reverse"), that shows an 18+ hand, a fit, and asks responder to describe his hand. Jassem recommends replacing WJ2000's "Odwrotka" with the "Bubrotka" responses above.

2♣ – check back[edit]

Weak with clubs or game invitational, or game forcing Opener’s rebids:

  • 2 = minimum opening, no 3-card support
  • 2 in Responder’s suit = minimum opening, 3-card support
  • 2 in the other major = nice opening, 3-card support
  • 2NT = nice opening, no 3-card support

Responder’s continuations: 3♣ signs off. 2 in the bid major is non-forcing (10–12 HCP). Other bids (including 2NT) are game forcing.

En passant[edit]

In an uncontested auction, stoppers are shown. In competition, bidding the opponent’s suit asks for a stopper. If opponents bid two suits, bidding the higher-level suit promises stopper in the lower-level suit.

Slam bidding[edit]

Roman Key Card Blackwood 1430[edit]

5♣ = 1 or 4 5 = 0 or 3 5 = 2 or 5, no kings 5♠ = 2 and a king, etc.

Exclusion Key Card Blackwood (1430 responses)[edit]

After trump agreement, an unusual jump shift at the 5-level (or 4♠ when hearts are agreed) asks for key cards, exclusive of the ace of the bid suit.

Hoyt[edit]

The cheapest bid after key cards are shown asks for kings. The next cheapest bid shows no kings, etc.

5NT[edit]

Kind of Josephine; asks for the number of high honours (ace, king or queen) in trumps 6♣ = 0, 6 = 1, etc.

Cue bids[edit]

First− and second−round controls are treated as equals

Splinter bids[edit]

Weaker and stronger types after 1/1♠ openings 1 – 3♠ = weaker Splinter (9–12 HCP), any shortage, 3NT asks 1 – 3NT = regular Splinter (12–16 HCP), spade shortage 1♠ – 3NT = weaker Splinter, any shortage, 4♣ asks 1/1♠ – 4♣/4/4 = regular Splinters (12–16 HCP)

AutoSplinter[edit]

An unusual shift jump agrees bidder’s own suit only if Partner has not shown any suit.

Six in the Splinter suit[edit]

Asks partner to bid the grand slam with a void in the splinter-suit.

Interference after Blackwood[edit]

DOPI. Double = 0, pass = 1, the cheapest bid = 2 keycards, etc.

Competitive bidding[edit]

Over opponent’s takeout double[edit]

  • Jump shift – suit and support (fit showing jump)
  • New suit – forcing at 1-level (except 1; see below), non-forcing at 2-level
  • Redouble = 10+ HCP

Opener bids before Responder: this shows a minimum if the bid is cheaper than two in the opening bid, but shows extras otherwise.

  • 1 response over opponent’s double – natural, not forcing
  • Support bidding after Partner’s 1/1♠ opening is doubled:
    • 1NT = 7–9(10) HCP; 3-card support
    • 2NT = limit raise: 4-card support
    • Jump shift shows suit and support.

Over opponent’s overcall[edit]

  • New suit is forcing at the level of 1 and 3. New suit is not forcing at the level of 2.
  • Jump raise is pre-emptive.

Support bidding after Partner’s 1/1♠ opening is overcalled[edit]

2NT promises good support (usually 4 cards) and forces to game. Direct cue bid is game-invitational, or game forcing with flat distribution and defensive values.

After Partner’s 1NT opening is overcalled[edit]

  • Double is negative – part score range.
  • New suit is non-forcing at the two-level, but forcing at the three-level.
  • Lebensohl: either GF with 4 cards in the other major or non-forcing with an unbid suit.

After Partner’s 2/2/2♠ opening is overcalled[edit]

  • New suit = pass or correct.
  • Double is for penalties.

Negative double[edit]

Through 4 Negative doubles include, apart from standard agreements, forcing hands with a weak 5-card suit and – after 1/1♠ opening – invitational no-trump hands.

When the second defender overcalls[edit]

  • Support double. A support double does not show extras but promises offensive values.
  • After a 1♣ opening, double is two-way: either a support double or a stronger variant of the opening.

Defensive bidding[edit]

No−trump hands[edit]

  • 1NT and 2NT non-jump overcalls – 15–18 HCP with a stopper. Subsequent bidding: the same as after a 1NT opening
  • 1NT re-opening – 12–15 HCP. Subsequent bidding: the same as after a 1NT opening
  • 2NT re-opening – 19–21 HCP Subsequent bidding: similar to after the 1NT opening
  • Jump overcalls – direct: natural, pre−emptive; re−opening: constructive
  • Takeout doubles and strong doubles (17+HCP). Takeout doubles promise three cards in unbid majors and two cards in unbid minors. Equal level conversion shows extras.
  • After Partner has doubled 1♣, a 1 bid is negative, other 1-level suit bids are forcing.

After 2 artificial opening (Multi or Wilkosz)[edit]

Second hand’s double is for takeout of spades. Pass and then double after 2/3 in the next round is for takeout of hearts:

2 dble 2 dble = responsive
2 dble 2♠ dble = punitive

Fourth hand’s live double is for takeout:

2 pass 2/2♠ dble = takeout of hearts/spades respectively

Direct cue bid[edit]

Michaels cue bid – unlimited

Jump cue bid[edit]

Jump cue bid shows either a solid suit and asks for a stopper or shows any game-forcing one-suiter hand.

Versus strong 1 NT opening[edit]

  • Double shows two suits: 5+ cards in a minor, 4+ cards in a major.
  • 2♣ = major two-suiter
  • 2 = 6+ card in one major
  • 2/2♠ = 5 cards in the bid suit and a 4-card minor

Versus weak 1NT opening[edit]

Double is for takeout. Other bids show the same shape as versus a strong no trump and promise opening values.

Other[edit]

  • Drury (2♣) promises fit, rebidding the suit is weakest bid.
  • Lebensohl after 2/2♠ and Partner’s double

Leads and signals[edit]

  • Leads are 2nd best from bad suits (low from two); 4th best from good suits; top of honours; ace from ace-king, king from king- -queen, etc., except 9 from 109x(x).
  • Signals are upside down throughout. In Partner’s led-suit count is preferred in suit contracts, attitude is preferred in no trump contracts.
  • Echo against no trump contracts – a small card in Declarer’s first-played suit (from either hand) accepts the lead. Lavinthal – standard way (discouraging in the suit discarded, suit preference for the other 2 suits).

External links[edit]