Woolsey convention

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This article describes the contract bridge bidding convention.

Devised by Kit Woolsey,[1] the convention is a defense against an opponent's one notrump opening; especially used at matchpoints. Initial bids are as follows:

Initial Call Meaning
Double Promises a four-card major and a longer minor.
Advancer[2] can bid 2 to ask for the minor (pass or correct), 2 to ask for the major, or 2 or 2 to play.
2 Promises both majors.
Advancer can bid 2 to ask which is better, so the overcaller's 2 bid can freely be made with 5-4 shape.
2 Promises one of the major suits.
2/2 At least 5-5 in the named major and a minor.
2NT by Advancer asks for the minor.
2NT Promises both minors.
3 of any suit Natural.

The convention has similarities with Multi-Landy.


Common abuses as described by Kit Woolsey include:

  • 3-1-4-5 distributional hands in the balancing seat regularly double, even with no 4-card major suit.
  • Strong hands, with 19 high card points plus, start with a double and then rebid 2 Notrump (or double) to try to expose a psychic bid.
  • Good 4-4-4-1 distributional hands with a stiff minor suit can start with 2.
  • Single-suited minor hands often start with double, hoping to be able to play at the two-level. These hands will pass a 2 asking bid.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Francis, Henry G., Editor-in-Chief; Truscott, Alan F., Executive Editor; Francis, Dorthy A., Editor, Sixth Edition (2001). The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (6th ed.). Memphis, TN: American Contract Bridge League. p. 576. ISBN 0-943855-44-6. OCLC 49606900.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link).
  2. ^ In bridge literature, the term Intervenor is used to describe a player who first makes a call after the opposition has opened the bidding; he may also be referred to as the Overcaller if overcalling in a suit or notrump; his partner is referred to as the Advancer.

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