Opening Bid: One Heart or One Spade - 11-16 HCP
We don't need to make many changes to how we open a major, but we do have a unique response when we make a simple raise. It's game forcing. Keep in mind, too, that we have a wonderful advantage because of the forcing club system... Immediately, we know our partner has fewer than 17 points when she opens 1 or 1, and that's a huge advantage.
Opener's Jump Rebids and Jump Shifts
From long ago, ol' Charlie Goren told bridge players that a jump rebid in an opening suit promised 16-18 HCP, and a jump shift had 19-21 points. We have to redefine those bids... A jump rebid has no more than 16 points and should have at least a 6-card suit. A jump shift in a minor by the opener does not have more than 16 points, either, but shows a very good distribution, often 5+5+ in the major and the bid minor. (Cannot be both majors, because we open 2NT when we have 5+5+ in hearts and spades.)
Normally a jump response to game by most players is done with a "Weak Freak" - A hand with few points and at least five trumps. In a forcing club system, responder knows that her partner's opening bid has no more than 16 points, and she might want to close the auction by going directly to game with 10+ points. We use Losing Trick Count, and the jump to game has exactly 7 losers.
Responder's Limit Raise and Preemptive Raise
A jump to 2NT is a Limit Raise. It shows exactly 8 losing tricks, using Losing Trick Count.
A jump raise to the 3-level is preemptive with good support.
Three Unique Agreements
Below are three treatments that are not part of any other club system, but this is an agreement between Karmen, Denise and Lisa - these agreements work well and they are fun to play.
1. Responder's Jump Shift ---- The 6-8-10 Agreement
Most players today use a Jump Shift by responder to show a weak bid, but many expert level players are giving up on this treatment and are now using Soloway Jump Shifts, which shows a hand with at least 16 points. Unfortunately, we don't get hand often enough to warrant its use. Better to use the bid for hands that occur more often.. We get 6-card suits with 8-10 points frequently, so we use jump shifts to describe them.
2. Simple Raise is Game Force
Universally, players will raise their partner's 1 or 1 opening bid with at least 3-card support and 6-10 HCP. It has been that way since the earliest day of bridge. But we show that hand by bidding a forcing 1NT and then raising partner's major, which leaves the immediate raise available for a different agreement. We use it as a low-level game forcing call with possible slam interest.
These are the opener's rebids after responder uses the game-forcing raise to the 2-level:
Note: With a weak 5-card major lacking an honor, it is often better to play in 3NT than four of the major.
3. 3NT is Blackwood
A bid of 3NT is Blackwood after any auction where a major suit is established as the trump suit. There is an implicit agreement on the trump suit when the opening bid is a major and responder jumps immediately to 3NT.
We use Major Suit Keycard: MSK