Opening Bid:   One Heart or One Spade

We don't need to change how we open a major nor how we respond to one, but we do keep in mind one of the primary advantages of a forcing club system...  Immediately we that our partner has fewer than 17 points when she opens 1 or 1, and that's a huge advantage.

Opener's Jump Rebids
From long ago ol' Charlie Goren told bridge players that a jump rebid in our suit promises 16-18 HCP and a jump shift has 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 by the opener does not have more than 16 points, but does has very good distribution, probably 5-5 in the two bid suits.

Responder's Jump to Game
Normally a jump to game by responder 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 might want to close the auction by going directly to game with 10+ points.  This treatment should be alerted.


Three Unique Agreements
Below are three treatments that are not part of any other club system, but this is an agreement between Karmen and Denise - these agreements work well and they are fun to play.

1.    Responder's Jump Shift ---- 6-8-10 Rule

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 that sort of hand very often.  We do however, get 6-card suits with 8-10 points frequently.
    A Jump Shift by responder shows at least a 6-card suit and 8-10 points
There is an exception for the need to shift to a new suit... When partner opens 1, which may be short, a jump to 3 is not a shift, but it does show a 6-card diamond suit with 8-10 points.  Almost all hands meeting the 6-8-10 criteria will have either 7 or 8 losers, using the modern Losing Trick Count.
    Note:   This rule is used with or without competition.
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 you could also show that hand by bidding a forcing 1NT and then raising partner's major, which would leave 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 raises to the 2-level:
  • Jump to game - A minimum hand with perhaps 11-12 HCP
  • Rebid three of the major - 13-15 points, and conserves bidding room for responder
  • Bid a new suit - A good 15-16 points and first round control in the cue bid suit
  • Rebid 2NT - A weak major with points outside the suit suggesting that a 3NT contract may be best
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 do not play Roman Keycard Blackwood, but we do consider the king of trump as an ace, so there are five "aces" and only three kings.