SAYC summary (Standard American Yellow Card system)

SAYC bridge2math Convention Card.  See SAYCBridge.com to practice bidding online. A more detailed description of SAYC.

 
opening opening meaning response response meaning continuation
1♣ 3+ cards, 12-21 HCP 2NT 10-12 HCP, invitational  
3NT 13-15 HCP, sign off  
other see natural responses to 1  
1♦ 4+ cards or 4432, 12-21 HCP see 1♣ opening
1 5+ cards, 12-21 HCP 1♠ 4+ spades, 6+ pts, usu. no ♥ support  
1 NT 6–9 HCP; denies 4 spades or 3 hearts may be passed
2 ♣/♦ 10+, 4+ cards promises another bid unless passed hand or game bid
2♥ 6-9 HCP, 3+ hearts.  
2NT ! Jacoby: raise, 13+ HCP 3♣/♦/♠ shortness, 4♥ min, 3NT med, 3♥ max
3♥ limit raise, 10–12 HCP, 3+ hearts (preempt over X)  
3NT 15–17 HCP, balanced, 2-card support  
4♥ usu. 5+ hearts, shortness, <10 HCP  
1♠ 5+ cards, 12-21 HCP see 1♥ opening
1NT 15–17 HCP balanced 
2♣ Stayman, 8+ HCP 2 ♦/♥/♠ (2♥ with both majors)
2♦ ! Jacoby transfer to hearts 2 ♥, or 3 ♥ with max.
2♥ ! Jacoby transfer to spades 2 ♠, or 3 ♠ with max.
2♠ ! transfer to 3♣ resp. rebid 3 ♦ signoff
3♣/♦ ! inv. to 3NT with 6+ card suit  
3♥/♠ 6+ card suit, slam interest  
4♣ Gerber, asking for aces 4♦ = 0 or 4, 4♥ = 1, etc
4NT natural, invites 6NT  
2♣ strong artificial, 22+ HCP or playing equiv. 2♦ artif., may be waiting opener’s suit rebid forcing to 3 of his major or 4 of his minor; after 2 NT rebid: Stayman, Jacoby, Gerber
2♥/♠, 3♣/♦ natural, GF, 5+ cards, 8+ pts  
2NT balanced, 8+ HCP  
2♦/♥/♠ 6+ (or 5) cards, 5–11 HCP; usually no major side suit 2NT forcing, game interest with min. (5–8 p): rebid the suit; with max.: new suit (shows A/K) or 3NT or 4 of minor (shows 4–5 cards with at least Q)
any raise to play  
2NT 20–21 HCP balanced, may contain 5-card suit 3♣ Stayman  
3♦/♥ ! Jacoby transfer 3♥/♠
4♣ ! Gerber  
4NT inviting to slam in NT  
3NT 25–27 HCP balanced 4♣ ! Stayman  
4♦/♥ ! Jacoby transfer 4♥/♠
3/4 of suit pre-empt, rule of 2/3/4  

Choosing the opening

  • open the higher of long (at least 5 cards) suits of equal length
  • with 4–4 minors, open 1 ♦
  • notrump openings show a balanced hand but may contain a five-card suit (minor or major)

Continuation

  • fourth suit may be artificial (“4th suit forcing”), except in 1♣–1♦–1♥–1♠, which is natural
  • after opener’s rebid in a suit, a new suit by responder is forcing
  • after opener’s rebid of 1 NT (e.g., 1♥–1♠–1NT), responder’s simple non-reverse rebid in a new suit (e.g., 2♣/♦) is non-forcing
  • in that situation, a reverse rebid (e.g. 1♣–1♥–1NT–2♠) or a jump shift into a new suit is game-forcing

Slam conventions

  • regular Blackwood: 4 NT asks for aces, 5♣ = 0 or 4; 5 ♦ = 1; 5 ♥ = 2; 5 ♠ = 3; then 5 NT asks for kings similarly
  • Grand Slam Force: jump to 5 NT asks partner to bid grand slam in agreed suit with two of three top honors in it

Effect of interference

  • usually interference cancels conventions (e.g., after major suit opening and interference, a response of 2 NT is natural, 12–14 HCP, not Jacoby)
  • double of 1 NT does not affect conventions
  • after 1 NT and interfering bid, bid in opponent suit is game-forcing and substitute for Stayman

Defensive bidding

  • D for takeout over opening partscore, penalty opening game bid
  • simple overcall 8–16 points; only forcing response is opp. suit
  • 1 NT overcall 15–18 HCP (10–15 when reopening), balanced, preferably a stopper in opp. suit; 2♣ response Stayman, otherwise natural
  • jump 2 NT is “unusual”, i.e. 5–5 lowest unbid suits
  • jump overcall in suit preemptive
  • a bid in opp. suit is
    • Michaels when opps have bid one suit only (Michaels: 5–5 in majors and 8+ pts when opening was in a minor, otherwise the other major and a minor and 10+ pts)
    • natural when opps have bid 2 suits

Competitive bidding

  • neg. D up to 2♠
  • RD 10+ pts
  • responders jump shift over D is to play
  • cuebid in right-hand opp. forcing to game
  • RD of a D of conventional bid is for business
  • RD is SOS when suit contract of 3 or lower is doubled for penalty
  • D of conventional bid like Michaels or unusual 2 NT shows 10+ pts