THE NEW ACBL BASIC CONVENTION CHART
Effective November 22, 2018 there are 4 new convention charts – Basic, Basic+, Open and Open+. The new convention charts are available for download at acbl.org/newconventioncharts. On Basic and Basic+ convention charts bidding agreements are disallowed unless they are specifically allowed. The Basic and Basic+ convention charts list allowed bids, while the Open and Open+ convention charts list what is disallowed. Lead and carding agreements are the same on all 4 convention charts.
Clubs are free to use whatever rules they want. Traditionally the Branford Bridge Club has utilized the General Convention Chart (GCC) as the rule governing bidding and play in this club. The new convention chart most like the GCC is the Basic Convention Chart. Because our club has a number of “novice” and non-LM players, and beginning players are encouraged to come and play, the authorized chart will be the Basic Convention Chart. Please note that all the conventions and systems permitted on the “Basic” chart are all the systems and conventions that are used by almost all players that play in Branford. If your conventions are not authorized on the Basic Convention Chart, please discuss your bids with the director.
Basic Chart – Legal opening bids:
- At least 10 HCP or meets the “Rule of 19” (HCP + length of the 2 longest suits must be 19 or more)
- Short Club
- Precision Club
- Weak and standard No Trump (10+ HCP, range not greater than 5 HCP)
- 4 card majors (or 5 card majors)
- Weak 2 bids (at least 4 HCP, range not greater than 7 HCP)
- Gambling 3 No Trump
- Any natural response
- Forcing 1 No Trump
- 2/1 game force
- Stayman and transfers
- Jacoby 2 NT
- Bergen raises.
- Drury (an artificial 2C or 2D by a passed hand showing a raise of Opener).
- Any artificial negative response to a strong opening bid.
Overcalls and Competitive Bids:
- All natural overcalls
- All doubles and redoubles, and all calls by both sides after a double or redouble.
- All artificial cuebids (by either pair), except a cuebid that could be weak must show at least one known suit. All responses to a cuebid are allowed.
- A 2NT overcall showing at least 5/4 distribution in the minors or in the two lowest unbid suits.
- After partner’s natural 1NT overcall, and artificial advance.
- After an opponent’s natural NT opening bid or overcall:
- An artificial 2C having any meaning.
- An artificial bid showing 2 known suits with 4/4 length or better.
- An artificial bid showing a known 5+ card suit.
- A natural bid showing 4+ cards in the suit bid and another known or unknown suit of 4+ cards.
- In response to partner’s overcall showing an unknown suit or suits, any call asking for partner’s longest or cheapest unknown suit (e.g., “pass or correct” calls).
- An artificial NT overcall at any level for 2-suited or 3-suited takeout. A 1NT bid in this category must show at least Near-Average strength (at least 8 HCP).
- After opponent’s Artificial opening bid, any Artificial defense.
Lead and Carding Agreements (the same on all 4 convention charts).
- Encrypted signals are never allowed when leading, following suit, or discarding.
- Opening lead – any method can be used on opening lead (leading low from doubletons must be pre-alerted).
- First discard – Any method may be used on the first discard.
- Except for the first discard, only high-to-low or low-to-high ordering strategies are allowed when following suit or discarding.
Any opening bid, response, or overcall in a suit at the 1 level is “natural” if it shows 4 or more cards in the suit bid, except for 1 Club and 1 Diamond, which can be based on a 3-card holding (in a 4-4-3-2 pattern, 1 Club can be “natural” with only 2 cards). Methods are generally allowed unless they are expressly prohibited within the chart.
Whether intentional or not, the definition for a No Trump opening bid has been changed in the new chart definitions. The new definition states, “A NT opening bid or overcall that contains no voids, no more than one singleton, which must be an Ace, King or Queen, and that does not contain 10 or more cards in two suits combined.”
If you have questions about the new convention charts send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (don’t ask me).