Litten Polish Club

Welcome to Litten Polish Club! Polish Club is a 5-card major small club bidding system, where the 1 opening is forcing but not necessarily strong. This bidding system is largely based on Polish Club 2020: Expert. Changes are made with Good, Better, Best and my improvisation.

We use the distribution syntax and abbreviations provided by WBF.

http://www.worldbridge.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Guidetocompletion.pdf

The ACBL convention card of this system is at

https://bridgewinners.com/convention-card/print/litten-polish-club/98013

Notable differences from Polish Club 2020: Expert

Constructive auctions

Preempts

Slam try

References

Hand evaluation

NLTC is a good single hand evaluator but not very additive. It suits preemptive initial actions but not for showing supports. I have a blog article on that topic.

https://jdh8.org/nltc-a-good-single-hand-evaluator/

Stopper

We evaluate stopper quality as GIB does.

References

Opening bids

The notrump ladder

Polish 1 opening

The 1 relay

In our version of Polish Club, the 1 relay denies game-forcing values. There are two options in this relay.

We swap the 2 and 2NT responses for better constructiveness, courtesy of Ting-Yu Ye (TpKotoba).

The bidding structure at 1 -1 -1NT is similar to the 1NT opening.

Positive 1M responses

Opener's 2 rebid is Odwrotka, a fit reverse showing a game-forcing 3+ card support.

The jump reverse of the other major shows a game-forcing minor two suiter to alleviate the burden on 2NT.

XYZ over 1 -1 -1

The 2 response contains the following types of hands

The 2 response contains the following types of hands

Turning off FG XYZ by a passed hand

FG XYZ is off by a passed hand because game-forcing options become impossible. We simply move the 3 response to 2 .

Roudi

Roudi is a French drop-in replacement for Checkback Stayman. Polish Club before 2020 used Magister, which is almost identical to Roudi. Despite that XYZ is taking over the world, we still use Roudi because opener is balanced and limited. Responder can park the contract better most of the time.

Odwrotka with the strong 2 relay

We use the relay structure in Polish Club 2020: Expert. The 2 response to Odwrotka is a slam try with 11+ HCP or a certain fit and <= 8.0 NLTC.

Balanced positive responses

Balanced positive responses are pretty descriptive, so opener's rebids are mostly natural.

Game-forcing 2m responses

Like over 2/1 responses, opener jumps with extra values to utilize higher steps to send information. This avoids an awkward situation Bridge World calls "two temporizers and zero describers".

The 2 response

The 2 response shows a minimum positive with 5+ spades and 4+ hearts.

Competitive bidding

We treat 1 -(1NT) like a weak notrump because nobody has bid a suit yet and a penalty double is sensible.

We play Transfer Lebensohl over 2 overcalls.

We have this special unusual vs. unusual structure like 1NT-(2NT) because we have not yet bid a suit.

Over Transfer Walsh

The bidding structure over Transfer Walsh is largely the same as constructive bidding. Opener accepts transfer with a minimum 3-card support.

Deviating from Polish Club 2020: Expert, we don't keep Odwrotka in competition. The simple cuebid asks for a stopper, and the jump cuebid shows a forcing raise.

  1. Over 1 -(1 )-Dbl/1M, 2 is the only way to show a big balanced hand without a diamond stopper.
  2. Over 1 -(1 )-Dbl/1 , showing 5+ diamonds is pretty useful especially when we don't have a heart stopper.

After 1 -1

After 1 -1M

We still play the support double over 1C-1M-(2M). We think the support double is superior to unusual vs. unusual.

It is another story over 1C-1M-(2NT). We no longer have a chance to stop at 2NT after a double.

The 1 opening

The 1M responses

The precedence with 15–17 HCP is 4-card support > 4-card side suit > 3-card support. Therefore, the reverse in the other major showing 3-card support promises either 6+ or 18+ HCP.

Wolff signoff

Wolff signoff is a conventional 3 over 2NT rebid. Such 3 puppets to 3 , and responder is ready to sign off at the 3-level.

Lebensohl over reverses

Instead of 3 , we use 2NT as the weak relay over reverses.

Our advantage over Polish Club 2020: Expert is that we can disambiguate between variants of 1 -1 -2 below 3 .

Competitive bidding

Major suit openings

We swap 2 and 2 over 1 , inspired by Twisted 2/1 by Ting-Yu Ye (TpKotoba).

https://hackmd.io/@TpKotoba/refx

When there are 5 hearts in 1 -1NT, it must be an invitation without a spade fit.

Note that we use difference 4-card raising structures for 1 and 1 . Our spade raises cover all mini-Splinters and a mixed raise. On the other hand, we use reverse Bergen raises for hearts for several reasons:

  1. We have more preemptive uses for 1 -2 such as invitational both minors or a weak jump shift.
  2. As a corollary, we don't have enough room to discriminate all mini-Splinters.
  3. We need 1 -3 to preempt a potential spade fit while 1 -2 is usually enough for a heart fit.

Natural invitational 2/1 by passed hand

We don't play Drury here. For a 3-card limit raise without a 5-card side suit, 1NT is decent.

Competitive bidding

We play transfers over 1M-(Dbl) as suggested by Polish Club 2020: Expert.

Strong notrump opening

We use the American-style 4-way transfers with an adjunct. We also transfer balanced invitational hands at 2 . We bid 3 instead with invitational 6+ .

The responder tries to show a major first always (MAFIA). The only exception is not to bid Stayman with (4333), a hand so flat that playing notrump is a better idea.

Stayman

Excluding opener's 5-card majors, the Stayman has its traditional meaning or a Garbage Stayman.

The Garbage Stayman takes advantage of that opener will eventually rebid within 2 , so we can bid 2 as a weak takeout of clubs and pass in the next round.

We only employ Smolen transfers at the 3-level. The 2-level invitations are natrual so that we have a chance to stop at 2 .

The step of 1NT-2 -2 -2 allows us to always choose the better major fit. This is why the opener rebids 2 with 44 majors.

Jacoby transfer

The opener always accepts Jacoby transfers. We super-accept with maximum and 4 trumps. We hide the doubleton just below the trump to avoid retransferring problems like 1NT-2 -3 !-3 ?.

Seeking a major fit

There are apparent overlaps between major fit seeking conventions, especially Jacoby transfers with Stayman or Texas transfers. This section describes how to pick the best response.

Major two suiter, (54)+

To find the better fit, we consider the length difference between majors in our partnership. The opener's difference is at most 2, so our basic strategy is

However, with a weak hand, it is more important to keep the bidding low. We transfer to our longer major and then pass.

Same lengths, 55+

We choose the hearts from a weak two suiter for a chance to run out to 2 unless spades are sufficiently better.

Difference 1–2, (54)+

Major single suiter, 6+

Minor transfer

We use fragment bids instead of Splinters here to avoid lead-directing doubles.

We move the minor Stayman to the unallocated 4 . Since the opener must have a 3+ card minor, 55 minors would ensure a minor fit. The opener rebids based on suit preference.

Competitive bidding

Competition does not affect auctions at 3NT and above.

Over (Dbl)

We keep things simple over a strong double (10+ HCP). Everything is natural.

Over (2 )

We play systems on over 1NT-(2 ). Most bids keep the same meaning. This is because 2 is so low that we can treat it as (mirrored) (1 )-1NT.

We recommend Leaping Michaels over a sole anchor suit. Take natural clubs for example.

The real headache is when (2 ) shows both majors e.g. Landy. We recommend reverse unusual vs. unusual.

Note that we pass when we can penalize both majors. A delayed double is for penalty since a takeout can usually penalize the other major.

Over (2 )

We play Transfer Lebensohl against overcalls 2 .

Over (2NT)

We have a special unusual vs. unusual structure over 1NT-(2NT) because we have not yet shown a suit.

Ekren 2

Ekren is an artificial preempt showing 4+ cards in each major. This preempt is not only frequent (5–6%) but also frees major preempts from the other major. Ekren is slightly less frequent than a wild 5-card natural preempt (6–7%) but much more frequent than a traditional 6-card preempt (2.2–2.7%).

Ekren is originally at 2 . We move it to 2 to fill in the removed Precision and leave space for Multi.

Unlike natural preempts, we have 2NT as a nonforcing natural invitation. Since Ekren hands can be fairly balanced, 2NT can be the sweet spot on misfit.

Multi 2

Our Multi 2 shows a 6-card weak two of either major.

Exactly 5-card weak twos

Weak twos in this bidding system show exactly 5 cards in the bid major. Multi 2 already takes care of 6+ cards. Our weak twos include balanced hands to annoy our opponents frequently.

Non-jump new suits are non-forcing because sometimes we need to escape from a certain misfit. With a strong misfit and a lower-ranking suit, we tend to buy 3NT with a minor suit. Otherwise, we go through 2NT and try to introduce hearts in the next round.

Unusual 2NT opening

The unusual 2NT opening is a preempt with 55+ in minors.

We advise against opening 2NT for (30)55 in the first two seats.

BTU 4-level preempts

In National Taiwan University Bridge Club (BTU), we use a 4X scheme that conveys approximately 0.58 more bits than traditional or Meckwell Namyats.