Glossary

Conventions and concepts described as “advanced” are in the Advanced Bidding notes.

2/1
Stands for the advanced system Two Over One Game Force, or the signature meaning of a non-jump bid of two of a new suit over partner’s one bid in a suit.
advancer
The partner of the overcaller.
alert
To give a required notification to the opponents. The need for an alert is shown by an exclamation point following the bid. If the opponents ask what the bid means, the proper explanation is shown following the exclamation point.
announce
To say aloud certain explanations, such as notrump ranges.
attitude
When signaling on defense, refers to showing if you want a suit continued or not.
balanced
A hand with an even distribution of suit lengths, 5-3-3-2, 4-4-3-2, or 4-3-3-3.
balancing
To make a bid in passout seat when your partner has passed. For example, (1♥) - P - (P) - 1♠ and (1♥) - P- (2♥) - P; (P) 2♠ are balancing bids.
business double
A synonym for penalty double
bust
A hand with very few points; no Aces or Kings, and at most one Queen.
captain
Refers to the partner who knows the other’s strength and shape within sufficient limits that he must decide the correct path to the final contract, after possibly gathering more information. Switches of captain later may occur, but generally the captain is in charge.
competitive
A hand, or a bid indicating a hand, strong enough to bid but not strong enough for bidding game.
control bid
A bid showing an Ace or void; or in the Italian system, first or second round control of that suit.
controls
Refers to the number of control points in a hand, counting an Ace as 2 and a King as 1. Also refers to a certain advanced system for responding to a 2♣ opener.
convention
A bid which changes the standard meaning of that bid to serve another purpose, together with its followups.
cooperative double
A double that is nominally for takeout but which seeks partner’s opinion on the best action to take.
count
When signaling on defense, refers to showing number of cards in a suit.
cue bid
A bid of a suit already bid by the opponents. Cue bid is also an older term for control bid.
current count
When signaling on defense, refers to showing the number of cards in a suit that one holds at the moment, as opposed to originally.
doubleton
A suit of exactly two cards. Called worthless if it does not contain an Ace or King.
Drury
A convention played after a major opening in third or fourth seat when the responder is a passed hand, to show a limit raise or better. Reverse Drury and Two-Way Reverse Drury are two variants; the original version is almost never played today.
gadgets
A gadget is a convention that is usually applicable in a small niche bidding situation, or which is considered a minor tweak on another convention. Gadgets are often inappropriate for intermediates or casual partnerships.
game forcing
A hand, or bid indicating a hand, strong enough to require bidding that leads to a game or four of a minor suit. Abbreviated “gf”.
Gerber
A bid of 4 clubs that asks responder how many Aces he holds.
gf
An abbreviation of game forcing.
good suit
A “good suit” is one with 2 of the top 3 honors or 3 of the top 5, but not QJ10, and usually five or more cards.
grand
Short for grand slam.
HCP
High-card points. See Hand Evaluation.
intervenor
Another word for overcaller.
inv
An abbreviation of invitational.
invitational
A hand, or a bid indicating a hand, within 2 points of being game forcing. Abbreviated inv.
jump-shift
A bid of a new suit (a shift) one level higher than it needs to be (a jump).
Law of Total Tricks
A guideline used to help determine how high to bid in a competitive auction. With a trump fit of 8 cards or more, and the HCP fairly evenly divided, the number of tricks the partnership can expect to win is approximately the total number of trump held by the partners.
leave it in
To pass partner’s takeout double.
Lebensohl
An advanced convention for distinguishing strengths of responder’s hand in difficult circumstances, especially after an overcall of a 1N opener.
LHO
Left hand opponent; the player to the left of the player
major
Spades or hearts; frequently abbreviated M.
minimax
A style of making two-suited bids, in which the bid is not used for intermediate hands.
minor
Diamonds or clubs; frequently abbreviated m.
Minorwood
An ace-asking bid of four of the minor, played with inverted minors.
negative double
A double that shows strength in unbid suits is called a negative double. The most common example is partner opens a suit and is overcalled in another suit; then a double by responder is a negative double.
overcaller
The player that overcalled; the partner of the advancer. We also call him the intervenor.
pass or correct
A bid intended to either be passed or corrected to another suit. See Minor Relay for an example.
passout seat
A bidder about to make the third consecutive pass, ending the auction. After an opening bid and two passes, to bid in passout seat is called balancing.
penalty double
A double made with the intent of having partner pass, to collect penalties.
preempt
Short for preemptive bid.
preemptive
Describes a bid intended to interfere in the opponents auction, usually by or opening or jumping in a long suit.
pull
To pull a double means to bid over partner’s penalty double.
quantitative
A bid that invites partner to bid slam if on the top of his known range. In conversation, often abbreviated as quant.
rattlesnake
Describes a hand with a 4441 shape (or 5440, if the five-card suit is a minor).
relay
A bid which requires partner to bid a certain suit, but does not imply possession of that suit by the bidder. Compare to transfer.
responder
The partner of the opener
responsive double
An advanced convention used to compete after partner makes a takeout double.
reverse
(1) a bid in a suit higher than the suit you first bid, showing a stronger hand than you’ve shown so far; or (2) an adjective applied to the name of a convention indicating a variant in which two of the bids are interchanged, as in Reverse Bergen or Reverse Drury.
RHO
Right hand opponent; the player to the right of the player
Rubensohl
A transfer version of Lebensohl; Rubensohl is the hardest convention in this book. See Rubensohl.
Rule of 17
A guideline used to help determine whether or not to raise a preemptive major bid by partner to game. The rule says to add your HCP and number of trumps, and bid game if the total is 17 or more.
Rule of 20
A hand is said to satisfy the Rule of 20 if its number of high card points plus the sum of the lengths of its two longest suits adds up to 20 or more.
runout
A method of escaping from a penalty double, such as a double of a
Sandwich 1N
After opponents have bid 1x - 1y, a 1N conventional bid to show the other two suits with a sub-opening hand.
semi-balanced
A hand with a 5-4-2-2 or 6-3-2-2 shape, the longest being a minor.
short
A suit is short if it contains 2 or fewer cards.
singleton
A suit containing just one card.
slamish
A hand, or a bid showing a hand, that possibly but not definitively might contribute to a slam.
SOS redouble
A redouble in the passout seat after an opening bid has been doubled for takeout or for balancing.
splinter
A triple-jump bid showing a stiff or a void in the suit bid and agreeing to partner’s last-bid suit as trump. Examples are 1♠ - 4♥!, 1♥ - 4♣!, and the tricky one, 1♥ - 3♠!.
Stayman
The Stayman Convention is classically a bid of the lowest number of clubs after a notrump opening; it inquires about the opener’s major suit holdings. The term is also used to refer other bids with the same purpose.
stiff
Slang for singleton.
super-accept
A jump agreement in response to a transfer.
support double
An advanced convention used to show exactly 3-card support for responder’s suit.
takeout double
A double that asks partner to bid, usually with an emphasis on getting partner to reveal an unbid major suit.
tenace
A holding that includes two cards separated by one missing one, such as AQ or KJ. Such a holding is strong if behind the missing card, but weak if the stronger card(s) are behind it. The missing card is said to be onside if ahead of the tenace, and offside otherwise.
thirteen
The most important number in bridge.
transfer

A bid which requests partner to bid a certain suit which is held by the bidder; the intent is usually to cause partner to be the declarer if that suit is trump. Usually the suit bid is one denomination less than the suit requested, known as the target suit.

If partner bids the target suit as requested it is called accepting the transfer. If he bids it but one level higher than necessary it is called a super-accept; and if he bids something else it is called breaking the transfer.

Compare to relay.

Two Over One
An advanced version of Standard American. Also written 2/1.
UDA
Short for “upside down attitude, right-side up count”. A low card is encouraging or from an even number.
UDCA
Short for “upside-down count and upside-down attitude” card signals. A low card is encouraging or from an odd number.
underlead
To lead a small card from a suit containing an honor; for example to lead the 5 from K985.
unpassed hand
A hand that has not yet had a chance to bid, or did have a chance but did not pass.
void
A suit containing no cards.
W
W is our notation for the “other” major in an auction where a major M has been bid.
w
w is our notation for the “other” minor in an auction where the a minor m has been bid.
weak
A hand, or a bid indicating a hand, too weak for any but obstructive action.
X
Double
XX
Redouble
yarborough
A hand containing no honors; a real bust.