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Need to alert

I have just read through the Blue Book where the is lots of
direction in opening bids but I could not find anything on responses?

Could I argue that the following responses
to an opening bid of one of a suit are standard modern English ACOL and
anything else should be alerted?

1NT promises 6-9 HCP and
no 4 card support for openers suit;

2 of openers suit promises 6-9 HCP and
4 card support for openers suit;

2 of a new suit promises 10-15 HCP and
3 plus cards in that suit;

3 of openers promises 10-15 HCP and
4 card support for openers suit;

3 of a new suit (jump shift) promises
HCP and 3 plus cards in that suit

I know from experience that that some advocate point values one HCP above or below those stated above but at what how much can we deviate from those HCP values without alerting?

For example, if our understanding that a response of 2C over and opening bid of 1S indicates 8 - 15 HCP and 5 clubs, does that require alerting? 


  • edited 9:56PM

    You appear to be confusing two things - (a) what needs to be alerted and (b) what is standard modern English Acol.

    (a) What need to be alerted?

    The starting place for deciding whether a bid is alertable is section 4 B 1:

    Unless it is announceable, a pass or bid must be alerted if it:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

    (a) is not natural; or

    (b) is natural but has a potentially unexpected meaning.

    In other words, a natural bid is not usually alertable (even if it doesn't conform with the usual range played by you). There is an exception if a bid has a potentially unexpected meaning - the type of bids covered by this exception would be things like a 1NT response which is played as forcing (not a small change in point count expectation).

    (b) what is standard modern English Acol?

     You might refer to the EBU's Standard Modern English System File ( Some of your suggested treatments are not very "standard" (e.g. a change of suit at the two level doesn't usually have an upper point-count).

  • edited 9:56PM
    Thanks Tram, I have looked at the EBU doc and yes I did know that the 'standard' ACOL point count does vary with different authors by 1 HCP either way and I note that this EBU doc suggest 2 over 1 with 9+HCP whereas all my books suggest 10+HCP !  That's irritating but bye the by it also, as you say says no upper limit but then sort of contradicts itself in para 2.3.2 by saying that with 16HCP jump shift i.e. 9-15 2 over 1, 16+ 3 over 1.  And yes, it also suggests a jump shift shows a 5 card suit but as we all know bidding often presents choices and the solution is often a bid which gives the most or most valuable information.     
  • edited 9:56PM

    The key thing to understand is that we all play different methods - many don't play Acol at all (particularly once you leave the UK). And treatments within Acol will vary. That shouldn't irritate you - it's all part of the game.

    But the need to alert is not derived from whether or not a is standard Acol. Alerting is driven by whether or not a bid is "natural".

  • edited 9:56PM
    A strong jump shift is not normally played as a "stronger" 2/1. Treatments vary, but normally it is bid with only 16 points when some support for partner's suit is present, and the bid is never made with a secondary suit that is not partner's. Also the suit should be quite good.
  • edited 9:56PM

    The main problem with such a long list is that it is NOT illegal to be a newcomer or a person who bids poorly. Such people have no agreements and often do things that make others recoil in horror. Such bids are not alertable, since they were not based on formal agreements between the partners.

  • edited December 2014
    Just noticed the following:

    3 of openers promises 10-15 HCP and
    4 card support for openers suit;

    Seems a little high to discover whether responder is invitational or GF...
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