Cribsheets

A. Downloads

Opening Leads

Superior Bidding Cribsheet (not just for beginners)

More

Cribsheets

B. Specialised Cribsheets

Just copy and print the areas you need.

1. Bidding strategy
1 Check if your hand is balanced no voids / singletons, max 1 doubleton, max one 5-card suit, long minor useful
2 Do you have an 8-card fit ?  
3 Find out if you have 25 points between you include shape points (and shortage points only if you have 8 trump fit)
Decision a). with 25 and balanced: bid NT game
  b). with 25 and Major fit: bid Major game
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

12. Distribution Points
SHORTAGE lots of trumps fewer trumps
Void 5 4
Singleton 3 2
Doubleton 1 1
Add to your customised cribsheet
LENGTH in NT in a Suit
5 1 same as NT, switch to shortage points after suit agreed
6 2

.

15. Opener's bid - which suit ?
Distribution HCP opening bid rebid
5xxx (x<5)   5-card suit (easy !)  
5332   5-card suit (but see 6xxx) repeat, unless 5=m & good 3-card M
54xx (mm/MM)   5-card suit 4 card suit reverse correctly !
54xx (mM/Mm)   5-card suit. (Responder would choose the Major at the one level before minor at the 2-level, even if shorter) reverse correctly !
6xxx (x<5)   6-card suit repeat twice, if chance arises
64xx   6-card suit 4-card, then 6-card again
65xx   6-card suit 4-card, then 4-card again
55xx   higher ranking suit lower, then lower again
66xx   higher ranking suit lower, then lower again & again
44xx unbalanced   lowest ranking suit  
44xx balanced 12-14 1NT  
44xx balanced 15+ heart if poss, or lowest ranking suit NT
(M=Major, m=minor. See"showing shape" for details of bidding 6--6, 6-5, 5-5 and 5-4 hands.
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

16. Showing shape
Shape Bid order Alternative order Alternative if needed on <16pts
5-4 L-S L It may not always be possible to bid the shorter suit. With <16pts, do not break barrier, and do not bid at the 3-level.
5-4-4-0 L-S1(low)-S2(high) L
5-4-3-1 L-S L-RPM RPM: Raise Partner's Major with 3-card support. Failing that, rebid 5-card suit.
5-4-2-2 L-S bid NT if.. ..if 5-card is minor and power is in the doubletons
6-4 L-S-L L-L Bid alternative pattern also if short suit is a weak minor after strong Major
6-5 L-S-S   Note: this is the same pattern as 5-5, but only when the 6-card is higher ranking
Equal length suits Notes for suits of equal length
5-5 H-L-L   Higher ranking suit first
6-6 H-L-L-L X-5m A rebid straight to 5 of the minor also shows a 6-6 shape
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

21a. Balanced hand: Opener's bids. VERSION A: STANDARD ACOL
HCP Points Opening bid 2nd bid (rebid) note
12-14 1NT    
15-16 1 suit Next available NT bid, usually 1NT, can be 2 With two 4 card suits, bid heart if you have them. Also, beware jump rebid to 2NT with 17-18 points as convention dictates - you can end up in trouble. See "Klinger" modification, 21b.
17-18 1 suit Next NT bid+1, usually 2NT, can be 3 Note the ambiguity. Bearing in mind that 3NT is game forcing, you might want to limit this bid to 2NT, and run the risk that your partner thinks you have 15-16 HCP. See sheet 21c for a better system.
19 1 suit 3NT note: 25 HCP is certain. The re-bid is game forcing.
20-22 2NT   Not forcing, partner might have <4HCP. Consider modified Acol instead, cribsheet 21b.
23-24 2club(1) Next NT bid (usually 2) 2club, if followed by 2NT is not forcing. Partner might have 0 HCP
25+ 2club(1) Next NT bid + 1 (usually 3)  
Add to your customised cribsheet
21b. Balanced hand: Opener's bids. VERSION B: MODIFIED ACOL (Klinger)
HCP Points Opening bid 2nd bid (rebid) note
12-14 1NT    
15-18 1 suit Next available NT bid, usually 1NT, can be 2 With two 4 card suits, bid heart if you have have them. Note: don't jump rebid to 2NT with 17-18 points as convention dictates - you can end up in trouble.
19-20 1 suit Next NT bid +1, usually 2NT, can be 3 note: 25 HCP is certain. Game forcing. (19 in Standard Acol).
21-22 2NT   not forcing, partner might have nothing. (20-22 in Standard Acol).
23-24 2club(1) Next NT bid (usually 2) 2club, if followed by 2NT is not forcing. Partner might have 0 HCP.
25+ 2club(1) Next NT bid + 1 (usually 3)  
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

.

25. Unbalanced, Opening bid
HCPoints Opening bid 2nd bid (rebid)
12-19 A 5-card or 4 card suit. See "15. suit choice" Stay with this suit, if no other, or bid partner suit, or don't bid. See re-bid
Lots, plus 8 playing tricks(1) 2 of a suit. Not club. Forcing for one round.
(Advanced players can use “weak 2s”)
Bid naturally. 
23+ with 9 playing tricks 2club Forcing to game. (2) Longest suit.
reply reply to 1 suit, reply to Strong 2 openings
related stuff strong 2s, weak 2s, suit choice on re-bid
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

26. Un-Balanced hand: Opener's bids (using Strong 2s)
HCPoints Opening bid 2nd bid

A good 6-card suit, or a 5-4 with a good 5-card AND 8 playing tricks AND 16-22HCP or rule of 25. (With any less bid 1 and jump later). "Good" means 2 honours.

2 of the long suit, not club. Forcing.
(Advanced players can use “Weak 2s”)
Bid naturally. 
23+ with 9 playing tricks 2club Forcing to game, unless followed by 2NT rebid Longest suit.
reply to Strong 2 openings, suit choice for re-bid, Weak 2s,
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

30. Responses to 1NT - general principles
HCP points combined strength not beginners beginners
<11 game impossible pass or takeout with Transfer, or "wriggle" if doubled either pass, or bid at 2 level with 5-card suit to get out of NT if poor distribution.
11-12 23-26, game might be possible invite to game, use Stayman with 4-card majors, or Transfers with single 5+ card suit invite at level one less than game, in Major or NT
13+ 25+ to 27+, game values ensure we get to game, use Stayman & Transfers or direct to game with 6-card Major bid at 4 level if 6-card Major, else 3 level
16+ 28+ to 30+ minor game is on - but NT might be better if no slam minor game is on, but NT might be better if no slam
19+ 31+ investigate slam / 2-way Baron slam likely
how to reply Stayman, Transfers, wriggle,  
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

31. Weak reply to weak 1NT.   < 11 HCP
Points State of mind Beginners More advanced players
8-10 Relaxed Pass Pass
<8 Worried Dizassssster! Takeout into your 5-card suit, by bidding 2. Opener WILL pass. Takeout with Stayman or Transfers
<8 Panic, they doubled you Takeout if you have a 5-card suit, pass if not. Opener will pass Takeout with 5-card suit, if not "wriggle"
how partner will reply Opener should always pass after hearing a bid of 2 of a suit, because it's weak. For advanced player it's totally different.
related stuff Weak reply to 1 strong NT, 3 fewer points.
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

33. Replying to weak 1NT. You have a balanced hand, stoppers in 3 suits, with >11 HCP
HCP points team situation better players beginners
11 23-25 HCP combined bid 2spade. Partner raises with 14. (But bid Stayman with any 4-card Majors) 2NT. Partner will raise to 3NT if he has max 14. Beware a weak 2-card suit.
12 24-26 HCP combined bid 2NT. Partner raises with 13. (But bid Stayman with any 4-card Majors)
13-18 25+ assured bid 3NT, a "Game" bid. (But bid Stayman with any 4-card Majors) 3NT. Beware a weak 2-card suit.
19+ 33+ is possible bid 4NT, inviting partner to raise to 6 (small slam) if he has max 14.
23+ 37+ is possible bid 5NT, inviting partner to raise to 7 (grand slam) if he has max 14.
21-22 33-36 is certain bid 6NT, telling partner 6 is certain, 7 is impossible.
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

35. You have an UN-balanced hand, with >11 HCP
HCP points situation intermediate + players elementary
11-12 23-26 HCP combined With a 4-card Major, bid Stayman, whether balanced or not. With a single 5+ card-major, Transfer. With 6 card-minor, Transfer. With 5-4 or 5-5 in the Majors, use Stayman. With a 5-card minor, bid 2 NT. (NB: with a ‘good' 11 pts bid 3 NT, with ‘bad' 11 pts invite with 2NT. Or use 2spade to indicate precisely 11 points, and 2NT to indicate 12 points).

With 5-card Major, bid 3, asking partner to choose game in NT or the Major. (Denies 4 in the other Major).

With 5-card minor, generally bid NT, either 2 or 3. (Bidding 3 suggests slam interest and no 4-card Major).

13-16 25+ assured With a 4-card Major, bid Stayman, whether balanced or not. With 5 card-major bid Transfer. With 6 card-major bid 4 (game) in the Major. With 6-card minor, bid 3 of the minor, to allow opener to choose 5 minor or 3NT.
17+ 31+ is possible You are strong, and your next bid must be forcing. 3 is stronger than 4 in this case, so bid 3 of your 5/6 card suit, Major or minor. You are in the driving seat. Your bid is game forcing and investigating suit Slam. Opener will choose 3NT if 2-card support, or 4 of your suit with 3-card support. Responder can then investigate, using Slam techniques. Difficult. The 3 bid serves both as a game force and as Slam interest. Time to learn Stayman & Transfers ?
19+ 31+ is certain As above: Bid 3 and Investigate Slam
21+ 35+ is possible As above: Bid 3 and Investigate Slam
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

37. Reply to 2NT opening (for Stayman & Transfers, see text)
Points 0-3 4-10 11-12 13+ 17+
Balanced
- pass 3 NT 4 NT 6 NT 7 NT
Unbalanced (M=Major suit, m=minor suit)
6-card suit pass 4 Major 3 then explore Slam 6 M / m 7 M /m
5-card suit pass 3 Major 3 then explore Slam 6 M / m 7 M / m
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

40. Reply to 1-suit, with fit
Points 6-9 10-12 13+ 16+
Cards 4 (3 if heartspade with shortage) 4 4 4
Bid Raise to 2. A weak bid Raise to 3. "Inviting" opener to bid game - if he has 14 points Raise to 4 Slam is likely. So show strength in various ways
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

41. Reply to 1 Suit opening. No fit, but alternative suit
Points 6-9 9 10-15 16+ 16+
The bidding lets you reply at the one level
cards 4 4+ 6
bid 1 of new suit 1 of new suit 2 of new suit
The bidding forces you to reply at the two level
cards 4 5m, 5M 4m, 5M 4m, 5M 6
bid pass 2 of new suit 2 of new suit 2 of new suit 3 of new suit
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

42. Reply to 1 Suit. No fit, no new suit, probably balanced
points 6-9 10 11-12 13+ 16+ 21+
bid 1 NT not NT 2NT 3NT new suit 6NT
note “I can't support your suit, I can't play at the 2 level…. but I've got 6-9 points!" 2NT a bit risky, perhaps, unless it's “good”. Could try a 4-card minor Advanced players use Jacoby 2NT when replying to a Major suit bid.      
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

44. Reply to 1 Suit opening. Very strong
Points 13+ 16+ 16+ 19+ 21+
balanced
bid 3 NT a new suit 6 NT
unbalanced, no fit
cards any <6 6+
bid new suit new suit jump in new suit ("jump-shift")
unbalanced, with fit, beginner
cards 4-card Major        
bid 4 of the Major as above
unbalanced, with fit, advanced
cards 4-card Major fit        
bid Splinter or Jacoby 2NT as above
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

47. Reply to Strong 2 suit opening
Points 0-7 6-7 8+ 8+ 8-11 12+
cards   3+ 3+ 5+ balanced bal
other   AK together, or AQ in trumps 1+ Aces colour in suit stoppers in 3 suits  
bid 2 NT when weak raise 2 raise 1 new suit 3 NT 4/6NT
meaning game not on, based on 1st bid game game + game game only slam
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

81. 5-card Major Transfer, after 1NT opening bid
Game on ?            HCPs: ?? (0-18) Close (11-12) Yes (13+)
What to bid with 1st bid 2nd bid, 11-12HCP 2nd bid, 13+
5-card Major eg. heart 2diamond 2 NT 3 NT
6-card Major eg. heart 2diamond 3 heart 4 heart
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

100. Overcalls
Opening bid Overcall HCP Cards note LTC
1 suit 1 suit 8-15 5 2 honours in the suit. LTC=8, 7 if vulnerable. 8/7
1 suit 2 of a lower suit 10-15 5 3 honours in the suit 7
1 NT 2 suit 12-15 6+, or 5-4 Don't bid with flat hand. 2club special, Landy=two 4-card Majors 7/6
1 NT double 15-18   for penalties  
1 suit single jump 11-15 6+ e.g . 1club-2diamond, or 1heart-3diamond. Can also play Weak but long with 6-10 HCP 6
1 suit 3 of a higher suit 6-10 7+ preempt, e.g.1club-3diamond. Double jump needed.  
1 suit 4 of any suit 6-10 8+ preempt, e.g.1heart-4diamond. Double jump to 4 needs 8+  
overcalling with more than one suit on offer
1 suit Double 12-15 ~4441 looking for any of the 3 unbid suits  
suit A cue bid suit A 8-15 5 (x2) a two suit overcall, looking for 2 Majors if A=minor  
suit B 2NT 8-15 5 (x2) a two suit overcall, looking for 2 minors if B=Major  
strong overcalls
1 suit 1 NT 16-18 balanced good stop in bid suit  
1 suit Double then suit 16+ 6 (5) 18 needed with only 5-cards  
1 suit Double then NT 19+ balanced rebid NT at lowest level  
overcalling preemptive openings
weak 2 3 12 6/good5 weak two defence  
weak 3 3 12 6/good5 need long strong suit  
weak 2 or 3 Double 12 ~4441 weak in opener's suit, cover in the others  
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

123. Negative doubles
Partner's bid RHO's bid Bid Suits implied Cards HCP
1club 1spade X heart 4+ 6-15
1club 1heart X spade 4 6-15
1club 1diamond X heart & spade 4 6-15
1heart 1spade X club & diamond   8+
1spade 2heart X club & diamond   8+
1spade 2club X heart   10-15
any 1NT X different   6/8+
With 5 cards and sufficient HCP, bid the suit.
1club 1spade 2heart heart 5 10-15
1club 1heart 1spade spade 5 6-15
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

150. Jacoby 2NT
Player Bid Meaning
Opener: 1 of a major 12-19 HCP, 4-card Major, probably 5
Responder: 2NT 4 card support in your suit to game. I have no singletons or voids in a side suit, please tell me if you do, or tell me more about your strength.
Opener's rebid a. 3 new suit a. I have a void or singleton here
  b. bid 4 of new lower suit b. strong second suit (2+ honours, 4-5 card)
  c. rebid 3 of the major c. I'm strong, (14+) with extra strength and length
  d. 3NT d. I'm strong, (14+) with extra strength, but no extra length
  e. rebid major at 4 e. OK, I'm weak (12-13), let's end here at major game
related stuff Splinters 11, After 1-Suit very strong, Use splinter bid, not Jacoby 2NT, if responder does have a short side suit. Jump shift if v. strong & 6-card suit
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

152. Weak 2 rebids, after 2NT responder enquiry (16+ HCP)
bid Points Trumps trumps include
3club 6-7 OK KQ / QJ10 +
3diamond 6-7 better

6-7 HCP

3heart 9-10 "OK" KQ / QJ10 +
3spade 9-10 "better" 6-8 HCP
3NT 9-10 best AKQ
With 8HCP, use judgement
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

168. Cue bidding for controls
West  East
1heart 12-19 opening hand, 6 or 7 losers 2 NT Jacoby 2NT: 7-loser 4-card Major support to game with Slam interest, no shortages
4club Strong (16-19, 6-losers), 4-card 2nd suit in club (3heart if 16-19 but no 2nd suit) 4diamond 1st round control of diamond
4spade 1st round control of spade 4NT 1st round control of trumps (heart). (Beware! This is unusual, and only be partner agreement. 4NT normally means "OK, Blackwood" - tell me how many Key cards you've got).
5club 1st round control of club
5heart No 2nd round control of diamond. Sign off in trumps (heart).
Sign off unless you have something good - I'm worried about missing Ks in clubdiamondspade
6club No 2nd round control of spade
2nd round control of club
6heart Sign off in small Slam. We have a 50% chance. No point going any further with 2 Kings likely to be missing (we have 28-31 HCP)

.

170. 2-suited overcalls (8-15 HCP, 2 good suits)
Openers bid Overcallers bid (8-15 HCP) meaning responder bid responder clarifying bid
The simple and obvious case
heartspade 2NT 2 minors best minor  
clubdiamond 2 of same suit 2 Majors best major  
Mixed majors and minors
heartspade 2 of same suit other Major, + a minor Major, or 2NT 2NT = "clarify which minor"
clubdiamond 2NT other minor, + a Major minor or clubdiamond clubdiamond = "clarify which Major"
Responder (always bidding his preference, if no intervention) assumes minimum from overcaller: jumps if fit is good, bids enemy suit to force game, or 3NT if strong and stopped in the other 2 suits. Responder seeks clarity as above if interested in the 2 unspecified suits.
Overcaller passes if not forced, or bids higher if top end.
Add to your customised cribsheet

.

1000. Opening lead
(a) No Trump contracts. Play your longest suit, or partner's if yours is rubbish (unless opponents have bid it)
Method with.. lead..  
Top of sequence KQJ84 K When you have 3 honours, lead the top of sequence. This is the best NT defence. In suits, 2 touching honours is enough,
  AQJ7 Q Top of internal sequence. Q promises J and one more honour (not K). Note: leading away from A allowed here!!
  QJT5 Q  
4th highest QJ853 5 With only one or two honours, play the 4th highest, allowing partner to use the rule of 11
2nd highest 97532 7 With no honours, lead a high intermediate card
(b) Suit contracts. Play your partner's suit, unless you have a good reason not to
Partner's suit 2 touching honours +(xxx), or xx(x) highest e.g. KQ(xxx) ,
  single honour, or non-touching honours lowest e.g. KJx
  Ace or singelton no Dont play it..partner will lead back to you later
Trumps Axx, Kxx, xxx, xx, Ax lowest Play trumps if (1) they need to ruff, (2) as low risk lead, (3) if you both bid another suit. (Provided you dont have only 1 or Qxx).
Your suit AKx(xx). highest "I've got the A, promising K, hoping you've got Qxx(x), or xx, so you can win or ruff the 3rd round. Play your higher x to encourage".
KQx(xx) highest  
  QJx(xx) highest "Maybe partner you have the 10, or better still K/A, so we can at least win the 3rd round. Tell me."
  J10x(xx) highest  
  other long combinations as NT  
Add to your customised cribsheet