Bridge Goth Bridge


Bad Conventions

Here are a list of bad conventions, bad ideas, and silly alerts which all actually happened! These were alerted or explained during competition. While the alerts/explanations are all correct as to what was given at the table, some of the hands have been approximated.

The 2 play 2NT

So you pick up a typical balanced 18 count in 2nd seat and your RHO opened a 15-17 1NT. You make the obvious bid of 2NT, which is alerted as "2 play." This convention was worth -800 in 2Nx.

The Anything 2NT

The following hand is picked up in 4th seat. Kx xxxx AKxxxx x. 3rd seat opens 1NT 15-17 and 4th seat decides to bid 2NT which he alerts as "anything." This convention was worth -300 in 3D.

The Bulldust 1NT

2nd seat picks up a 4234 7 count and 1st seat opens 1C. He bids 1NT alerting it as "Bulldust". This convention scored -1100 in 1NTx

The Camel Pile 2NT

1st seat picks up a 5233 8 count and decides to open 1S. After a 2H response by partner, he decides to bid 2NT with his hand and when asked, alerts it as "Camel Pile." This convention will score you -1100 in 2NTx


4st seat picks up Qxxx Ax xxxx xxx. 1st seat opens 2D showing 18-19 balanced, partner overcalls 2S and RHO bids 3S which he alerts as stayman.

Over 3S, 4th seat decides to bid 3NT which he alerts as Dawgwood. After getting doubled, he runs to 4C which he alerts as Hardwood.

The opponents apparently not amused decide to just bid their heart slam anyway. Now of course is the time we must tell partner about our fit by saving in 6 spades. Oh wait... our side had 2 aces.... oops.... That's -1400 for you.

Flannery (She doesn't know)

Ever wanted to play a convention your partner hadn't learned yet? Well this is the bid for you! A player with his 5 hearts and 4 spades opens 2D. Only problem was his partner didn't know Flannery. Luckily he was nice enough to inform his opponents of this by alerting his bid as "Flannery (she doesn't know)"

Game 3NT

A person opens his 25 point hand 3NT and alerts it as "game". All this time I thought 3NT was a partscore....

Minors Obviously/Red Obviously

So you pick up a nice 1255 12 count and partner opens 1S and RHO bids 2H. The obvious bid of course is to cuebid 3H. When asked this bid was explained as "Minors Obviously." Partner not in on the joke decides to jump to 4S and goes down 3 for -300.

The next day I get a call on my cell and my friend tells me that I won't believe what this guy did today. He tells me the name of the player and says that I have a 1552 11 count. The auction starts with 1C and RHO bids 3S. I say, "Let me guess... he bid 4S and said it was Red Obviously?" My friend in shock asks me how I knew. I just said "Lucky guess."

Minors 5NT

So you pick up a good 6/6 hand in the minors. Partner opens 1S. The clear cut bid of course is to bid 5NT for the minors. Not only did partner not figure it out (shame on him!), he passed! Down 4

Natural and Unexpected Derber

So 3rd seat picks up an 0652 9 count. Partner opens 2C and by agreement and bids 2S which shows a positive response in 1 suit. Partner has a 3523 23 count and bids 2NT to show a balanced hand. 

Responder then bids 3D which he alerts as a transfer to his suit. Partner duly bids 3H. Now responder bids Derber (4D) and alerts it as "Natural and Unexpected". The 2C opener now deciding that they had a misunderstanding decides to bail and says Let's Play Derber!! How does +190 for 4D making 7 sounds?

Normal Derber

So you pick up A xx AKQJxxxxx x. The best way to proceed is anyone's guess, but lucky for us we at least can learn what the normal action is. The player in questions decides to open Derber, and when asked, alerts it as "Normal". Yet again, 4D making 7.

The Nothing just getting pard out of trouble 5NT

So you have void AKxx KJxxx Qxxx and the auction goes 1D 4S X and it is your bid. Clearly partner is in big trouble with the spade void. We must find a way to save him. Running to 4NT is out of the question, partner will just answer aces. Luckily there is a solution to this problem, a jump to 5NT!!! When asked, this was alerted as "Nothing, just getting pard out of trouble." You could have also alerted it as Nothing, just getting myself in trouble, since you just went down 6 doubled.

On a side note, at a 299er tournament which I volunteered to help with, I was told of this hilarious story. 

Opener bid 1S and partner bid 2D with a 2353 14 count. Unfortunately opener was not paying attention and alerted it as a Limit Bergan Raise and jumped to 4 spades. This player also decided to apply the Nothing just getting pard out of trouble 5NT. However, since the spade bidder for some reason was not aware of this convention, she decided to jump to 7 spades as an answer to grand slam force, and made it!! Maybe there is a future in this convention after all...

Overcall 1NT/Escape 2C/Still Compete 3C

So a pretty pedestrian hand of x xxx AQxxx Jxxx is picked up in 2nd seat. After RHO opens 1C, this guy decides to bid 1NT and alerts it as "overcall." Hmmm nice description. After getting doubled, he bids 2C and alerts it as "Escape." They were kind enough to let him off the hook by bidding 2S. However, unable to resist, he now bids 3C and alerts it as "Still compete." They did however decide to double this one and he finally decides to bid 3D, the suit he actually has. Unfortunately partner thinks he actually has something and jumps to 5D. That is a rather fancy route to -1100.

Stop 5NT

So a player makes the dubious bid of 4NT without a fit to try for 6NT. When he finds he is off 2 aces, he then bids 5NT and alerts it as "stop." Yeah... that we haven't seen that one tried before. Partner for some reason answered kings as they played 6NT down 1 off 2 aces.

The Takeout I hope XX

So the auction goes as follows.

1S 2D 2S P 

 P  3D  X

What do you do with Jxxx Qxxx void Kxxxx? The choice of course is to SEND IT BACK! However missing an agreement with partner he was kind enough to alert it as "Takeout I hope". His hopes were not answered, and his partner went -1600 for down 4.

The 3rd best suit 7C

So responder picks up AKxxx Qxxx void Jxxx and his partner opens 2C!

He beings with 2S and alerts it as "Best suit." The 2C opener then shows his diamonds by bidding 3D and he bids 3H alerting it as "2nd best suit." The 2C opener who has a nice hand of course now bids 6NT. Responder now bids 7C and alerts it as "3rd best suit." Well, they always teach us to pattern out.... 7NT off 1.

Transfer Blackwood

1st seat open 4NT which he intends as Blackwood, a fairly normal an reasonable agreement. His partner however with his no points and 7 hearts decides to bid 5D and alerts it as a transfer. Partner, needing only 1 of the missing 2 aces for a laydown 6S contract bids 6S and gets doubled and goes down 1.

The Try double I redouble 5H

Here is a lesson on how NOT to stay away from getting doubled. After making a very poor decision to compete to 5H, he alerted his 5H bid as "Try double, I redouble." They did, and amazingly, he did to! He picked up -1000 for his efforts.

Unusual 6NT (on the 3rd round of bidding)

This one done by one of robots in an ACBL game. The player in question made a poor bid, but that does not excuse this nonsense.

The robot had something like xx xx Kxxxx Jxxx, a poor hand with 54 in the minors, that much I know for sure.

After 1H P 1S, the human decided to bid 2H intending it as natural, but the robot decided this showed a good hand. The auction continues.

1H P 1S 2H

2S P 3S P


6NT??? Where the hell did that come from? And what in the world is 6NT? Fortunately, the GiBs always alert their bids. 6NT was....

Unusual NT overcall

So after passing twice on the 3rd round of bidding he decides to get out the Unusual 6NT? One could argue that this was a Spiteful Bid, however, GIB N probably thought it was the right bid to make.

The Very Unusual 2NT

So 2nd seat picks up x x AKxx Jxxxxxx and RHO opens 1S. He bids 2NT and alerts it as "very unusual." I'd say that qualifies.

The Very weak might not even have spades 2S

4th seat has favorable vulnerability with KJxx of spades and little else. The auction goes P P 1H and he's up. He jumps to 2S and alerts it as "Very weak might not even have spades." Hey, at least he's honest.

The With Spades 2NT

1st seat picks up a 4342 11 count and elects to pass. The opponents are silent and his partner bids 1C, and he answers 1D. His partner rebids 1H. He jumps to 2NT and alerts it as "with spades." Makes me wonder what he'd bid without spades. His partner was 4423 and raises to 3NT missing the 4-4 spade fit. 3NT goes off 1 while 4S makes at the other table for a 10 imp loss.