My partner and I have a pretty neat system for bidding against opponents opening a weak 2 (2 in a Major = <11 HCP, 6-card; 2 Diamonds as either the Multi or weak with diamonds). In this system, if North opens and East passes, that pass has a specific meaning.

Does this 'Pass' need to be alerted? Is it reglementary to alert a 'Pass'?

Same goes for Double, we have some specific agreements for Double in this defense as well. Does that need to be alerted?

  • If your Double in this situation is primarily take-out, not a two-way bid, and shows a strength of at least 10 HCP but does not promise a significantly stronger hand such as 17+ HCP, then it is probably not alertable. Dec 3, 2015 at 23:06

1 Answer 1


From the English Bridge Union Blue Book (Rules and Ethics):

Unless it is announceable ( see 4 D , 4 E, 4 F and 4 G ), a pass or bid must be alerted if it : (a) is not natural; or (b) is natural but has a potentially unexpected meaning

('Natural' has a long paragraph of definition; a natural pass is "A pass which does not unexpectedly convey values or specify suit holdings.")

So yes, if your bid (including pass or double) is conventional it must be alerted.

  • Rules can be different in different places. For conventional passes, it's the same in the ACBL (i.e. North America). Dec 3, 2015 at 21:01
  • Also, any pass that promises a minimum strength > 0 HCP is alertable, without any exceptions that I can think of right now. Unless it is part of a constructive defense it is also probably a restricted bid that could only be played in extended team play or other unrestricted events. Dec 3, 2015 at 23:08

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