In the part of the UK where I live, a common set of conventions played at clubs and EBU tournaments is Acol based with 5 card majors, weak NT, weak jump overcalls/truscott (and often also Benji/reverse Benji: 2C 23+/9t, 2D 20-22/8t, 2H/S weak).

(Stayman, UNT/Michaels, and transfers are usual as well, but less relevant and more "stand alone", so I'm ignoring them here, and looking at the core of the bidding system.)

I'd like to be more clear how these work together and especially how to bid and interpret the "edge cases", but most books on 5 card major bidding seem to be based on other bidding systems so there's not really any clear guidance I can learn from.

Which would be the closest widely used 5 card major system to this, and what would the main adaptations be from it?

1 Answer 1


WJO and Truscott are generally separable from your system. They are part of your defense and are more like a "component" rather than a part of your system methodology.

Kaplan-Sheinwold (KS) adopts a 5-card Major approach with a weak No-trump opening, ranging from 12-14 HCP. However, its only strong opening is 2C, with 2D, 2H and 2S all being standard weak two bids. However, reverse Benji can be easily incorporated into KS without greatly changing the one-level openings and their continuations.

  • I would think that West-Coast (or Max Hardy) style 5-card majors is more prevalent than K-S - though both systems are more than adequate and I prefer the latter. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 2:33
  • 2
    KS doesn't use transfers after 1N openings, but 1N openings are a rather separable part of the system as well. (Just go with standard Modern Acol after 1N openings.) But I definitely agree with the KS approach to opener's rebids after opening 1 of a minor. Do keep in mind that 2-over-1 responses in KS are in line with Standard American and hence a shade stronger than Acol 2-over-1 responses. Also, I would play 2-way NMF rather than the version of NMF (which is essentially Roudi 1 step higher) in KS - I think this is just because KS hasn't been updated in 20 years. Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 3:10
  • @ForgetIwaseverhere Unfortunately the more widely accepted 2/1 GF systems (both Hardy and Lawrence style) use a strong NT opening, otherwise I would definitely had suggested 2/1 GF, since it is a relatively more modern bidding system.
    – petqwe
    Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 8:33
  • @petqwe: As I understand it an East Coast style built from K-S instead of Walsh/Hardy is still popular in the greater NYC area - just not widely written about. I doubt there are any differences in "modernity" between the two in practice. Commented Jun 4, 2016 at 18:25

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