Acol is a natural system of bidding, meaning that your bidding is normally a declaration of your holding and not some coded message. The first thing you need to. This Acol bridge crib sheet is ideal for beginners. Have it handy while you are playing your bridge games! The left hand column shows Opening Bids. The middle. A quick overview of Standard and Acol bidding systems and how to choose which one to play.

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Since one of the cornerstones of the Acol bidding system is the flexibility of the opening of 1 No Trump the player should always pay particular attention to the approach agreed upon by the opponents. Always bid your cards to their full extent. If opener has bid two suits, responder can show preference between them. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge.

The Acol Bidding System

Maurice Harrison-GrayMr. In order to bid accurately, you need to be able to value your hand. In addition to counting high card points and length, some strong hands are better count purely based on how many tricks you believe you can make, assuming an even distribution of the rest of the cards.

A 4 No Trump Opening is a bid asking for specific Aces. Having established the value dystem your hand, you also need to look at the shape and decide whether you are going to bid No Trump or which suit s you can bid.


There are six special opening bids which are quite closely defined, and one wide-ranging opening bid:. The strong No Trump is applied when the players are vulnerable. After an opening bid of 1a response of 2 No Trump or 3 is encouraging, but not game-forcing.

Acol – Wikipedia

Terence Reese and Mr. For the village in Kent, England, see Acol, Kent. The history of the Acol System is rather unique in that it was first employed in in a relatively small North London Bridge Club located on Acol Street, and hence the name. The standard method of valuing cards is the Milton Work high card scoring system.

Culbertson had used some early version of the 4 No Trump bid today commonly known as known as the Blackwood convention. Unbalanced hands or hands that otherwise don’t fit the criteria for bidding NT should be opened with a suit. Sometimes this is an obvious calculation, eg.

Iain MacleodMr. In addition to the list above there are some 4 Suit and 3 suit opening bids called preemptive bids that show playing tricks rather than HCP’s and are meant to shut out the opposition from bidding. Patrick Jourdain in the year Balanced hands are hands that contain no singletons or voids and a maximum of one doubleton.

If the opening is one of a suit, then the required sjstem and Quick Trick ability can be slightly lower than in American methods, especially if the opener holds a 6-card suit. Some bridge partnerships apply the weak No Trump and the strong No Trump at any vulnerability.


The weak No Trump is applied when the players are not vulnerable. As well as high card points, when playing with an unbalanced hand, some additional points are given sstem length, as obviously even small valued cards can be winners when they are the trump suit. To count shortage use the following table only applicable to suits other than declarers trump suit.

The first book on the system was written by Ben Cohen and Terence Reese. However, some Acol players feel that this response is forcing to at least 2 No Trump. This was the first Acol textbook, its authors wisely disclaiming originality: You should always try to open with the maximum bid that fits your hand as a weaker opener denies values for the stronger opening bid.

Once a partnership have opened the bidding, if the opposition also start bidding, that is known as intervening bidding. The first thing you need to do before bidding is evaluate your hand. They are most usually bid third in play after biddinng No Bids, as in that position you might be concerned that fourth in biddinh could have a very strong hand. Out of these conversations—surely a strange gestation—was born Acol as we know it and play it to-day. If you have two biddable suits of biidding lengths, bid the longest suit first.