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Bridge: Two level bidding methods

Multi versus Multi 2 diamonds

I have often noted that in Bridge a good defence to a method may be a variation ofitself! So it is with the "Multi". This page shows how to use "double as showing either major ..."

2 diamonds! I heard this idea from a post in in Jan 1997 although there are earlier references in the Archive. It was posted by Robin Michaels, who ascribes this approach to Ed Sheldon. It turns out very flexible to make a bid showing either major over a Multi. If this is double you keep all your options including doing a bit of business!
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The idea is ascribed to Ed Sheldon, and the poster (Robin Michaels) had combined it with the Dutch method of transfer overcalls to allow exchange of strength information in minors too. A two-step transfer works best allowing both "come-on-baby" and 'drop dead' replies. This leaves 3C/D free for preempts. Wicked! They say double showing either major had been seen before in UK's CUBC during the 80's.

The strong balanced hands? Well that spare 2H bid becomes a NT overcall allowing you to take out into a major below the level of the 2NT you might otherwise have used. With 19-21 we use a double first. 22 up might as well overcall 3NT. Solid minor hands could transfer first All these NT point ranges very approximate.

My own partnership has extended this slightly to make double a true Multi bid with further 19+ 4441 and strong balanced flavours. A big pay-off and source of fun is opponenents discomforture when you echo back their own options to them! Also it makes bidding further quite dangerous for them as all these hands can be strong defensively. This is mischief all quite legal! - "Any defence" is allowed in UK.

Unfortunately once we took it up the pesky opps stopped opening Multi's against us! This sort of complex system is a big tax on memory and so at present we have returned to standard issue UK Dixon


Multi v Multi method

note Double = Multi with any of ...
  • An opening bid in hearts (five+ card and opening strength)
  • An opening bid in spades as above
  • 19 - poor 22 point balanced hand
  • 19+ three suited hand (note those penalty options are still open!)
2H Basically a strong no trump - say good 15 to poor 19. Something in both majors

2S or 2NT Transfers - opening bids in clubs or diamonds respectively

3C or 3D Pre-emptive! Less than an opening bid. How nice not to have to mix these in with the constructive!

3H/S Michaels cue bids. 5-5 (rarely 5-4) Major-minor two suiter (NF) say 8 to 8½ tricks

3NT 22+ natural balanced


Further bidding over (2D) double = "Multi"

  • The main relay is 2NT showing 9 points upward. If weak 2H shows at least 2 cards and passable (but might raise spades). 2S is invitational of hearts (paradox bids as in the usual multi). It is now dangerous for 3rd hand bid and they will often pass. Weak hands then have an option of passing with four diamonds. Even if they have an Acol 2D it's not game!.
  • 3rd bids a major - double is takeout. 2NT Lebensohl showing weak in a minor. 3-any natural and forcing
    If 4th passes (weak) the doubler can double again for takeout, but 2NT 19-21 (risky) or lower minor with 4414
  • 3rd bids 2NT - double shows "values". Suit = weak competitive. 2nd's reopen bids are natural
  • If 3rd hand passes - we use constructive sequences as over our partner's multi 2D
    • Pass shows at least 4 diamonds and may be weak or suspecting a misfit. You will cooperative double later
    • 2H/S weakness takeouts (Paradox bids, neither is forcing)
    • 2NT shows interest in game opposite either major - say good 9+
      ... 3C = 19-22 NT then 3D Stayman or natural
      ... 3D = Min in hearts or max in Spades. 3H(passable)/3S(GF) relays ? splinter
      ... 3H/D = GF max in hearts ... 3S ? splinter
      ... 3S/D = Min in spades, natural bidding
      ... 3NT to 3H = 4441 or 4405(void minor) suit below singleton .. then our 3 suit system
    • 3 any = natural and forcing
    If they bid during any of this doubles are takeout until we find a fit (but may be converted)

Further bidding over (2D) 2H = strong NT

note The main problem is you cannot play in 2NT - a similar situation to the Lebensohl system over 1NT (overcall)
  • Pass(!) or 2S to play in the major
  • 2NT Lebensohl to play in 3C/D.
    2NT bidder's rebid of either major is GF and fit seeking Staymanic suit upwards
  • 3 any direct over 2H is natural and forcing
An alternative of 2NT = natural also works .. but why not take out if weak?

Further bidding over (2D) 2S/2NT = transfers to minors

note Next up relay showing values but may still pass 3C/D. Immediate transfer completion is weak. Otherwise natural

Further bidding over 3C/D = pre-empts

note Natural - new suit strong and forcing. Raise preemptive. (We use next suit up as honour enquiry)

Further bidding over (2D) 3H/S = "Michaels"

note 3NT is to play.
4C/D seeking the minor ParadoXstyle
Other major slammish asking for the minor

Further bidding over (2D) 3NT = 22+ balanced

note Whatever you normally use. I like ..
4C = Stayman
4D/H = transfers
4S = slammish in both minors


Bids in 4th position


Standard - we use Dixon defence - Suit=natural Double of major=takeout 2NT=16-19 balanced


Bids in 6th/8th position

note Standard - but 6th is limited by not bidding before (but may have up to 18, unsuitable for immediate double)
Double = takeout. 2NT=both minors 3C/D natural with four in other major

Correspondent Adam Wildavsky cites a simpler version from Michael Polowan ..

Although this is simple to remember it strikes me that a more natural Dixon like 2H/S showing takeout of the other major carries less risk. The advantage of this treatment is that partner can count trumps in the major bid and make a judgement.

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