Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Bridge On The Internet Part 4 – Focus on Conventions

There are so many bridge resources on the Internet it is overwhelming so I have to divide this into categories.  Today I am going to look at Bridge Conventions.   Whenever I play with a pickup partner online I usually play whatever they want.  So if they tell me that they play OMIGOSH, I usually google it and find the bid and its responses.  When I am trying to improve my system I look around the Internet for ideas (as well as the Encyclopedia of Bridge Conventions – ebook)


I start with Graeme Williams.  Graeme plays online bridge (on OKBridge) and has a website with a focus on conventions.  There is a section on systems (which mostly links to other sites).  But the best part is a page with a convenient convention locator.  There are over 200 conventions listed.  The explanations are terse but usually enough to get the gist of it.

Nest my old friend the Pattaya Bridge Club “situated on the (tsunami free) Gulf of Thailand”.  As they describe themselves they are a small bridge club with a big website.  There is a lot of great stuff including hundreds of news sheets with hands and quizzes, many articles and teaching books,   I suggest a visit.  Right now I am looking at conventions but I can’t help but include one of the jokes form the site.

One Wish

A bridge duffer was polishing a lamp and… poof! Out popped a genie who said, “I will grant you one wish.”

The duffer unfolded a map of the world and said, “Let all of these countries live in peace and harmony.”

“You’ve got to be kidding! I’m only a genie.”

The duffer thought for a while and then suggested, “OK, then make me a winning bridge player.”

“Hmm… ” the genie pondered. “Let me see that map again.”

The conventions page has a small number of basic but useful conventions.   But there is a lot more under the heading bridge topics.  Here are but a few: Is it forcing?, When RHO Doubles, 1NT in the Balancing Seat and a topic that is very interesting to me; “The Differences Between Acol and Standard American”.

The Wikipedia page on Bridge Conventions seems to be better than before.  While it is hardly comprehensive it does contain a lot more of the standard conventions grouped by category.  If you then click on the convention say Jacoby transfers you can see a page with a lot of information including continuations and competition.  This is starting to become a really useful resource.  Hurray.

If you go to The Bridge Bum, Jeff Tang’s website you can find some good articles on bidding.  Most of them are familiar but here too is Meckwell escapes when INT is doubled for penalty.  I have played many escape systems (and still play two different ones right now with two different partners.)  Here is an excerpt from their alternative:


Shows clubs or diamonds or both majors. Partner is required to bid 2.




At least 4-4 in clubs and a higher suit. Partner can pass or correct to 2 asking for the higher suit.


At least 4-4 in diamonds and a higher suit. Partner can pass or correct to 2 asking for the higher suit.


Natural, at least five hearts.


Natural, at least five spades.

To be honest, I don’t like this approach very much.  It is simple I admit but it has several flaws.  You can’t play in 1NT doubled if that’s where you want to play the hand (you must be redoubled).  It doesn’t allow you to easily compete on hands with shape etc.

The Bridgebum does other material too from history to humor.   The articles section has some material that is definitely tongue in cheek (see for example the food asking bids).

Always being one to support younger players I head over to Jim Belk’s Homepage.  Jim is a graduate student at Cornell.  He has a summary of standard bidding.  While it is fairly basic it is well presented.  I might send my students over to help them understand reverses.  He does a very good job of explaining what a reverse is.  However I don’t agree with his responses mainly because he doesn’t use Lebensohl.

I find something new.  Its a site called  Volunteer writers write about how to do lots and lots of things.  Want to know how to make a sailor’s knot bracelet?  If you go to the site be warned, a lot of the articles are just advertisments for something.  However there is a series of articles on how to play bridge.  Lesson 14 is very rudimentary.  It is called Intermediate Bridge Conventions.  Maybe this site is useful for a beginner.  The guide seems to have got a high rating but I would buy an ebook instead.  (Barbara Seagram and I wrote a much better one).  Maybe one of you wants to volunteer to help with the writing.  Not recommended for bridge but some other topics might be fun.

Dan Neill describes himself as a “generic guy” from Lexington.  Bridge is his avocation and he is a bridge teacher and professional.  Dan has a lot of links to different systems.  This is a treasure chest of system notes.  There is everything from an introductory booklet to Moscito 2005 to Caroline Club which intrerest me because it is a canape version of Precision.  I am playing this type of system with Colin.  A quick look shows that it is similar to the system I play with Colin.  It was developed by Scott Benson and Doug Bone and was based on the Sukoneck-Ekeblad Club.  I start to wonder would it be good if everyone posted their system notes.  We could all learn from each other.  What do you think?   Some links don’t work and his website is not visually modern, but hey this is truly an awesome depository.

Another generic repository is called DMOZ open directory project.  It is designed to be a comprehensive directory put together by volunteers.  There are 31 links under the Bridge Convention heading (Bridge Convention links).  I may follow a few of them later.

But it does remind me about a great Internet bridge resource ecats bridge.  This site belongs to two friends Anna Gudge and Mark Newton.  You will see them working at the World Championships if you attend.  Anna has a blog and bridge blogging picks up the feed or you can read it on their site.  The best thing about Ecats Bridge as far as I am concerned is that all the systems of all the players that play in World Championships are filed on this site.  You basically look them up by country.  You can also find information about World Championships and other important bridge events.  There is a directory of players as well (you can add entries) but it is heavy on the Brits.  (It is a British website after all).   There are lots of links but they don’t seem to me to be organized all that well.  They are supposed to be by category but shows up under books and as is usual with these lists many of the links are broken.

Bridge Hands is a Bridge Instruction website.  One major feature is a bridge encyclopedia which contains lots of conventions and systems among other things.  The conventions seem to be rated with stars and are basically in alphabetical order.  There is a very long list.  The explanations are short and in some cases there are examples.  Some bidding systems are covered although not always in depth.  There are alos links to other sources.  Still this is great for a quick lookup.   There is a lot more in the encyclopedia then just conventions.  The glossary is deep and thorough.  The most fun section is the jargon.  After playing bridge for quite a few years I find a lot of new terms.  Here are a few.

Apricot Sundae – A colloquial term referring to a weak Heart-Diamond two-suited hand.

Calamity Jane – The colloquial term referring to the Q (Queen of Spades)

Gulpic – To make a very weak opening bid.

OBM – Abbreviation for Old Black Magic

(Maybe I am getting old?)

There is a newsletter which seems quite good.  It is free and seems to come out about every three months.  These fellows have put a lot of work into this site.  With all the current material it is going to take a lot of upkeep.

I have barely scratched the surface of websites focused on conventions and bidding.  Still I am out of steam.  More in a future blog.

Reviewed: Graeme Williams, Pattaya Bridge, The Bridge Bum, JJim Belk’s , (about bridge conventions). Dan Neill, Bridge Convention links (DMOZ), ecats bridge, Bridge Hands


MichaelJuly 4th, 2009 at 9:08 am

I think David Stevenson’s page ( is worth mentioning in general, but especially around conventions. His defenses to 1NT section is quite extensive ( as is his runouts ( Also his canape defense to could be short club always struck me as fun (

Linda LeeJuly 5th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Thanks. I took a quick look and I will review David Stevenson’s in my next Internet blog. Thanks.

Floyd McWilliamsFebruary 19th, 2010 at 7:09 am

Hi Linda!

I was happy to see of your interest in the Caroline Club — I maintain its web page ( Please let me know if you have questions about the system. I should post a history of the Caroline Club — it’s come a long way since its creation in the 1990s.

HenryMay 27th, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Linda: Hi. I was wondering where I could purchase a copy of Encyclopedia of Bridge Conventions – ebook. The CD is available on BaronBarclay, but I didn’t see anything for the ebook. Thanks.

lindaJune 2nd, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Hi Henry. The encyclopedia of Bridge conventions is ONLY available in CD room format.

It is not a Master Point Press product. It is published by Magnus Lindkvist.

Almost all Master Point Press are now available as ebooks. There are three stores on the web that have all of our ebooks. and . There are a few extra on (where we only have rights for a direct sale). As well, a growing number of Master Point Press ebooks are available from Amazon, Google, Apple and so on.

Checking the requirements for the Encyclopedia for you – it is only designed to run on a computer. It has not been designed as a book or ebook.

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