Standard American is a framework of a natural bidding system which has the following features:
SAYC is a standardised version of Standard American which is a complete system with no modifications allowed.
As Standard American is not a complete standardised system itself, for the purpose of this article, the system presented in the ACBL Learn to Play Bridge program is presented.
Point counts Edit
- A: 4 HCPs
- K: 3 HCPs
- Q: 2 HCPs
- J: 1 HCP
Length points Edit
Add 1 points for each 5th card in the suit and beyond
Shortage points Edit
When raising partner's suit, add
- 5 points for a void
- 3 points for a singleton
- 1 point for a doubleton
Total points = HCPs + either length points of shortage points
When bidding a new suit, length points are added; when raising partner's suit, shortage points are added instead.
- 1♣/1♦: 13-21 total points, 3+ ♣s/♦s
- 1♥/1♠: 13-21 total points, 5+ ♥s/♠s
- open higher with 5-5 or 6-6, longer with 6-5 or more
- 1NT: 15-17 HCPs, balanced (i.e. no voids or singletons, at most one doubleton)
- 2♣: 22+ total points, any shape but not suitable for 3NT
- 2♦/2♥/2♠: Weak two bids. Not enough for 1-level opening but with a strong 6-card suit
- strong means two out of three honours (AKQ)
- 2NT: 20-21 HCPs, balanced
- 3 or 4-level suit openings: preemptive openings. Not enough for 1-level opening but with a strong 7-card suit for 3-level, 8-card suit for 4-level.
- 3NT: 25-27 HCPs, balanced
Suit auctions Edit
See sub-article /suit auction
Notrump auctions Edit
See sub-article /notrump auction
- 2♦: 0-7 total points, negative
- 2♥/2♠/3♣/3♦: 8+ total points, at least good 5-card suit
- 2NT: 8+ points, balanced
- sometimes there is no perfect bid for a particular situation, e.g. 4-4-4-1 shape. In this case choose the least evil one.
- Bid the appropriate level of NT holding a balanced hand. (2NT: 22-24; 3NT: 28-30; 4NT: 31-32)
- Bid the highest in 5-5 or longer
- Bid up-the-line holding three 4-card suits.
Auction after a preemptive opening Edit
If the responder hand is strong Edit
Try to visualise opener's hand and bid the most probable game. If none, then pass.
If the responder hand is weak Edit
If the hand is weak and contains support for the partner, and opponents' game is near certain, raise to a level such that the bidding will go down 2.