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What 10 Conventions would you choose

I recently picked up my tattered old copy of Reese on Play. It was one of the first more advanced bridge books I was given when I first started. In it I found a NYT bridge column from February, 1961 which disclosed the following.

The ACBL BOD had come up with new rules restricting methods people could play. Essentially, you were expected to play 1955 Charlie, but you were permitted ten deviations.

1955 Charlie would look pretty strange today:


15-18 1NT; Stayman; Jumps to the 3-level natural and forcing; bids at the 2-level non-forcing

22-24 2NT; Stayman

25-27 3NT

4-card majors, but they had to be "biddable" which meant 2 of the top three or three of the top five cards in the suit; Jump raises of the opened suit were forcing. Jump shift responses strong. 2NT response natural and game forcing.

Strong 2-bids with 2NT negative

Takeout doubles of opening bids; penalty doubles of overcalls

Strong Jump overcalls

Q-bid of the opponents opened suit game forcing



Anything that varied from this was a "convention." It wasn't until the late 1960s that natural bids with different strength requirements, such as limit raises instead of forcing or weak no trumps instead of strong, were removed from being conventions and became "treatments." Thank you, Edgar

So what 10 conventions would you find indispensable? Note that 5-card majors, limit raises, weak 2-bids, negative doubles, weak jump overcalls, Michaels cue bids and Unusual No Trump are all deviations from the basic methods.

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