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A 'Litmus' test of a Bidding System

Take this extreme example: -void, -void,  AK -QJ10 98765432

you have a rock solid 5C contract. Can your bidding system allow you to find out partner's club holding?

If partner has A club,you want to be in 7C, only an unlikely opening ruff sinks this grand slam.

If partner has K club, 6C is cold.

If partner has neither, 5C is cold; while 6C is also cold if clubs split 1-1 & no opening ruff.

e.g. Sample auction.       2C --- 2H ( no A/K)

you can settle on 5C, money in the bank, or if you are a lucky gambler, bid 6c for a bigger payoff.

The test comes.. If the response is 2D, promise a K or A.

Does your bidding system allow you to identify this honor and more?

Introducing Dicks 2COATS ( 2 Club Opening And Treatments), or simply Dicks 2clubs:

The key feature of Dicks 2club can be summarized as follow:

After a 2C-opening and an initial 2D(promise at least aK/ 2H( no A/K),opener names the P-suit.

P stands for Primary, a real suit of 5+ length. P also stands for Phantom (this happens only in two cases,

2C--2D,2H or 2C--2H,2S. The sole purpose of a phantom suit is leaving room responder to bid out any honours.

Responder bids his honours up the line, or cheapest NT to deny any more honours. Jack is not considered as an honor here.

Take these sample hands for responder....

Dealer opens 2C with the extreme hand shown above (assume silent opponents)

(1) S-65432,  H-65432,  D-432

(2) S-65432, H-65432, D-32, C-K

(3) S-65432, H-65432, D-32, C-A

(4) S-K5432, H-65432, D-32, C-K

The auction for (1):       2C--2H.       2H means no A/K

                                   2S--2NT.        2S is P-suit,phantom in this case,  2NT denies any Q

                                   5C.    sign-off

for (2).        2C--2D.        2D promises at least a K

                  2H--3C.        2H is a phantom suit, 3C shows either A/K, deny equal S-honor

                4NT-- 5C.       4NT is B/W,  5C says no ace

                 6C.        Bingo

for (3):        2C-- 2D


                  4NT--5D.          Confirm one ace

                  7C.       Bingo

for (4).      2C--2D

               2H--2S.         2S shows S-A/K

              2Nt-- 3C.       2NT is sliding ask..tell me more,    3C shows C-honor,equal or lower than S-honor shown

              4Nt--5C.           5C shows zero ace

              6C.      Bingo


Let us conclude with a real example, taken from 2016 Vandy quarter final @ Reno,board 22

the two hands are

     AK3.         Q865

     AKQJ.        965

     AKJ4.        Q5

     AK.          9653


one big club auction is :      1C--1D,  2H--2S,  2NT--3C,  3H-- 3NT,  4D--4NT,  5NT--?.

how can the strong hand find out the two key cards (pointed queens) needed for the lay down grand slam?

The challenge is for any bidding system to accomplish the task of reaching this ice cold grand slam with 100% certainty.

Another possible auction is:

  2C--2H,  4NT-- 5H, ??      4NT asks for # of queens as 2H has denied any A/K, 5H shows two queens

Now 6NT is almost certain,but still not sure which queen is missing?

On a bad day, partner has Q spade, and doubleton club with Q, even 6 NT goes down if Q diamond is odd side & not a stiff or doubleton.


While Dicks 2clubs comes out with flying colours !

here is the auction.     2C--2H,  2S--3D,  3H-- 3S,  7NT. Bingo

explanation:  2H denies any A/K,   2S is phantom suit to leave responder room to bid out honor,

        3D shows Q diamond,     3H is sliding ask--tell me more,   3S shows Q spade,  Bingo

The full treatment of Dicks 2clubs(2COATS) is too long for this article. If you are interested or have any feedback,please email

me @       Thanks!

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