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Rev. 9/14/13


All psychic openings of artificial bids are prohibited at ACBL sanctioned events. This also applies to the SuperChart. (Board of Directors – Summer 1992)

Opening an artificial and forcing bid without an “abundance” of high card values is acceptable under the following circumstance: If, in the view of the bidder, there is a reasonable chance for game in hand with little help from partner.

The following hands would qualify:

1.  ♠ A K Q J 10 9 7 6 5       or     2.   ♠ A K Q 10 9 8

7 5 4                                             J 10 9 8 7 6

 ♦ 2                                                    4

♣  —                                                ♣  —

These hands may be accepted as artificial 2♣ openers if the opening bidder thinks they are reasonable. On the first hand opener needs only one trick from partner. On the second hand, two small spades and a heart honor probably would be enough to produce game.

What is NOT acceptable is the use of a strong, artificial, forcing 2♣ opener holding:

♠ 6


Q J 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 2

♣ 5

There would be good reason for a director to conclude that the opening bidder’s prime motive is to confuse the opponents rather than to reach the right contract constructively. It is clear that opener is psyching what is ordinarily a well defined bid in an attempt to intimidate the opponents. This is exactly what the rule is intended to prevent.

If a pair thinks that Examples 1 and 2 are 2♣ openers, then their convention card should have some notation about playing strength in the appropriate place. Also, if a pair marks their card with HCP limits for their 2♣ openers, they should note if it only refers to balanced hands. (Directions – April 1992)


Online Resources

Laws of Duplicate Bridge 

Duplicate Decisions 

General, Mid-Chart, and Super Chart Conventions 

Alert Chart 

Alert Procedures