ACBL05A – Bidding: Trumbull 2 Clubs            Ward Trumbull

                                                         Convention                        Jun 17, 2012

                                                                                                                  Page 1 of 3


Opening Notrump High Card Points (HCP)


      The standard point counts for opening notrump bids range from 15

to 27+.  However, some non-standard conventions have 1 notrump as low as 12-14 HCP.


      I cover the standard range as follows:


                 15-18 – open 1 notrump

                 19-21 – open 2 clubs and then rebid 2 notrump

                 22-24 – open 2 notrump

                 25+    -  open 2 clubs and then skip rebid 3 notrump


      Note that an opening 3 notrump is used for a gambling notrump.     

                See ACBL04G.


Trumbull 2 Clubs – Forcing/Non-forcing


      This partnership technique offers the best of both worlds.  The opener has the option to open 2 clubs with either a strong distributional hand or a 19-21 HCP notrump hand. After the mandatory 2 diamond response, a rebid of any suit indicates a distributional hand, forcing to game.  Partner must keep the bid open until a game bid is reached.  However, a 2 notrump rebid indicates the 19-21 HCP notrump type hand and is not forcing.  The only restriction is that the Jacoby Step Response cannot be used over an opening Trumbull 2 Clubs bid.


Trumbull 2 Cubs with Notrump Distribution (19-21 HCP)


      The opener bids the strong 2 clubs.  The responder makes a mandatory 2 diamond waiting bid, and then the opener rebids 2 notrump.  This is not forcing.  The responder can pass or major transfer and pass.  However, with 5+ HCP the responder can use Stayman (3 clubs), major transfers (3 diamonds or hearts), Gerber (4 clubs) or bid 3 notrump.  


                   ACBL05A – Bidding: Trumbull 2 Clubs            Jun 17, 2012

                                                         Convention                        Page 2 of 3


Trumbull 2 Clubs with Suit Distribution


      If you have a strong playing hand (that’s tricks in a suit contract), count

your losers.  If you are within one trick of making game, open two clubs.

Typically, you would have one or two strong major suits, in which you would need to take 10 tricks for game.  With no more than 4 losers you could open two clubs.  But it’s not just a case of high card points.  For example, with two six cards major suits, both headed by an ace king, you would open 2 clubs.  That hand would have only 14 HCP.


      After the mandatory 2 diamonds response, the opener would bid his

strong-long suit, usually a major.  He must have at least 5 cards in that suit.  The responder can make a support bid of that suit with 3 cards.

Otherwise, responder keeps the bidding open by bidding another 4+ card

suit.  Responder cannot pass until a game contract is reached because the

opener is in control.


      How you count losers


       You look at only the top three cards in each suit, regardless of the

       number of cards in that suit.  Thus a longer suit headed by the ace,

       king and queen would have no losers.  And a four or five card suit

       without an AKQ would only be 3 losers.




           Suit              Loser Count                   Suit               Loser Count

          ---------------  ------------------                  ----------------  -----------------

          A                  no losers                        Q                   1 loser  

          A 6               1 loser                            Q J                2 losers

          A 9 4            2 losers                          Q J 4             2 losers     

          A 10 7 4 2    2 losers                          Q 7 3             3 losers

          K                  1 loser (ace)                   A Q 5            1 loser (king)

          K 5               1 loser (ace)                   K J 6             2 losers (AQ)

          K 8 6            2 losers                          K Q 8 6         1 loser (ace)

          K 9 7 5 3      2 losers                          J 8 7 6 5        3 losers

                   ACBL05A – Bidding: Trumbull 2 Clubs            Jun 17, 2012

                                                         Convention                        Page 3 of 3


Trumbull 2 Clubs - Alerting


      Since the partnership has two different type hands that use the 2 clubs opening, your opponents MUST be alerted to this convention.  If they ask you to explain your ALERT, you should say something like:


 “My partner has one of two hands, either:

            A notrump hand with 19-21 HCP, forcing to 2 notrump


           A distributional hand, forcing to game.”


If they ask the point count of the distributional hand, say:


            “It can be as little as 9 HCP but usually is 20+ HCP.”