When hand shape is listed with dashes (e.g., 5-4-3-1), it refers to holding the specified length in specific suits, listing spades first, hearts second, diamonds third, and clubs last (so 5 spades, 4 hearts, 3 diamonds and 1 club in this example). However, when hand shape is listed without dashes (e.g., 5431), any suit may be the longest or shortest, etc.


1. “By Agreement”: Partnership understandings as to the methods adopted by a partnership may be reached explicitly in discussion or implicitly through mutual experience or awareness of the players. This applies to all calls, allowed and disallowed.

2. “Natural”:

 3. “Quasi-Natural”: A minor suit bid that is either natural or shows a pattern that would qualify for a natural NT opening. For example, many (but not all) “could be short” 1C or 1D catchall openings fall into this category, as do many catchall 2C responses.


4. “Artificial”: Any call which is not natural or quasi-natural.

5. “Cuebid”: A bid of a suit that the opponents have either bid naturally or quasi-naturally or a suit in which the opponents have showed 4 or more cards.

6. “Control Bid”: A bid that shows first or second round control of a suit.

7. “Rule of N”: A method of determining hand strength computed by adding the high card points of the hand to the lengths of the two longest suits. To meet the “Rule of N”, this total must be at least N. For example, a hand with 11 high card points and 5431 distribution would meet the “Rule of 20” or lower, but not the “Rule of 21” or higher.

8. Hand strength:

9. “Psych: A call that intentionally and grossly misstates the strength and or suit length of one’s hand. Normally 2 cards fewer or an Ace weaker than the minimum expected, or an Ace stronger than the maximum expected.

10. “Psychic Control”: Any partnership agreement which, if used in conjunction with a psychic call, makes allowance for that psych.

11. “Relay System”: tbd, is not relevant to level 3 & 4 charts.

12. “Balancing Seat”: When pass would end the auction

13. “Forcing”: A call which by partnership agreement may not be passed if the intervening opponent passes.

14. “Purely Destructive Bid”: An opening bid or overcall that both does not promise 4+ length in a specific suit and may be made with a hand that does not meet the “Rule of 13”.

15. “Invitational”: Strong enough to want the partnership to bid game unless partner has a minimum.

16. “Preempt”: A jump bid (by either pair) that could be Weak.

17. “Opener”: The first player to make a non-pass call in the auction.

18. “Encrypted Signal”: A signaling methodology of a card or sequence of cards which vary based on information unavailable to declarer. For example, a low-high signal which is sending a count message cannot vary based on high cards, lengths in other suits or other information not publicly known. Different messages (count, attitude, smith, suit preference) on the same trick are not considered encrypted signals

GOLD CHART (Level 3)

(approximates Midchart+)

Calls are allowed unless they are specifically disallowed.


Opening Bids:

1. An opening pass that could contain hands that are stronger than a one level opening bid.

2. A Natural or Quasi-Natural 1-level opening bid in first or second seat that could contain less than Near-Average Strength.


3. An Artificial 1-level opening bid in any seat that could contain less than Average Strength.

4. An Artificial 1-level opening bid that only shows length in a known suit other than the one opened, unless that bid is also Strong and Forcing.

5. A Natural 1NT opening bid that could contain fewer than 10 HCP.

6. A Natural 1NT opening bid that has a range greater than 5 HCP (i.e., 11-15 is OK, 10-15 is not).

7. A non-forcing 1NT opening that does not meet the definition of Natural.

8. In matches of 5 or fewer boards, an Artificial opening Preempt below 3NT that does not show at least one known suit.

9. An Artificial opening Preempt that does not show at least one known suit and may have length only in the suit opened. 

10. An Artificial opening Preempt that shows length in an unknown suit may not have more than two possible suits. Otherwise legal Artificial Preempts may also contain one or more Strong meanings.

11. An Artificial opening bid that shows two suits of at least 4 cards, neither of which is known. Three- suited openings with at least Average strength are legal, with or without known shortness.

12. A 2-level or higher opening bid that may contain less than Average Strength that shows at least 4 cards in a known suit and an unknown suit, where the unknown suit might be the suit opened.

13. A non-forcing 2-level opening bid in 1st or 2nd seat that has a range of greater than 9 HCP and could show less than Average Strength.

14. Psyching an Artificial opening bid.

15. Psyching a Strong and Forcing opening bid.

16. Psychic Controls.


1.  All responses are permitted


1. After a Natural suit opening bid, a new suit overcall in direct seat that does not show at least one known suit.

2. Psyching an Artificial overcall.

Note that all agreements are allowed after both sides have made a call, and there are no restrictions starting at opener’s rebid.


Except for the first discard, only high-to-low or low-to-high ordering strategies are allowed.

Encrypted signals are not allowed.

In addition, a pair may be prohibited from playing any carding method when they are deemed to be playing it in a manner which is not compatible with the maintenance of proper tempo. This decision may be appealed to the tournament committee.