An alert is a method to inform the opponents that a call may have an unexpected meaning. Its use is regulated by the sponsoring organisation, including the WBF, zonal organisations or local clubs.

Ways to alert Edit

The following is only the general procedure, regulations may be different from the following.

Orally Edit

When bidding orally, the partner of the player making the alertable call immediately says the word alert, but nothing else.

Using a bidding box Edit

The partner of the player making the alertable call immediately throws the alert card (in blue) toward the alertable call, and take it back after the next opponent calls.

Using a bidding sheet Edit

The partner of the player making the alertable call immediately circles the alertable call.

When playing through a computer Edit

The player presses the alert button before making his call, and the alert can be seen by the opponents only.

Pre-alert and delayed alert Edit

By regulation, some calls need to be pre-alerted or alerted after the auction.

Pre-alerts are used when unusual systems are in use, by saying the agreed system before the round. There is no pre-alerts in EBU.

Delayed alerts are used after high-level bids. The declarer of the dummy alerts the calls before making the opening lead, the defenders alert the calls after making the opening lead but before facing it up.

Regulations Edit


Treatments Edit

A treatment which shows the expected shape and strength requires no alert, but a treatment which shows an unexpected shape or strength must be alerted. For example:

Opener Responder
1 1

If 1 is forcing for one round by an unpassed responder, it requires no alert, but if it is non-forcing, it requires an alert.

Opener Responder
1 1NT

If 1NT shows 10-12, it requires an alert.

Most notably, the following treatments require an alert:

Moreover, extremely aggressive methods or methods that is usually completely unfamiliar to the opponents need to be pre-alerted, for example:

  • light openings (fewer than 11 HCPs)
  • very light overcalls (fewer than 6 HCPs by agreement, and/or frequently overcalling with 4-card suits at the 2-level)
  • very light preempts (e.g. opening weak two on bad 5-card suits or opening at the 3-level with most 5-card suits or preempting frequently on Qxxxxx or less)
  • two-system methods (this applies to fundamentally different systems, not minor variations such as 1NT opening range)
  • canapés
  • leading low from two small
  • special carding methods

conventions Edit

All conventions require an alert, except the following:

  • Stayman, asking for a four-card major by a non-jump bid after a natural NT opening, however, the following variants need to be alerted:
    • Puppet Stayman, asking for a 5-card major;
    • Non-promissory Stayman, but alert only when it becomes clear from the sequence that the Stayman bidder does not have a 4-card major.
    • Checkback Stayman, after a 1NT or 2NT rebid by opener (excluding rebids after a strong, artificial opening, which is treated as an opening).
  • Strong two clubs and 2 response as either negative or waiting
    • intermediate 2 has to be alerted;
    • natural 2 as to be alerted;
    • semi-automatic 2 does not require an alert;
    • however, playing 2 as immediate negative, 2 is forcing to game and both need to be alerted.
  • Conventional 2NT response to natural two-level openings.
  • 4NT Blackwood and 4 Gerber:
    • All other ace-asking sequences must be alerted, but if it is at or above 3NT and at or after the opener's second turn to bid, it must be delay alerted.
  • Conventional NT overcalls by a passed hand;
  • Unusual notrump overcall;
  • Most doubles or redoubles;
    • Natural penalty doubles at a low-level or support doubles have to be alerted.
  • Most cuebids (e.g. (1)-2 showing some two-suiters not including diamonds)
    • Natural cuebids or cuebids with unusual meanings (such as (1) - / - (2) - 2 = transfer to ) need to be alerted.

Some methods which may be unfamiliar to opponents require a pre-alert, for example, unusual conventional openings (such as a strong and conventional 1NT opening), relay systems, and all methods permitted in the mid-chart and the super-chart but not the general convention chart.

EBU Edit

treatments Edit

The following are alertable, all others are not:

  • short minor systems;
  • non-takeout doubles;

conventions Edit

The following conventions are non-alertable, all others are:

  • takeout doubles;

The following are announced rather than alerted:

External Links Edit