Standard American is a framework of a natural bidding system which has the following features:

SAYC is a standardised version of Standard American which is a complete system with no modifications allowed.

As Standard American is not a complete standardised system itself, for the purpose of this article, the system presented in the ACBL Learn to Play Bridge program is presented.

Point counts Edit

HCPs Edit

  • A: 4 HCPs
  • K: 3 HCPs
  • Q: 2 HCPs
  • J: 1 HCP

Length points Edit

Add 1 points for each 5th card in the suit and beyond

Shortage points Edit

When raising partner's suit, add

  • 5 points for a void
  • 3 points for a singleton
  • 1 point for a doubleton

Total points = HCPs + either length points of shortage points

When bidding a new suit, length points are added; when raising partner's suit, shortage points are added instead.

Openings Edit

  • 1/1: 13-21 total points, 3+ s/s
    • with 3-3 in the minors, open 1; with 4-4 in the minors, open 1
  • 1/1: 13-21 total points, 5+ s/s
    • open higher with 5-5 or 6-6, longer with 6-5 or more
  • 1NT: 15-17 HCPs, balanced (i.e. no voids or singletons, at most one doubleton)
  • 2: 22+ total points, any shape but not suitable for 3NT
  • 2/2/2: Weak two bids. Not enough for 1-level opening but with a strong 6-card suit
    • strong means two out of three honours (AKQ)
  • 2NT: 20-21 HCPs, balanced
  • 3 or 4-level suit openings: preemptive openings. Not enough for 1-level opening but with a strong 7-card suit for 3-level, 8-card suit for 4-level.
  • 3NT: 25-27 HCPs, balanced

Suit auctions Edit

See sub-article /suit auction

Notrump auctions Edit

See sub-article /notrump auction

Auction after 2 opening Edit

Responses Edit

  • 2: 0-7 total points, negative
  • 2/2/3/3: 8+ total points, at least good 5-card suit
  • 2NT: 8+ points, balanced
    • sometimes there is no perfect bid for a particular situation, e.g. 4-4-4-1 shape. In this case choose the least evil one.

The 2 opening is forcing and can never be passed!

Opener's rebids after 2 response Edit

  • Bid the appropriate level of NT holding a balanced hand. (2NT: 22-24; 3NT: 28-30; 4NT: 31-32)
  • Bid the highest in 5-5 or longer
  • Bid up-the-line holding three 4-card suits.

Auction after a preemptive opening Edit

If the responder hand is strong Edit

Try to visualise opener's hand and bid the most probable game. If none, then pass.

If the responder hand is weak Edit

If the hand is weak and contains support for the partner, and opponents' game is near certain, raise to a level such that the bidding will go down 2.