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Bidding Systems in Bridge

A bidding system is a code for understanding the various bids made during the auction.

  • Bridge partners agree on a bidding system which will define what each bid means
  • The two most common bidding systems are Acol and Standard
  • If you live in the UK, NZ, or Ireland, you likely play Acol. If you live elsewhere, you probably play Standard.

What is a bidding system?

Similar to how certain words can communicate different meanings depending on a person’s dialect, certain bids communicate different meanings depending on a person’s bidding system.

Understanding your bidding system allows you and your partner to accurately describe your hands during the auction.

Playing online, your bidding system will determine how the computer players bid, as well as how the lessons in this Learn section are presented to you.

The two most common bidding systems in the world are called Acol and Standard.

Do I play Acol or Standard?

We’ll cover the meanings of the various bids later. For right now, let’s just get you set up correctly so you can start learning and playing on Sky Bridge Club.

If you are a beginner, you can use these settings to get started.

If you live in the New Zealand, the UK, India, or Ireland, select:

  • Opening 1 or 1 shows 4 cards
  • Opening 1NT shows 12-14 hcp
  • Opening 2, 2, or 2 shows strong
  • Do you play transfers? No
  • Do you play Benjamin Acol? No
If you live anywhere else, select:

  • Opening 1 or 1 shows 5 cards
  • Opening 1NT shows 15-17 hcp
  • Opening 2, 2, or 2 shows weak
  • Do you play transfers? No
  • Do you play Benjamin Acol? No

How do I select my bidding system?

You can play either Standard American (SAYC) or Acol bridge at Sky Bridge Club. It is easy to select your bidding preferences in the Game Screen Settings.

Still unsure what you should set as your bidding system? Ask @Tina or @Graeme in a comment below – be sure to mention where you live and how long you’ve been playing.


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3 Comments

  1. Profile photo of glsamuelson glsamuelson says:

    As a Royal member can I set bidding system to American Standard. Live in South Africa.

  2. Profile photo of glsamuelson glsamuelson says:

    As a Royal member can I set bidding system to American Standard. Live in South Africa.

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