Lee Club – Basic System
The basic structure:
One Club: 16 + any distribution (or any hand that’s too strong for partner to pass). Balanced 16 counts are typically opened 1D or 1NT, strong playing hands are typically opened one club.
One Diamond: 10-15 points; natural – at least 2 diamonds. Most of the time the one diamond opener will have one of the following hand types:
- Standard opener: a limited opening with diamonds as the longest suit – without a 4 card major
- Maximum (14-15) hand with a 4 card major and longer diamonds (planning to reverse into the major)
- Balanced hand outside of the one no trump range (with a bad 16 open 1D; with a good 16 open 1C)- will only have 2 diamonds if 3-3-2-5 outside of the no trump range.
One Heart & One Spade are natural, 10-15 with four or more cards in the bid major. You may have a longer minor suit, Open one heart with 4/4 in the majors
One No Trump: 11-13 when not vulnerable in first and second chair. 14-16 when vulnerable or when in 3rd or 4th char. It’s acceptable to have a five card Major or be five / four in the minors with honours in both majors.
The ranges for one no trump are probably a little odd – but they do make sense. 11-13 No Trump is aggressive but we do it only when safe – not vulnerable and when partner is not a passed hand. 14-16 as the secondary range helps when we game force over one club with an eight count. Bad 16 balanced counts and balanced 8 counts make Meckwellian 3NT contracts. You might wonder about the 11-13 range – well it’s because we didn’t want to have odd auctions with a 13 balanced NT. If we played 10-12 we’d have this odd 13 point hand which would make our rebids 13-16. At least we are confident that our rebids are a 3 point range always and never a 4 point range.
Two Clubs: 10-15 points, 6 or more clubs – usually no 4 card major. The advantage of denying a 4 card major is huge for this opening bid. You’ll be able to see later how much easier it is for the system to know that partner can’t have a 4 card major. In previous systems I’ve had to have complicated relays to show 5c and 4cM or 6/4 or fragments or all sorts of things. It’s way easier without those complications.
Two Diamonds: Multi, promising a weak two in one major. Personally I’m not a huge fan of Multi. It can cause as many problems for both sides – but it can definitely create swings. So why play Multi? Personally I like it because it allows us to do better things with 2H and 2S.
Two Hearts and Spades: Five plus in the major and five plus in either minor. Preemptive hand in the four to nine range. You’d be amazed how good these bids are and how well they’ve worked out for us and for other people I’ve seen play them. I highly recommend them – so much so that I’m willing to play Multi just to play these bids.
Two No Trump: 20-21 Balanced. I’ve been debating whether to use 2NT as 5/5 in the minors or 20-21. I’ve settled on 20-21 for now as it makes some 1C auctions easier and it won’t create swings anyway as almost everyone plays this anyway.
Three Level: Preemptive hand with 6 or 7 in the suit (depending on vulnerability)
Three No Trump – Gambling; solid suit with no outside Ace or King
Four Clubs, Four Diamonds – Solid hearts, spades – a strong bid of four hearts or spades. Shows 8 – 9 tricks and tends to have outside defense. NAMYATS. A taerg noitnevnoc rof gnidnif rojam tius smals. With regards to the outside defense – I have to admit that Linda opened AKQJT9xxx xx xx x with NAMYATS (4D)… (see a previous blog post for more details).
Four Hearts, Four Spades – the weaker cousin of the previous bid. Shows a preemptive hand with no outside strength or expectation to make it
Four No Trump – specific ace asking