Milan's system

10 rules in CONSTRUCTIVE bidding

These rules apply in Milan's system and most of them do not work in standard systems.

CONSTRUCTIVE: one-sided bidding. The opponents didn't bid at all or they have only doubled for any reason. If any of the opponents bid a suit, the competitive rules apply.

Follow these rules and avoid misunderstandings

Rule 1

The key aspect of the system is to distinguish the shape at the first opportunity: (semi)balanced vs. unbalanced+ (7+card, 10+cards in 2 suits).

  • A jump to 3rd level is most often unbalanced
  • All goulash 2-suiters (65+) are included in 2nd level openings
  • (Semi)balanced hands are divided to a minimum or extras+ (2♣ rebid)
Rule 2

Show Major fit at the first opportunity.

  • 1♥-2♦ and 1♠-2♥ are the main Major raises.
  • In 1X-1M-? sequence, we distinguish no fit (0-2 cards), 3-card fit, and 4-card fit.
Rule 3

Give preference to 4-card Major over 5+card minor after 1st-level openings.

Rule 4

1NT rebid always shows a minimum hand and misfit (maximum 2 cards in partner's Major, but often a singleton).

Rule 5

2♣ bid show extras from both players and at least an invitation.

  • The following 2♦ relay shows a GF hand or extras, the rest of the bids show minimum and distribution.
  • Careful, we play non-forcing reverses in these sequences: 1♣-1♦-2♦; 1♣-1♥-2♦/♥; 1♦-1♠-2♥
  • Exceptions:
    1♦-2♣ = F1!, but can be weak ~2 HT with (5)6+♣
    = NF!, minimum with 5+♦


    2♣ = NF!, minimum, trump oriented

    2♣-2♦/2M = NF!, minimum, we want to play NT from the strong hand, rest of the bids are GF

Rule 6

Standard jumps after 1st level openings show 6-card and invitational hand (NF!).

Rule 7

Double jumps are preemptive with a 7+card suit (i.e., 1m-3M, 1♥-3♠). Splinter on 4th level after 1M opening, including 3NT as splinter in the other Major.
Jump to 4 in the Major is always natural and to play.

Rule 8

When we denied Major fit, bidding a Major suit shows shortness in that suit.

Rule 9

When we show a Major fit, one of the following rules apply:

  • After conventional raise: 1♥-2♦; 1♠-2♥ – special convention
  • Standard raise 1♥-2♥; 1♠-2♠ – we show the second suit, mostly 10 cards in those 2 suits
  • We opened a minor, 1♣-1♦/♥-2♥/♠; 1♦-1♥/♠-2♥/♠ – we show shortness and 2NT is general invite, 3M as shape
  • In competitive bidding – the new suit is natural, and the opponent's suit is shortness
  • If we have shown a fit on the 3rd level – the new suit is shortness, and 3NT is slam interest without shortness.
Rule 10

Slam bidding is based on knowing the shape and honor range and then we react in 3 ranges:

  • With a minimum – return to trumps
  • With Extras+ – show a control/shortness/3NT, you have the option to ask for key cards later
  • With a maximum – you can ask for key cards directly
  • 4NT is BW for Major
  • 4♣/♦ are optional minor BW for the minor.
    We DO NOT play optional minor BW in competitive bidding or as a weak hand after your partner opened 2♣.
  • Exclusion BW is a clear jump in a new suit to the 5th level if we have shown a fit. Exclusion BW is never on the 4th or lower level, although it shows a void. The responses to Exclusion BW are: 0, 1, 1+Q, 2, 2+Q, etc.