Standard American Yellow Card Convention - Full SAYC
General Description of System
Bidding System: Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC)
Leads: 4th highest, top of sequence (leads are variable by agreement)
Strength of 1NT openers: 15-17
Full Description of System
1♣: 12-21 HCP, 3+♣, see notes 1-2.1NT response: 6-10, NF
1♦: 12-21 HCP, 3+♦, see notes 1-2. 2NT response - see note 5
1♥: 12-21 HCP, 5+♥, see notes 1-2, Responses: 2 over 1: 11+.FG
1♠: 12-21 HCP, 5+♠, see notes 1-2
1NT: 15-17 HCP. Responses: Stayman, Jacoby (red suit) transfer
2♣: 22+ HCP, Strong, artificial, see note 3
2♦: 5-11 HCP, 6 cards. Responses: 2NT is game interest. Opener bids
2♥: 5-11 HCP, 6 cards. Responses: a feature or 3NT if maximum.
2♠: 5-11 HCP, 6 cards. Responses: Change of suit forcing.
2NT: 20-21 HCP, Balance. Responses: Stayman, other bids natural.
3NT: 25-27 HCP, Balance. Responses: Stayman, other bids natural.
3 bids: 6-10 HCP, 7 cards, Pre-emptive
4 bids: 6-10 HCP, 7 cards, Pre-emptive
Simple Natural, wide-ranging. 8-16. Change of suit by responder non-forcing
Jump Weak - 6 card suit at 2 levels. Usually 7 at 3 level.
Cue Bid Michaels (see note 6) - but natural if ops have bid 2 suits
1NT Direct 15-18, responses: Stayman, natural as per 1NT opening
1NT Protective 10-15, responses: Stayman, natural as per 1NT opening
2NT Direct Unusual if a jump - see Note 6. Responses are limit bids.
2NT Protective See above
Opponents open: Defensive methods:
Strong 1♣ Natural
Weak 1NT Double = Penalties, Overcalls are natural
Strong 1NT As above
Weak 2 Double = take-out - Cue = Michaels
Weak 3 Double = take-out - Cue = Michaels
4 of Minor Double = take-out - Cue = Michaels
4 of Major Double = penalty
Multi 2♦ Natural
Action Opponents Intervene With
Simple Overcall: Doubles are: Take-out over bids up to 2♠, promises 4 cards in any unbid major
Bids are: New suit forcing. 2 of a major is 5+cards and 11+ pts.
Jump Overcall: Doubles are: Take-out over bids up to 2♠, promises 4 cards in any unbid major
Bids are: New suit forcing
Double: Redouble is: 10+
New suit is: Forcing at 1 level - not at 2 level
Jump in new suit: Pre-emptive - to play
Jump raise is: Pre-emptive
2NT is: Good raise
Special Uses of Doubles:
Doubles of opening NT bids or NT overcalls are for penalties, following which all subsequent doubles are for penalties. Otherwise, all doubles of suit contracts up to and including 2♠ are for take-out. E.g. 1♠ Dbl 2♠ Dbl - both doubles are for take-out
Doubles of artificial bids show the suit bid
Redoubles are SOS up to 3♠ except when an artificial bid has been doubled.
Convention Meanings of Responses Action over interference
Blackwood 5♣ = 0/4, 5♦ = 1, 5♥ = 2, 5♠ = 3 aces D0P1
Gerber – see note 7 4♦ = 0/4, 4♥ = 1, 4♠ = 2, 4NT = 3 aces D0P1
5NT Grand Slam Force
FSF (Fourth Suit Forcing) – but after 1♣ (No) 1♦ (No) 1♥ (No), 1♠ is natural and 2♠ is “Fourth suit”
UCBs (Unassuming Cue Bids) – opposite partner’s overcall, a cue bid shows a good raise
Normal leads against suit contracts: 2nd and 4th highest
AK AKx KQ10 KQx KJ10
K109 QJ10 QJx J10x 10xx
109x 987x 10xxx Hxxxx Hxxxxx
Hxxx Hxx xx xxx xxxx
Normal leads against NT contracts: 2nd and 4th highest
AKx(x) AJ10x KQ10 KQx KJ10
K109 QJ10 QJx J10x 10xx
10xxx 109x 987x Hxx Hxxxxx
Hxxxx Hxxx xx xxx xxxx
Signals and Discards
Describe primary method. State alternatives in brackets
Signals on Partner's lead: Attitude: high = encouraging, low = discouraging
Signals on Declarer's lead: Attitude
Exceptions to above: Count
Balanced Hands not 15-17:
With 4-4 in the minors, open 1♦. With 3-3 in the minors, open 1♣. 1♦ is only three cards if shape is 4432.
Always open the longest suit
With two five-card-or-longer suits, always open the higher
After a one-level response, 1NT = 13/16, 2NT = 19/21
2♣ - 2♦ response is a relay but other bids are positive and specific (2NT=8points balanced)
2♣ - 2♦ - 2NT is 22-24
After 2♣ - 2♦, bidding is forcing to 3 of opener's major or 4 of opener's minor.
Transfer breaks are only by jumping in the agreed suit
1NT (No) 2♠ = Jacoby Transfer to 3♣
This will be passed or converted to 3♦ (to be passed),
1NT (No) 2NT = Invitational to 3NT
1NT (No) 3♣ or 3♦ are invitational to 3NT with a 6+card suit
1NT (No) 3♥ or 3♠ are 6+ card suit with slam interest
After 1NT (Dbl), Stayman and transfers apply
After 1NT is overcalled, Stayman and transfers do not apply, but a cue bid is strong and Staymanic.
2NT response to 1♥ or 1♠ opening bid is Game Forcing, agreeing trumps, with slam interest
Opener bids 3 of a non-trump suit to show a singleton or void, or else shows point count by…
jump to 4 of trump suit to show max 14, 3NT 15-17, 3 of trump suit 18+.
This convention does not apply after interference by opponents
2NT response to 1♣ or 1♦ opening bid is 13-15 and forcing; 3NT response is 16-17
Michaels Cue Bid / Unusual 2NT
1♣ - 2♣ or 1♦ - 2♦ shows at least 5-5 in the majors, 8+ points
1♥ - 2♥ or 1♠ - 2♠ shows at least 5-5 in the other major and one minor, 10+ points
1 any 2NT shows at least 5-5 in the two lowest unbid suits
Values range from enough for a minimum overcall up to a very strong hand
Gerber is used only directly when partner has opened or rebid 1NT or 2NT. 5♣ asks for kings
ACBL SAYC System Booklet
Full SAYC Convention Card by Michel Heger