MaD, finding a Major suit fit after a Diamond opening


The main purpose of the 1 opening bid is to explore for a 3-5 fit in a major suit. The convention used to find the 3-5 fit is called MaD+ and is comparable with the Joker convention after the 1 opening bid, which serves a similar purpose. As a matter of fact, we should have called this convention MaC similar to MaD, (finding a Major suit fit after a Club opening). You still may do so if you prefer, but don't feel like changing all over the site 'Joker' into 'MaC'.

If the responder holds a 5-card major, he could simply respond 1© or depending on which suit he holds. There is no point in telling the opener you hold a 4-card major.
It appears possible to show the 5-suiter, while transmitting at the same time some information about the strength of the responder's hand.

We have seen that 1© is a sohl-response which has several meanings. One of those meanings (p:) points to a 5-card ©, while another meaning (q:) points to a 5+card in an yet unknown major suit. Finally there is a meaning (r:) which points to a very weak 6-card in any suit and thus also in the major suits.
By using direct responses it is possible to describe the remaining types of hands holding 5-card majors.
Summarized we distinguish between:

  1. weak 5-card © with 6-9 hcp's
  2. strong 5-card ©/ with 10-12 hcp's
  3. very weak 6-card in ©/ with 0-6(9)hcp's
  4. weak 5-card with 6-9 hcp's
  5. very strong 5-card ©/ with >=13 hcp's
In the first three cases the the first response is a sohl-response to which the opener, when he has support in hearts, must always rebid a relay 1; Having no support in hearts the rebid is 1NT or 2 in a minor suit. Case 4 and 5 are direct responses. The corresponding responder's rebids are listed below.
  1. with the weak hand the the second response is 1NT
  2. with the strong 5-suiter the second response is 2©/
  3. the very weak 6-suiter is shown after the sohl bid by the preemptive 3©/
  4. the weak 5-suiter in spades is shown simply responding directly 1; this still enables the responder to choose for a final bid of 1NT.
  5. with the very strong 5-suiter the sohl response is also by passed by a direct limit jump of 3©/, without closing off the end bid of 3NT.
    Note that the 2-level-response is not used here, because single jumps are reserved for SHiCe-bids with totally different meanings; do not confuse these two conventions!
MAF distinguishes 8 different ways of bidding by which the diamond opener can learn about 4 strength levels of the responders hand holding a 5-card in, no matter which one, of the major suits.
All responses are safe, i.e. the opener can avoid the ©-contract in case of a misfit and pass on 1NT or bid 2/3NT in the other cases.

With a 5-card the first response is always 1, which is forcing. By raising the response the opener shows a 3-card and his strength: 2 weak, 3 limit and 4 strong (15-19 and singleton clubs). The responder on his next turn should show his strength.
With hearts it works the same, it only takes one more bidding round. The opponents may interfere, but Sohl does not get lost easily (Sohl doublet). If the the rebid to disappears, the opener still may conclude that the weak 5-card hearts (or spades in case of the double) was meant.
Without support the opener's rebid is 1NT (or PASS on his partner's 1NT) or his rebid is 2. Holding 4,5+ in clubs, diamonds it's better sometimes to call 2


The 1 opening bid also allows for a 4-4 fit in a major suit. The convention is called MaD+++. This fit trial is executed by the opener in his first rebid, the sohl 1 relay not being counted as a real bid.
This convention may be applied, when the opener possesses a singleton in clubs. Only then, he can hold one or two 4-cards in the major suits.
If the responder denies a 5-card major the strong (15-19) opening hand, or denotes a non fitting major, he describes his hand (16-19 hcp's, singleton clubs, 4-card suit bid, 4+card diamonds) by simple, without jumping, calling the major suit in which he hold the 4-suiter.

With a fit in one of the major suits with weak hands the response must be 3©/ or when stronger: 4/ (controls) or 4NT (Blackwood); 4©/ is also allowed of course, if you do not belief in slam.
If there is not a fit, you have to fly to 3 or 3NT (the latter of course not without good clubs) and hope the best of it. I guess the odds are not too bad.

De Joker convention serves the same purpose as the MaD convention does after the diamond opening bid, finding a major suit fit. It would have been logical if we had given it a similar name: MaC, (finding a Major suit fit after a Club opening). You may still do so if you prefer. Right now I don't feel like changing everywhere 'Joker' into 'MaC'.



If you want to see examples of bridgames, in which the matter, treated above, is practiced, you should click on examples and choose for the appropriate convention or for any other typical call.


Remark:
This convention is part of the MeRDe-complex ("MeRDe "= "Mean Repulsive Devices ", 'merde ' also is the french translation of 'shit '; it is used quite often by angry Frenchmen).
This complex consists of the next, void or singleton showing, conventions: SHiD+, SHiD+++, splinter, MaD+++, CUE, WievandeDrie and SHiCe