3 - 3© - 3 - 3

The name for this convention, MadaM, was chosen because this palindrome symbolizes the cyclic changing of the bids, depending on the chosen opening suit. It is one name for four opening bids, that all are mutually related in a cyclic way.
Later on a suitable denotation, was given to the palindrome:
MaD   and   MAF.

MadaM is one convention for any opening bid on 3[4]-level in a suit.
Each of the four openings is forcing and "5-way ":

  1. weak hands with an 8-card, the opening suit is the suit, ranking directly below the 8-card suit
  2. weak hands with a 5+/6+ distribution, the opening suit is the suit, ranking directly below the 5-card suit; the 6-card suit must be bidden on 4-level.
  3. strong hands with a 5+/5+ distribution, the opening suit is the suit, ranking directly below that one of the suits that permits bidding the other one on 3-level (supposing your partner to call the cheapest bid and the opponents to pass)
  4. extension to a., 7+card and 8 hard tricks. (see remarks at the end of this chapter, which makes MadaM SOB -a "Sohl Opening Bid ").
  5. very weak 7-card (never in clubs ! please look at Simple Soul Sohl)
In all cases the openers partner has to pass when the opponents call something, or if they pass, to relay the cheapest bid. Your rebid will be real: the still unknown suit, that is:
  1. 4 in the 8 suiter
  2. 4 in the longest suit
  3. 3 in the other suit
  4. direct opening on 4-level is not forcing
  5. PASS
Now of the possible 29 hands, the responder knows exactly which one the opener holds when the rebid has been done. Moreover he also knows the opener's type of hand: a., b., c., d. or e.
He must decide in case c: about exchanging controls and in all cases about applying Blackwood. In case b: and c: he must also choose the trump suit.

Cyclic revolving:
You probably wondered how to act when one of you suit are clubs.
The solution for these problems are a bid similar to the well known method of signing: "Revolving Discards ".
When you write the five "suits " along the outline of a circle and you read the "text " an endless row arises:

.................. - - NT - - - © - - NT - - - © - - NT - - - © - - NT - - - ................
If you want to show by the opening bid, you call 3, the responder will relay 3NT enabling you to call 4 (weak 8-card) as well as 4 in any other suit (weak 5,6 distribution).
When you hold the strong two 5-suiters among which , you show the other suit first and in your rebid you call 3NT. So you don't go beyond the 3-level, which shows the strong 2-suited hand.
When your partner or you yourself has to bid you bid 3NT. To show the , you open the auction with 3.

Of course the frequency of occurrence of this opening was calculated again. In next small table the hands of type d. and e. are missing. These variant were added to the convention after the calculations were made. I don't feel like starting to perform all the calculations all over again for these minor corrections. For the moment I leave it as it is.

type frequency of 3
absolute relative
a: 0.157 10.53
b: 0.874 58.55
c: 0.461 30.92
total: 1.493 100.00

If you start with applying case b: only, you apply nearly 55% of this convention. The cases a: and c: can always be handled in different ways.

If you do not catch this yet, the next table may help you to grasp.


a convention for strong 5+,5+-, weak 5+,6+- distributions and weak 8+cards
WEAK HANDS: 6-12++ HCP's   STRONG HANDS: 16-19++ HCP's  
6,5     opening:         response:            rebid:              5,5     opening:         response:            rebid:             
/ 3 3 4   / 3 3 3NT  
/© 3 3© 4   /© 3 3© 3NT  
/ 3© 3 4   / 3© 3 3NT  
/© 3 3© 4   /© 3 3 3©  
/ 3© 3 4   / 3 3 3  
/ 3 3NT 4   / 3 3 3NT  
©/ 3© 3 4©   ©/ 3 3© 3  
©/ 3 3NT 4©   ©/ 3 3© 3NT  
©/ 3 3 4©   ©/ 3 3 3©  
/ 3 3NT 4   / 3© 3 3NT  
/ 3 3 4   / 3 3 3  
/© 3 3© 4   /© 3 3© 3  
8-card     opening:         response:            rebid:           
3 3NT 4  
3 3 4  
© 3 3© 4©  
3© 3 4  


In the table all the strong suit combinations are mentioned twice. I did this for your convenience, in order to enable you to compare the bidding sequences between the weak and strong hands, by reading the same line.

This convention is really not very difficult to memorize, once you understand the principles. The weak 5,6 occurs rather often and there MaDaM is nearly always (preemptive and a little bit stronger) very successful. There is simply no safe defense any more after the 4-level bid in the 6-suiter, which always can be executed. I apply this convention for many years now. It happens now and then that you make a game contract with around the 15 hcp's jointly. Also when so don't make the contract, the scores are usually very good

MadaM as Sohls Opening Bid (SOB): Commonly 7-suiters are opened preemptive on 3-level with weak hands. This to risky when you have to repeat the call on 4-level. It is really necessary to hold an 8-suiter for performing this trick, while you're weak.

LHOS-SOHL As a matter of fact you could just as well call the 8-suiter directly on 4-level. But you could also turn MadaM into a kind of "opening Sohl ". I.e. make the direct opening bid on 4-level in a suit gambling with a 7+card in the opening suit, which is a bit stronger the the preemptive 8-suiter, it promises 8 hard tricks. You could name it the lhos-sohl, because the situation is turned around.
In that case you must restrict the meaning of the 2/ opening bids to a 6-card and 8 hard tricks, and all of the other meanings of course.
As an MadaM opener, you could also pass in your rebid. Your partner has to play the suit you selected for him. This looks like a nice solution for very weak 7-cards. It only can be done with three suits. Unfortunately it cannot be done with clubs. This manoevre appears to be real Sohl, done by the responder. The responder doesn't know this himself. He supposes that he did a relay. After the opener's pass, he realizes what the the opener was up to.
We shall call this variant the Simple Soul Sohl manoevre.
In MAF another
lhoSSohl has been made in order to enable an opener to show the weak hand with 6 or more clubs. This is done by opening 1 and rebidding on the second turn 3 as a final bid.
Now it is clearly observed that lhoSSohl and Multi are the same and that could as well callSohl also itluMMulti. On this site we shall go on using Multi and Sohl. Only on this page the rorriMMirror phenomenon is discussed. Elsewhere on the site you may encounter a few links to these last paragraphs.

These tricks were invented very recently. Yet it makes fun to add it to MAF. As a matter of fact this internet site should be adapted at several locations (the opening bids menu, the probability tables as to the opening bids and in some text). As I don't like this idea now, I leave things as they are for the moment.

If you want to read more of the Sohl principle the link will take you to page where you may find all of it.

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.