One Spade

The 1 Opening shows 11-15 points with a 5-card or longer Spade suit. If a Heart suit is also held it will be normally be shorter than the Spades (unless 6-6 shape LOL). Since the 1, 1NT and 2♣ openings specifically deny possession of a 5-card Major, it follows that the 1 opening does not deny possession of a Minor suit that is longer than the Spades, and might be semi-balanced in the 13-15 point range.

Continuations include a Forcing 1NT Response, pre-emptive direct raises, Mini-Splinters, Fit-showing Jump-shifts, Lebensohl and MOTOR. Slam investigation can start as low as the 2-level when Responder is 16+ (in principle) with Trump support.

Initial Responses

In response to the 1 Opening, partner bids along the following lines:-
Direct Suit Raises
In Precision these are normally pre-emptive more than anything else, based more on good trump support and a ruffing value rather than a solid point-count. Hands with a solid HCP-based limit raise tend to go via the Forcing No Trump. See the section on Romex Trial Bids below for action over 2-level raises, and the sections on Mini-Splinters and Fit-Showing Jump Shifts for possible more constructive alternatives to the 3-level raise.

2/1 Responses
2-over-1 responses are normally forcing to 2NT at least, and in practice are often heralding game values although in principle they show 11+ only.

Delayed Game Raise
Delayed game raises (eg: 1-2-2-4 show a decent side suit and trump support, but will usually contain less that 16 points. They are a mild slam try.

1NT Response
This is artificial and forcing for one round, the Forcing No Trump, which is one of the cornerstones of Precision. This shows a number of possible hand-types ranging from relatively weak balanced hands with no good trump support up to 16+ hands with good trump support where the Forcing No Trump is the prelude to an Asking Bid sequence. For full details on the hand-types that might use the FNT, Opener's rebids and the continuations, see the section on the Forcing No Trump below.
2 Mini-Splinter
2NT is a Mini-Splinter in an undisclosed suit, typically showing around 8-9 points with good 4-card trump support and a singleton or void outside. It is aimed at reaching very thin games based solely on fit rather than solid game values and can be considered a more constructive alternative to a 3-level suit raise. Opener can accept or refuse the invitation by returning to Hearts at the appropriate level, or can find out the location of responder's shortage by bidding 3.
Jump-Shift Responses
In most natural systems jump-shifts are natural and game-forcing. Standard Precision uses them in much the same way, but in this system, the usage of Lebensohl-style sequences and Forcing No Trump extensions give much flexibility and many options for showing strong hands. We therefore use jump-shifts as essentially weak (about 8-9, like the Mini-Splinters above) but with good trump support and a decent side-suit. As with Mini-Splinters, the emphasis is on reaching thin games based on fit rather than a solid point-count. On the basis of frequency alone, this is considered a far better use for the jump-shifts. Continuations are entirely natural.

3NT Response
This is as much a warning as anything else. Whilst it shows 13+ balanced with trump support, it also warns of a severe lack of controls, so that 9 tricks in No Trumps might be an easier target than game in the major. All continuations are completely natural.

The style for showing shortage in this system is almost always that we bid the suit below the shortage (normally ignoring the trump suit and No Trumps). Splinters are double-jump-shifts in the suit below the shortage, promising 14+ points, good 4-card or longer trump support, good controls, and a singleton or void in the suit above. Hence 1-4 would show a Diamond shortage. The reasoning behind this method is that the short suit itself is now available either as Blackwood (if Asking Bids are not being used) or as Beta (the general control-asking bid) if Asking Bids are being used. Splinters are definitely a mild slam invitation and can be followed by a cue-bidding sequence, Asking Bids, or Blackwood, depending on partnership agreement. Splinters will not normally show 16+ points, as Responder will want to take control in those circumstances and is more likely to use a Forcing No Trump sequence (see below). In practice, we use splinters very rarely over Major Suit Openings, since the Gamma Asks via the Forcing 1NT Response are a much more space-efficient way to explore for slam.

Forcing 1NT Response

In response to an Opening Bid of 1 (or 1), 1NT is an artificial 1-round force following which both partners in turn clarify their hand-types. The kinds of hand that generally use a Forcing No Trump are as follows:
Opener's Rebid
Over the Forcing No Trump Opener clarifies his holding along the following lines (items are in order of preference):-
  1. Rebids a second 4-card or longer suit, if held. A jump rebid in another suit promises 5-5 at least and a maximum.
  2. Rebids a 6-card or a very strong 5-card Spade suit . A jump rebid shows a maximum with at least a 6-card Spade suit.
  3. With any 5332 shape, Opener rebids his cheapest 3-card Minor suit.
  4. Opener rebids 2NT with a setup 6-card suit (Originally this showed a hand missing only 1 of the top 4 honours, but now we treat it as promising the top three, so a minimum holding of AKQxxx) in an otherwise balanced hand that is upper-range (rare because such hands often upgraded to 1). There is a special scale for Gamma in these sequences that relates solely to the length of Opener's suit.
Responder's Rebid
Slam Exploration
With the 16+ hands (with or without Spade support), Responder can either bid naturally or, if Asking Bids are in use, has the option to embark on an Asking Bid sequence. With (3) above, over Opener's rebid...

Romex Trial Bids

Trial Bids - General
Major Suit Trial Bids are an invitation to game when a Major has been agreed at the 2-level by any natural means. 2/1, SA & Acol all use Long-suit (help-suit) Trial bids by default. Standard Precision uses short-suit trial bids by default, but this can cause problems as short-suit trial bids tend to be more revealing to the defence than long-suit trial bids (which can be anything from a 3-card fragment up to a 5-card second suit. In Precision, the Major can have been agreed at the 2-level in any kind of natural sequence, including: Romex Trial Bids
Romex Trial Bids combine these methods and gives the partnership the best of both worlds by allowing them to make bothlong and short-suit trial bids. Long-suit trial bids are mostly unaffected and with one exception are exactly the same as they would be in other systems.

The trick Romex has up its sleeve is that the short-suit trial bid is only made when it will really make a difference. There are 3 basic scenarios:
  1. Partner not interested in game (ie: is Minimum for their 2-level raise).
  2. Partner wants to be in game if their partner has any kind of invitational hand (ie: is Maximum for the 2-level raise).
  3. Partner only interested in game if the hand is fitting right (ie: is mid-range for their 2-level raise)
Using Romex, the short-suit trial bid is only actually made in the third of the above situations. Short-suit trial bids are achieved by a Lebensohl-style relay when one of the partnership wants to ask permission to make a short-suit trial bid. As stated above, the Romex bid is a relay in the next denomination up from the 2-level Major suit bid. This asks for permission to make a short-suit trial bid. Partner can refuse permission by returning to the Major at the 3-level (ie: not interested in game, Scenario 1) or 4-level (ie: wants to be be game, Scenario 2), or gives permission for the short-suit trial bid by relaying in the next bid up (undecided, Scenario 3).

The full scheme of bids is as follows:-
1...2-2NT This is the Romex Relay, Asking to make a short-suit trial bid. Partner returns to Spades at the 3 or 4 level if they refuse permission, or relays with 3 if they give permission, after which...
1...2-2NT-3 -3 shows a Heart shortage (suit below, don't forget)
-3 shows a Club shortage (skip over the agreed Trump suit)
-3 shows a Diamond shortage (Can't afford to bid higher than 3 with our response)
1...2-3 This is a long-suit trial bid in Clubs
1...2-3 This is a long-suit trial bid in Diamonds
1...2-3 This is a long-suit trial bid in Hearts
1...2-3 This is largely pre-emptive rather than an invitation to game
As you can see from the above, Romex only gives the information away about the shortage when it really makes a difference, a significant advantage. Often you will find that your hand is suitable for either a long-suit or a short-suit trial bid. Here you have to consider which is the most appropriate. If undecided you should probably make the long-suit trial bid in preference to asking to make a short-suit trial bid, but on some hands with both a shortage and a side-suit source of tricks it may well be more sensible just to bid the game straight off rather than asking the question.
eg: You hold AJ109x, x, AQJxx, Kx and the bidding starts 1-2-???. Despite the fact that the 2 response is mainly pre-emptive, I'd not bother with a long-suit trial bid in Diamonds here, but just bid 4 straight off.

Mini Splinters

A 2NT response to an Opening of 1 is a Mini-Splinter aimed at reaching thin games based solely on fit rather that a solid point-count. It shows about an 8-9 count, good 4-card or longer trump support and a side-suit singleton or void in an as yet unspecified suit. Opener can decline or accept the invitation immediately, or can ask where the shortage is if that makes a difference. Details as follows:
1-2NT -3 Responder the go-ahead to show their Shortage. Now:
-3 ...shows a Heart shortage (suit below)
-3&hearts ...shows a Club shortage (miss out the trump suit)
-3 ...shows a Diamond shortage (can't go above 3 with our response)
Now Opener assesses how good the fit is and either passes or corrects to 3/4
1-2NT -3 ...shows no game interest
1-2NT -4 ...wants to play in game regardless.

Fit-Showing Jump-Shifts

Jump-shifts in this system are not strong and game-forcing, but mildly invitational in Opener's Major, showing a decent fit for Opener's Spades and a 5-card or longer side-suit in a hand weaker than opening strength, typically about 7-9 points. Like the mini-splinters outlined above, these bids are aimed at reaching thin games on the strength of a really good fit, but Responder will normally have a reasonable trump fit and a source of additional tricks in the side-suit rather than an excellent trump fit and a shortage. Opener should only bid to game if they have a good fit with Responder's suit and controls elsewhere. Clearly Opener's strength plays a part in this decision, but it's primarily the fit with Responder's suit that determines Opener's actions.

The full scheme of responses is as follows:
1-3 a fit-showing jump-shift in Clubs
1-3 a fit-showing jump-shift in Diamonds
1-3 a fit-showing jump-shift in Hearts
In all cases, Opener corrects to 3/4, depending on their strength and fit for Responder's side-suit.
Note: Exceptionally Opener may pass (with a weak hand but excellent 4+-card support for Responder's suit) or even raise Responder's suit with good support and a maximum hand


Even in an unopposed sequence, Lebensohl is applicable in any 3-suited sequence where the 3rd suit is bid at the 2-level. Over a 1 Opening, this effectively means only the following sequences:
In any of these circumstances 2NT is not a natural bid but Lebensohl, forcing 3 and so creating 'slow' and 'fast' sequences just as in standard Lebensohl. Given this, the following general considerations apply:

Intervention over 1

Over simple or jump overcalls up to the level of 3 doubles are negative and strong hands will normally proceed via a negative double or a cue-bid of the opponents' suit (which is Gamma in Opener's Major). Lebensohl 2NT (with all the normal nuances) is always available if space permits:
Doubles (MOTOR)
MOTOR is an excellent gadget which allows us huge scope to show different kinds of hands when Opps make a takeout double of our Major suit Opening. The critical feature of MOTOR is that all bids by Responder from 1NT up to and including the suit below Opener's Major (ie: 1NT, 2, 2 and 2) are all transfers. This makes it easy for Responder to show a wide variety of single-suited and two-suited hands that do not have support for Opener's Major, and a number of additional hand-types that do have primary support for Opener's Spades that we cannot show without the intervening double.

Sequences that show Spade support at some stage are somewhat different. In general, if Responder transfers into Spades first and then bids a new suit then this is Game-forcing, like a delayed game raise. If, however, Responder transfers into a new suit first and then shows Spade support at any level, then this is showing a decent limit bid in Spades with 1st or 2nd round control in the transfer suit but this control can be either a suit, fragment or shortage and is essentially lead-directing if we end up defending the hand. The complete scheme of responses is as follows:-
Possible Extensions to MOTOR
There are some other situations where you can potentially utilise the MOTOR concepts outlined above.
Note: These are not currently part of the agreed OCP system (and probably never will be LOL), but are included here to suggest some possibilities:
  1. Opps make a negative double after Partner overcalls 1 over their Minor suit Opening, and
  2. Opener rebids 1 after a negative response to 1
After an Overcall of 1, RHO Doubles...
The only thing that needs to be said here is that if advancer needs to make an unassuming cue-bid, they should transfer into Opp's suit, but you need to discuss with your partner how to differentiate between a UCB in this situation, and a hand that merely has a decent 2-level raise in Spades but with a "feature" in Opp's suit (a shortage, perhaps).

After 1-1-1, RHO Doubles...
This is an easier situation that it is over a 1 rebid by Opener (which is 2-way). When Opener rebids 1, we know they will always have 5+ Spades and can use MOTOR almost exactly as over a 1 Opening (except that the very strong sequences will simply never arise).


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OCP System Change Log
Gamma if Opener has a setup 6+-card suit (20-Mar-2017)
When the bidding has started 1-1NT-2NT(setup 6-card suit)-3(Gamma) or 1-1NT-2NT(setup 6-card suit)-3(Gamma), it makes no sense to use any normal scale for Gamma, because Opener is always showing a suit such as AKQxxx (or perhaps very rarely KQJ10xx). In these circumstances, however, we still need Gamma (1) to set the trump suit and get us into an Asking Bid sequence, and (2) to check on Opener's length.

The scale for Gamma that we now use is identical with the Repeat Gamma scale used when Opener has shown no top honour, ie: 1 step shows 6-card length, 2 steps shows 7-card length etc etc.