Norway Standard


5 card spades, 4 card red, 3 card club.
Open the higher of long suits of equal length: 5-5 or 6-6.
Normally open 1C with 4-4 in the minors.
1C is only 3 card if 4 spades - 333. (Some also opens 1C with 3433)
Notrump openings show a balanced hand and can be made with a five-card major or minor suit, except 3NT who shows a gambling hand with a solid 7 card minor and not much else in the side suits. 

Strong artificial 2C opening.
Other 2-level openings is pairs agreement, but many use:
2D: as Multi showing a weak 2 in major or 22-24 NT , 2H/2S: 5-10 HCP 5 card major and 4+ minorsuit
4C/4D shows a solid (7)8 card major with no sideaces. Max 1 king.

Responses to 1C / 1D
Responses to 1H / 1S
Further after opening on 1-level
Responses and later bidding after a 15-17 opening
2C opening, responses and later bidding:
Sequence after Multi 2D
Sequence after Dutch 2H/2S
Responses to 2NT
Defensive bidding
Competitive bidding
Slam bidding

Responses to 1C / 1D

A 1C openings may be 3 card, but otherwise an opening of 1C/1D show 4+card. Always open 1C if 4-4 in minor except when you have 4441 distribution. Then you should open in the middle suit. 

Responses to 1H / 1S

1S show 5+card and 1H show 4+card.

Further after opening on 1-level

Opener's rebids are natural, but it is important to remember these gadgets which may be different from other Natural systems.

Rebids with a minimum hand (12-15/16 points):

Rebids with a medium hand (16-18) points:

With a maximum hand (19-21 or 22 points) opener must make a very strong rebid:

Subsequent bidding by responder:

If responder has bid a suit at the one level, he next determines whether he wishes to sign off in a partscore, invite game, sign off in game, or force to game and get more information about opener's hand. Having made his choice, he selects the best available bid.

Bids available for signoff in partscore: Pass, 1NT, 2 of a previously bid suit.

1H - 1S
2C - Pass, 2H, 2S = 6-10 points, signoff in partscore.

Bids available for inviting game: 2NT, 3 of a previously bid suit:

1H - 1S
2D - 2NT, 3D, 3H, 3S = 11-12 points, inviting game.

Second-round forcing bids. A new suit response (other than after a 1NT rebid by opener) is a one-round force. If it is a fourth suit in the auction, it is artificial and GF.

1H - 1S
2C - 2D = GF and artificial. 

1H - 1S
1NT- 2D = non-forcing. (2C would be artificial and Check-Back / XY-NT)

Second round forcing bids following a 1NT rebid by opener: 
Many natural systems use a reverse or jump shift into a new suit as game force. Norway-Standard system use Check-Back or XY-NT were you use a sort of Stayman to force bidding. These two conventions use 2 different way of force, and I will use Check-Back in this example because it is the most used and most natural way to do it.

1C - 1H
1NT - 2S or 3D = game force.

Bids available for signing off in game. 3NT, 4H, 4S, 5C, 5S.

If responder initially bids a new suit at the two level, the same rules apply EXCEPT that a subsequent jump raise of opener's first suit to the THREE LEVEL is game forcing (responder should make a limit raise directly over the opening with 10-12 points and at least three-card support):

1S - 2C
2H - 2NT, 3C, 3H = Invitational to game (11-12 points).
     - 2S = Preference, not forcing. Responder has 10-11 points and a doubleton spade.
     - 3D = Game force, could be artificial.
     - 3S = 11-12 points. 3 card spade. Invitational

NOTE: Responder promises to bid again if he responded with a new suit at the two level unless opener's rebid is at the game level.

1S -- 2C
2D = forcing one round. Responder can limit his hand by bidding 2S, 2NT, 3C, or 3D at this point. He should not pass, since opener could have 18 points (just short of a jump shift rebid).

Responses and later bidding after a 15-17 opening: 

2C is "non-forcing" Stayman, meaning that the bidding can stop in two of a suit. Opener bids 2H with 4-4 in the majors. If responder rebids three of either minor, he is showing slam interest and at least a five-card suit.

Jacoby transfers showing a five-card suit are used for the majors: 2D is a transfer to hearts, 2H is a transfer to spades. Opener accepts the transfer though he can jump to the three level with 17 points and four-card support for responder's major, for example:

1NT - 2D
2H = normal acceptance of the transfer
3H = 17 points and four-card heart support

If, after the transfer is accepted, responder bids a new suit, that is natural and game forcing. Possible calls after the accepted transfer are:

1NT - 2H
2S - ?

A 2S response show a long suit in minor and weak, or both minor weak/strong.


Further bids:

Other responses to 1NT:

1NT - ?

A direct raise of 1NT to 4NT is natural and invites 6NT. 4NT is slam invitational only because 4C is available as Gerber.


Interference after 1NT opening bids:

If the opponents double, all conventional responses are "off" on the 2-level.

If the opponents bid over your 1NT opener, Stayman and transfers are "off." Bids are natural except for a cuebid, which can be used with game force strength as a substitute for Stayman.

If the opponents intervene over a conventional response, bids carry the same meaning as if there were no intervention. A bid says, "I'm bidding voluntarily, so I have a real fit with you."

2C opening, responses and later bidding:  

2C opening shows at least 20+ HCP, or at least 9 tricks, but always at least 16/17 HCP. Responses:

If opener rebids 2NT after a 2D response (showing 22-24 points, or 25-26 if you use Multi), the same responses are used as over a 2NT opening:

Response to 2C-2D-2NT: (see Sequence after 2NT)

If opener rebids a suit over a 2D response, the bidding is forcing to 3 of opener's major or 4 of opener's minor.

2C - 2D
2H - 2S
3H = not forcing.

Sequence after Multi 2D:

Multi show a weak 2 in major - 5-10 HCP, OR a 22-24 NT hand. You can yourself decide the strength and quality of the weak 2 bid, but we Norwegian don't like it to be too strong. 8 HCP should be the strongest in 1./2. seat.

Responses to 2D:

  • 2H: Don't see a game if weak 2 in heart. The opener will  pass or correct to 2S with weak 2 in major, and bid 2NT with a strong NT hand. Further to 2N  (see Sequence after 2NT)
  • 2S: Invitational if opener has weak 2 in heart, and to play if opener has weak 2 in spades. Opener pass with weak 2 in spades, and with weak 2 in heart, he bids 3H with a minimum, and 4H with a maximum.
    2NT shows a strong NT hand. Further to 2N  (see Sequence after 2NT)
  • 2NT: Forcing. The responder have at least an invitational against a weak 2 bid in both major.
            - 3C: Maximum weak 2 in H --> 3H: GF. Slaminvitational.
            - 3D: Maximum weak 2 in S --> 3S: GF. Slaminvitational.
            - 3H, 3S: Minimum.
            - 3NT: 22-24 NT. (I will not believe it!)

If opponents overcall 2D, doubles from responder are penalty, but 2H/3H/4H ask pd to correct.

Sequence after dutch of 2H and 2S:

Dutch two-bids show a five-card major suit and a side suit in minor 4+. Strength is 5-11 HCP. Normally the major suit should have some quality, sine you often must play it on 5-2. Many also like to use 5+ minor, but 4+ is more frequently.


  • A 2NT response is forcing, and ask opener to show his sidesuit. If responder bids 3 in the opening majorsuit after 3C/3D, it shows an invitational hand. 3 in new major is forcing and ask opener to bid 3N with no support.
  • Any raise of opener's suit is to play and could be preemptive. A 3NT response is also to play.
  • New suit is non forcing. You can of course use it as forcing if you wants to.

Responses to 2NT: (and 2C-2D-2N , 2D-2H/2S-2N)

Stayman and Jacoby transfers for the majors are used.

Defensive bidding:

Overcalls show 8-16 points (double and bid the long suit with a stronger hand). The only forcing response is a cuebid of opener's suit, asking the overcaller about the quality of his overcall:

(1D) - 1S - (Pa) - 2D
(Pa) - 2S = minimum overcall.
         - other = extra strength (11 or 12 points minimum).

A 1NT overcall shows 15-18 points and a balanced hand (preferably a stopper in opener's suit). NT system is "on".

A jump overcall of 2NT shows at least 5-5 in the lower two unbid suits.

Jump overcalls are preemptive, showing the same values as an opening bid at the same level:

(1D) - 2S = a hand that would open a weak two-bid in spades.
       - 3C = a hand that would open 3C.

A cuebid overcall, when the opponents have bid only one suit, is a Michaels cuebid, showing a 5-5 two-suiter (or more distributional).

Reopening bids mean much the same as direct seat bids, though they can be lighter at the minimum end. But a reopening 1NT after an opponent has opened still shows 15-18 HCP. 

Doubles are for takeout over opening partscore bids (4 D or lower); penalty over opening game bids (4H or higher). A below-game jump response to a takeout double is invitational. To force, responder cuebids opener's suit.

Versus opening preempts, overcalls in suits or notrump are natural; cuebids are Michaels.

Competitive bidding:

There is almost an endless variety of possible sequences, so it pays to have simple guidelines to prevent bidding misunderstandings:

Support Doubles:
A double after 1X-1maj-(1y/2y) shows 3 card support in the responders major suit.

1D - (Pa) - 1S - (2C)
X : 3 card spade.
2S: 4 card spade.
Other bids: Max 2 spades.

After an overcall after 1maj opening, 2NT show at least invitational in the opening  suit. Direct cue is asking for stopper.:

1S - (2C) - 2NT = At least invitational in spades 
                3C = game force; ask for stopper in club.

Negative doubles are used through 3S promising four cards (at least) in any unbid major. Bidding a major at the two level or higher shows 11 or more points and a five-card or longer suit.

If RHO makes a takeout double:

1D - (Do) - 1H, 1S = forcing, point count not limited.
                 - 2C = non-forcing (6-10 points, usually a six-card suit).
                 - 2NT = limit raise (at least 10 points) -- or better.
                 - Redouble = 10 points or more, but it is better to make a more descriptive bid of 1H, 1S, or 2NT with the appropriate hand.
                 - 3D = Preemptive, good trump support but fewer than 10 points.

A responder's jump shift after a double is to play:

1D - (Do) - 2H, 2S, 3C = six-plus-card suit, like a weak two-bid or preemptive three-bid.

A redouble can have one of three meanings:
To play if:

  • Your side is at the four level or higher: 4S - (Do) - Redouble = Penalty:
  • The opponents double an artificial bid: 1NT - (Pa) - 2D - (Do) - Redouble = Penalty. good diamond suit;

A good hand if their double is for takeout:

  • 1S - (Do) - Redouble = 10+ points;

SOS, requesting a different suit, if your side is doubled for penalty in a trump suit at the three level or lower:

1D - (Pa) - Pass - (Do)
Pa - (Pa) - Redouble = SOS, responder can support at least two of the unbid suits.

Unless otherwise noted elsewhere, any bid or double by the opponents cancels a convention intended for non-competitive sequences.

2C - (Do) - 2D = Natural and Positive.

If the opponents use a convention (such as Michaels or the unusual notrump), you can double to show at least 10 points, or you can cuebid one of their shown suit(s) to force to game.

1S - (2S) - 3H = game force.
                 - Double = at least 10 points, probably balanced.

Slam bidding:

Blackwood is only used after 4NT invitational when there is no trump suit. 

Roman Key-Card Blackwood 4NT is used to ask for aces. Responses show the number of aces by steps. 5NT is then used to show a grand slam invitational; 5NT guarantees the partnership holds all five aces + trump queen.

After any kind of Blackwood DOPI/ROPI are in use if interference.

A jump to 5NT (and some 5NT bids when the auction is at the five level) is "Grand Slam Force", asking partner to bid a grand slam with two of the three top trump honors;

5NT - 6 of the trump suit = fewer than two top trump honors (A, K, or Q).
        - 7 of the trump suit = two of the three top trump honors.

Defensive leads and signals:

Here you can of course decide for yourself, but defaults are:
- high discourages, low encourages. Opposite of American standard systems.
- Count is high-low showing an even number of cards.
- Leads are 3./5. Same as count in general.
- In middle of game we invite with small cards, and high card show weakness.

Standard leads from honors.
Highest card from a sequence, king from AK.

Edited by Woody for Bidding Quest