Alerting Procedure


Alerting is not optional and players need to know which bids in their system are alertable. The purpose of alerts is to tell your opposition that your partner’s bid is substantially different from what they would expect.  (The opposition players may ask when it is their turn to bid. They do not have to ask for an explanation immediately, but may do so then or wait until later.) Do not alert bids that are basically what you would expect from “natural” bidders.

The Club has an alert procedure, which is posted on the notice board and is repeated here. The principles shall apply in club grade play. (The NZ Bridge alerting regulations for tournament play, are at: and see Policies, Rules & Regulations page D43).



At the Christchurch Bridge Club, Acol is the standard system that most people play. If you play a standard version of Acol, you will not need to alert anything. If you play Precision, Standard American or any other system, or if you have modified your Acol, the onus is on you to make sure your opponents are aware of what you are doing by alerting (circling partners bid on the pad) and giving clear explanations when your opponents ask.


Before the auction:

Tell your opponents if your system is not Acol, or if you have modified Acol (eg multi 2D)

During the auction:

  • Do alert all conventional calls other than those listed below. A conventional call is not only a bid whose meaning is not related to the bid (e.g. a Multi 2D has nothing to do with diamonds) but also a bid that conveys extra information (e.g. 2H showing hearts and another is conventional because there is additional information that the hand contains another suit).
  • Do alert bids that are outside reasonable expectation. For example: a non-forcing response by partner in a new suit would require an alert, or weak jump raises.


The exceptions are:

  • Do not alert a natural, weak 1NT opening bid (any in the 12-15 range) and simple 2C Stayman response.
  • Do not alert any 3 card+ minor or 4+ major opening bid at the one level unless there is additional information (e.g. canapé).
  • Do not alert a strong 2C opener and the negative 2D response.
  • Do not alert any double or redouble irrespective of meaning.
  • Do not alert any cue-bid — a cue-bid is defined as a bid in known opponent’s suit, or a bid of the suit they have bid irrespective of the meaning of that bid.
  • Do not alert any bid at the 4 level or higher.
  • Do not alert if you have no agreement. When asked to explain a bid, state your agreement or that you have no agreement.

If you alert when you do not need to there will normally be no penalty.


After the auction is finished:

  • Alert the opponents to any bids that they may need to know about, including doubles and cue bids. (Put a “+” beside the bid you would like to alert).