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SAYC+ is a bidding system based on Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC) but with one club forcing.  The forcing club convention can be applied to any five card major system such as Goren game forcing 2/1.

If you play a five card major system my e-book "SAYC+" explains in simple and concise terms how to make a few small changes to your system and gain a big advantage over regular SAYC players. 

In the 2013 Bermuda Bowl 62% of pairs played a Standard American Yellow Card (SAYC) variant using five card majors, three card minors and a strong 1NT (including Goren 2/1 game forcing). The prevalence of SAYC variants is startling. It is undoubtedly a good basic system but I believe that it's popularity is primarily due to it's acceptance as the world's standard bidding system. Even experts need to understand each other really well and it takes a great deal of time an effort to learn and play a new system. If you play with numerous partners it's much more difficult to get this right so learning a standard frees up time for other things.

That's why I'm wrote "SAYC+". You don't need to learn endless bidding sequences to play this system, you need to know a five card major system well and then make a few simple modifications.  33% of pairs at the Bermuda Bowl were playing some kind of forcing one club opener. These could be classified as...

21% Big Club where one club is forcing and strong showing at least 15 HCP. Normally this is referred to as a Strong Club.

12% Small Club were one club is forcing but not necessarily strong.

When one club is forcing, artificial and unlimited but not necessarily strong, it is referred to as a Polish Club. That's because the Polish Standard bidding system uses this approach. SAYC+ is therefore a form of Polish Club. Pairs playing a Polish Club at the Bermuda Bowl included:  the whole Polish Team; Australia's Belinski-Brown; Canada's Smith-Thurston; Germany Peikarek-Smirnov and others.  In all cases their systems would require a great deal of memory work if you currently just know SAYC.

What's Wrong With SAYC?

Have you ever opened a three-card 1♣ with a balanced 18-19 points only to have the bid passed out? Annoying isn't it? Especially when your partner is short in clubs. This problem is solved by making the 1♣ opener forcing and adding an artificial negative 1♦ response instead of pass.

Have you ever opened a SAYC 2♣ opener and found the auction difficult? Sometimes the opponents pre-empt aggressively, sometimes you may miss a 4-4 major suit fit, in other cases responder can “steal” the contract by bidding NT before you do. This problem isn't solved but it's definitely improved by mixing rare strong hands in with the forcing one club opener.

Also we introduce pre-emptive two level openings that are very frequent and successful.  These are just a few of the advantages of the system. Download my e-book from here to find out more...

Nigel Jones