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Martens System

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A modern bidding system should have the same structure as a tree; its roots deeply established and its limbs reaching out to the sky. A good bidding system has a similar symbiosis between relay bidding and a two-way exchange of information. Specific consideration must also be given to camouflage, wherever this is possible without obstructing the quality of the final contract.

The author strongly believes that you should use different systems, depending on the vulnerability. Non-vulnerable against vulnerable, he suggests a strong club system where 1♣ shows 17+ HCPs or 15+ when balanced; 1♢ opening - 12-14 HCPs, 5+ diamonds, 4-4-4-1 shape with four diamonds and any singleton, or 4 diamonds and 5 clubs; 1♡ and 1♠ openings should be aggressive within the 9-16 HCPs range;

1 NT opening - weak 12-14 HCPs;

2♣ opening - natural 12-16 HCPs (Precision);

2♢ opening - 4+ hearts - 4+ spades, within the 4-8 HCPs range;

2♡/♠ openings - five in major and 4+ in minor, within the 4-8 HCPs range

A disadvantage of the 1♣ strong opening is the lack of resilience to destructive bidding. But vulnerable opponents do not usually expose themselves by being too active. They know that lack of good sense may be costly. The suggestion therefore is that the strong club used only when non vulnerable.


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