This concept is a version of the Delayed Stayman or Checkback conventional method and was originated by Mr. Max Hardy, who lived in Camarillo, California, United States, at that time. Some partnerships refer to this method as PLOB, which is an acronym for Petty Little Odious Bid, of which a second version designated as Extended PLOB employs some similar developments with the stipulation that the method be only then employed when the responder has either game values or at least game invitational values.

Biographical Data

Mr. Max Hardy, the son of a college music professor, studied music for a time but soon became taken by the game of bridge and devoted himself to the game. He played professionally and worked as a tournament director for more than 40 years. He wrote various books, including several on the 2/1 game force bidding system. His first book, Five-Card Majors – Western Style published in 1974 was advanced for its time and a precursor to the 2/1 books.

Among his publications are Advanced Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century, Standard Bridge Bidding for the 21st Century, New Minor, Fourth Suit Forcing, No Trump Responses.

Mr. Max Hardy never won a North American championships, but he won more than 200 regional events, most in the era before flighting, stratification and bracketed knockouts.

Note: As was his custom at national and international bridge tournaments his trademark was perhaps his tuxedoes, which he wore on the weekends.


Required Pre-Explanation

In some bidding auctions, the opener will often rebid 1 No Trump to indicate a range between 12-15 high card points and that both partners have still not found a fit in any suit. A range of 12-15 high card points indicates that the partnership generally opens a strong 1 No Trump of 16-18 high card points. If the partnership employs a No Trump range of 15-17 high card points for a No Trump opening, then the range of the rebid of 1 No Trump would show 12-14 high card points.

The responder, therefore, finds it useful to have a low-level forcing bid available, in order to inquire about opener's support for responder's suit, or to make responder's description of his own hand more accurate.

Note: According to the partnership agreement, some bridge players will use a 2 Clubs rebid by the responder as the only forcing bid after a 1 No Trump rebid by the opener. And other bridge players will use a 2 Clubs rebid by the responder as the Stayman convention after a 1 No Trump rebid by the opener.

A third method of treating this situation is the use of the unbid Minor Suit as a forcing bid by the responder. The general consensus is that this conventional method should only then be employed if the responder has at least 10 high card points or more. With fewer high card points the responder should pass the 1 No Trump rebid or, with support, raise the first suit of the opener. The values should be at least strong enough to bid on the two level or game values. Therefore this conventional method should only be then employed when the responder has game invitational values or game values.

Important Note: The partner of the opening bidder may be a passed hand and also employ New Minor Forcing. However, the requirements for such an action do not change. Even a responder, who is a passed hand, must hold a minimum of 9 plus points in order to employ this conventional approach in order to compete on the two level.

Assume the following auction:

South   North   Meaning
1       South has opening values.
    1   North has sufficient values to respond. However, North promises only a minimum of four Hearts.
1 NT       South denies sufficient Heart support and rebids No Trump.
    2   New Minor Forcing. North strongly implies a five-card Heart suit.

The rebid by the responder of 2 Diamonds is artificial and forcing. The continuance by North, the opener, depends greatly on the partnership agreement.

Note: One possible partnership agreement following an opening of 1 Club is:

2 :   Shows a minimum hand with three Hearts.
2 :   Shows a minimum hand with fewer than three hearts, or natural if the 1 NT rebid may have concealed a 4-card Spade suit.
2 NT:   Shows a maximum hand, but fewer than three Hearts.
3 :   This is a natural bid, showing a 5-card suit.
3 :   Shows a maximum hand, less than three Hearts, no Diamond stopper.
3 :   Shows a maximum hand with three Hearts.

Second Possible Partnership Agreement

A second possible partnership agreement, following the bid of 1 Spade by the responder, is, as in the following example:

North   South
1   1
1 NT   2
2 :   This is a natural bid, showing a 5-card suit.
2 :   This is a natural bid, showing a 4-card suit.
2 :   Shows a minimum hand with three Spades, but does not deny a 4-card Heart suit.
3 :   Shows a maximum, less than three Spades, no Club stopper.
3 :   Shows a maximum hand with three Spades.

Alternative Option

Although this conventional method should be used when the responded holds at least 10 plus high card points, it can also be employed to describe a weak two-suited holding with 9 or fewer high card points, generally a 4-card Major suit and a 6-card Minor suit. When possible, the responder bids the Major suit first, the opener rebids 1 No Trump, and then the responder jumps one level in the unbid Minor suit to show the 6-card Minor suit, as in the following illustration:

Example 1
North   South
1   1
1 NT   3
Example 2
North   South
1   1
1 NT   3

In almost every auction of this type, the opener will pass unless the opener has a maximum holding, stoppers in all the other three suits, and a good 3-card Club or Diamond suit for entries. In this case the opener will perhaps gamble on a 3 No Trump contract. For example:

North   South
1   1
1 NT   3
3 NT


The New Minor Forcing conventional method can be employed by the partnership according to the partnership understanding, which can be altered or modified according to the needs of the partnership. The most important feature of the concept is for the opener to additionally describe his holding although he has semi-limited his holding with the rebid within a certain range.

It becomes the goal of the opener, since he is forced to additionally describe his shape, distribution and point values, to make the best possible and descriptive rebid. Once this is achieved the responder has the additional information necessary to define and set the final contract. The consensus is that this forced rebid by opener be listed in priorities, which follow:

1. Bid the unbid Major suit, which promises a 4-card length.
2. Rebid two of the Major suit of the responder, which shows at least a 3-card support and minimum values.
3. Rebid three of the Major suit of the responder, which shows a least a 3-card support and maximum values.
4. Rebid 2 No Trump showing a stopper in the unbid suit and minimum values.
5. Rebid 3 No Trump showing a stopper in the unbid suit and maximum values.
6. Rebid of the original Major suit or raise the Minor suit of the responder, which is a natural bid and which denies the possibility of making any other rebid.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.


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