Jim Winkle's bridge bidding conventions

I read The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bridge and follow it closely (I highly recommend this book!). If you don't know how to evaluate your hand for High Card Points (HCP) and other points, read this article first. Then, here are my bidding conventions:

  1. 5 card majors, convenient minors. If you have 3 card support for my major suit, please let me know right away. Showing your minor suit will only give opps extra info.
  2. 15-17 HCP for 1NT (occasionally more points). I'll even open a hand with a 5 card major suit like this since it's such a descriptive bid.
  3. Stayman. In short, if 1NT is bid, respond 2C (or pass with less than 8 HCP) to ask opener to bid a 4 card major suit. Responses:
  4. Blackwood (4NT) when in a trump suit, Gerber (4C) when in NT. Asking for # of aces, then kings.
  5. Take-out X (even after 1NT), probably weak. Please do not pass if your RHO passes. If your RHO bids and you bid, I will assume you have a great hand!
  6. Transfers. They go well with Stayman when you have a weak hand.
  7. If I respond 1NT to your minor opening, it means I have (at least) 6-9 points but less than 4 cards in a major suit. If your hand is strong, go to 2NT.
  8. 2 clubs strong and artificial (22+ points). Please do not pass (bid 2D if you have dreck).
  9. Weak 2's. Weak 2's go well with 2C.
  10. I play for points (not game).
  11. If I open and you can make 3NT, please bid it (not just 2NT). This goes for other ways of making game, too.
  12. When bidding, I double shortage points in opps' suit; this is a neat trick that usually works well.

If you bid differently, please let me know... I'm somewhat flexible.

I'm open to suggestions and constructive criticism.