CANAPÉ is a bidding method in which the long suit is usually bid on the second round. This was developed by
Pierre Albarran (1894-1960) in France, where it has had a considerable following. By contrast, standard methods are described in France as “longue d’abord” (long suit first).


Canapé has influenced Italian bidding theory, it is incorporated in both the “Roman” and “Blue Team Club” systems, and in offspring systems such as the “Orange Club” and the “Simplified Club” which is a total canapé system.


Albarran’s definition of canapé was “With a two-suited hand of more than minimum strength, the higher-ranking suit must be bid on the first round if it has four cards, and on the second round if it has more than four cards.”


Four-card major suits are usually bid ahead of any minor suit; five-card major suits are bid on the first round if tha hand is minimum; normal reverse sequences are inverted (inversé):


                       ª A Q 10 x x

                       © K Q x x

                       ¨ K x

                       § x x


Using canapé, the opening bid is 1©, and 2ª is bid on the next round. A Heart  preference is highly improbable so the canapé player can stay safely at the level of two.


Admittedly canapé is in difficulty with certain minimum hands, such as those with four spades and five clubs.
ª followed by 3§ would exaggerate the strength (reverse), and 1§ followed by 1ª would imply a five-card spade suit.


A modified version called “canapé tendency” (tendance canapé ) was used successfully in international competition by Pierre Jais and Roger Trezal. They bid minimum hands in normal fashion, but adopt the canapé principle for hands of maximum strength and some hands of intermediate strength.

** Reproduced with the kind permission of the ACBL and Crown Publishers incorporated.
** This article is an extract  from their excellent book:

**                        “The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge” (sixth edition)

** available through all good Bridge book shops