Weak two opening bids in major suits

These days opening bids of two in the major suits are frequently played as a pre-emptive bid. If you decide to do this then you need to modify your open bids at the two level to have a bid for opening bids that are 8 playing tricks

It is suggested that an opening bid of 2 = a game force hand(alerted); 2 = 8 playing tricks in any suit (alerted); 2 / = a weak opening in the major (announced).

(i)What are the requirements for a weak two?

1.A 6-card major suit , no weaker than Q10xxxx, and 6-10 pts. Preferably two honours in the suit especially when vulnerable.

2. No other 4 card major and preferably 6-4-2-1, 6-4-3-0, or 6-3-3-1 shapes. A hand that does not satisfy the rule of 20.

(ii) How do I respond to a weak two by partner?

1. With less than an opening hand, pass, or make a pre-emptive raise(s) at favourable vulnerabilty

2. With a void in opener's suit, and seeking a better spot to play, bid another 6 card or longer suit. Non-forcing


3. With stronger opening hands use either the rule of 26 to decide whether to bid game in the major; or the enquiry bid of 2NT to determine openers strength. A direct 3NT to play is rarely an option.

The rule of Twenty -six

Add together your pts+length of your holding in the major, and subtract the result from 26. This gives the number of pts that your partner must hold to bid game. A worked example: You hold 3 cards in ª s and 15 pts. You have the equivalent of 15 +3=18 values if partner opens with 2, so partner needs 8pts to raise your bid of 3 to 4 . If you held a shortage in the other major, then a direct bid to 4would be better.

The 2NT enquiry (Ogust convention)

This asks opener define his hand in terms of suit strength and pts. The opener responds:

3 with weak suit, low pts

3 with good suit, low pts

3 with weak suit, high pts

3with good suit, high pts

A good suit is defined as holding two of top three honours

You can play splinters at the 4 level as a slam suggestion but this would be rare

(iii) Defending against an opponent’s weak two opening.

Double for take out, which usually implies a holding in the other major suit. A bid in a new suit is at least 5 cards and is non forcing. 2/3NT is to play.

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