Seven Notrump

In which some people who play bridge blog about it.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Weak twos

There's been a lot of buzz, but I believe it's time to give this a try for real. An opening bid at the two-level does not mean what it used to. Memorize what follows (or comment with quibbles and alternate suggestions).

Open 2D, 2H, or 2S if you have exactly six cards in the suit and 6-10 7-11 points. Your points should lie primarily in the bid suit, and you should not have a four-card side suit (especially not a major).

With a strong hand, open 2C. This promises 20 or more points (or a couple less with a great strong suit) and says nothing about your club holding.

Responses to a weak-two opening

You're not forced to respond.

  • With a doubleton at least in partner's suit and 7-13 points, you can raise in the same suit. Opener should pass.
  • With a longer fit and greater than opening strength, jump to game.
  • With a five-card suit and good point count, bid that suit. To bid at the three level, you should have a six-card suit and/or 15+ points.
  • To invite partner to game, bid 2NT. This promises 14+ points and invites the opener to show a feature in another suit -- an ace, king, void, or singleton -- by bidding that suit at the three level. If opener has none of the above, she rebids the original suit. If the original suit is rock-solid -- headed by three honors, say -- she can rebid 3NT. See Ogust.
  • To invite partner to slam, bid 4NT: Blackwood!

Responses to a 2C opening

You are forced to respond.

  • With 7+ points and five diamonds, hearts, or spades, bid that suit at the two level.
  • With 7+ points and balanced distribution, bid 2NT.
  • With less than seven points and/or no particular suit you like, bid 2D. Opener will name her favorite suit. You are still forced to respond -- raise that suit to the three level if you like it okay and have five or more points, or bid 3C as a sign-off if you have very low points and nothing else to offer.



  At Monday, March 05, 2007 3:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

tell me you are not going over to the dark side! oh, how i loathe weak 2 contracts. (i know, let's get in a partial to play out a lousy hand versus some opponents who probably have something better!) perhaps if i just keep not playing very often by the next time i do, you will all have come to hate them, too.


  At Monday, March 05, 2007 4:18:00 PM, Blogger Paul said:

let's get in a partial to play out a lousy hand versus some opponents who probably have something better

That's it exactly! Over a weak-two opening, the opponents don't have a chance to find their fit, and they can't set us in our long suit. The hope is that it'll produce more aggressive, competitive play, as opposed to the current climate wherein everyone politely, patiently bids to describe their hands and whomever has the best fit and the most points is allowed to calmly reach and play their ideal contract -- undoubled of course. And two-bids are almost never seen.

  At Monday, March 05, 2007 10:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hmm. Well, a couple things: it seems to me that the way to get people to play more aggressively is to play more agressively and egg people on a bit. That is, you can play weak twos just for the sake of playing them, and it won't necessarily make you a more aggressive player.

That said, the bit about the long suit might lessen the suckage. I've not seen that as a prerequisite to the weak two bid before, and everyone ends up getting set, which is what I was imagining, not poor ops don't get to play their suit.

  At Monday, March 05, 2007 11:42:00 PM, Blogger Paul said:

How did/do the Columbia people play their weak twos -- just with five-card suits? That sounds too weak.

I agree that bidding more aggressively is a good way to encourage others to do the same; but without the conventions in place to support aggressive bids all you can do, besides doubling often, is stuff like open 11-point hands at the one level, etc., and doing that tends to get you set repeatedly, because you're bending the rules and nobody else is. That -1700 rubber from February 20 at Marya's is a sad artifact of that sort of aggression.

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