matthew

 

This conventional bid is perhaps the most difficult to understand and explain as it is muto-faceted. There are both disciplined and undisciplined Weak Two Bids. There are no etched-in-stone guidelines, which makes the bid quite flexiclbe in character. However, its effectiveness has caused many bridge players to adopt it in their partnership agreement. In essence, it is a mild preempt. Bidding Weak Twos disturbs the bidding of the opponents, obstructs the auction process of the opponents, and , to some degree, does not permit the opponents to reach game since any competition must begin on the two or even the level.

Evolutionists

Among the pioneers of the bidding auction there were several players, who simply liked to mess up the bidding. There was Mr. Herold Stirling Vanderbilt, Mr. Charles Edward Van Vleck, Mr. Harold Schenken. All great bridge players and men of adventure, who liked to throw stumbling blocks in the path of their bridge opponents.

Over the years their conventional method has been used and developed further. Their conventional method has spawned variations. This has led to some confusion, because the situation is different when the Weak Two Bid is used in first seat as opposed to the third seat. The situation is also sometimes different depending on the vulnerability.

Therefore, position and vulnerability are the two keys to successfully using Weak Two Bids. The attempt has been made to illustrate the possible holdings, on which Weak Two Bids made be made, and which meet the proper parameters.

Note: The Weak Two Bids, although preemptive bids, are generally considered in a separate category in the game of bridge, by bridge authors and by more experienced bridge players. This is, in part, owing to the various defense methods, which can be employed by the opposing side to enter a competitive auction.

If the partnership agreement is that the opening bid of 2 Clubs is a strong, artificial bid describing multiple strong suit and No Trump holdings, then there are only three possible Weak Two Bids, namely 2 Diamonds - 2 Hearts - 2 Spades. The length of the suit, depending on vulnerability, is should be either a 5-card suit or a 6-card suit. The high card points should generally be in the suit bid, and which are described as working values, working points

Note: Experience in the employment of Weak Two Bids has proven beyond a doubt, that there should be no void in any suit. The reason is logical since the declarer will frequently have no entry to either holding if there is a void.

Note: Many bridge players have also the agreement that no Two Weak Bid may be made if the player, who is planning to make a Weak Two Bid, holds a 3-card Major suit.

Note: The point range is different according to each individual partnership agreement, but in general the accepted range by all sponsoring organizations falls within the range of 5-6 high card points to 10-12 high card points.

Important Note: Many experts choose not to use the classic Weak Two Bid, but often open a Weak Two Bid with a weak suit. Then they use the Ogust convention to find out how good the suit is. In third seat it is a good idea to open a five-card suit if it is a good lead director. The general convention chart, which lists conventions that are allowed in all tournaments, does not list the Weak Two Bid. That means that any version of a Weak Two Bid is allowed, including opening on five-card suits. The convention card has spaces to describe your version of the Weak Two Bid. If your partner can expect a bad 5-card suit on occasion, then this should be noted on your convention card. But ACBL allows it. Clubs are free to determine which conventions are allowed.

Example 1:  
Vulnerable: East-West
Dealer: South
South
742
K9
QJ10876
J4
West
AKJ95
QJ6
K9
K107
Analysis: Analysis:
South is Dealer. South has 7 high card points. West has 17 high card points
East and West are vulnerable. West would have opened 1 No Trump,
South does not know how strong his partner is. if South had passed.
South could jeopardize his partner's holding. West now sees his Diamond suit in danger.
South could preempt and obstruct the bidding West has another bid: 2
auction of the opponents. West, however, cannot inform his partner
South could inform his partner of his length of his strength.
and approximate strength.  
South bids 2    

Continuation of Auction:

North
Q63
8532
5432
A5
East
108
A1074
A
Q98632
Analysis: Analysis:
North knows partner is weak. East knows that his partner has opening values.
North knows that he is not vulnerable. East does not know partner's strength.
North knows that East and West have game. East does not have support in Spades.
Game by East and West equals 600+ minus points. East cannot bid 3 Hearts; he only has four.
North realizes: down three tricks and East does not know that West has a Stopper in Diamonds.
doubled equals 500 minus points. Should East try 3 No Trump or 4 ?
North decides to become adventurous. East does not know whether to bid No Trump.
North joins in to obstruct the bidding. East struggles for a bid.
North bids 3

Conclusion: a Weak Two Bid in Diamonds by the dealer has the effect that the opponents have difficulty in finding their contract. This is the desired effect of the Weak Two Bid.

Rearranging Holding Equals Different Result

Example 2:  
Vulnerable: East-West
Dealer: South
South
742
K9
QJ10876
J4
West
Q63
53
543
Q9863
Analysis Analysis
South is Dealer. South has 7 high card points. West has 4 high card points.
East and West are vulnerable. West must pass.
South does not know how strong his partner is.  
South could jeopardize his partner's holding.  
South could preempt and obstruct the  
bidding auction of the opponents.  
South could inform his partner of his  
length and approximate strength.  
South bids 2  

Continuation of Auction:

North
AKJ5
QJ64
AK
A107
East
1098
A10872
92
K52
Analysis: Analysis:
North knows partner is weak, 5-11 high card points. East has 7 high card points.
North knows that he is not vulnerable. East must pass.
North has 21 high card points.  
North has been disturbed by partners Weak Two Bid.  
North would have bid Two No Trump.  
What are the Guidelines for North?  

Continuations and Guidelines

As continuations are per partnership agreement, then any such continuations can assume various definitions. For example, is a new suit by the partner of the Weak Two bidder forcing or can the bid be passed? Some partnership agreements stipulate that only the next higher-ranking suit bid by the partner is forcing for one round.

Modern Method: In more modern bidding theory and practice any non-jump bid of a new suit, excluding a game contract, by partner following a Weak Two bid on the two level or a Preempt on the three level, but not on any higher level, is 100% forcing for one round. The logic for this approach is that the partner can demand additional information via conventional bids following the Weak Two opening bid and/or any preemptive bid on the three level in order to reach the optimum contract.

Note: As a historical footnote the introduction of a new suit higher-ranking than the Weak Two bid and/or preemptive bid was considered non-forcing, and the bid of any new suit could be passed.

Responses to Weak Two Bids - Guidelines for Continuations

North, in the above example, finds himself in a bind. What should he bid? This is the time for the partnership agreement to become activated and enforced. Without a partnership agreement for any continuations, both players are doomed to either not reach the correct contract or to exceed the correct contract.

The problem lies in the fact, that the responder does not know whether his partner has a second suit and that the responder cannot estimate the point range, which can be between 5 high card points to 11 high card points. In the above example, the contract can either be 3 No Trump or 4 Spades, but that is not the issue.

The issue is: What are the bidding possibilities for the responder after his partner has opened with a Weak Two Bid? Below are some general guidelines, not only for the responder but also for the Weak Two bidder.

Recommendations and Guidelines about Distribution

There are several schools of thought about this feature of the holding and the learning bridge player will have to make a choice, a decision. The following constitutes only suggestions, recommendations and guidelines offered by bridge authors, bridge theoreticians, and bridge experts.

2 or fewer Spades
2 or fewer Hearts
6 or more Diamonds
3 Clubs
    2 or fewer Spades
6 or more Hearts
2 or fewer Diamonds
3 Clubs
    6 or more Spades
2 or fewer Hearts
2 or fewer Diamonds
3 Clubs
The Weak Two bidder should bid as follows with each example:
2 Diamonds     2 Hearts     2 Spades

With this pre-agreed distribution, the responder knows immediately that the opener has absolutely no support for him in any other suit. This way, the responder will not be looking for a second suit.

Recommended and Suggested Response Methods

Method 1
  Raise to 3 Diamonds / 3 Hearts / 3 Spades
    The responder is low in high card points.
    This bid is used preemptively.
    This bid is an obstruction bid.
    Expected tricks are between 6 and 9 tricks.
    Used primarily when not vulnerable.
     
Method 2
  Raise to 5 Diamond / 4 Hearts / 4 Spades
    The responder has medium high card points.
    This bid is used preemptively.
    This bid is an obstruction bid.
      Caution: Opponents may not have game.
Used primarily when not vulnerable.
Responder expects to be doubled.
      Or the responder is high in high card points.
Responder expects to make game.
Responder has 4 to 6 Quick Tricks.
     
Method 3
  Suit Takeout
    This is an alternative treatments.
    This bid is non-forcing.
    Indicates no support for the Weak Two Bid.
    Indicates a 6-card plus suit.
    Responder must bid 2 No Trump.
     
Method 4
  Bid 2 No Trump
    This bid is a one-round forcing bid and shows game interest. if opener rebids his suit, then the opener shows weakness and no other feature in a side suit. Some bridge players have adopted the bid of 3 Clubs to show a minimum.
    If the opener rebids another suit, then this rebid shows a high-card feature, normally an Ace or King and a moderately strong holding.
    Using this guideline it must be revealed to the opponents whether or not the opener is allowed to rebid above the level of three in his original suit.
    If the opener is allowed to raise the 2 No Trump bid by partner to 3 No Trump, then this bid shows a solid suit.
     
Method 5
  Ogust Conventional Response Method
    This is a conventional method employed by the partnership whereby the opener, whose partner has bid a forcing 2 No Trump, is able to describe further the strength of the holding and the quality of the suit by a series of artificial bids.
     
Method 6
  McCabe Adjunct
   

This concept is credited to Mr. J. I. McCabe of Columbia, South Carolina, United States. His article was published in The Bridge World, issue of January 1994.

This concept is initiated once partner has opened the bidding with a Weak Two bid and the next player in rotation doubles. This is a conventional method whereby the Weak Two bidder and his partner can continue to bid and perhaps play in a new suit on the three level. In essence, the conventional response method provides a mechanism to differentiate signoff 3-level bids in a new suit, and various invitational game asking bids.

    Short Version:
        The responder bids 2 No Trump, which is one-round forcing.
        Opener rebids according to the principles of the Ogust conventional response method.
        Responder may pass if Clubs is his suit.
      or If the partnership employes a direct raise of the Weak Two bid as preemptive, then the responder rebids three of the suit of the Weak Two bidder.
        This sequence of bids is as follows:
         
Partner   Opponent   Responder   Meaning
2   Double   2 NT   This first response is a game try with systems on (Ogust conventional method, showing a feature).
3           Shows a weak hand, weak suit.
3           Shows a good hand, weak suit.
3           Shows a weak hand, good suit.
3           Shows a good hand, good suit.
Note: As there are several variations of the Ogust conventional response method the partnership must decide the parameters of any continuations. (See Ogust conventional response method.)
           
        Another continuation of the MaCabe Adjunct is that the responder has the opportunity to also redouble following the immediate double by the opponent. This redouble forces the Weak Two bidder (partner) to bid the cheapest suit and is the start of a single-suited escape of run-out bid. The responder may pass or correct, and this action is then to play. The general agreement on any other bid by the Weak Two bidder is that the responder should pass this rebid.
      or: Invites the Weak Two bidder to bid game with a holding containing better than average strength.
      or: If the responder bids a new suit, then the opener should:
         
1. rebid his own suit with weakness.
2. raise the suit of the responder with a doubleton honor.
3. show a feature, Ace or King, on his rebid.
4. rebid 3 No Trump with a solid suit.
           
        A new suit is a lead-directional raise of the Weak Two bidder's suit. This is particularly useful because the Weak Two bidder will frequently be on lead after a takeout double in the direct seat. An example is shown below:
         
Partner   Opponent   Responder   Meaning
       
65
864
Q953
AQJ6
   
2   Double   3   The responder could raise to the three level in order obstruct.
        3   However, instead of raising partner to the three level following the takeout double, bidding 3 Clubs shows a Heart raise and requests at the same time a Club lead from partner in case he is on lead.
Note: As there are several variations of the Ogust conventional response method the partnership must decide the parameters of any continuations. (See Ogust conventional response method.)
           
    Variation: Individual partnerships have varied the above described agreement, which is as follows.
   
1. a redouble promises a strong holding with superior values.
2. any new suit at the two level following the takeout double is to play. Partner must pass.
3. a first response of 2 No Trump forces the Weak Two bidder to bid 3 Clubs. The responder can either pass or correct or sign off in a different suit at the three level.
     
Method 7
  Relays - Relay Method
    Relays are the cheapest bids possible, in this case the cheapest response.
     
2 Diamonds relays to 2 Hearts
2 Hearts relays to 2 Spades
2 Spades relays to 2 No Trump
    The Relay Method requests the opener to bid a Stopper in another suit, if he has a Stopper. If he has no Stopper in another suit, he rebids his suit. If the Stopper is in the relay suit, the opener rebids No Trump. When using this method, the Relay is the only possible forcing bid by the responder.

 

 

In conclusion, it must be noted that Weak Two Bids are more or less a gut-feeling bid, if you are the dealer. However, using the above guidelines to direct you, you and your partner will come to a prearranged Partnership Agreement. Weak Two Bids are also very obstructive to the opponents. They can also present a preempt of the partner, and without a pre-agreed Partnership Agreement, the best contract will generally not be reached. Remember above all else that vulnerability and position at the bridge table should be the deciding factors before making any Weak Two Bid. Any one of the different methods above regarding the bid of the responder can be applied and included in the Partnership Agreement. Both partners should prepare some practice hands and experiment with the different methods, and then decide upon their use.

 


     
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