Multi Two Diamonds

The Multi 2 Diamonds opening was devised in the 1960s by Mr. Terence Reese and Mr. Jeremy Flint (* see following insert), assisted by fellow bridge partners Mr. Robert Sheehan, Mr. Jonathan Cansino and Mr. Irving Rose. The concept behind this opening is to make the interference by the opponents difficult and to obstruct their line of communication by an opening on the Two Level. Another reason for the 2 Diamonds opening is to prevent the opponents from immediately discovering which Major suit is designated by the opening. A line of defense then becomes more difficult, since the suit is unknown as well as the general strength of the opener.

According to ACBL regulations, the Multi Two Diamonds may be employed in national-rated bridge events and in stand-alone Flight A events at regionals, or in the top brackets of a regional knockout as long as the average masterpoint holding of the lowest team in a bracket is more than 1000 points and the sponsor permits such agreements.

The Multi Two Diamonds convention could be allowed or permitted at a sectional as long as the sponso approves and publicizes the fact that this convention is approved.

Bridge Clubs have the right to designate what conventions they will allow and permit and ACBL does not regulate their decisions in this regard.

In all cases involving ACBL-sanctioned tournaments where the use of Multi Two Diamonds is permitted, the pair using the convention must have a copy of the approved written defenses available. These defenses can be obtained from the website of ACBL.

The Multi 2 Diamonds opening promises either a:

1. Weak Two Bid in either of the two Major suits
2. or a balanced hand with enormous values
3. or a strong 4-4-4-1 distribution
4. or a strong Two Bid in a Minor suit

A distinct disadvantage of the Multi 2 Diamonds opening is that the partner sometimes is unable also to choose the best immediate line of response, such as in making a preemptive raise, if weak, of the intended Major suit, which is still unknown to the partner after the opening. Based on the assumption that the opener could have a balanced holding and/or distributional holding with strong values, the partner is forced to make a compromising, artificial bid to await further information. This compromising, artificial bid allows the opponents to enter the bidding process.

A second disadvantage is the fact that the opponents also have a more successful chance to enter the auction if the opener first bids a Multi 2 Diamonds, than had the opener opened the auction with a weak 2 Hearts or 2 Spades bid, forcing the opponents to enter the auction perhaps on the Three Level.

However, there are definite advantages to the concept behind a Multi 2 Diamonds opening. If the holding is weak and the opener does indeed have a Weak Two Bid in one of the Major suits, then the opponents do not have the opportunity to cuebid any Major suit, since the Major suit of the opener is unknown. If the responder has a strong holding, it is quite possible that the responder may become declarer, who may be able to protect a tenace or a side suit King-small.

Another advantage is that the contract could be played in Diamonds, if the responder considers Diamonds the better suit than a Major suit. The opener may not employ Multi Two Diamonds with a Diamond void. Using Multi 2 Diamonds frees the opening bids and/or the bids of 2 Hearts and 2 Spades, which become idle bids after agreeing to play Multi 2 Diamonds and which may be used for other purposes, such as Acol Two-Bids. These idle bids could also be assigned, for example, an opening of 2 Hearts as meaning Flannery 2 Diamonds, and a 2 Spades opening could be used to describe a two-suited holding in both Minor suits and only distributional values. Remember, these examples of employing the idle bids of 2 Hearts and 2 Spades are only examples, not guidelines.

Since the original version of the Multi 2 Diamonds method underwent refinements almost immediately after its original version was made known, there have arisen many variations on the responses by the responder and rebids by the opener to communicate additional information within the partnership. It is impossible to represent all variations on this method, either for a tailored individual partnership or for a tailored national partnership understanding. Many variations are based entirely on a partnership understanding and these vary from country to country.

The following outlines represent only guidelines of partnership understandings, which have arisen to create a foundation for the employment of a Multi 2 Diamonds opening. They are not rules etched in stone, and the individual partnership must decide for itself the advantages and disadvantages of any chosen variation and/or variants of the concept.

After opening a Multi 2 Diamonds bid, the responder realizes that there can be generally 4 different types of hands that the opener, his partner, may have. The responder generally assumes that his partner has a Weak Two Bid in either of the Major suits and responds according to the assumption that his partner is weak.

A response of 2 Hearts can communicate several different meanings:

1. A response of 2 Hearts indicates the desire to play in Hearts opposite a Weak Two bid in that suit, which the responder does not know is the suit the opener desires, but this response shows good Heart support.

2. A response of 2 Hearts indicates that the responder is interested in keeping the auction alive and is awaiting further rebids by his partner. If the opener reveals a Weak Two bid, then the responder can determine, based upon the strength of his holding, the final contract, which may even be a slam contract.

3. A response of 2 Hearts may indicate a strong hand and shortness in Hearts, the holding of which will be revealed during the auction. It is important that the opener first describe his reason for opening.

4. A response of 2 Hearts can also indicate a weak to moderate holding containing support in both Major suits. The ensuing auction will reveal this, mainly through a pass rebid by the responder after the opener shows weakness. The desire in this case is not to exceed the Level possible for a successful contract.

  • A response of 2 Spades indicates the desire to stop the auction with the partner holding a Weak Two bid in Spades. His holding, however, can sustain a rebid by the opener of 3 Hearts, if Hearts is the suit of the opener. This response of 2 Spades mildly suggests a shortage in Spades and more length in Hearts, which is a key element in the case that the partnership ends up defending a contract and/or if the responder becomes declarer.
  • A response of 2 No Trump is forcing as it also is opposite a standard Weak Two opening bid. The opener is then required to communicate not only his suit but also his strength, revealing his reason to open:

1. Weak Two Bid in either of the two Major suits
2. or a balanced hand with enormous values
3. or a strong 4-4-4-1 distribution
4. or a strong Two Bid in a Minor suit

The responder holds sufficient values to reach the three level, even opposite a Weak Two holding in either of the two Major suits. A response of 2 No Trump may also be entirely a tool of obstruction in the auction aimed at the defenders, who may wish to enter the auction, but will have to do so on the three level.

Either of these responses are considered invitational and/or forcing depending upon the partnership agreement. Both responses shows sufficient values to enter the three level and at least a 4-card suit in the suit bid.


In the Multi 2 Diamonds method, any response of 3 Hearts and/or 3 Spades are considered to be bids, which the opener can correct. The opener can correct the response by 1. passing the bid suit or corrects to the other suit with a minimum values, or 2. can correct, for example, by jumping to game in Spades with maximum values after a 3 Hearts response. These responses are not to be considered preemptive in nature.

1. A response of 3 No Trump is to play in the more modern version of Multi 2 Diamonds.

2. In the original version, devised by Mr. Terence Reese and Mr. Jeremy Flint, a response of 3 No Trump promised a strong two-suited holding in the Minor suits and approximately four losers in total.

  •  A response of 4 Clubs is a Transfer bid by the responder, in order that the responder become the declarer. The opener is required to bid one suit higher so that the responder can rebid Hearts. If the responder first bids 4 Diamonds, then the opener is required to rebid 4 Hearts and the responder rebids 4 Spades, his suit. The reason behind this transfer is that the defenders may find it more difficult to find the correct lead. It also shows moderate to sufficient values in the intended Major suit, which may not equal enough for a safe and secure contract.
  • A response of 4 Diamonds requests the opener to rebid his suit on the Four Level, which is game level. The responder has sufficient values to reach game and indicates that the opener is better equipped to be the declarer.
  • A game level response in either of the Major suits indicates sufficient values for game and the responder decides who is to become the declarer.


Any defense to a Multi 2 Diamonds opening becomes a matter of partnership agreement and must be based on the principle of which seat and/or position at the table decides to defend and/or enter the auction. This element is paramount in deciding the significance of any overcall.

Any defense mechanism is also a matter of partnership agreement, but the partnership should determine whether an initial pass in the immediate seat, in order to discover the suit of the opener, followed by a bid equals a valid bid or an act of balancing.

Also, the partnership must determine in advance the meanings of any 1. double, 2. the bid of any unbid suit plus No Trump, and 3. the significance of any overcall on the three level. Several operable defense options are listed below and may serve as the foundation for a partnership understanding.

1. Any Double of a Multi 2 Diamonds opening by the First Seat is a Takeout Double.

2. Any Double of a Multi 2 Diamonds opening by the First Seat promises a strong No Trump.

3. Any Double of a Multi 2 Diamonds opening by the First Seat is a Two-Way.

East, in the Fourth Seat, must realize from the responses by South that these responses indicate that South has most likely bid the shorter Major in his holding, especially if South responds 2 Hearts. Any defense mechanism, initiated in the Fourth Seat and/or partnership understanding must consider this response based on this almost certainty.

It is recommended that if Fourth Seat enters the auction, then all suit bids should be considered natural as well as any No Trump bid. A Double should be considered to be a Two-Way, either 1. as a Takeout Double, or 2. as Penalty. The point count should be near a standard opening bid and the shape should be considerably unbalanced as in a three-suited hand with at least a 3-card suit in the suits not determined by the Multi 2 Diamonds opener.

If the opener clarifies his holding either by passing or correcting, then the partner of the player in Fourth Seat will immediately become aware of the intended suits, especially the Major suit. After this realization the partner of the Fourth Seat player can easily determine whether the double is for Takeout or for Penalty.


There are more features, however not fundamental, to the defense strategy, but they are mainly a consideration of partnership agreement and should be considered under this aspect.

As mentioned earlier, these responses may be interpreted by other partnership agreements to indicate different and/or alternative information. A distinctive alternative Multi 2 Diamonds version from The Netherlands is presented below.

The foundation of the Multi 2 Diamonds is that this opening bid can represent either of the following choices.

1. Weak Two Bid in either of the two Major suits

2. a strong holding with 20 plus high card points

3. a 3-suited holding of 4-4-4-1 or 5-4-4-0 shape

The continuing auction appears below with the corresponding alternative communication.

Another method of responding has been suggested by Mr. Barry Rigal and Mr. Chris Ryall of England. It is also the recommendation of Mr. Barry Rigal and Mr. Chris Ryall that the individual partnership must discuss what to do over opponents doubles and overcalls. The premise of this method is that the opener have one of the following holdings:

  • Poor Weak Twos in the Major suits
  • Sound Weak Twos in the Major suits, 8-9 high card points
  • Sound Weak Twos with a side suit splinter
  • Sound Weak Twos, balanced with a fluently running suit
  • A strong (e.g. 22-24) balanced hand with 22-24 high card points
  • A pure Acol Two in a Minor suit

The problem, as noticed by Mr. Barry Rigal and Mr. Chris Ryall, was that there appears to be insufficient bidding space on the Levels available after a Multi 2 Diamonds opening to reach the optimal contract, especially if that contract should be 3 No Trump. Using this method, which specifically states that a Multi 2 Diamonds opening should be:

2 dimaonds: Shows 5-9 high card points by favorable vulnerability.
2 diamonds: Shows 7-11 high card points by unfavorable vulnerability.

The concept behind the method, in the case that a contract of 3 No Trump is the optional contract, is to ignore the Major suits and to employ a Two-Way 3 Diamonds response to 2 No Trump.

* A Paradox bid is a call of the suit you do not hold when the length in one of two suits has been shown or implied by partner’s bid, generally when the partnership expects to establish the final contract in one of these suits.

The partner can simply bid the lower suit for the partner to either pass or correct. Alternatively, if the partner has a fit for that lower suit, the partner bids the other suit. Therein lies the paradox. Although a call of the lower suit with support for the higher may also be paradoxical, this case is trivial. Using a Paradox bid generally forces the partnership one level higher, but this is accomplished only with a good fit.

It may be of importance to the individual partnership to review the Conditions of Contest 1998 for the Cavendish Invitational Pairs. Included is only the pertinent paragraphs regarding the use of Multi 2 Diamonds openings and their place during the Cavendish Invitational Pairs.


Invitational Pairs
Conditions of Contest 1998

1. There are 60 pairs entered in this event. Each pair will play 2 boards against every other pair during the course of the three days (118 boards total). The boards will be played simultaneously, barometer style.

2. It is expected that all players will conform to the Proprieties of Bridge, specifically in the tempo of card play. It is strongly recommended that at trick one, declarer take about 15 seconds before playing to the opening lead and that the player in third seat take some 10 seconds before playing. Thereafter, significant breaks in tempo before selecting small cards will be strongly discouraged. The Directors and Tournament Committee intend to enforce these provisions closely and strictly.

3. The tournament will be played in five sessions: four sessions of 24 boards each and one session of 22 boards. Starting time for the first session on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is 12:30 pm. Other starting times will be announced from the floor. The tournament site is the Montego Room (Convention Center) at the Mirage.

“13. In general, any convention or treatment that is familiar to the average tournament player, or can be explained to the average player within 10 seconds, is allowed. Methods of destructive nature are not authorized, nor are the following:

* Forcing or strong pass systems;
* Multi 2 Diamonds and similar conventional bids;
* Two/suited weak two/three-bid openings which specify only one (or none) of the suits held;
* Preemptive bids that do not specify which suit is held;
* Artificial bids or sequences that require a lengthy explanation;
* Canape style overcalls or opening bids if the first-bid suit may be shorter than four cards;
* Comic notrump overcall;
* Any system, convention or treatment that would require a pre-alert and written suggested defenses.
* Transfer openings, transfer responses.”

It is apparent to the reader that the Multi 2 Diamonds opening can be effective once the partnership comes to a certain understanding. The responses can be multi-interpreted and multi-varied, but the object is to attain a definite partnership agreement as to the meanings of the responses.

The second objective is for the opener to communicate to his partner the type of holding he has. In some variations, the type of holding shown is limited, and therefore the exact type of holding must be clarified through the ensuing bidding process. To cover all of the existing partnership understandings is beyond our scope in presenting a general guideline by which this is accomplished. It is left to the individual partnership.

Defense methods fall within the same category and must be decided and agreed upon by the individual partnership. This also includes certain bidding sequences which should be analyzed separately, and which could disrupt the continuity of the line of communication of the defenders.