A conventional method of rebidding after a 2 No Trump response to a Weak Two Opening by partner devised by Mr. Harold A. Ogust.
In the United Kingdom, the 2 No Trump response to a Weak Two Opening by partner is known as Blue Club Responses.
The illustration below with the included explanations should clarify the original concept of Mr. Harold Ogust.
- 2 2 No Trump
- South is Dealer. South has 7HCPs.
- East and West are vulnerable.
- 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 .
- North has 13HCPs.
- North knows South’s distribution, 2-6-2-3.
- North knows they have 9 trumps in Hearts.
- North would like to reach a better contract.
- North would like to know more about South’s strength and quality of his suit.
- North bids 2 No Trump.
The Ogust convention allows the responder to bid 2 No Trump, a forcing bid, to allow opener, by a system of Relay bids, to describe his hand more precisely. Using these step-by-step bids, both North and South can find better establish the final contract. The following rebids are those rebids as indicated in the original version by Mr. Harold Ogust. Several variations on this concept are listed below.
These Relay Bids are:
- 3 Clubs: Shows a weak hand, weak suit
- 3 Diamonds: Shows a good hand, weak suit
- 3 Hearts: Shows a weak hand, good suit
- 3 Spades: Shows a good hand, good suit
As soon as the partner of the Weak Two bidder discovers the quality of the holding, then the partner sets and establishes the final contract.
Additional Variations: Within the bridge community, as is the case with many bridge conventions and concepts, some partnerships have agreed to simply reverse the definitions of the 3 Diamonds and 3 Hearts bids. But, whichever agreement you use, please include it in your partnership agreement.
The more modern treatment, as mentioned, is that the partnership understanding reverses the original meanings assigned by Mr. Harold Ogust to the red suits. This more modern treatment is described below. The adjective to describe the relation of the hand to the suit has also been changed and perhaps clarifies the significance of the interpretation better for the purpose of communication. We have included these adjectives in the more modern or accepted version.
These Relay Bids are:
3 : Shows minimum strength, poor suit
3 : Shows minimum strength, good suit
3 : Shows maximum strength, poor suit
3 : Shows maximum strength, good suit
3 NT: Signifies a solid suit
Another variation follows and has been dubbed September or New Ogust. Only the responses and the significances of the rebids are given. This variation applies mainly the method of Losing Trick Count.
- 3 Clubs: Shows 9 plus losers
- 3 Diamonds: Shows 8 losers and bad hand
- 3 Hearts: Shows 8 losers and normal to good hand
- 3 Spades: Shows 7 losers maximum or less
In connection with this variation, the bridge player, Mr. Jeff Goldsmith, who devised it, refined this variation to certain bidding sequences, such as the following where the Weak Two bid begins only with an opening of 2 Hearts. The entire auction is given to clarify the bidding sequence:
Opener > Responder > Meaning
- 3 Clubs – Shows an 8 loser and a normal to good holding
- 3 Diamonds – A forcing Relay for additional information
- 3 Hearts – Shows a poor Heart suit and
- 3 Spades – Shows a good Heart suit
However, if the first response of the Weak Two bidder is not 3 Clubs, then the bidding sequence indicates the following:
- 2 hearts 2 NT Meaning
- 3 diamonds – Shows an 8 loser and a poor holding
- 3 hearts – Shows a 9 plus loser holding
- 3 sdpades – Shows 7 losers or better
A similar structure for a Weak Two opening in the Spade suit could be devised, but that would be a partnership agreement with this particular variation.
Another variation takes advantange of showing the number of honors held by the Weak Two bidder, as proposed by Mr. Ron Klinger of Australia.
Another variation of the responses, and by partnership agreement is that the Weak Two bidder indicate the number of honors held. This variation has several similarities with the variation of Mr. Ron Klinger. The following chart indicates the number of honors suggested as guidelines. The added feature is that all rebids by the Ogust bidder then become natural bids. This is more or less the suggested responses addressed by the SAYC and considered to be a Common Optional Convention.
Another variation is integrated in the Benji Acol System and shows a less wider range of high card points without indicating the number of honors held in the preempt suit. The following chart outlines the guidelines. It must also be noted that the response of 3 No Trump is not included.
Another variation is called Feature and is applied by the responder to determine whether the Weak Two bidder is indeed weak or strong and to discover whether the Weak Two bidder has a specified feature in a desired suit. The following guidelines are a suggestion as to the responses and meanings.
1. If the first rebid of the Weak Two bidder is of the Preempted Suit, this shows that his holding contains no feature and that the strength is weak, generally between 5 and 7 high card points.
2. Three of any new suit shows a good hand with the Ace or King in that particular suit.
3. The rebid of 3 No Trump promises all three top honors of the preempted suit.
It must be noted that this variation is indeed only a partnership agreement among some bridge players and is not to be construed as a general partnership understanding.
Another variation is called Bogust. Source: BridgeSqueeze, and contributed by SpaceCadet. This variation is based on the Weak Two bidder opening with either a good 5-card suit with two of the top three honors, or any 6-card suit. In response to the forcing 2 No Trump bid by partner, the Weak Two bidder rebids as follows to show the length of the suit and the approximate number of Losing Tricks.
We would like to specify that any and all variations and modifications to the original Ogust convention is a matter of partnership agreement. As with all concepts and ideas, they can be varied to meet the requirements and wishes of the individual partnership.
If the responder has sufficient strength and good distribution, forcing the opener to describe his hand further using the step-by-step Ogust convention can permit the responder to reach game, slam or stop in part-score. Using this Ogust convention almost guarantees that both partners will find their correct contract and that they will stay out of an unmakable contract.
The Ogust convention brings order to an otherwise perhaps chaotic bridge bidding sequence. Please remember that a Weak Two bid can also preempt your own partner, and that a system should be used in order to discover the amount of strength between 5 high card points and 11 high card points, and the quality of that suit of the Weak Two bidder.
Again, the suggestion is made that both partners deal out several practice hands, experiment with the Ogust convention, introduce an overcall of an opponent, and decide whether they would like to include the Ogust convention as part of their partnership agreement and whether or not a variation and/or modification of the Ogust convention would meet the requirements of their agreement better.
Simplified Ogust or Easy Ogust
When the opener is forced to show a good hand or a good suit after a 2 No Trump feature-asking bid, it becomes sometimes difficult to evaluate the holding according to the guidelines established by the original Ogust convention. There are some so-called borderline instances, where the rebid can also become based on the degree of agressiveness of the opener. It is this difficulty which has led to the development of a variation of the Ogust convention with either of the designations simplified or easy. The idea is to base the rebid of the Weak Two opener on how well the opener rates the opening on a scale from one to four. The quality of the suit then becomes irrelevant. The rebids of the opener are shown below:
3 Clubs: Shows a minimum. Scale of 1-4 = 1.
3 Diamonds: Shows more than a minimum. Scale of 1-4 = 2.
3 Hearts: Shows less than a maximum. Scale of 1-4 = 3.
3 Spades: Shows a maximum. Scale of 1-4 = 4.
South is forced by the first response by North to show on a scale of 1-4 how well the Weak Two opening should be calculated. Although South has a feature, the King, with the simplified version South should rebid 3 to show the top range between 5/6 points and 11 points.
In this manner, the King remains undisclosed to the opponents since it will not be mentioned as information to the opponents, which would be the case if the partnership agreement would be the original Ogust convention.
Only upon request by one of the opponents would North be obligated to fully disclose that the 3 rebid does not show a high-ranking honor, or a feature. Without a request the lead could be a Diamond, which would secure one certain winning trick in Diamonds.