The Weak-Two Bid
Modern bridge players use two level opening bids as preemptive, describing a good suit (six cards and at least two of the top four honor cards) and a weak hand (5 to 11 evaluation points). Like all preemptive bids, the purpose is to make it difficult for the opponents to find their best contract. The weak-two bid is, however, a descriptive bid that will help the responder determine in what contract, if any, the partnership belongs. This applies to bids of 2 ♠, 2♥ and 2♦. An opening bid of 2 ♣ is reserved to describe the strong hand. Here is a hand that would qualify for an opening bid of 2♠:
♠ K Q 10 9 7 3, ♥ 9 3, ♦ Q J 2, ♣ 6 3.
Advancing a Weak-Two Bid
Since the weak-two bid is a very descriptive bid, advances of the bid are relatively simple. The responder may pass, raise the opener’s suit, bid a new suit, or make a conventional two-no trump bid. We will look briefly at each of these bids.
In each case below, partner has opened the bidding with 2 ♠ and your RHO has passed.
Hand 1 Hand 2
♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣
5 A K 9 7 K K Q
J 8 4 Q J 10
10 4 3 7 6 8
7 3 4 2
To bid with either of these hands would be foolish. There is almost no chance you can make a game and you have no support for partner’s suit. With hand 1, you might have opened 2 ♥, if you were the opening bidder. However, in this situation you have no bid. With hand 2, you might be tempted to bid no trump. Resist that urge. If partner does not have the ♠ ace, you may never reach her hand.
Raise partner’s suit. Again, partner has opened 2♠ and RHO has passed.
Hand 3 Hand 4
♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣
K A A 2 Q 3 10 Q
10 Q 10 10 8 J
5 J 9 4 3 8
9 7 2 6
With hand 3, you have 18 dummy points in support of your partner’s spades, Partner will have a good chance of making game in spades. Raise to 4 ♠. With hand 4, you should also raise to 4 ♠, but for a different reason. You have a weak hand, but good support for your partner’s 6-card suit. Your hand should tell you that the opponents almost surely have a game (perhaps even a slam) in hearts. You will want to use up as much bidding space as you can.
Bid a new Suit
Sometimes responder does not know where contract belongs. Responder can bid a new suit, which is forcing for at least one round. Imagine you are south, with the hand below. Your partner has opened with 2 ♦.
♠ ♥ ♦ ♣
A K 10 A
J Q 5 K
You would prefer to place the contract in a major suit, if partner has three spades. You bid 2♠ forcing partner to bid again. If partner has 3-card support for your spades, he will bid 3♠, if not he will rebid diamonds.
The conventional 2 nt response
The response of 2 nt to a weak-two opening bid has a conventional meaning. It is used when the responder can see a possible game if the opening weak-two bid was made with maximum values.
Imagine that you hold the following hand, after partner has opened 2 ♦. You might respond 2 nt.
♠ ♥ ♦ ♣
A K Q J
Q Q 5 10
8 7 3 9
With a minimum weak two (5-8 points), opener simply rebids the opening suit. With a maximum weak two (9-11 points), opener shows (1) an outside ace or king, by bidding that suit or (2) bids 3 nt with a solid opening suit(A K Q x x x).
If partner shows a minimum weak two, by bidding 3♦, will be willing to play that contract, but if partner shows a maximum weak two by showing an outside ace or king, you will bid 3 nt.