ACBL03 - Weak 2s and OGUST              Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                            Nov 17, 2003

                                                                                                            Page 1 of 5


    A popular competitive bid in bridge is the preemptive bid.  With a hand that

contains a long suit and not enough points to open, the player will open the

bidding at the three level (with a seven card suit) or four level (with an eight card

suit).  If the opponents have already opened the auction, a player might make a

preemptive overcall at the three or four level.  


    WARNING: Do not preempt if the hand meets the requirements of the Rule of

                       20.  That is, the sum of the number of cards in the two longest suits

                      (e.g.,7 and 3) plus the high points (HCP) are equal or more than 20.


    NOTE:        Not vulnerable, you may make an opening preemptive bid with no

                       HCP, especially if your partner passed first.


    A more recent type of preemptive bid is the Weak 2 Bid.  In this case the opener

has a six card suit and 5 to 10 HCP.  There is no requirement on the quality of the

six card suit.  If your partner is interested in a possible game contract, he can query

you about the texture of your hand using a convention called OGUST (named after

a man named Ogust).


    NOTE:        If you use the Weak 2 Bid convention, you can no longer open the                        

                       bidding with 2 diamonds, 2 hearts or 2 spades to indicate a strong hand.              

                       You now open all strong suited hands (not with notrump distribution) with                     

                       2 Clubs bid.  See ACBL05 on 2 Clubs and the Jacoby Step Response.





    If your partner opens the bidding with a Weak 2 Bid, and you have a strong hand

and a desire to possibly play the hand in:


                       Game in partner’s suit, or

                       Game in your suit, or

                       Three notrump


You can query partner about the contents of his weak 2 hand by invoking the

OGUST convention with a 2 Notrump bid.  This is comparable to invoking Stayman

via a 2 club bid when your partner opens 1 notrump.


    Note:           Stayman (2 clubs) is so common now that the bid is no longer alerted.

                        However, OGUST is not that common yet, so the 2 notrump bid should

                        be alerted.


                      ACBL03 - Weak 2s and OGUST                        Nov 17, 2003

                                                                                                                   Page 2 of 5


    The 2 notrump bidder is asking the weak 2 bidder two things about his hand:


                        1. Is the point count (HCP) FOR THE ENTIRE HAND at the minimum

                            (5-6-7) or the maximum (8-9-10).

                        2. Does the preemptive suit have two of the top three high cards --

                             ace, king or queen.


    The standard OGUST responses are:


                         3 clubs           - minimum HCP (5-6-7) and does not have 2 of 3

                         3 diamonds    - minimum HCP (5-6-7) and DOES have 2 of top 3

                         3 hearts         - maximum HCP (8-9-10) and does not have 2 of 3

                         3 spades       - maximum HCP (8-9-10) and DOES have 2 of top 3


We have added a 5th response bid we call BINGO:


                         3 notrump     - the hand has the Ace, King and Queen of the preempt



To assist in remembering the OGUST responses the basic four are referred to as:


                          Mini-One -   3 clubs         - minimum HCP without 2 of 3

                          Mini-Two -   3 diamonds  - minimum HCP with 2 of 3

                          Maxi-One  - 3 hearts       - maximum HCP without 2 of 3

                          Maxi-Two  - 3 spades      - maximum HCP with 2 of 3


    NOTE: The terms MINI (minimum HCP), MAXI (maximum HCP) and TWO (2 of top

                 3) are consistent with what the bids describe.  However, the term ONE is

                 not.  It DOES NOT mean 1 of  the top 3.  It is merely a memory aid as an

                 alternative to TWO.


EXAMPLE: A weak 2 heart bid hand is:


                          spades              hearts               diamonds         clubs

                          x x                     K Q x x x x        J x x                  K x x


                   The HCP is 9, and it has 2 of the top 3 hearts.  The response to a

                   2 notrump OGUST bid would be a MAXI-TWO, i.e., 3 spades.


                          x x                     Q J x x x x        J x x                  K x x


                   Change the king of hearts to the jack, and the response is a MINI-ONE

                   (3 clubs), minimum value (7) and does not have 2 of the top 3 hearts.

                ACBL03 - Weak 2s and OGUST                        Nov 17, 2003

                                                                                                                   Page 3 of 5


Overcalling with Weak 2 Bid Hands


      Recognizing a weak 2 bid hand is relatively easy, if you teach yourself to look for them.  You can also make weak 2 bid overcalls.  If you were about to open with a weak 2 bid, but your right hand opponent (RHO) opens the bidding; just bid your suit skipping

one level.  Examples:


             1. You are about to open with a weak 2 diamond bid, but RHO opens 1 club.

                 You skip the 1 diamond bid and overcall 2 diamonds.


            2. Same hand but RHO opens 1 heart.  You skip the 2 diamond bid and overcall               

                3 diamonds.


            3. You have a weak 2 spade hand, but RHO opens the bidding.  Over a 1 club,

                1 diamond or 1 heart opening bid you can still overcall 2 spades.


           NOTE: With a six card suit that you would have opened at the one level, DO

                       NOT make a preemptive skip bid.  Just overcall at the lowest possible



When to Invoke OGUST


      As mentioned above, you would invoke OGUST if:


            1. To explore game in partner’s (weak 2) suit

            2. To explore game in your suit

            3. To explore a possible 3 notrump game




           A. You should have at least 2 cards in partner’s suit.

           B. You should have at least 15+ high card and distribution points.

           C. You should close the bid at the 3 level (in partner’s suit) if partner has a

                minimum HCP hand (5-7).

           D. If partner’s response indicates enough HCP and/or top honors, you should

                bid partner’s suit at the game level.


           NOTE: With a stronger hand and 2+ card support just bid game in partner’s suit

                       without OGUST.




                ACBL03 - Weak 2s and OGUST                        Nov 17, 2003

                                                                                                                   Page 4 of 5


When to Invoke OGUST (continued)



           EXAMPLE: Partner opens 2 diamonds and your hand is:


                              Clubs        - A K Q x x x

                              Diamonds - x x

                              Hearts      - A K x

                              Spades    - x x


                              You have 16 HCP and no chance for 3 notrump on a spade lead.

                              Partner would need the A K Q in his/her suit (BINGO) to make 5

                              diamonds.  If you don’t get a BINGO response to your OGUST

                              query, put partner in 3 or 4 diamonds.


           EXAMPLE: Partner opens 2 hearts and your hand is:


                              Clubs        - A K Q x x x

                              Diamonds - x

                              Hearts      - x x x

                              Spades    - A Q x


                              You have 17 combined points.  With a MAXI response, put it in 4

                              hearts.  With a MINI response stop at 3 hearts.




      Your suit should be a major to switch from partner’s weak 2 suit to yours.

      Your major should have 6 cards with the top three (A K Q) or better in length or top

      cards.  You can’t count on partner for having any support. With 19+ combined

      points, just bid game in your major.  With a little less, use OGUST to see if partner

      has an 8-10 MAXI hand.  If so, then bid game in your major.


           EXAMPLE: Partner opens 2 hearts and your hand has 17/18 combined points:


                              Clubs        - A Q x x

                              Diamonds - x x

                              Hearts      - x  

                              Spades    - A K Q X X X


                              With a MINI response, bid 3 spades, but with a MAXI response bid

                              4 spades.

                ACBL03 - Weak 2s and OGUST                        Nov 17, 2003

                                                                                                                   Page 5 of 5

When to Invoke OGUST (continued)



      In this case you hope to take 6 tricks in partner’s suit (major or minor) and three     

      more from your hand.  Typically you would have 2 or 3 of partner’s suit with one top

      honor, and the OGUST response would indicate 2-of-the-top-3 (3 diamonds or 3



            EXAMPLE: Partner opens 2 hearts (a Maxi-Two hand) and your hand is:


                              Clubs        - A x x

                              Diamonds - J 10 x x x

                              Hearts      - K x  

                              Spades    - A K X


                              You only have 15 HCP and in hearts you might take only 9 tricks -

                              1 club, no diamonds, 6 hearts and 2 spades.  However, those same

                              9 tricks would be game in 3 notrump.


When Opponents Compete Over Partner’s Weak 2 Bid


      You will have one of four kinds of hands:


               1. A hand strong enough to invoke OGUST

               2. A medium strength hand with support for weak 2 suit, strong enough to

                   compete but not to go to game

               3. A weak hand with 2+ cards in the weak 2 suit

               4. A weak or medium hand without 2+ cards in weak 2 suit


      1. Strong enough to invoke OGUST

               If you can bid 2 notrump, do so.  If not, (by agreement), the next available bid

               should be treated as OGUST.  Without an agreement, you’re on your own.


      2. Medium strength to compete

               Bid 3 of weak 2 suit, and then later maybe (with favorable vulnerability) bid 4

               or 5 to take a save.


      3. Weak hand with 2+ card support

               Bid 3 of weak 2 suit to interfere with opponent’s bidding.


      4. Weak or medium strength without support

               Pass and do not start bidding another suit, OR

               Make a Kock-Warner double to indicate singleton or void in partner’s suit.