ACBL03B – Weak 2 Bids: Confusion            Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                             Jul 5, 2012

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      My approach to Weak 2 bidding is explained in handout ACBL03 –

Weak 2s and Ogust Convention.  This handout roughly covers the some of the confusion that goes on with other partnership agreements (?) on Weak 2 bidding.


A.   Suits


       The standard Weak 2 opening bids are 2 diamonds, 2 hearts or 2

       spades.  The opening 2 clubs bid however, is used to describe strong

       hands.  Note: “strong” is in the eyes of the beholder.


B.   Length


       The standard suit length is 6 cards, not 6+ cards.  However, some

       variations are:


  1. Some will open a weak 2 hand with 7 cards in the suit if the hand

has 2 of the top 3 honors (A/K, A/Q or K/Q) in their weak 2 suit.


  1. Some will open in third position (2 passes, i.e. partner passed)

with only 5 cards in the suit.  Note that their partner doesn’t know   

           that it is only 5 cards.


  1. Some open 3 clubs with only 6 cards in the club suit.  Again, partner doesn’t know and will think it is a 7 card club suit.


C.  Points


      The point count varies greatly among bridge players.


  1.  5-10 HCP - this is kind-of the standard.
  2.  5-9, 6-9, 6-10 HCP - close HCP to the standard.  I see these often.  
  3.  5-11, 5-11+, 6-11 or 6-11+ HCP - I teach that 11+ hands are really opening hands, but many do not open at the 1 level with 11 HCP and 5 card suits.  But they do open 2 when they have 6 card suits.  

                       ACBL03B – Weak 2 Bids: Confusion              Jul 5, 2012

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D.  Suit Strength


  1.  In ACBL03 I teach the suit strength requirements as “nil”.

That is, the weak 2 suit doesn’t have to have an ace or face card.


  1.  Many pairs play that you cannot open with a weak 2 bid unless that

suit has at least 2 of the top 3 honors (A/K, A/Q or K/Q).  That way

          the partner, with enough points, can put them in game somewhere.  


          The fallacy in this approach is:


  1. How often do you have a weak 2 hand in the opening position

with 2-of-the-top-3 honors?  One in ten or more?


  1. Now how many times do you have 15+ HCP hands, much less

opposite any type weak 2 opening bid?  One in twenty?


  1. So as a minimum, the right hands combination will occur about

one in two hundred (10 X 20) times.


  1. Weak 2 opening bids are supposed to be nuisance bids to give the opponents problems, not “Let’s go to game” bids”.


E.  Partner’s Asking Bid


There are two conventions that are used to ask the weak 2 bidder to describe a feature(s) of the weak 2 hand.  They are:


  1.  Ogust - this convention is explained in ACBL03.


  1.  RONF - that acronym stands for Raise Only Non-Forcing.

         That means the weak 2 bidder must rebid to any bid his/her

         partner makes, except a raise to 3 in his/her suit (which is



Bridge players who use neither convention just bid 2 notrump to ask.

                       ACBL03B – Weak 2 Bids: Confusion              Jul 5, 2012

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F.  Partner’s Asking Bid (continued)


In all three approaches, the 2 notrump response bid asks the opener to define that feature(s).  Note however, in RONF any bid except a raise asks for a feature.  Some of the more common agreements are:


  1.  Bid an outside suit that has an ace or king.  If none, rebid the weak 2 suit.  This bid indicates a possible entry to the weak 2 hand.


  1.  Bid an outside suit that has a singleton or void.  If none, rebid the weak 2 suit.  This indicates possible playing strength.


  1.  Bid an outside that has 4+ cards.  If none, rebid the weak 2 suit.

This pinpoints a 6-4 hand with 3-or-less cards in the unbid suits.


  1.  Some assign the weak 2 hand ace(s) as 2 points and king(s) as 1 point.  Then the responses to the 2 notrump query are:


  1. Three clubs is no points.
  2. Three diamonds is 1 point (a king in any of the 4 suits).
  3. Three hearts is 2 points (an ace or two kings with suits unknown).
  4. Three spades is 3 or 4 points (2 aces, an ace and king or 3 kings).


G.  Alerts


  1. Opening Weak 2 bids do not have to be alerted.  However, the

            opponents should ask to be sure.  It also helps to ask the HCP

            range too.


  1.  The response to the partner’s asking 2 notrump bid, should/must

 be alerted.  However, they seldom are.  See some conventional

 rebids listed above for confusion.  They know what the rebid   

 means; so be sure they explain the bid to you.