ACBL05C – 2 Clubs: Responses                   Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                                   Feb 23, 2009

                                                                                                                   Page 1 of 2


      The first use of the strong two club opening bid is credited to David Burnstine at the Raymond Club in New York City, in 1929.  Bridge players have been tussled with responses to this bid ever since.  Following is a list of some of these responses conventions.


Response Name                                    Explanation

--------------------------    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Waiting                       A 2 diamond response that gives no information.

                                   The responder is waiting for more data based on the

                                   opener’s rebid.  It is typically used when the 2 club

                                   rebid could be a specific point count 2 notrump

                                   hand, as in the Trumbull 2 Club convention.


Natural                       The responder bids a 4+ card suit, usually a major if

                                   possible.  However, some pairs prefer the responder  

                                   to bid the suit with the highest point count, which

                                   might not have 4 cards.


Negative/Natural        This is the same as the Natural response above,

                                   except that 2 diamonds indicates a bust hand.  Pairs

                                   differ on what a “bust” point count might be, but it’s

                                   usually 0-3 HCP.


Jacoby Step                This convention uses the response bid to indicate  

Response                    responder’s HCP.  The sequence is in increments of                                 

                                    three.  2 diamonds is 0-3 HCP. 2 hearts is 4-6 HCP.

                                    2 spades is 7-9 HCP, 2 notrump is 10-12 HCP, etc.


Control Step                This convention plays kings as 1 (control) and aces

Response                    aces as 2.  Thus 2 diamonds indicates 0-1 control.

                                    At best, the hand may have one king.  2 hearts  

                                    means 2 controls, which is either one ace or two   

                                    kings.  And so on…..




                           ACBL05C – 2 Clubs: Responses                     Feb 23, 2009

                                                                                                                     Page 2 of 2


Response Name                                    Explanation

--------------------------    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Positive/Negative        This is a quick-trick response system (aces or kings

                                   only).  The responder must indicate whether or not

                                   he/she has 1 ½ quick tricks or better.  There are

                                   two versions.


                                         1. 2 diamonds is the positive response indicating

                                             1 ½ quick tricks or better.


                                             2 hearts is the negative response indicating  

                                             the responder does not have 1 ½ quick tricks.  


                                         2. Some pairs reverse the meaning of the 2

                                             diamonds and 2 hearts bids.




      All responses to 2 club opening bids should be alerted.  Many players do not alert these bids, either because they don’t believe in them, or their playing skills have not reached the level of knowing when to alert. In any case, if they don’t, you should ask the meaning at your next turn to bid.  You must wait till it’s your turn...


To game or not to game?  That is the question.


       In any of the above systems, a rebid of 2 notrump is not forcing to game.  However, a rebid of a suit may or may not be forcing, depending


           1. Which response system is being played


           2. Whether the partnership plays 2 clubs as forcing to game


           3. Whether the pair has any agreement on at all


Most non-skilled players are the latter.