2C Strong


Problem Hands For Opening 2C

Problems WIth Two-Suited Hands

In Standard Bridge Bidding For The 21st Century, Max Hardy says of the hand 6-AKQ976-AKQ852-void:

    [Open] one heart. DO NOT open 2... [your LHO] may overcall and be raised preemptively to the five or six level. Then you will have to guess which suit to introduce... Do not be concerned about playing 1. Too many high cards are out. Your rebid will be 6.

Is Hardy right that 1H will never get passed out? The key is to 2nd chair. If he has as few as 10 HCPs and a hand not suited to making a bid over 1H, then it very well could get passed out if the remaining points are split 4-8.

On the other side are these arguments against opening 2-suited hands 2:
1. Doing so uses up a lot of bidding space needed to show the 2-suited hand and explore for slam. However, this problem may be solved by using a response system which makes it easier to identify the suits after opening 2. See 19-Point 2C Openings.
2. A 2 opening should show significant defensive power as well as offensive. A 2-suited hand usually has little or no defense against the other 2 suits.
3. One of the primary purposes of the 2 opening is to force partner to bid, even with a very bad hand with which you might still be able to make game. When you have as few as 15 HCPs and a 2-suited hand, there is much less danger that a normal 1-level opening bid will get passed out, though it is certainly still possible if the other points are distributed 10-5-10.

Problems With Minor One-Suiters

At the web site http://www.prairienet.org/bridge/b_2c.htm, it says that with - AK82 KQJT865 KQ:

    You'll fare better with a 1D opening. [An] important consideration is that a 2C opener makes it very difficult, and sometimes impossible, to find a 4-4 major-suit fit, which is a real danger on this hand. If partner has 4 hearts, a 1D opening may be the only way you'll get him to bid the suit. (Well, that -- or playing 19-HCP 2C.)

Problems With Three-Suited Hands

The above web site also calls strong 4-4-4-1 hand the real bane of the 2C bidder's existence because of the difficulty in finding a fit once you start on the higher level. Suggestions include playing a jump rebid by the 2C opener to show 4-4-4-1 with the singleton in the next higher suit bid, or to apply good guessing and skill in playing 4-3 fits.

The site offers as alternatives to opening 2C with 4-4-4-1:
  • Open 2N.
  • Open with a 1-bid.
  • Open a Roman 2D, which shows 4-4-4-1 and 17-24 HCPs
        and opener bids his singleton on his next turn.

  • So What Do You Open 2C?

    If you don't open 2C with 2-suited hand, 3-suited hands, nor 1-minor-suited hands, the only hands you can open 2C are strong balanced hands and 1-major-suited hands.

    That's going to make 2C openings even rarer than they already are, which means that the bid is being wasted much of the time. It becomes little more than another 2N opening.

    If you really accept the caveats above regarding 1-, 2-, and 3-suited hands, then again, we must point out that playing a 19-HCP 2C solves most, if not all, of the problems because the heart of that system is in locating fits at the lowest possible level.

    Responding To 2C

    Below are various responses to an opening 2C:

    2D Negative (less than 7 HCPs) - Rarely used by experts any more.

    2D Waiting - Probably the most commonly used "system" among average players. It says you do not have a biddable (good 5+ card) suit and/or you have fewer than 7 points.

    Step responses
  • 2D - 0 or 1 control
  • 2H - 2 controls
  • 2S - 3 controls (1 Ace and 1 King)
  • 3C - 4 controls
  • Many alternatives to the above step-values are around.

    Non-Jump Responses - If you are not using step responses, then the bids 2H through 3D are natural. When playing 2D-Waiting, these bids require 5+ cards, 2 of the top 3 honors, and 7+ HCPs. Since a 3C/D bid preempts opener out of showing a major on the 2 level, the suit and hand should be better. Even 2S should be a little better than 2H. With suits of lesser quality, bid 2D-Waiting.

    Jump Responses - Some play this as a semi-solid (missing a top honor) 7+ card suit, while others play it as a solid 6+ card suit.

    2N - In theory, it shows a balanced, positive hand, but since it preempts partner's majors, few experts use it, preferring to bid 2D instead. In 19-HCP 2C, it is used to show the minors and less than 6 HCPs.

    3N - Again, this is too unilateral to be natural. Some play it to promise a 7+ card solid suit, such as when using jump responses to show only semi-solid suits.

    Bidding Over Interference

    Systems for responding over interference are limited mainly by your imagination. The important point is that you and your partner should agree on something. Here is a sample system:

    • cue bid - positive, take-out, <2 of the suit bid.
    • non-jump suit - 6+ card suit, 2-of-3 top honors.
    • Dbl - less than two Queens.
    • Pass - two Queens or better.

    If responder and RHO pass, opener can rebid as follows:

    • non-jump suit - one-suited hand.
    • 2N - two-suited hand.
    • cue-bid - three-suited hand.
    • Dbl - strong, balanced. Responder can pass for penalties; otherwise, NT systems are on.