Ogust Convention


Ogust is an artificial 2NT response to a Weak Two bid or Weak Jump Overcall. It shows 15+ points with interest in game. It asks partner to make a conventional response (shown below) describing his hand. It is also known as the Blue Club Response.

    Hand:
    • Good/Max = 9+ HCP
    • Poor/Min = < 9 HCP
     Suit:
    • Good = 2 of the top 3 honors (5-8 HCP without Jacks)
    • Poor = < 5 HCP

    Some people say that a suit with 3 of the top 5 honors is also a "good" suit" but this requires partnership agreement.

Responses by Opener:

Below are the standard responses.These have the advantage over the variants to follow of being able to remember the response by using binary where minimum and poor are 0 and max and good are 1: In addition, another memory aid is that the two lowest bids (3 and 3) are minimum hands.

    Hand Suit Response
    Min. Poor 00 = 3
    Min. Good 01 = 3
    Good Poor. 10 = 3
    Good Good 11 = 3

Opener's partner can then pick a contract and opener is supposed to pass.


A variation of the responses is to reverse the meanings of the two red suits.

    • 3 = minimum hand and poor suit. 
    • 3 = max with a poor suit. 
    • 3 = minimum with a good suit. 
    • 3 = max with a good suit 
    • 3NT = a suit headed by the AKQ.

These responses have the advantage of allowing the Ogust bidder to bid 3 over 3 or 3/ over 3 as natural and forcing since he knows that opener has a poor suit.

    Examples: 
    • 2-2NT, 3-3 = good Diamond suit 
    • 2-2NT, 3-3 = good Heart suit   
    • 2-2NT, 3-3 = good Diamond suit 
    • 2-2NT, 3-3 = good Spade suit
      The Ogust bidder must bid 3 over 3 instead of 3 to avoid going past opener's Heart suit.

With a good hand and 2+ cards in partner's suit, opener can raise partner. With a poor hand, he should rebid his own suit (or pass partner's bid of opener's suit).

The Ogust bidder should have a good 16+ points to bid 2NT; otherwise, without support for opener's suit (such as a non-honor singleton or a void) and less than 16 points, he should just bid his good 5-card or longer suit, such as 2-3 = less than 16 HCPs, less than 2 Spades, and 5+ Clubs.


Another variation:

3 = poor hand and 1 of the top 3 honors

3 = poor hand and 2 of the top 3 honors

3 = good hand and 1 of the top 3 honors

3 = good hand and 2 of the top 3 honors

3NT = good hand and the AKQ+


Regular 2NT Feature Asking: (Non-Ogust)

Rebid the preempt suit = no features; implies a poor hand.

Bid a new suit = Ace or King in the new suit and a good hand.

3NT is the usual AKQ+ in the preempt suit.

Feature asking has the disadvantage of revealing the location of honor(s) to the opponents, and with say, two Kings, they cannot both be shown. This brings us to the next variation. Opener must show the number of A/Ks outside of the preempt suit.

3 = no A/K

3 = 1 A/K

3 = 2 A/Ks.in the red suits

3 = 2 A/Ks in the black suits

3NT is the usual AKQ+ in the preempt suit and 1+ A/K.


Ogust vs Feature Asking

From BridgeBase.com:

  1. If weak twos are fairly disciplined then my preference is [feature asking]. But if they are wide ranging Ogust becomes more useful.  
  2. I currently play shortage ask over disciplined 2M weak 2s, and feature ask over a wider ranging 2D - where the focus is more often finding 3NT than 5D. As mentioned above I don't find Ogust much use once you trust partner to take suit quality and vulnerability/position into account when opening 2x.  
  3. In a couple of my partnerships, we play Step Ogust and Feature ask. Step Ogust uses the next suit bid as the asking bid, and this leaves 2NT available to ask for a feature.


Asking for Shortness

From BridgeWebs.com:

If responder (opener's partner) has a good hand but a suit with 3-4 low cards which could be a big problem. If opener has shortness in the suit, it makes responder's bidding much easier, but neither Ogust nor Feature Asking allow for that.

The solution is to use 3 for that purpose. Here are opener's responses:

  • 3 = no shortness; responder signs off in 3 of opener's suit.
  • 3 = shortness in clubs.
  • 3 = shortness in a middle suit ( or ).
  • 3N = shortness in the highest unbid suit ( or

Note that 1-3 used for this purpose conflicts with Bergen Raises.


The Odds of Bidding Ogust

 For the Ogust bidding quiz, BidBase had to randomly generate and test 11769 deals to find 100 deals which matched one of the opening auctions of Ogust:

    • 2 - P - 2N - P
    • 2 - P - 2N - P
    • 2 - P - 2N - P

But BB doesn't just check each deal once. If it doesn't match with South as dealer, then it tries again with West, then North, and East.

This makes the odds of someone/anyone at the table making an Ogust bid 1 in 118 deals.

The odds that just your pair would make an Ogust bid would be 0.5 in 118 deals, or 1 in 236 and the other 0.5 in 118, your opponents would do it.

For just you, the odds double again to just 1 in 472 deals on average. For a 26- or 27-board tournament, you would have a chance to bid Ogust once every 18 tournaments or so.

That's a long time to have to remember the Ogust responses, so be sure to do some practice quizzes regularly.