# Lesson 3 -- The Strong 2C Opening and Responses

2C is a strong Artificial Opening. Being Artificial means that it has nothing to do with clubs. (Stayman is artificial, for example, as is Gerber). Any hand that has 21+ HCP opens 2C (except for 21-22 HCP with a balanced hand, which opens 2NT). Also, any hand which can expect to be able to make a game even if partner has no tricks should open 2C. 2C is completely forcing and may not be passed.

### Responding to 2C

#### Weak Hands

All hands of 0-4 HCP are considered weak. All weak hands respond 2D, which gives the opener the chance to show his hand.

#### Stronger Hands

Hands of 5+ points should simply bid their longest suit, if it is 5+ Cards. However, since you can't bid 2D (that would show a weak hand) you bid 2H, 2S, 3C or 3D. Hands of 5+ points without a long suit should be NT. There is a trick here, though. Hands with 5-8 HCP should bid 3NT, and hands with 9+ points should be 2NT. The reason for that is that with the stronger hand there are distinct slam possibilities, so the bidding should be kept low. 3NT (showing 5-8 points) will probably signify that there is no slam chances, and therefore the auction will end (or possibly in a game in a suit).

### Opener's rebid

Over 2D, opener will bid his longest suit. If opener is balanced, then a NT bid will show his point range:
• 2NT: 22-23 HCP
• 3NT: 26-27 HCP
• 4NT: 28-29 HCP
With 24-25, simply open 3NT. Above 29 HCP an opening of 5N (or bidding 2C then 5-7N) usually works.

If you don't have a balanced hand, simply bid your suit, responder will start bidding his/her suits as well. Try to bid your longer suits first.

If responder shows a positive hand (5+) points, then raise with good trump support or simply bid your best suit.

### Rules for further rounds of bidding

Here are some general rules:
• Nobody may pass a bid that is more than 1 level before game (2H, 2S, 3C, 3D) if responder bid 2D.
• Nobody may pass below game after a positive bid by responder.
• If opener ever jumps in a suit, then he is showing a monstrous hand (usually 26+ HCP) and the auction may not end below game.
• Blackwood may be a useful tool (see lesson slam bidding).
• If opener raises the suit directly to game, then he is showing a fit and a minimum 2C opening.
• If opener raises the suit below game, then he is showing a fit and slam interest. If you are interested, bid something usefull outside of the trump suit (or use blackwood). If you aren't interested, just bid game.

## SUMMARY

2C shows 21+ HCP and any distribution
• 2C -
• 2D: 0-4 HCP
• 2H, 2S, 3C, 3D: 5+ HCP, 5+ Card suit.
• 2NT (3NT over 3C, 3D): 23-24 HCP, balanced. If 2NT then follow the 2NT bidding rules, shifting point ranges as necessary.
• New suit: 5+ cards in the suit.
• Raising to game: A good 3 cards in the suit, or 4+ cards. No slam interest.
• Raising the suit (below game): A good 3 cards in the suit, or 4+ cards. Slam interest (game forcing).
• 2NT: 9+ HCP, Balanced
• 3NT: 5-8 HCP, Balanced