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
All hands of 0-4 HCP are considered weak. All weak hands respond 2D, which
gives the opener the chance to show his hand.
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).
Over 2D, opener will bid his longest suit. If opener is balanced, then a NT
bid will show his point range:
With 24-25, simply open 3NT.
Above 29 HCP an opening of 5N (or bidding 2C then 5-7N) usually works.
- 2NT: 22-23 HCP
- 3NT: 26-27 HCP
- 4NT: 28-29 HCP
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
- 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
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
- 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
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