Strong Two-Bids -- For very strong, unbalanced hands (21+ pts.)

Here are guidelines for opening, responding and rebidding if your system uses old-fashioned Strong Two-bids.  Note that many pairs now use the more popular Weak Two-bids where 2D, 2H and 2S show hands with 5-10 pts. and a good 6-card suit. If you play Weak Two-bids, an opening of 2C is an artificial bid showing a strong two in an unnamed suit.

Guidelines for Opening a Strong Two

To open a Strong Two (2C, 2D, 2H, 2S), you should have:
If you have a strong, balanced hand, choose a notrump opening bid:

Evaluating your hand

AKQ1083  Void  KQJ10  A63
Open 2S. This is only 19 pts., but you expect to take 10 tricks if partner has nothing.
A  KJ  KQJ10872  AK3
Open 2D. You have 9 sure playing tricks, and good chances for more. 3NT is a possible final contract.
5  AKJ104  KQJ102  AK
Open 2H. You plan to bid 3D at your next turn. If you have two long suits of equal length, always start with the higher-ranking suit.
AQ  KJ  AQJ103  K953
Open 2NT. You could open 2D, but you are relatively balanced, and the most likely final contract is 3NT. The notrump opening gives partner more exact information about your point-count.
QJ  AQ8542  KQJ   AQ
Open 1H. This is 21 pts., but it's not right for 2NT and the values are too "soft" (and your suit too weak) for a strong 2H opening. If partner doesn't have enough to respond to a 1-bid, you probably can't make a game contract.

Responding to Partner's Strong Two-bid

If your partner opens 2 of a suit, you cannot pass. You must respond to keep the bidding open and let partner describe his strength and distribution.
If you DON'T have a trump fit (you have 2 or fewer cards in partner's suit):
If you DO have a trump fit (you have 3-card support or better for partner's suit):

Opener's Rebid

After partner responds to your Strong Two-Bid, choose a rebid that will either place the contract or give partner more information so he can decide where to play the hand. You can give him this information in several ways:
  1. Rebid your suit if it is 6 cards or longer.

  2. Bid your second suit (4-cards or longer).

  3. Raise partner's suit response (if you have 3+-card support).

  4. Bid notrump to deny a fit for partner's suit and show stoppers in the unbid suits.

If partner shows a very weak hand by responding the negative 2NT, be careful. If you aren't certain of making a game in your own hand, keep the bidding low to give partner a chance to pass if he has absolutely no help for you. 

Copyright   Karen Walker