Strong Two Club convention

Strong Two Club convention

This time, we will explore a rare – but wonderful – hand holding 22-24 HCP. What this means, is that you, holding as little as one point, could raise your partner to game.
In this situation, partner opens the bidding with an artificial two clubs bid – even holding zero clubs. Crazy, but artificial and forcing! This is the Strong Two Club convention. There are two mainstream forms for responder’s bid – both artificial and forcing:
The standard, two diamonds – “waiting” – response says absolutely nothing about your hand, but it allows the strong hand to more fully describe his hand on his re-bid. Personally, I prefer using the alternate “steps” response where responder bids two diamonds (showing 0-3 HCP); or two hearts (showing 4-6 HCP); or two spades (showing 7-9 HCP); or two notrump (showing 10+ HCP). This gives the opener a very good idea of total points held by the partnership and whether they should go for game or even slam.
In the example in the photo, north opens the bidding at two clubs (showing 22-24 HCP). Holding only four HCP, south responds two hearts. Since both partners know they hold a total of 26-28 HCP and that they are going to game, north can re-bid two notrump, showing a balanced hand and denying long spades. South might mention his five spades, but chooses to sign off at three notrump, not wanting to confuse the bidding.
As an alternative, if the partnership had previously agreed that responder’s re-bid of three hearts or spades shows at least a five-card suit, then south would have shown his spades with a re-bid of three spades instead of three notrump, giving north the option of going to three notrump or advancing to four spades.
With two common systems of the Strong Two Club convention, together with some variations, I recommend you do some more research and decide, as a partnership, which system you prefer and how you want to handle these variations.
In this example, the partnership immediately knew their point count (26-28 HCP) and thus, that they would stop at game. Next time, we will look at a similar hand where the smell of slam is in the air.
Good luck and good bridge.
Are you interested in learning more about bridge? Visit www.SouthCountyBridge.com for information on a friendly place to play, conventions and bridge classes starting in March at the Morgan Hill Library. For entry level instruction or duplicate play, contact Al at [email protected] or (408) 779-7122.

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