~2/1 Bidding Options

 Bidding Options with 13+ HCP and 4+ Cards in Partner’s Opening Major

With no splinter or qualifying 5-card side suit: bid 2NT. The bid is a convention called Jacoby 2NT, is alertable, and promises that the hand contains opening count and no singleton or void.  Jacoby 2NT is a specialized bid used to obtain more information about opener’s shape and point count. Under the right circumstances, the bid is a valuable tool for finding the fits for a slam when holding less than the common point count for a slam.

Jacoby 2NT

Jacoby 2NT provides a vehicle to check for a splinter or dual fit to evaluate slam potential; without slam potential (after opener responds to 2NT), bid 4 of the major. The bid requires 13+ points and a balanced hand.

Partner opens 1H and responder holds
S Kx
H Kxxx
D xxx
C AQxx


Opener’s Responses to Partner’s Jacoby 2NT Bid (Prioritized):

~With a qualifying 5-card side suit, opener bids that suit at the 4 level (with a 5-card spade suit and a 5-card heart suit, opener would have bid 1S). With two 5-card suits, opener must also have a splinter, in which case the good secondary suit is shown. So what must a 5-card suit hold to be “qualifying?” Some experts require two honors or a single honor, K or A. Others require that the suit hold two of the top three honors. You and partner should agree on what constitutes a qualifying side suit.
~With no qualifying 5-card side suit but holding a splinter, bid the splinter at the 3-level.
~With no qualifying 5-card side suit or splinter, opener bids 4 of the major with 12-14 points (fast arrival) or bids 3 of the trump suit with 18+ points or 3NT with 15-17 points.

Opener:       S Jxx    H AQJxx    D Jxx    C  Ax
Responder: S AQx   H Txxx       D Kxx    C KJx


Opener:       S KQx   H AQJxx   D Jxx   C Ax
Responder: S Ax      H Txxx      D Kxx   C KQxx

5H- All pass
*I have extra values.
**I have neither the A of clubs nor of diamonds and only a minimum 2NT bid.
***Close enough to ask about keycards.
****One or four keycards (1430).

Options with 4+ Trumps and a Splinter

~With 4 of partner’s suit and a qualifying side suit of 5+ cards, bid the side suit.
~With a splinter and 12+ HCP but no 5-card side suit: make a splinter bid with a double jump shift.
~With a splinter, a qualifying 5-card side suit, and 13+ points: make a 2/1 bid and then jump in the splinter suit. This methodology allows you to show both special shapes.

Long Secondary Suits

When responder holds 4+ cards in partner’s opening major plus a qualifying secondary suit of 5+ cards headed by at least the king, a good opportunity exists for slam if the partnership has a dual fit. When responder holds such a fit with a secondary suit, he should make a 2/1 bid in the secondary suit. After opener makes a re-bid, responder may re-bid a qualifying 5-card secondary suit if holding no splinter, then support opener’s major on his next bid. If opener has a fit for the secondary suit and a full opener, he may choose to pursue slam.

Splinter Bids

The presence of a good trump fit and shortness in either the opening or responding hand can sometimes offer a unique opportunity for slam. If one partner shows shortness (a singleton or void) in a side suit and the other partner has only small cards in that same suit, all the partnership’s high cards are “working,”–supporting each other–and a small slam may be made with as few as 26 HCP. Because of the opportunity offered by these special fits, the partnership should make an effort to show splinters whenever holding good support for partner’s major suit.

Fast Arrival

If you have made a 2/1 game forcing bid, there is no rush to bid game. There is time to explore for secondary fits and special shapes that might lead to a slam. Therefore, when either partner immediately bids game, it shows a minimum hand with no extra values.

Practice Two-Over-One Bidding

Respond with these hands after partner opens 1H. Then after an opening  1S.

1. S Kxxx     H x            D AQxx       C KJxx
2. S Kxxx     H xx          D AQTxx     C Kx
3. S Kx         H AQTx     D Kxx         C Qxxx
4. S KQx      H AQTx     D Qxxx       C xx

These hands would make a forcing bid other than a 2/1 call:

5. S KQx     H AQx     D Jxx      C Jxxx
6. S KQxx   H x          D AQTx   C KQxx
7. S KQxx    H Jx       D AQx      C Kxxx

1. 1S*/4H
2. 1S*/2D
3. 2NT/2C*
4. 2NT/2D
5. 3NT
6. 1S*/4H
7. 1S*/2NT

2/1 Game Force

Opener:       S AQx     H AKQxxx     D xx       C Tx
Responder: S xx         H JTx            D AJx     C AQ982

*Responder has an opening hand and should make a game-forcing 2/1 call. 1NT would work also.
**Opener makes a value re-bid with a 6-card suit and 5 or less Loser Count.
***Responder uses the Principle of Fast Arrival to show a minimum.

More Practice Bidding

1. Opener:   S AKJT32     H AQ8     D 93           C 65
Responder: S Q32           H 54         D AT765     C AQ4

Opener has both a good hand and a good 6-card spade suit and opens 1S. Responder has an opening hand and 3-card support in spades. With only three spades, the hand does not qualify for a 2NT bid (Jacoby 2NT). Bid a game forcing 2D. After opener rebids 2S, jump to 4S. This is fast arrival and tells partner you have minimum values for your 2/1 bid. 3S would be a stronger bid, since the initial 2D call was game-forcing.

2. In each of the following hands, partner opens 1S. What is your response with the following hands?
A. QJ32, AJ65, AQ43, 3
B. QJ32, AK6, AQJ43, 3
C. K43, Q7654, T8, AJ6
D. QJ4, QJ4, J65, 9876
E. QJ4, KJ4, K76, K543

A. 4C, a splinter bid
~you should seldom bid Jacoby 2NT with a singleton.
B. Bid 2D. Although you have enough points to show a splinter, showing the secondary 5-card suit takes priority. Next, jump in clubs to show the splinter. The 2/1 bid relieved you of having to make any other forcing bid and allowed both partners to exchange information below game level that might lead to a slam.
C. Bid 1NT, then jump to 3S if given the chance, to show 3-card support and a limit raise.
D. Bid 1NT and then rebid 2S. This describes a hand with 2-3 spades and too few points to take any other action. Playing Constructive Raises, an immediate raise to 2S would show 8-10 points.
E. Bid 3NT showing an opening hand, 3 trumps, and 3-3-3-4 shape. Partner will decide whether to play in 3NT, 4S, or to explore for slam. 4NT would be RKC 1430 for hearts.

Some other Two-Over-One Wrinkles

Almost everyone who bids and plays a modern system bids Weak Jump Shifts (WJS), but not everyone who bids WJS bids them exactly alike. For instance, if there were no interference, how would you bid these four hands?
#1, you hold
S QJ9832
H xx
D Qx
C xxx
Partner opens 1C. Playing WJS, you bid 2S. The bid tells partner that you have about 3-5 HCP, at least six spades, and can provide little help in this hand unless spades are trumps.

S xx
H xx
D xx
C KQT9xxx
Partner opens 1S and you jump to 3C, telling partner you are weak but have a long suit, and suggest the contract be played at 3C. Partner can pass or continue bidding based on the strength and shape of his hand and a good knowledge of your holding.

S Axxx
H xx
D x
C Q98xxx
Playing 2/1 and holding a 4-card major and 6+ points, you bid 1S over partner’s 1D. If partner bids 1NT to show a balanced minimum, you jump to 3C*. The sequence describes a hand with 4 spades, a longer club suit (6+) and too few points to give either a 2/1 bid (less than 13) or a New Minor Force (NMF) of 2C over partner’s 1NT re-bid.

S x
H Axx
D KQxxxx
C xxx
Here you hold a good support hand with long diamonds. If partner opens 1C, just bid 1D. If partner opens 1S, bid 1NT to deny an opening hand.

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