~Strong, Artificial 2C Opener

Strong Artificial Two-Clubs Opening

A 2C opening bid is strong, artificial, and forcing for one round. With a balanced hand, 22 HCP are required; with an unbalanced hand, opener needs at least 17 HCP and 8 1/2 quick tricks or a one-suited hand within one trick of game.

Several responses will be discussed. Different experts recommend slighty different requirements for some of these bids. The responses discussed here are the most current treatments.
1. Two Diamonds Waiting: Responder bids 2D unless holding a positive bid, defined as a good 5-card major headed by at least two of the top three honors plus some extras totaling at least 8 points. The bid of three in a minor usually requires a 6-card suit. Without a 6-card suit, make a waiting call of 2D. Responder does not bid 2NT, even with a balanced hand and 8+ HCP. Opener may or may not have a balanced hand, however, if the opener is a balanced hand, opener should have the chance to show the balanced hand over 2D so as to become declarer. If responder bids 2D and opener bids 2NT (22-24 HCP) or 3NT (25-27 HCP), systems are ON (Stayman, Jacoby Transfers, Texas, Smolen, etc.). 2NT is not a forcing bid and may be passed. Second Negatives do not apply over the 2NT bid.
2. Two Diamonds Negative: Bid regardless of hand shape and strength to allow opener to better describe the opening hand.
3. Graded Responses: Responder bids up-the-line to describe his HCP except responder does not bid 2NT. Reserving 2NT for opener is not a universal treatment, but the logic is sound.
          ~2D shows 0-3 HCP.
          ~2H shows 4-6 HCP.
          ~2S shows 7+ HCP.
4. Controls: RECOMMENDED. Responder bids up-the line to show the number of aces and kings held. An ace is assigned two points and a king one point. Again, 2NT is not reserved for opener but the number of controls shown by a 2NT bid (3) shows specifically 3 kings. The advantage of this is that if the final contract is in NT, the lead will be coming up to responder’s kings.
          ~2D shows no aces and zero or one king.
          ~2H shows one ace or 2 kings.
          ~2S shows one ace and one king.
          ~2NT shows 3 kings.
          ~3C shows two aces or 1 ace and two kings.
          ~3D shows two aces and a king or one ace and three kings.
          ~3H shows three aces or 2 aces and two kings.
Note that in the rare instances that responder’s holdings exceed 4 controls, the bidding continues up-the-line. If opener has a balanced hand and 22-24 HCP, any response other than 2D shows enough combined points for game. Responder may also hold additional HCP. Opener will describe his hand after the initial response.
          ~If the hand is balanced, he will bid notrump and responder will
          have a good basis for a pass or another bid.
           ~If responder shows 3 or more controls, opener can usually 
          determine the actual aces and/or kings held.
          ~Only if opener has an unbalanced hand is there any difficulty
          reading responder’s holdings; however, opener can usually
          determine if game is a possibility.

If opener’s subsequent bid is a suit-bid, that bid is forcing to game unless opener rebids the suit below game level.

The Second Negative:
After an initial response of 2D and a rebid by opener in a suit, responder may use the cheaper minor or 3NT over 3D to show 0-4 HCP (but never an ace). This bid is strictly artificial; all subsequent bids are natural.

Action After Opener Rebids 2NT:
Recommend responder bid as though the 2NT call were an opening 2NT bid (except with slightly more HCP).

Action After Opener Rebids 3NT:
Recommend responder use 4C as Stayman and 4D/4H/4S as transfer bids and use 4NT as Blackwood.

Opener’s Second Bid is 4NT:
Shows 28+ HCP.
~A response of 6NT shows enough values to play at 6NT opposite a minimum in opener’s hand for the 4NT bid (5-6 HCP). With 7-8 HCP, responder will bid 5NT, insisting on 6NT and inviting 7NT. With 32+ HCP, opener will bid 7NT over responder’s 6NT.
~If responder makes a suit bid at the 5-level, it shows a long suit headed by at least the KQ and asks opener to evaluate this bid as a source of tricks before setting the final contract.

Special Responses: Over 2C
~3 of a major shows a 6-card suit headed by at least two of the top three honors and denies holding any outside aces or kings.
~4 of any suit shows a 7-card or longer suit headed by at least two of the top three honors and denies holding any outside aces or kings.
~3NT shows a suit of at least 6 cards headed by A-K-Q and denies holding any outside aces or kings. Opener can usually identify the suit through inspection of his own hand.

Interference By The Opponents:
~Ignore a double.
~“Pass with a negative response and bid with a positive response” or
determine with partner which of a number of alternative approaches your partnership will use. Such responses can be found in Root’s Modern Bridge Conventions. If the opponent overcalls in a suit, the approaches generally are to double for penalty, make a forcing pass, cue-bid to show a splinter and a positive hand (5 HCP or so), bid NT with a balanced positive response and a stopper, or bid your suit with good length and strength. The level of the opponent’s overcall will determine the suit length required–generally, a good 5-card suit at 4H or below and a good 6-card suit for higher bids.

2 Responses to “~Strong, Artificial 2C Opener”

  1. pille leonfellner Says:

    I like these explanations. I hope they are standard american

    • bridgetips Says:

      The strong artificial 2C opening is played by most all bridge players who play Standard American or Two Over One. PRECISION players do not use the 2C bid as strong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: