~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.

Responses:
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.

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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.

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