Coping with Weak Two-Bids


Coping with Weak Two-Bids

The opponents' weak two-bid openings are designed to make life difficult for us, especially when they increase the preempt by raising their partner. Our side may not find the best contract, or we may go overboard and bid too much! 

However, properly managed, weak two-bids can help our side too. The fact that their bid is very descriptive gives us a lot of information about their hand. They don't have enough points to open a one-bid, so if we're playing the hand we just have to remember that. 

Also, a typical weak two opening will have cards (honours) in their suit, and not much else. It's also easy to work out the distribution:  the weak two hand will have a six-card suit (and the other suits will be 3-2-2, or 3-3-1 or even 4-2-1), so you expect their hand to be 6-3-3-2 or 6-3-3-1 or possibly even 6-4-2-1. 

A higher preempt will usually have seven or eight cards in the suit. A 3♥ opening could be 7-2-2-2 or 7-3-2-1, or even 7-4-1-1, and a 4♥ opening could be 8-2-2-1 or 8-3-1-1 or even 8-4-1-0, so remember that when playing. 

There are two distinct positions at the table too; one, you are sitting directly over the weak two-bidder, or two, you are the last person to speak (balancing seat).
eg 2♥ and you're next (in the direct seat) or 2♥ p p and you're in the last seat (balancing).

If you bid immediately over the weak two, you promise a decent opening hand + with at least 13 high card points. But if the bidding comes around to you in the last seat (e.g. 2♥ p p you) you should act with fewer points. 

As for what to bid, it's the same as at the one-level... overcall with a good suit and double with a good hand e.g.
you hold: ♠AK9643 ♥98 ♦85 ♣AQ6 if the bidding goes 2♥ you would naturally overcall 2♠ in the direct seat, but if you were in the balancing seat (2♥ p p you) you could bid with a king less, e.g. ♠AK9643 ♥98 ♦85 ♣K63

A jump bid over a weak two is NOT preemptive (don't preempt over a preempt). It shows a very strong hand, e.g. 2♥ (4♠ by you) would be a hand like this: ♠AK9643 ♥A8 ♦85 ♣AK6 

Doubles over weak two-bids show shortage in their suit, and the ability to support the other suits. A double is unlimited, so the better the hand (without a clear cut place to play) the more you would choose double. e.g. 2♥(X by you) could be ♠AK96 ♥8 ♦AQ85 ♣J1096. Partner will call their best suit, and with 8+ points will generally jump in that suit. Bidding no trumps suggests a balanced hand with stoppers in their weak two suit, e.g. 2♦ X p 3NT on ♠K96 ♥A84 ♦KJ8 ♣K1062

Often we have game over their weak two-bid, but they have muddied the waters, so in general be prepared to bid rather than pass. Remember we need to turn their preemptive bidding into an advantage for us, not the very opposite! 

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