The Next Step: Modern Bidding Two Over One Style

For the next four weeks we are focusing on the two over one style in modern bidding. It’s not at all difficult, in fact, it’s easier than what you’ve been doing. Beginners are learning it, so…
The panel of expert bridge players will share their thoughts on this topic too, because it’s one that often comes into discussion these days. The way to think about a hand is often the key to bidding it correctly. And as you’ll see experts sometimes have different opinions too!

The Next Step lesson modules have been designed to build on the Online School Curriculum. They include some Quick Tips to help you focus on the lesson topic. Then you can play and review the lesson hands.

If you have more time to spare, you can also complete the first lesson on Two Over One Game Force, or watch the original lesson video.

Quick Tips

  • When responder shows their own suit without jumping, and to do that they must bid at the next level, this is “Two over One” (two of MY suit over one of YOUR suit)

  • In all systems, showing responder’s own suit at the next level, because their suit is ranked below opener’s, (four + cards) has always been forcing

  • In two over one style it’s game forcing, not just forcing for one round

  • It’s a more relaxing way to play bridge, because neither partner will stop bidding until at least game is reached

  • If responder is a passed hand already, the bidding is not forcing to game

  • If the opponents interfere in the bidding, before responder is able to bid their suit at the two level, it’s not necessarily game forcing either

  • If responder has a fit for opener as well as their own suit, they show this in the next round of bidding

  • If they don’t have a fit, they describe their shape, and may play no trumps if either partner has stoppers in unbid suit/s

  • A special 2/1 bid happens when opener jump rebids their own suit (1♥️ p 2♣️ p 3♥️)

  • This shows an absolutely solid suit, eg ♥️AKQJ954, and doesn’t need support from partner

  • In this case, it will be the trump suit, even if responder has a singleton


This week’s hand:

When opener (North) makes a rebid by jumping a level in their own suit, what are your views on how responder should bid after that?

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David Appleton

Answer: 3♠️ or 4♣️. Here we have bid a game- forcing 2♦️ and partner has jumped in hearts to show a good suit and extras. What is normal now is to bid 3NT or 4♥️ with true dross (JB translation. “Dross” = very poor hand, barely worth opening). This hand is too good for that, and with a fair hand for hearts, should start the cue-bidding process. If we cue both first or second round controls at the same time, then a 3♠️ bid is recommended. If not, and we show first round controls first, then a 4♣️ bid is the answer. As an aside, I play that 3♠️ specifically agrees hearts, but that is a special agreement.

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GeO Tislevoll

Answer: 1. 3♠️ cuebid.
I think my hand is a bit too strong for just a raise to 4♥️. In 2-over-1 game force the opener’s jump to 3 of his opening suit showing extras and promising a very good suit (many define it as suit-setting), otherwise we can, in that system, simply bid 2♥️ even with extras in high card points. If we play first round controls only first, I would have to bid 4♣️ in this situation, but this hand is an example of why I don’t like that cuebid style, but much prefer lowest cue, to show 1st or 2nd round control.


Joan Butts

David & GeO agree that the jump in opener’s major in 2/1 style means a solid suit, and extra values. This suit will be trumps, even if responder has a singleton. So when responder has a hand like this one, where they actually LIKE hearts, it’s better to show partner where their controls are. Both boys suggest that cue-bidding first OR second round controls together make the most sense, therefor e 3♠️ would be the next bid. So, when you DON’T cuebid a suit, using this style, you have a real weakness in that suit, and it’s OPEN to the opponents being able to take two tricks there.

Even more Two Over One…

If you would like to learn more about Two Over One Game Force, you may wish to check out my book.

As a Gold Member, you can also play the hands from the book online.

Test your knowledge

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