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Opening Strong Two’s
There are three different systems of Opening at the 2 level in Acol. This lesson is focussed on the ‘strong 2’s’ system. These next two systems are covered in two separate lessons following this. The second system is weak 2’s, and the third is Benjaminised Acol. You need to discuss with your partner which system you are playing otherwise your partnership will be tested.
Choosing the best bid for your hand
If you play opening at the level of 2 is strong in all suits, opening opening 2♣ has a very different meaning than opening 2♠ 2♥ and 2♦.
Opening 2 Clubs.
A 2♣ opening bid is the strongest it says nothing about your club suit but promises a minimum of 23+ TP and is forcing partner to keep the bidding going until game is reached. Of course with 10 points partner will probably want to keep going to slam.
Opening 2♠, 2♥ and 2♦
Opening these suits at the level of 2 shows less points then a 2 Club bid, usually 17-22 HCP better than 8 or 9 playing tricks but not enough for 2♣. Usually these bids show a good suit, partner is not forced to bid game, but depending on partners cards and point count decides whether to end in part-game, game or slam.
A 2NT opening tells partner you have 20-22 HCP and a balanced hand. This is not a game force bid. Partner can pass, Stayman, make a negative takeout bid or can bid game or slam.
Exercise: You pick up this hand and it is your turn to bid, what is your opening bid?
- ♠ A
- ♥ A K Q J 8
- ♦ K Q J 9 6
- ♣ K 4
Answer: Bid 2♣. Don’t be tempted to bid 1♥ as your partner may pass with less than 6 HCP and you would miss out on getting to your game contract.