Benjamin Acol is an extra convention for Bridge beginners, so feel free to treat this bridge lesson as something you can choose to use or not, but always after discussion with your partner. Remember your partner must be able explain your bids, like Benjamin Bridge, accurately to the opposition, when asked.
A combination of Weak and Strong 2 bids
The system of Benjamin Bridge (Weak and Strong Twos together) was an invention and is a Bridge bidding convention called Benjaminised Acol, Benji Acol for short. In this system: 2♣ is a strong Acol Two’ in any suit 2♦ 23+ points or Game Force (equivalent to the Acol 2♣) 2♥ 6-10 points, six-card heart suit 2♠ 6-10 points, six-card spade suit.
The 2 Club opening bid in Benjamin Bridge
Is strong, usually 20-22 points and is used to show any hand worthy of a Strong Two opening in any suit. Strong hands can make eight tricks in a major suit without support from partner. If the strong suit is a minor, it should be a nine trick playing hand because it is revealed at the three level.
So for example, in Benjamin bridge, after responder bids 2D (a relay which responder is required to bid no matter what his cards or points) opener rebidding 2♥ means opener has 8 playing tricks in hearts 2♠ means 8 playing tricks in spades 3♣ means 9 playing tricks in clubs 3♦ opener has 9 playing tricks in diamonds. After opener has shown his hand, then responder can bid as he would if partner had opened a Strong Two. For instance, if the auction has gone.
The 2 Diamonds opening bid
Is the strongest 2 level opening in Benjaminised Acol – it promises 23+ points and is a ‘gameforce’ meaning that the bidding must be kept going by opener and responder until game is reached.. If the opener rebids 2NT then opener will have 23-24 points and a balanced hand, however if the rebid is a suit, then a suit game is the objective for the partnership.
The 2 Hearts or 2 Spades opening bid in Benjamin Acol
This bid shows 6-10 points, and a six card suit in the bid suit. There are 2 considerations in Benjamin bridge when opening a weak 2, the high card point strength and the strength of the suit
High card points 6-10 (HCP)
The higher limitation is obvious,because if you have 11 points and a six card suit you have enough strength to open at the 1 level. The lower point range can be stretched down to 5 points if all the points are in the long suit, with a little extra outside strength, i.e. K-Q-10-9-4-3 and A-J-10-9-4-3 are worth opening even with no points outside (EXCEPTION! if you are vulnerable against non-vulnerable opponents, when it pays to be less adventurous).
Strength of Suit
It is important in Benjamin bridge to have a certain amount of strength in your suit. Do not open a Weak Two if your suit is horrible: you are simply mis-describing your hand. Below is an outline of how strong your suit should be, but these are only guidelines; as you get used to playing this system you will be able to decide for yourself how strong or weak you want to play your suits. You should have: 2 of the top four honors, or or 3 of the top six cards.
Examples of Excellent Strength Suits for a Weak 2 Level Opening Bid
|A K 9 8 7 6||All Excellent suits|
|K Q J 7 6 5|
|A J 10 5 4 3|
|Q J 10 5 4 3|
Examples of Average Strength Suits for a Weak 2 Level Opening Bid
|K J 7 6 5 4||Average suit strengths|
|A 10 9 4 3 2|
|Q J 8 7 6 5|
|J 10 9 7 6 5|
Marginal Strength Suits for a Weak 2 Level Opening Bid
|A 10 7 6 5 4|| 2 of the top six cards in a suit,|
or 1.5 of the top 4 honors
|K 10 8 7 6 5|
Unacceptable Suits for a Weak 2 Level Opening Bid
|Q 7 6 5 4 3|| 1 of the top 4 honors,|
1 or 2 or the top six cards
|J 10 7 4 3 2|