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Weak 2s
Why Weak 2s

In one bid you:

  • Describe your hand very accurately
  • Mildly Pre-empt the opposition

Nearly all experts use weak 2s

What are weak 2s

Normally 6 cards in the suit and 5-9 HCPs. (There are other versions - see below)

Normally 2  / 2  / 2♠  (2♣ is the strong bid).

Bid in positions 1,2 and 3. In the passout seat it is not necessary to bid, just pass.

Here is a link to the EBU Weak 2 Training.pdf.


Bidding can often be guided by "Law of Total Tricks" (or bid to the level of total number of trumps with reasonably balanced points).. 

So with 3 trumps and 0-12 HCP bid 3.

With 4+ trumps and 0-15 HCP bid 4.

This has a pre-emptive effect.

If you have no support e.g. a void or singleton in partners suit and your own 6+ card suit you can bid it, but this is not forcing and should normally be passed.

4NT is 1430 Key Card Blackwood


Bid 2NT with a strong hand (looking for game if opener is reasonably strong).

Opener must bid.

3 of trump suit if weak (5/6/7 HCP)

3 NT with AKQ in trump suit.

3 of non-trump suit with A or K and a reasonably strong hand (8/9 HCPs)

What does a new suit mean?

You need to agree with your partner whether this is forcing or a non-forcing ecape. Both are correct. If an escape it is with the expectation that the new suit will be better, you should have 6 more cards than you have in your partners suit.


Advanced 2NT - Ogust

Some players use these different responses.

Ogust is a conventional 2NT response to a weak two bid or weak jump overcall. It is an artificial strong bid, showing 15+ points with interest in game. It usually (but not always) shows trump support.

Ogust is a forcing bid for one round. After hearing a Ogust 2NT response, the preemptor's conventional rebids are:


Bid Meaning
3 Bad hand (5-7 points) with only one of the top three honors in the preempt suit
3 Bad hand (5-7 points), two of the top three honors
3 Good hand (8-10 points), one of the top three honors
3 Good hand (8-10 points), two of the top three honors
3NT Good hand (8-10 points), all three top honors

The mnemonic for remembering Ogust responses is "Minors are Minimum, 1-2-1-2-3."

Rebids by the Ogust bidder are natural.

Defense to Weak 2s

To recap - an opening weak 2 is

·         A hand with a long suit

·         Weak on points 

·         Little defensive strength.

They think that you have game, particularly if they bid a weak 2 after two passes, so you must do the maximum to find a bid.


The principles are the same as defending to a 1 of a suit bid or a pre-emptive bid at the three level. The difference is that:

·         Your partner will be one level higher.

·         The opposition have clearly described their hand.


As always if you are thinking of bidding you should ask what the bids means (if you will not bid - do not ask). The weak 2 bid (though typically 6 cards and 5-9 HCPs)  can vary. If you do not need to know for bidding, ask for clarification before you choose your lead.


Double is for take-out. However it should be a purer hand, with a shortage in their suit, as you must cater for all your partners responses. So opening points and at least three cards in the unbid suits and ideally 4 in a couple of them. 


To bid 2NT 16-18 with a good stop.


To bid 3NT 19-21 with a good stop. This is based on the principle that if you have 20, the weak 2 is an average of 8, leaving an outstanding 12HCPs. If these are evenly split, partner will have 6, so enough HCPs  for 3NT.


If you do not have a 4 card major and no stop, but a good opening hand of say 13-15 points, bid a 5+ card suit. Partner with a stop and say 12 points can bid the 3N.


With a stronger hand double and then you can change the suit.


A cue bid of their suit is normally strong 17+ and asking for a stop in NTs.


A common problem is that I have good trumps 5+ in their suit, but not enough points to bid NTs,  what do I do? You may have to pass and hope that partner doubles for take-out, which you can leave in for penalties.


Other Resources

Pre-emptive bids 

Balancing (last person to bid)




Lebensol 2N over a double of a weak 2


The major problem over the double of a weak 2 is to differentiate between a weak response and a stronger one. This can be done by reserving the 2N response as weak (<8 HCPS) which forces the response of 3C which can then be passed or corrected to 3DHS. So if the responder to the double bids you know he has 8+ HCPs.


Leaping Michaels


As per Michaels cue bid, this shows 5/5 two suiter and is forcing to game.

This is used over weak 2s and preempts at the three level.

Weak 2D Multi

This refers to either a weak 2 in   s or ♠ s. 

Partner responds 2♥  which is then passed or corrected to ♠s.

Other responses:

2♠s - good Hs as opener has to correct to 3 s. If opener is maximum with he bids 4 s, breaks the relay and bids a shortage. If opener has ♠ s he passes.

2NT - Artificial to clarify hand.

  • 3♣ Weak two-bid in hearts, good hand.
  • 3 Weak two-bid in spades, good hand.
  • 3 Weak two-bid in hearts, bad hand.
  • 3 Weak two-bid in spades, bad hand.

3 s asks partner to bid game if maximum.

3 s 3+ support for both majors and pre-emptive.

4 s 3+ support for both majors and from pre-emptive to sound.

Defence to weak 2D Multi

Simliar to normal bidding.

Double of artificial bid - shows the suit doubled =  s

2N = Stops in both majors and 15-18 HCPs

3N =  Stops in both majors and 19+ HCPs

Bid a suit with opening points and 5+ cards

If unclear of best option - pass and see what happens.


2 - p - 2 - p

2♠ - x (you have shortage in ♠ s, opening points and can support any bid by partner)- p -

Multi 2D with strong option

Some people play wiith a strong NT option (23-24 HCPs), this makes it more dangerous to bid. If this is played against you. The option of strong NT only occurs less than 10% of the time so in duplicate you can ignore this option. So bid as if it is a weak 2 in the majors.

Lucas / Muiderberg 2s

These are weak 2 suiters, showing the suit bid and another.

Normally 5 long in the suit bid and another which is at least 4 long.

Like any 2 suiter they find a trump fit over 80% of the time so are relatively safe as in one bid they describe the hand quite precisely.

If the responder does not like the suit bid he bids another suit (or NT) to find the other suit.

As a EBU level 2 simple system covention, it should be alerted and if asked give the point count range and shape constraints.


If they have a trump fit, you have a fit, so you need to find yours.

The defence is the same as against a one bid or a weak 2 (see above).

If you are thinking of bidding ask what the bid means (HCP range and suit possibilities)

Double = Take Out

NT = If you have their suit covered. 2NT with 15-18 HCPs and 3NT 19+ expecting your partner to have a fair share of the outstanding points.

Bid a suit with an opening hand and 5+ cards.

Other Links and Hands

Bridgebums introduction to weak 2s with examples.

Please note they refer to a slightly higher point count range than is normal in the UK.

Only refer to methods 1,2,3 and 4.

Larry Cohen

Some good examples and a test (with the answers!!)

This includes the responses.

Better Bridge

A bit American and refers to ACBL rules, but good detail on how to define your partnership agreement for weak 2s

Brian Senior Article on Pre-empting (including Weak 2s) from EBU Competition at Brighton

Some good examples on how position, suit strength and vulnerability affect your bid.

EBU SIMS Hands Selection

EBU SIMS Weak 2 Hands.pdf


David Bakhshi on Weak 2s

Richard Pavlicek Lesson on weak 2s

Bernard Magee on Weak 2 Defence

Jeff Goldsmith on Defence to Weak 2s