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Intermediate Bridge
LESSON 13
The Multi-2♦ Opening bid

  1. The Multi-2♦ Opening
  2. Weak Responses
  3. Strong Enquiry & Weak options
  4. Strong Enquiry & Strong options
  5. Bidding after Enemy interference

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IBR 13.1 - The Multi-2♦ Opening

In recent years the Multi-2♦ Opening bid has become very popular and widespread in Duplicate bridge competition.
The main function of the Multi-2♦ Opening bid is to combine a few common Opening bids (Weak Twos and a strong NT opening) together into one Opening bid. This then allows the bids of 2♥, 2♠ and 2NT to be used for other purposes (see Intermediate Lesson 14 and BR 30).

NOTE
In the USA the Multi-2♦ Opening bid with its full complement of alternative bids is only allowed at the highest level of expert competition.
At Club level a simple Multi-2♦ Opening, including only weak 2 Openings of the majors is sometimes allowed.
In such case the 2♥ and 2♠ Opening bids show weak (6-10 HCP) 2-suited hands of the bid major plus an unspecified minor suit.
But Ron Klinger's RCO 2s or my Jazclass 2s could not be used (it would require the 2NT Opening bid also to be included in the Multi-2♦).
M.F.

The Multi-2♦ combines at a minimum the Weak Two opening bids in and ♠ plus the strong 2NT (21-22 pts), but a fourth option can also be included if required.
I have added the option of also including hands with 4441 distribution and 17+HCP as it fits in well with the overall Jazclass system. But you can leave this out (at least initially) if you prefer.

Here are the Jazclass options for the Multi-2♦ Opening bids :

  1. a weak 6+card major ("weak two") of 6-10 HCP,

        such as :   ♠ 8 2   ♥ A Q 9 8 5 2   ♣ J 10 6 4   ♦ 7


  2. or a strong balanced hand of 21-22 HCP,

        such as :   ♠ A 10 2   ♥ A Q 9 8   ♣ A 8 6 4   ♦ A K


  3. or a strong 4-4-4-1 shape with 17+ HCP, and a singleton

        such as :   ♠ A K 9 5   ♥ 4   ♣ A Q 8 3   ♦ K Q 10 4

Including balanced hands of 21-22 HCP (option 'B' above) and strong 4441 shape hands (option 'C') in the Multi-2♦ Opening bid, simplifies the Game force 2♣ Opening range of bids considerably.

Implications for the Game force 2♣ Opening bid

After opening with 2♣ :

  1. Opener's rebid of 2NT shows a balanced hand of 23-24 points (not forcing)

  2. Opener's rebid of 3NT shows a balanced hand of 25+ points

  3. Opener's rebid of a new suit shows a 5+card suit (forcing to Game)

Responder's bid of 3♣ after 2NT or 4♣ after 3NT is Stayman investigating a 4-4 major suit fit.



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IBR 13.2 - Weak Responses

There are two weak responses to the Multi-2♦ Opening bid. They are :

  • 2♦ - 2♥ = "Pass or correct"     This is the most commonly used response

  • 2♦ - 2♠ = "Pass or correct"     Only used when Responder is interested in 2♥s but not in ♠s

Opener's replies are as follow.

Bidding Meaning Example of Opener's hand
2♦ - 2♥ - Pass Weak Two in Hearts ♠ 8 2   ♥ A Q 9 8 5 2   ♣ J 10 6 2   ♦ 7
2♦ - 2♥ - 2♠ Weak Two in Spades ♠ Q 10 9 7 6 3   ♥ A 2   ♣ 8 5 4   ♦ 9 3
2♦ - 2♥ - 2NT 21-22 HCP, balanced ♠ A J 5   ♥ A K   ♣ K Q 7 5   ♦ Q J 8 2
2♦ - 2♥ - 3♣ 16+ HCP, 4441 shape
with singleton
♠ A K J 2   ♥ A Q 10 4   ♣ 7   ♦ K Q 8 3


After a 2♠ response Opener's replies are the same as above, except when Opener holds a weak 6+card Heart suit.
In that case Opener replies 3♥ with a minimum (6-7 HCPs) and 4♥ with a maximum (8-10 HCPs).

Bidding Meaning Example of Opener's hand
2♦ - 2♠ - Pass Weak Two in Spades ♠ K Q 8 6 4 3   ♥ 8 3   ♣ A 8 6 2   ♦ 7
2♦ - 2♠ - 3♥ Weak Two in Hearts
minimum : 6-7 points
♠ 9 3   ♥ Q 10 7 5 4 2   ♣ A 9 5 4   ♦ 3
2♦ - 2♠ - 4♥ Weak Two in Hearts
maximum : 8-10 points
♠ 8   ♥ K Q 9 8 5 2   ♣ A 7 4 2   ♦ 6 2
2♦ - 2♥ - 2NT 21-22 HCP, balanced ♠ A J 5   ♥ A K   ♣ K Q 7 5   ♦ Q J 8 2
2♦ - 2♠ - 3NT * 16+HCP, 4441 shape
with singleton
♠ A K J 2   ♥ 7   ♣ A Q 10 4   ♦ K Q 8 3

* Note that after Responder's 2♠ the Opener can not show his singleton by bidding Hearts, as this would show a Weak Two in Hearts (see above). He therefore bids 3NT instead, this shows a singleton . Bids of the other three suits show a singleton as normal.


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IBR 13.3 - The Strong Enquiry & Weak options

The 2NT response after a 2♦ opening bid shows 12+ HCPs, is artificial and a strong enquiry similar in nature to the Ogust Convention. There are several possibilities for weak major suit responses. Here follows my recommended version.

Bidding Meaning Example hand
2♦ - 2NT - 3♠ suit, minimum 6-7 HCPs ♠ A Q 7 6 4 3   ♥ 9 4   ♣ J 7 6 4   ♦ 8 3
2♦ - 2NT - 3♥ suit, minimum 6-7 HCPs ♠ 8   ♥ Q 10 9 7 6 2   ♣ A 9 6 4   ♦ 6 2
2♦ - 2NT - 3♦ suit, maximum 8-10 HCPs ♠ A J 8 6 4 3   ♥ 9 8 6   ♣ A 7 6 4   ♦ 5
2♦ - 2NT - 3♣ suit, maximum 8-10 HCPs ♠ 5   ♥ K Q J 9 7 6   ♣ K 8 6 4   ♦ 7 4

After Opener's weak reply of 3♥ or 3♠, the Responder usually passes.
After Opener's positive reply of 3♣ or 3♦, a Game contract is usually reached.

A further bid by Responder one step up from Opener's previous bid asks for the number of top Honours (A, K or Q) in Opener's long suit.
Opener replies :

a bid 1 step up = 1 top Honours       2 steps up = 2 top Honours       3 steps up = 3 top Honours

For example :

Bidding Meaning Example hand
2♦ - 2NT - 3♦ - 3♥ - 3♠ = 1 top Honours ♠ A J 8 6 4 3   ♥ 8 6   ♣ A 7 6 4   ♦ 9 5
2♦ - 2NT - 3♣ - 3♦ - 3♠ = 2 top Honours ♠ 5   ♥ K Q J 9 7 6   ♣ K 8 6 4   ♦ 7 4


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IBR 13.4 - The Strong Enquiry & Strong options

With one of the strong option hands, Opener's reply to Responder's 2NT strong enquiry are very simple :

Bidding Meaning Example hand
2♦ - 2NT - 3NT Balanced with 21-22 HCP ♠ A K   ♥ K J 5   ♣ A Q 8 3   ♦ K J 9 4
2♦ - 2NT - 4♣ 4-4-4-1 shape, 17+ HCP
singleton in the suit bid
♠ K Q 8 4   ♥ A Q 10 5   ♣ 4   ♦ A K 9 4

After this the bidding usually reaches a Slam contract.


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IBR 13.5 - Bidding after Enemy interference

Interference over a multi-2♦ Opening bid is not uncommon in cases where Opener's bid is based on a weak long major suit. The following standard actions over this are outlined below.

A. After Opponents Double

  1. Pass = a weak hand. If 4th player passes too, Opener can make a second bid describing his hand.

  2. Bid a suit = 0-11 pts, "Pass or Correct" as normal.

  3. Bid 2NT = 12+ pts, strong enquiry as normal.

  4. RDBL = own long suit and misfit with Opener : "Partner bid 2♥ next, then pass my next bid."

B. After Opponents Suit Overcall
  1. Pass = a weak hand. If 4th player passes too, Opener can make a second bid describing his hand.

  2. Bid a suit = 0-11 pts, "Pass or Correct" as normal.

  3. DBL = 12+ pts, strong enquiry.

  4. Cue bid Enemy suit = Forcing to Game. Opener must show his hand.

C. After Opponents 2NT Overcall
This usually shows a weak 2-suiter of the minors with 8-12 HCPs.
  1. DBL = strong enquiry, which Opener may convert into a Penalty Double.
  2. 3♥ = Game invitation. Opener will Pass with s and min., or bid Game with s and max.
  3. 3♠ = Game invitation. Opener will Pass with s and min., or bid Game with s and max.
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© 2013 Michael Furstner