There are many forms of defense methods against any and all conventional methods. It would be impossible to introduce them all since they are normally based on a partnership agreement and/or understanding. We do wish to present several defense mechanisms whenever possible and whenever we find them. Following are two possible defense methods against Weak Two Bids opened by the opponents.

Method 1: (found on Jack's Bridge Tips - Last Updated: 9-25-2001)

In defending against a weak two opening bid, the general rule is that a bid in the immediate seat shows good values. Bids are as follows:

1. Double - for takeout, and shows sound opening hand values, support for all unbid suits and good defensive strength. Partner, probably having some length in the enemy suit, may convert the double for penalties. Partner should use Lebensohl in responding.

a. With less than 7 HCP, Responder bids at the 2 level if possible. Otherwise, he bids 2NT (Lebensohl), requiring doubler to bid 3 Clubs and then pass any correction. Doubler may, of course, bid on with a strong hand, knowing partner has fewer than 7 points. If partner uses Lebensohl and then corrects to a suit that he could have bid at the two level, this shows good values but not quite enough to have made an initial jump to the three level.
b. A jump to the three level is a strong game invitation (opening hand strength).
c. A minimum response at the three level promises about 7 to 10 points.

2. A minimum overcall shows a good 5 plus card suit and a good hand (7 Losing Trics at the two level, 6 Losing Tricks at the three level). A jump overcall shows an even better hand (5 Losing Tricks). With a 4 loser hand or better, double first and then bid your suit.

Partner may raise to any level, bid a new suit (not forcing), or cue bid (forcing - probable fit).

3. An overcall of 2NT is NOT unusual. It shows the values of a 1NT overcall (15 to 18 HCP with one or more stoppers). Partner may then cuebid the enemy suit (Stayman) or transfer to a long suit. (Example: if the enemy suit is Hearts, a bid of 3 Clubs is a transfer to Diamonds, 3 Diamonds is a transfer to Spades, 3 Hearts is Stayman, and 3 Spades is a transfer to Clubs. 3NT is to play).

4. 3NT shows a secure stopper(s) in the enemy suit and 21-22 HCP. With 19-20 HCP or 23+ HCP, double and then bid 2NT or 3NT.

5. A direct cuebid in their suit is a Western Cuebid, asking partner to bid 3NT with a secure stopper in their suit. This is usually a hand with 7 plus sure running tricks.

6. A jump overcall (Roman Jump Overcall) shows a 4 or 5 loser hand which is a two-suiter in the suit bid and the next higher-ranking suit. You expect to make game in one of those suits if partner has 7 points.

The strength requirements for bidding in the balancing position are reduced. With a short holding in the opponents' suit, support for unbid suits and moderate values (10+ points ), balancer should double (realizing that partner may leave it in for penalties). With four cards or more in the opponents' suit and less than opening 1NT strength, balancer should probably pass and defend. A minimum suit bid should be 5 or 6 cards in length. A jump bid in a suit shows a good suit and a good hand. An overcall of 2NT is the same as in the immediate position.

Method 2: Defense To Weak Two-Bids (Eddie Kantar's Treatment)

Assume The Enemy's Opening Bid Is 2 Hearts:


Takeout, like a double of a 1 Heart opening.

2 Spades, 3 Clubs or 3 Diamonds

Natural, like an overcall of a 1 Heart bid. However, since you are bidding a level higher, you should have a very good suit or extra playing strength.

2 No Trump

15+ to 18, balanced, like an opening 1 No Trump bid with a Heart stopper.

3 No Trump

Long running suit with a Heart stopper, may not have the other suits stopped.

Double followed by 3 No Trump

19 to 21, balanced.

3 Hearts - The cuebid shows a long running suit and asks partner to bid 3 No Trump with a Heart stopper. Partner's responses are:

3 NT – has a Heart stopper.

4 Clubs – has a weak hand, no Heart stopper. You will correct to you suit.

5 Clubs – has a strong hand, no Heart stopper. You will correct to your suit.

4 Diamonds or 4 Spades – has an independent suit, no Heart stopper.

3 Spades

A jump overcall, strong. When the bid to your right is weak, a jump by you is strong.

4 Clubs or 4 Diamonds

"Leaping Michaels". Shows a strong two-suited hand with the suit bid plus the other Major, at least 5-5.

4 Hearts

The jump cuebid shows the Minors, at least 5-5, very strong.

4 No Trump

Also shows the Minors, at least 5-5, but not as strong as the jump cuebid.

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

Claus and Raymond


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