Main     Lesson 3N by Richard Pavlicek    

Two-over-One Auctions

This lesson pertains to noncompetitive auctions beginning with an opening bid of 1 D, 1 H or 1 S and a two-level nonjump response in an unbid suit. There are six possible sequences for the first two bids, and these are illustrated by Examples 1-6.

The Ground Rules

To bid accurately as a partnership it is essential to have a firm understanding of two-over-one auctions. Below are the important rules that apply to the initial response and to opener’s rebid.

Rule 1

A two-over-one response shows 4+ cards in a minor suit, or 5+ cards in hearts.

Rule 2

Responder indicates 11+ points and promises to bid again unless game has been reached.

Rule 3

Opener should describe his hand as naturally as possible. He may raise responder’s suit with three trumps.

Rule 4

All nonjump rebids by opener indicate 13 to 18 points. These are forcing because responder is required to bid again.

Rule 5

Jump rebids by opener show 19+ points except a raise from 2 H to 4 H shows 16-18 points.

If opener jumps after a two-over-one response, the purpose is not only to reach game but to suggest slam. Slam bidding is covered in another lesson.

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Invitational Auctions

If the two-over-one responder has 11 or 12 points, his goal is to invite game at his second turn.

If responder rebids 2 NT, a suit shown by opener, or his original suit, it is nonforcing.

1.
S A Q 9 5
H 4 3
D A 9 7 6 3
C Q 2
TableS 4 3
H Q J 9
D K 4 2
C A J 9 5 4

West
1 D
2 S
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
2 NT
South
Pass

West’s 2 S bid does not require extra strength after the two-over-one response. East invites game with 2 NT, and West should pass with his bare minimum.

2.
S Q 8 3
H A J 8 6 5
D K Q 10
C 4 3
TableS 7 2
H Q 3 2
D 6 5 4 3
C A K J 5

West
1 H
2 NT
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
3 H
South
Pass

East’s hand is too strong for an immediate raise to 2 H so he uses this sequence to invite game. West should pass 3 H.

3.
S K J 7 3
H A K Q 5 2
D 2
C 9 7 3
TableS 8 2
H 4 3
D K Q J 10 8 6
C A 6 2

West
1 H
2 S
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 D
3 D
South
Pass

East shows a good six-card diamond suit (or any seven-card suit) and 11 or 12 total points. West should pass 3 D.

4.
S K J 9 6 5
H A J 7
D K 5 3
C J 4
TableS 4 3
H Q 8 2
D A Q 4
C K 10 9 6 3

West
1 S
2 NT
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
3 NT
South
Pass

East intended to invite game in notrump but now must carry on to game since he is not allowed to pass 2 NT.

5.
S K Q 9 6 5 4
H A 2
D 4 3
C K J 3
TableS J 8
H 8 5
D A J 10 9 8 2
C A 6 5

West
1 S
2 S
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 D
3 S
South
Pass

East intended to rebid 3 D but raises spades after West shows 6+ cards. West should accept the invitation and bid 4 S.

6.
S A K 8 5 4
H Q 3 2
D 10 6
C A 8 6
TableS 3 2
H K 9 8 7 4
D A J 8
C K 4 2

West
1 S
3 H
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 H
4 H
South
Pass

East does not have enough strength to ensure game, but he is required to bid again; he cannot pass 3 H.

If opener bids a third time below game, it is forcing unless he has bid the same suit three times.

I bid three times! Why would you pass me?
To stop you from bidding four times!

7.
S A K 9 8 7 3
H A Q 9 7
D 2
C 9 3
TableS 10 2
H J 8 3
D K 6 5 4
C A Q J 8

West
1 S
2 H
3 S
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
2 NT
4 S
South
Pass
Pass

After East’s 2 NT invites game, West’s third bid is forcing. West indicates 6-4 shape so East raises spades.

8.
S A Q J 9 8 5 4
H
D A 8 2
C 9 5 4
TableS 3
H A Q J 9 8 5 4
D 9 7
C Q J 6

West
1 S
2 S
3 S
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
2 H
3 H
Pass
South
Pass
Pass

Here West’s third bid is nonforcing because he repeatedly bid the same suit.

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Game Going Auctions

If the two-over-one responder has 13 points or more, he is aware that the partnership should reach game. If responder is confident of the best game, this is often accomplished at his second bid.

9.
S K J 8 5 2
H 9 2
D K 9 3
C A J 3
TableS Q
H A K 10 8 7 3
D A 8 2
C 10 4 2

West
1 S
2 NT
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 H
4 H
South
Pass

East’s hand is too strong to rebid 3 H so he jumps to game expecting West to have two hearts for his 2 NT rebid.

10.
S 4 3
H K Q 9 7 5 3
D A 8
C K 8 2
TableS A Q 8
H 4
D K Q J 5 3 2
C Q 10 9

West
1 H
2 H
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 D
3 NT
South
Pass

East judges that notrump will be the best game contract. Note that responder (unlike opener) does not suggest a balanced hand when he rebids in notrump.

11.
S A 10 9 6 5
H K J 7 3
D A 5
C 4 3
TableS K Q 4
H A Q 8 4
D 8 2
C Q 10 7 5

West
1 S
2 H
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
4 H
South
Pass

East does not raise spades immediately with only three trumps as West might also have four hearts. A 4-4 trump fit is usually superior to a 5-3 fit.

12.
S K J 7
H A 10 2
D K Q 9 3
C 9 5 2
TableS Q 8 6
H K J 4
D 5 2
C A K Q 10 6

West
1 D
2 NT
North
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
3 NT
South
Pass

East is satisfied with game in notrump. Note that in this case East would make the same rebid with 11-12 points.

TopMain In other cases the two-over-one responder (with 13+ points) will be unsure of the best game contract, or he may have interest in slam. In that event responder will not wish to bid game at his second turn, so he must choose a rebid that is forcing. He cannot make one of the nonforcing rebids described earlier.

If responder bids a new suit or jumps below game, it is forcing.

13.
S 6 2
H K 10 9
D A K J 8 5 4
C J 3
TableS A J 8 7
H 4 3 2
D 3
C A K Q 5 2

West
1 D
2 D
2 NT
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
2 S
3 NT
South
Pass
Pass

East does not know the best game contract so he bids a new suit (forcing). West logically bids notrump with a stopper in the unbid suit and East continues to game.

14.
S Q 3
H A K 8 7 6 5 3
D Q 8 2
C 2
TableS 6 5 2
H 9
D A K 5
C A Q 10 9 8 4

West
1 H
2 H
3 H
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
2 C
3 D
4 H
South
Pass
Pass

Sometimes you have to improvise. Over 2 H East is too strong to bid 3 C and a bid of 3 NT is foolish without a spade stopper; hence 3 D (forcing). West bids his suit a third time so East finally raises.

15.
S K Q J 5 2
H A J 9 4
D 2
C Q 7 2
TableS A 8 4
H K Q 3
D K J 10 8 4 3
C 3

West
1 S
2 H
4 S
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
2 D
3 S
Pass
South
Pass
Pass

East’s jump to 3 S is forcing. West has a minimum opening so he just goes to game. If West instead held C A-7-2 he would bid 4 C (a control-bid) over 3 S and an excellent slam would be reached.

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Passed Hand Situations

If responder is a passed hand, a two-over-one response still shows at least 11 points. The upper limit, however, is generally 12 points because responder failed to open the bidding. This affects opener’s rebid as follows:

After a two-over-one response by a passed hand, opener should pass with 13 points or less.

16.
S 4 2
H 4 3
D K J 7
C A Q 10 8 6 5
TableS A Q 8 7 6
H K Q 2
D 5 4 3
C 4 2

West
Pass
2 C
North
Pass
Pass
East
1 S
Pass
South
Pass

East opened light in 3rd position so he passes the 2 C response; game is clearly out of reach.

When opener does bid again, he should have 14+ points and the structure is unchanged.

17.
S Q 10 4
H 8 2
D A J 9 8 6
C K J 3
TableS A 5
H A Q J 4 3
D K Q 7 3
C 8 2

West
Pass
2 D
3 NT
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
1 H
3 D
Pass
South
Pass
Pass

The bidding continues just as if East had opened 1 H in first seat. Especially note the raise to 3 D with 18 points; it is forcing so West logically tries 3 NT.

18.
S 9 7
H 9 7 3
D K 8 4
C A K 8 5 4
TableS K 10 3
H Q J 8
D A Q 10 3
C Q 9 2

West
Pass
2 C
3 NT
North
Pass
Pass
Pass
East
1 D
2 NT
Pass
South
Pass
Pass

East should have 14+ HCP to rebid 2 NT (forcing) since he should pass 2 C with 13 or less. West is obliged to bid again so he continues to game.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek