Two-over-one bidding convention

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The two-over-one bidding system is designed to determine early on in the auction if the partners have enough combined values to play at least a Game contract.

If you are playing the 2-over-1 system, you can only bid 2 of a lower suit after your partner opened with 1 of a major if you have close to opening-point strength yourself. This 2-over-1 bid is then Game-forcing. For example, 2 Clubs after a 1 Spade opening is Game-forcing, and so is 2 Hearts after 1 Spade or 2 Diamonds after 1 Spade or 1 Heart.

The advantage of the 2-over-1 system is that you will know early on if you and your partner have Game strength between you or not. The disadvantage is that it becomes more difficult to bid those average 10 or 11-point hands that do occur a lot. Now a normal 2 Diamonds or Clubs reply with a 10-point hand and a five-card minor suit is not longer available as an option.

With a 10-point hand, you cannot now choose one of the responder bids like 2 Diamonds over 1 Spade or 1 Heart because you would over-bidding your hand. Your only alternatives in that case are to bid 2 of partner’s suit, bid 1 No-Trump, pass or give a weak jump raise to indicate extreme length in a suit but nothing else.

It is generally agreed among the partners playing the system that 2-over-1 is off after interference. In other words, if one partner opens 1 Heart and the first opponent interferes with 1 Spades, than 2 Diamonds does NOT mean opening-strength points.

(Note: No-Trump bids are not considered part of the 2-over-1 system.)

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