An opening bid of 2♣ is an artificial opening which shows a strong, almost game-forcing hand of 22 or more points (or slightly less with a long suit). Since this bid is artificial and does not say anything about clubs, it is absolutely forcing. There are a number of different ways to play the follow-up. Most common is to have a system with two negatives. This allows the responder to accurately narrow his points to between either 0-4 (game may not be possible), 4-8 (game is almost certain but slam may not be possible), or 8+ (slam is likely).
- With 0-7 points, responder must bid 2♦ as a waiting response. The waiting response may also be used by hands with 8+ points but no good suit to bid.
- With 22-24 points and a balanced hand, opener may rebid 2NT. This is the only non-forcing rebid below game. It is treated as a 2NT opening, but with the responding points adjusted downwards appropriately.
- With 25-27 points and a balanced hand, opener may sign off in 3NT - slam may not be possible. If natural 3NT opening is used, a 3NT rebid shows a range higher than the opening.
- Otherwise, opener makes a non-jump bid to further describe his distribution. It is forcing for one round.
- With 0-4 points, responder bids the cheapest available minor suit (3♣, 3♦) or else 3NT if it is unavailable. This is called the second negative rebid. This rebid is alertable.
- Opener's rebids are still forcing unless he immediately rebids his previous suit. Rebids are natural.
- With 4-8 points, responder bids a natural suit to describe his distribution. The auction is now game forcing.
This response is alertable. If 2♥ is used as the immediate negative response (0-3 HCPs), all other responses (including the waiting 2♦ response) are game forcing. This has the advantage of signing off early when the responder has absolutely no values.
Positive Responses Edit
- 2NT shows 8+ points and a balanced hand and is suggestive of slam. Opener may rebid 3♣ Stayman. However, this wrong sides the NT contract.
- 2 of a major or 3 of a minor is natural and shows 8+ points and at least a 5-card suit.
- If a suit has only five cards, it must be topped by Q or better.
- 3 of a major shows a 6-card suit headed by two of the top three honors.
- 4 of any suit shows a 7-card suit headed by two of the top three honors and denies an outside A or K.
- 3NT shows an undisclosed solid suit of at least six cards and denies an outside A or K. This response is alertable.
Step responses Edit
Artificial step responses to 2♣ opening enable the partnership to know immediately how high they should be at. All responses below other than 2♦ are alertable. In the following, an ace counts as 2 controls and a king counts as 1 control.
- 2♦ : negative (0-3 HCPs or 0-1 controls)
- 2♥ : game forcing (4-6 HCPs or 2 controls)
- 2♠ : slam inviting (7-9 HCPs or 3 controls)
- 2NT : slam forcing (10+ HCPs or 4+ controls, very rare)
Some partnerships don't use the 2NT response but reserve it to the opener, to make potential NT contracts right sided.
There are other methods of step responses as well, including using higher steps (very rare) or split the 3 controls response further to one ace and one king and three kings.
Opener's rebids are natural.
If 2♣ opening is doubled Edit
- Normal responses are still on.
- Pass with 4 clubs
- Redouble with 5 clubs (or 4 good clubs)