I'm referring specifically to hands like (s)AKQJx (h) Jxx (d)xxx (c) xx or (s) AKQTx (h) Qxx (d) xxx (c)xx that are technically just under the usual requirements for a one bid, but nevertheless have five tricks.

In first or second seat, I would want to open at the one level to give partner a chance to bid. But in third seat, would it be better to open a "weak two" because partner doesn't have opening hand (that would allow a game opposite my holdings) while I fear that fourth seat does?

And is this hand worth opening in fourth seat on the assumption that if the remaining 29 high card points are "evenly" distributed, partner will have the three tricks I need to make the contract?

  • Sure, many people would open AKJTxx, x, QJx, xxx in first/second seat, and might choose to bid 2S in third and fourth seats. Fantunes bid 2 of major on 5 (or more) cards and distributional hands, but not as a weak two.
    – Aryabhata
    Aug 11, 2014 at 19:59
  • @Aryabhata: That works great until you find partner with xxx, xxxx, AKxxx,x and miss the cold game because a forcing 3D advance is just too difficult. How is a partner with xxx, Axxx, AT9xx, x going to sanely suggest slam after one opens a weak 2, even vulnerable? Aug 11, 2014 at 21:22
  • @PieterGeerkens: Say you open 1S. With xxx, xxxx, AKxxx, x, you would only get to game if responder decides to invite. Yes? Similar situation with the second hand, isn't it? Stop giving partner the perfect hands, then we can have a discussion :-) Note, the question was about opening 2S in 3rd or 4th only. In 1st and 2nd you open 1S.
    – Aryabhata
    Aug 12, 2014 at 0:02
  • @Aryabhata: The hand you give is stronger than a minimum opening, most particularly in third seat, and can easily try for game after a 2D response by dealer. Auction (opponents passing) is P-1S-2D-3D-3S-4S. I have only given dealer a shapely, fitting, absolutely minimum 2D response, and game is cold and easily reached. Aug 12, 2014 at 1:49
  • @PieterGeerkens: Sorry, I don't buy that game would be reached, especially with the auction you gave (playing some form of 2/1). But that is irrelevant. Hands which have a very low expectation of making a game (but a good expectation of making 2M) opposite a passed hand can be opened 2M (third or fourth seat), whether they are sub-minimum or stronger than minimum. I don't see any problems (at least those that I can't live with). Perhaps the example I gave is not right, but as I said, that is irrelevant. The main point is that there are 1M openers in 1st/2nd which could be opened 2M in 3rd/4th.
    – Aryabhata
    Aug 12, 2014 at 2:06

2 Answers 2


I hesitate to use a word like "never" when it comes to bidding advice, but such a situation would be rare.

In third seat, 1-level and 2-level openings both tend to become less disciplined, not more. A weak hand in 3rd seat must stretch to preempt the presumed strong hand in fourth seat. Playing the Drury convention, responder can stay low when opener opens light, and opening light in third seat can help your side make the correct decision in a partscore auction.

In fourth seat, 1-level openings may be light when opener has a good spade holding. A common agreement is that 2-level bids are "intermediate": about 10-14 HCP with a 6-card suit.

The hands that you gave I would certainly open 1S in third or fourth seat; I may pass them or open 1S in first or second.


Taking the advice of Marty Bergen this nice suits can be treated as 6-card suits.

In fourth seat I would do as Larry Cohen suggests and thus open this hand with 2S as it is in the range of 10-14 HCP.

In third seat I would it make dependent on our convention card. If we agreed on Drury convention I would open 1S with both hands. If we would not play the Drury convention the risk of getting a limit raise response, which I have to pass, is just to big. Therefor I would open 2S.


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