With equal vulnerability, and a holding like (s) KQ9753 (h) K432 (d)xx (c) x, I would pass in first or second position, so that others can bid and I can respond or overcall. I don't mind doing this with a weak but "near average" holding (8 hcps vs. 10). Partner figures to have 11 points on average, we could have "19," and a good part score, or even a game in either spades or hearts. My command of the major suits could make up for the slightly inferior point count.

But with a holding like (s) KQ9753 (h) 5432 (d) xx (c) x, I would want to open with a quasi preemptive "weak" two because I don't have enough defense to stop an opposing slam on my own if partner has nothing. Also if I have four* high card points, and the remaining average around the table is "12," partner and I will have "16," leaving 24 for the opponents. And I consider my 5432 in hearts more like a Qxx than a four card holding.

Is it ok to open a "weak two" like I do if I feel I have "no" defense? (I would be "undecided" if my holding were (s) KQ9753 (h) J432 (d) xx (c) x.)

*I would open a "weak two" with as little as Axxxxxx, QJTxxx, or KQxxxx. This is a little weaker than KQxxxx (two out of the top three), but my rule is "one sure honor trick," that is, a six card suit headed by an A, KQ, or QJT, (but not KJ9, which has "holes" that can be finessed). Goren treats QJT like a "four" point holding.

  • 1
    This is totally dependent on your partnership style, primarily how constructive or destructive you want your preempts to be. Your considerations are valid. Jan 12, 2023 at 22:55
  • Call for the director. You seem to have been dealt 14 cards :-) Jan 15, 2023 at 4:49
  • Other than that I agree with Alexander woo and your own thoughts. With the first hand: You have the boss suit, so you rate to get another chance to show it. Also you have both majors, so giving partner a chance to show hearts at a comfortable level may pay off. With the weaker hand I would be less worried about missing a heart fit. Partner needs more for you to have a game, and will be able to show hearts when that is the case. Also, you have no entries in the heart suit itself (ruff entries possible), so the hand will be less flexible in a heart contract. Jan 15, 2023 at 5:01
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    @JyrkiLahtonen: The club suit should have only one x, not two. Fixed. Thanks for your help.
    – Tom Au
    Jan 16, 2023 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


This is up to you and your partner. Partnerships - including world-class partnerships - have different agreements about this. Note your agreements about what is allowed for a weak 2 not only affect how partner might respond with various marginal hands but also should affect what conventional follow-ups you play.

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