Suppose you have something like AQJxxx of clubs (and no other values). If it were any other suit than clubs, I'd open with a with a "weak two" bid.

But two clubs is the STRONG two bid. Meaning that if I wanted a "weak" two bid, I'd have to go to THREE clubs. With such a strong honor holding, is it ok to do so with only six clubs, on the theory that your suit is actually stronger than a seven card suit such as QTxxxxx? (If your partner has nothing, you figure to win five tricks, going down four, but your opponents can make a small slam.)

Would you do this with another suit besides clubs, where you could bid a weak two? And how would vulnerability affect your answer.




Opposite an unpassed partner, an opening 3 or 4-level call in a suit tends toward sound at equal or unfavorable vulnerability. Vulnerable against not, you should be within two tricks of your bid (i.e. with likely distribution of the remaining cards in your suit). When the vulnerability is equal, you should be within three tricks of your bid. At favorable vulnerability, the preempt tends to be lighter, so you should be within four tricks of your bid.

To decide whether or not your bid is sound, start by considering the scoring:


Next, consider how many tricks you'd be likely to make with your longest suit as trumps. With your AQJxxx of clubs you'll probably take 5 tricks.

If you're non-vulnerable and your opponents are vulnerable then 3 clubs is reasonable - if your partner has anything you should be able to get a 6th trick, if your partner has nothing then your opponents probably had a small slam. At any other vulnerability you should pass.

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Under most circumstances, I wouldn't. If your partner has 3 or 4 clubs and mediocre strength, and decides to support, you might find yourself in a disastrous 4CX or 5CX while your opponents didn't have anything better than a game.

It depends on your distribution as well. With 6-4-3-0 I might feel bold enough to try it. With 6-3-2-2, probably not.

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  • Welcome to the site. An upvote to get you started. I'm in your "camp," but many other people I know think that I'm not aggressive enough. – Tom Au Sep 16 '12 at 23:09

The point about a pre-empt is precisely the lomg suit. If you bid on a 6-card suit more than once in a blue moon you are misleading your partner (who can be expected to have an opening bid in your example, and may bid up, based on your 7-suit); if you do it often, you are misleading your opponents, and should declare your 'system' in advance.

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  • On the other hand, if you are third seat opposite a passed partner, s/he doesn't have an opening bid. So maybe the time to do so is only in third seat and not otherwise. In fourth seat, I'd pass. – Tom Au Sep 18 '12 at 12:44

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