When you play weak two-bids, your only forcing opening bid is an artificial 2 club bid. You show your “real” suit or your strong no trump hand at your next opportunity.

If you have 22 plus points and a five card or longer suit, you open 2 clubs and rebid the long suit. If you have 22 to 24 points and a balanced hand, you open 2 clubs and you rebid 2 no trump; if you have 25 to 27 points, you rebid 3 no trump.

If you have 25 to 27 points, you ask, why don’t you just bid 3NT (or 4 hearts or 4 spades with an unbalanced hand)? Because you want to see what partner has – perhaps there is a chance for slam. Remember, you and partner are playing with 26 cards, not just 13.

Most of the time when your partner opens 2 clubs, you will respond with a 2 diamond waiting bid. This bid says nothing about diamonds – it simply asks partner to describe his hand. Is it balanced? Is it unbalanced? Does it have a long suit?

Since the 2 club opening bid and 2 diamond waiting bid are both artificial bids, it is the opener’s rebid that is the first real bid and the responder’s second bid that is the first real response.

Do you always need 22 points to open 2 clubs? Must you always respond 2 diamondclubs? Is there a way to tell the opener that you have no points? Do all opening 2 club bids end up in game or slam?

All of these questions will be addressed at our Friday clinics this winter at the Hilton Head Island Bridge Club.

Try a few:

What would you open with these hands?:

1. KQJ864 52 765 98

2. AK9876 KQ4 76 87

3. 1098765 A4 K65 98

4. AQJ97 AQ98 AK4 A

5. AKQ97654 A7 AK 7

6. AJ2 K432 KJ8 AKJ

Kathie Walsh, accredited by ABTA, teaches all levels of bridge at Hilton Head Island Bridge Club. kbwalsh@roadrunner.com