Say you have this hand:
Good enough for 2♣?
I like the Bridge Bum site for answering questions like this one. It says you can open 2♣ if you are a trick short of game. I'd say this hand qualifies. If partner has as little as three hearts with either ♥Q or ♦K, game is a good bet while they would pass a 1♥ opening.
For responses to 2♣ the article describes three methods.
1. 2♦ "waiting" with 0-7 HCP.
2. 2♦ waiting with 4+ HCP, and 2♥ negative with 0-3 HCP.
3. Control-showing responses.
I prefer #1, and the article seems to mostly focus on that, especially in the descriptions of responder's rebids. Cheaper minor as a second negative seems useful but it will present a problem with this hand; what's your bid after 2♣ - 2♦ - 2♥ - 3♣? You're already too high with no known fit.
Playing #2, partner might respond 2♥ artificially and then you are stuck with your first natural bid at the 3-level.
#3 is not appealing because showing controls is for slam bidding whereas your immediate problem is finding a game if there is one.
For these reasons I will sometimes open such hands at the 1-level and hope somebody else bids.
Big Club systems have more promise for solving problems like this.
Share your favourite partnership agreements here.
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