2 Hearts

Bridge: Two level openings

Two hearts as "assumed fit" preempt

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link: 2C strong  |  link: 2D Multi  |  link: 2H majors  |  link: 2S Muiderberg

Weak: both majors, 4/4 or better

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This early page was updated in January 2004 to reflect my own methods.

In assumed fit preempting one opens at the two level with two 4+ suits,and trust in the Almighty - together with the probability (60-70%) that you can scramble an 8 card fit, or that opponents might fail to double you. The "both majors" style I like is usually opened as one or other red suit.

In its 2H version, international Bridge rules won't let statutory authorities ban openings that are considered "natural". That is to say you have 4+ cards in the suit and are willing to play there! So this style should be playable virtually anywhere. Albeit that ACBLland seems to make up its own rules.

The related 2D={both majors} opening is known as Ekren or Ekrens after the Norwegian grand master who invented it. Bjørn Olaf Ekren prefers the 2H incarnation should not bear his name. He points out that 2D may be passed out by responder with no major fit and a long diamond suit. Thus with major holdings 2nd hand has to act. I might counter that 2H may be passed too, but Bjørn has massive experience of his own opening.

There are several response styles, as well as other preempts on my assumed fit page, but I like to play ..


Responding to 2 hearts

  • 2H - pass/2S simple preference
  • 2H - 2NT* artificial relay with responses ..
    • 3C = 5/4 poor - 3D? then asks the longer suit, allwong play at 3 level
    • 3D = 4/4 poor hand
    • 3H/S = 5/4 good (bid the longer suit)
    • 3NT = 4/4, a good hand
    • 4C/4D = splinter, majors 5/5 good hand
    • 4H = 5/5 majors, poor hand, pass/correct
  • 2H - 3C/D is to play
  • 2H - 3H/S tempo raises
  • 2H - 4H/S to play, obviously.

What is "good" here? We are allowed a 5 point range in general UK competition but fair HCP adjustment is tolerated here. Our top limit varies with vulnerability but the hand would never be worth an opening. Not vulnerable, a mini no-trump is preferred if balanced and in range. As ever, more latitude is used in 3rd hand. This is not a bid for 4th hand and we revert to a natural 11-15 or so 2H bid - to play.

This simple approach seems to work. Beware the 3 level on 4 card support vulnerable! I find "game" bids generally do well whether strong or weak, and we have had a couple of nice slams.

There seems a case for combining a true "Lucas" two for 5 spades four hearts. When opposite 2H bid with equal length in the suits you can pass, knowing that hearts are at least as long as spades. But I prefer Dutch style 2S = Spades+minor.

Although this style abandons the 2H standard weak two, this really is no great loss. It is by far the weakest of the set. In fact 2D is far more slippery to defend at the table. Or you can play the Multi.

In defence you should not be scared of 5/3 major fits (but play them properly!). 4/4 major fits will tend to fail to the known bad break. You will gain occasionally staying out of marginal major games.With 15+ points and at least 2 in each major - double seeking a seeking a nice penalty. more in the Archive

Essentially the assumed fit preemptor is betting that he will settle into an 8 card fit at the 2 level - and therefore you won't get rich. The odds are 2:1 in his favour.

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