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2 Hearts or 2 Spades 2/1 ACBL

#1 User is offline   dickiegera 

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Posted 2011-August-26, 17:45

I recently asked if 1H-2D-3C showed extra values or just shape and most of the replies said extra values

What about 1H-2D-2S?
Should opener do this with KQxx, AQJxx,x,xxx
playing 2/1

Thank you
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#2 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-26, 18:10

No. Even though 2S and 3C do not seem that far apart, they really are worlds different. I will try to explain why I think so.

The first difference is being able to make the THIRD shape showing bid. This is very important, because it defines your hand so well. So even though if you bid 2H you can still find a spade fit/bid spades later, you will not get to make the all important third bid.

Consider how good an auction like 1H-2D-2S-2N-3 anything goes. If you are 6-4, you show that easily, 5431 with 3 of partners suit? no problem. 544 or a good 5431? no problem. AND you are at quite a low level. Compare this auction to 1H-2D-2H-2N-3S. This auction pretty much sucks. Partner knows much less about your shape, and the auction is higher. Sure, he knows you're minimum, but with so much room minimum vs maximum is not important.

The fundamental difference in the 2 level, and the 3 level, is that the 2 level gives partner room to bid 2N which he usually will do. This may not seem like much, but it impacts every 2/1 auction.

In the auction 1S-2x-3C, partner really does not have room. 1S-2H-3D is the absolute worst. Partner can now rebid hearts, bid 3S (most people think this promises 3), or bid 3N, or go past 3N. This leaves him extremely few options, and he must guess a lot. At least 1S-2D-3C leaves partner a convenient 3H probing type bid, but it's still pretty murky. The more a bid makes partner guess, the more well defined it would be advised to be. Even if you don't play it as showing extras, playing it as showign 5-5 at least will be a huge advantage, any 5-4 is just too wide of a range.

On top of that, if you bid at the 3 level, you are never going to be able to make a fully shape showign bid next. There is not enough room. Even a great auction like 1S-2D-3C-3D, 3H does not show 5314 now (if you can bid 3C with that), it is simply probing for the best spot and might be based on a number of hands (no heart stopper, anti positional heart stopper, slam ambition, etc). So, getting your 2nd bid in the 2 level often allows you to show your almost entire shape at a low level which is great. At the 3 level it will never do that, so shouldn't be a factor in your decision.

And then there is the problem of making sure you find a 4-4 spade fit rather than a 5-4 heart fit. If you have 45xx opp 4351, and it goes 1H-2D-2H you will find hearts (partner will bid 3H or 4C). This is not good. Now, if the auction had gone 1H-2C, this problem is potentially even worse. Many modern players (myself included) who bid 2C with a balanced GF will bid 2C on 43xx, in order to create a game force cheaply and then raise hearts. This is to avoid problems that 1H-1S creates in that later you have to both create a GF and raise hearts, and generally have a bad auction (consider 1H-1S-2D-3C-3N-4H or something compared to 1H-2C-2D-2H, partner finishes shape then you can cuebid). So if 4333, 4342, 4324 all bid 2C then you will miss spades a lot if partner bids 2H next. Of course this is a slight tangent, if you don't bid 2C with these hands you don't have to worry about it, but a lot of people do now, and I think with 4324 it should be automatic even if your 2C is not possibly artificial, so that shape will still be a problem.

By the way, the third bid thing is why I think 1M p 2N as natural and forcing is awful. This does not allow partner enough room to make a third bid before 3N, so his shape is widely undefined. 1S-2N-3H would be awful, could be 5-4 or 5-5, how do you find the right fit? You could make an artificial reply to 2N (advised) but this hurts your other auctions. Even 1S-2N-3C... you won't get to make a third shape showing bid because your 2nd one was at the 3 level, so again your 3rd bid will be probing for the best spot at best.

Compare this to 1M-2C-2 whatever-2N. Now you get to finish your shape exactly. This makes your auction much better. You lose 2C definitely showing 5+ clubs, big deal, that is not nearly as important as being able to make 3 shape showing bids.

The third bid thing is also why jump shift auctions are difficult. Again, 1S-1N-3H is a problem auction because it's not known if opener is 5-4 or 5-5 to begin with, and again this has led people to have artificial methods. But all jump shift auctions are really hard because decisions have to be made before a third shape showing bid is made. Compared to something like 1S-1N-2H-2S-3C an auction like 1S-1N-3H is jsut so much wore, but since 2H is not forcing sometimes you just have to make a jump shift and hope it all works out.

The third bid thing comes up a lot, and I think bidding systems should be restructured to utilize it more. For instance, over 1D-1H-1N, I think 2S should simply show a game force with 4-5+. This is better than using new minor forcing a lot of the time especially for slam purposes because responder if he doesn't catch a fit can continue with 2N...3x showing his shape. Compared to 1D-1H-1N-2D*-2N this is a much better auction, even if responder bids 3S now he has jsut shown 4-5 and not much else. Getting the third bid in is also important for choice of game decisions, playing a 5-2 major fit with only one stopper in a stiff etc

So, in your example auction, while I would recommend a 3 level reverse to show both EXTRAS and 5-5+, I would recommend 2S to always be bid with 4 spades.
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#3 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2011-August-26, 19:30

+n for that last post.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#4 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 01:59

justin, that's the usual doctrine on 2/1 and it has problems. If you go all-out shape you're gonna need some artificial strength showing/negating mechanism later on. If activating gadget that makes you go past 3NT, you might get into a familiar 2/1 problem: is lack of precision regarding level of play.

That's why I prefer 2 to show extras. You lose a bit of info on shape but will get the level right more often. Shape is more important than strength, but they are not so distant in importance that one disregard the other completely at low level.

Anyway, perhaps you're right in the end but at the moment I don't agree :P
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#5 User is offline   peachy 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 02:21

View Postdickiegera, on 2011-August-26, 17:45, said:

I recently asked if 1H-2D-3C showed extra values or just shape and most of the replies said extra values

What about 1H-2D-2S?
Should opener do this with KQxx, AQJxx,x,xxx
playing 2/1

Thank you

1H-2D-3C shows extras or a nice 5-5 will do. 2S just shows shape. There is no need to make the "default minimum hand" bid of 2H when a descriptive bid exists. The next round bidding will be painful in many occasions, if opener does not bid 2S now.
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#6 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 04:10

View Postwhereagles, on 2011-August-27, 01:59, said:

justin, that's the usual doctrine on 2/1 and it has problems. If you go all-out shape you're gonna need some artificial strength showing/negating mechanism later on. If activating gadget that makes you go past 3NT, you might get into a familiar 2/1 problem: is lack of precision regarding level of play.

That's why I prefer 2 to show extras. You lose a bit of info on shape but will get the level right more often. Shape is more important than strength, but they are not so distant in importance that one disregard the other completely at low level.

Anyway, perhaps you're right in the end but at the moment I don't agree :P


I agree with Nuno. 2S shows extras for me as well. There are too many players using the weasel convention after using reverses to show no extras.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#7 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 10:02

I play Flannery but if I didn't 2 would not show extras.
Hi y'all!

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#8 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 11:04

Here's my reply from the last thread...showing my system... where a direct 2S rebid would show "extras" and a 2H! rebid announces a minimum opener.

1H - 2C!/2D!
??
..2S = 4 cards Sp, natural, reverse strength (ie. extras )
..2NT = NO 4 cards Sp, but extras

..2H! = announces a minimum opener; may have 4 cards Sp
........2S! = asks
..............Flannery type replies with 4 cards Sp:
.............. 3C! = 4s/5h w/Cl shortness
.............. 3D! = 4s/5h w/Diam shortness
.............. 3H! = 4s/6h ( extra Ht length); 3S! asks shortness ( Zel improvement )
.............. 3S! = 4s/5h and 2-2 in the minors

.............. 2NT! = No 4 cards Sp ( this is the 2nd way for Opener to bid 2NT --showing a minimum open )
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#9 User is offline   Lurpoa 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 22:37

View PostJLOGIC, on 2011-August-26, 18:10, said:

No. Even though 2S and 3C do not seem that far apart, they really are worlds different. I will try to explain why I think so.

The first difference is being able to make the THIRD shape showing bid. This is very important, because it defines your hand so well. So even though if you bid 2H you can still find a spade fit/bid spades later, you will not get to make the all important third bid.

Consider how good an auction like 1H-2D-2S-2N-3 anything goes. If you are 6-4, you show that easily, 5431 with 3 of partners suit? no problem. 544 or a good 5431? no problem. AND you are at quite a low level. Compare this auction to 1H-2D-2H-2N-3S. This auction pretty much sucks. Partner knows much less about your shape, and the auction is higher. Sure, he knows you're minimum, but with so much room minimum vs maximum is not important.

The fundamental difference in the 2 level, and the 3 level, is that the 2 level gives partner room to bid 2N which he usually will do. This may not seem like much, but it impacts every 2/1 auction.

In the auction 1S-2x-3C, partner really does not have room. 1S-2H-3D is the absolute worst. Partner can now rebid hearts, bid 3S (most people think this promises 3), or bid 3N, or go past 3N. This leaves him extremely few options, and he must guess a lot. At least 1S-2D-3C leaves partner a convenient 3H probing type bid, but it's still pretty murky. The more a bid makes partner guess, the more well defined it would be advised to be. Even if you don't play it as showing extras, playing it as showign 5-5 at least will be a huge advantage, any 5-4 is just too wide of a range.

On top of that, if you bid at the 3 level, you are never going to be able to make a fully shape showign bid next. There is not enough room. Even a great auction like 1S-2D-3C-3D, 3H does not show 5314 now (if you can bid 3C with that), it is simply probing for the best spot and might be based on a number of hands (no heart stopper, anti positional heart stopper, slam ambition, etc). So, getting your 2nd bid in the 2 level often allows you to show your almost entire shape at a low level which is great. At the 3 level it will never do that, so shouldn't be a factor in your decision.

And then there is the problem of making sure you find a 4-4 spade fit rather than a 5-4 heart fit. If you have 45xx opp 4351, and it goes 1H-2D-2H you will find hearts (partner will bid 3H or 4C). This is not good. Now, if the auction had gone 1H-2C, this problem is potentially even worse. Many modern players (myself included) who bid 2C with a balanced GF will bid 2C on 43xx, in order to create a game force cheaply and then raise hearts. This is to avoid problems that 1H-1S creates in that later you have to both create a GF and raise hearts, and generally have a bad auction (consider 1H-1S-2D-3C-3N-4H or something compared to 1H-2C-2D-2H, partner finishes shape then you can cuebid). So if 4333, 4342, 4324 all bid 2C then you will miss spades a lot if partner bids 2H next. Of course this is a slight tangent, if you don't bid 2C with these hands you don't have to worry about it, but a lot of people do now, and I think with 4324 it should be automatic even if your 2C is not possibly artificial, so that shape will still be a problem.

By the way, the third bid thing is why I think 1M p 2N as natural and forcing is awful. This does not allow partner enough room to make a third bid before 3N, so his shape is widely undefined. 1S-2N-3H would be awful, could be 5-4 or 5-5, how do you find the right fit? You could make an artificial reply to 2N (advised) but this hurts your other auctions. Even 1S-2N-3C... you won't get to make a third shape showing bid because your 2nd one was at the 3 level, so again your 3rd bid will be probing for the best spot at best.

Compare this to 1M-2C-2 whatever-2N. Now you get to finish your shape exactly. This makes your auction much better. You lose 2C definitely showing 5+ clubs, big deal, that is not nearly as important as being able to make 3 shape showing bids.

The third bid thing is also why jump shift auctions are difficult. Again, 1S-1N-3H is a problem auction because it's not known if opener is 5-4 or 5-5 to begin with, and again this has led people to have artificial methods. But all jump shift auctions are really hard because decisions have to be made before a third shape showing bid is made. Compared to something like 1S-1N-2H-2S-3C an auction like 1S-1N-3H is jsut so much wore, but since 2H is not forcing sometimes you just have to make a jump shift and hope it all works out.

The third bid thing comes up a lot, and I think bidding systems should be restructured to utilize it more. For instance, over 1D-1H-1N, I think 2S should simply show a game force with 4-5+. This is better than using new minor forcing a lot of the time especially for slam purposes because responder if he doesn't catch a fit can continue with 2N...3x showing his shape. Compared to 1D-1H-1N-2D*-2N this is a much better auction, even if responder bids 3S now he has jsut shown 4-5 and not much else. Getting the third bid in is also important for choice of game decisions, playing a 5-2 major fit with only one stopper in a stiff etc

So, in your example auction, while I would recommend a 3 level reverse to show both EXTRAS and 5-5+, I would recommend 2S to always be bid with 4 spades.






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#10 User is offline   Yu18772 

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Posted 2011-August-27, 22:51


Although I am a fan of Justin Posted Image I think 2s shows extra, and unlike 3C which can be distributional, 2s is always high card points (with 5:5 you would open 1..), there are several reasons for that

1. The main reason to bid a 4 card spade is to try to find 4-4 fit there. You dont loose the opportunity to find the spade fit by bidding 2H, if partner has 4s he/she will bid 1H-2m-2H-2S - but when I support with 3 partner will know that my hand is limited. If you bid 2 on any strength partner with 4 card spade support is supposed to jump to 4 with minimum and with stronger hands support at 3 level. Both are a problem opposite non-defined strength (4 may be too high to look for controls or slam invitations, if you actually hold extras, while opposite 3 opener is forced to cuebid (because responder is unlimited) - by the time you get to RKCB neither had limited the hand, unless you play serious / unserious 3NT).

2. I dont think that 1H-2D-2H-2N auctions are less effective now - you can still show any feature you want, at the 3 level, only you know that partner does not hold 4 spades, thus there is no reason for 1H-2D-2N-3S auction. Also your partner will know the limitations of you hand. You can still bid 3, to show 6 card suit, 3 partners minor to show support (and probably some problem with NT) etc...
In fact 1H-2D-2H-2N-3S would deny any cheaper bid (no 6 hearts no support, and indicate a potential problem in clubs for NT - I would bid it on Axxx, AKxxx,xx,xx as well as on KQx, AQJxx,Jx,xxx) - it just asks partner to look closely at the 4th suit (clubs here) and think where we belong. It could be that partner decides playing 4 in 5-2 fit is better.

3. I dont have a problem of bidding 1 with GF 4333 hands - 1H-1S-2m-3H/4H is slamish/game values with real fit, it is not that different from 1H-2C-2N-3H/4H, except that I satisfied my curiosity and know that prtner does not has 4 spades, so we are in the right major. However, I dont bid the 4 card spades when I have heart support and less than GF, so spades and then back to hearts at 3+ level opposite non gf opener, is always GF or better.

Said all that, because your partner game forced extras in 2/1 are 15+ HCP (not necessarily full reverse). I would bid 2H with the hand you posted, but overall I think the most important thing is to agree it with your partner. 2/1 has a lot of flavors, and everyone adopts a somewhat different style.
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#11 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2011-August-28, 01:12

Yu, Justin's point is not about losing spades but rather that 2 leaves room for a 2NT rebid, over which opener can complete his shape description.

My point is you can get opener to bid his shape while STILL being able to show shape. Example:

1 2
2 2

now if opener has spades he can bid

3 = 4513 or 4522 or 4612
4 = 4531 or 4621. Given the bid above, what else can this be but a splinter?

and there you have it. Strength and shape showed no prob. Compare to what would be if 2S showed no extras

1 2
2 2NT
3 3

you're at the 3-level and you still don't know whether opener has extras. Besides, are you 100% sure responder has 4 spades? After all, he could have bid 3 over 2, no?

It's more complicated because a loose 2S rebid does not respect the useful space principle.
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#12 User is offline   Yu18772 

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Posted 2011-August-28, 01:50

View Postwhereagles, on 2011-August-28, 01:12, said:

Yu, Justin's point is not about losing spades but rather that 2 leaves room for a 2NT rebid, over which opener can complete his shape description.

My point is you can get opener to bid his shape while STILL being able to show shape. Example:

1 2
2 2

now if opener has spades he can bid

3 = 4513 or 4522 or 4612
4 = 4531 or 4621. Given the bid above, what else can this be but a splinter?

and there you have it. Strength and shape showed no prob. Compare to what would be if 2S showed no extras

1 2
2 2NT
3 3

you're at the 3-level and you still don't know whether opener has extras. Besides, are you 100% sure responder has 4 spades? After all, he could have bid 3 over 2, no?

It's more complicated because a loose 2S rebid does not respect the useful space principle.


Hi Posted Image

I think that i wrote up what you say, only obviously not as clearly (at least I meant to) - in respect to Justin, as I said, I dont think that reserving 2 as extra showing undermines the 2NT sequences in any way, however playing it loosely does create troubles in the gf/slamish domain. So I prefer to take the slow approach. Still, the worst I think is when these issues are not discussed.....
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#13 User is offline   TWO4BRIDGE 

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Posted 2011-August-28, 08:01

Historical note...
Back in Dec. 2001, an East Coast expert posted ( on a now defunct message board ) the following hands with the same question about a 2S rebid in a 2/1 GF auction after a 1H open:
Hand 1
A K Q x
A K J x x
x x x
x

Hand 2
J x x x
A K Q x x
Q x x
x

That is when I came up with the structure in my post #8 :

Hand #1
1H - 2D!
2S = 4 cards Sp, natural, reverse strength (ie. extras )

Hand # 2
1H - 2D!
2H! ( any minimum ) - 2S! ( asks )
3C! ( 4 5 3 1 )
Don Stenmark
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Posted 2011-August-29, 05:34

I always prefered this to show extra's because I never considered all the points made by Justin. While 2 showing extra's is better for slam, Justin's approach is better for game. Game is more frequent than slam, so I guess Justin's approach is better overall.

On the other hand I'm used to play artificial continuations after 1M-2m, and when showing 4OM we don't show extra's! :) After 1M-2 we use 2 to show 4OM (artificial continuations and the extra step allow us to bid strength and shape very precise), after 1M-2 we use 2 to show 4OM (we lose some accuracy here, but 2 was very well defined so this compensates the loss of bidding space). I never realized this contradiction.
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#15 User is offline   whereagles 

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Posted 2011-August-29, 08:13

doh, after 1M-2x you are already in game :)
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Posted 2011-August-29, 14:10

View Postwhereagles, on 2011-August-29, 08:13, said:

doh, after 1M-2x you are already in game :)

Yes, but sometimes 4M in a 4-3 or 5-2, or 5m will play better than 3NT. Patterning out will help you to decide.
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#17 User is offline   xxhong 

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Posted 2011-August-29, 14:23

I usually play 2H over 2D to show minimum, 2S to show a good hand with 6 H and 2NT to show extra with spades.
Recently, I think that another way is also pretty good:
2H: to show 2-3 D.
2S: 4+C, shortness in D.
2N: 4+D.
3C: 6+H, shortness in D.
3D: 4+S, shortness in D.
3H: set up H.
3S/4C: splinter raises in D.
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Posted 2011-September-01, 17:15

View PostJLOGIC, on 2011-August-26, 18:10, said:

No. Even though 2S and 3C do not seem that far apart, they really are worlds different. I will try to explain why I think so.


I've studied this post. I'm in the "extra values" camp, and I like Flannery (can also get along without it) but I'm interested in this question only as a theoretical proposition. It seems to me on the examples given that the only clear advantage to the "4-5 at any strength" position is when one plays 1M-2C as may-be-a-balanced-GF-raise.

Agree: 1H-2m/2H-2N/3S is NOT a pretty auction, not one that we'd like to have. Inelegant; too much space; 2C-may-be-a-balanced-GF-raise saves lots of room. But the auction is not uninformative: Surely it highlights a problem in om? And we are in a GF auction, maybe forcing to 4m, so we're not stopping at the 3 level. Partner knows we are min, and that om could be a problem and can make the 3N-or-raise-to-4H-on-Hx decision just as easily, can't s/he?

45xx opposite 4351: Can't R bid out _his/her_ shape, viz. 1H-2m/2H-2S? Now, R's 3rd round H raise shows the stiff as it always has traditionally--I believe in bidding around stiffs with 3-card support--but in the case at hand, O bids 3S.

Note that I'm NOT saying that 1H-2x/2S on a min 4-5 is bad, or that this auction must require extras or the world will end tomorrow. But the true advantages seem anchored in the 2C balanced GF raise--you WILL lose the S most often if O doesn't rebid 2S. It also seems that immediate shape info is more important in slam possible auctions, while immediately limiting values matters more in choice of games auctions; avoiding the "we're-both-unlimited" problem many have highlighted matters a lot, and there is a huge ambiguity load on 1H-2m/2S if it can be a min. (Plus, in a tight 3N, concealing the 4S might be an advantage, although, perhaps, infrequently.)

It seems to me that the flat 2C forcing raise almost requires that 1H-2m/2S be made on mins; in other 2/1 structures, it loks to be nearly a toss up, but it does create more certainty to use it as showing extras.

Regards and Happy Trails,

Scott Needham
Boulder, Colorado, USA
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