Preemptive raise after a weak 2 bid
How to respond when partner has opened with a weak 2 bid. On this hand we are not strong enough to make game but there is a good reason to raise partner to the 3-level.
Responding to a weak 2 opening
A weak 2 bid shows a good six card suit and six to 10 points or thereabouts. Here we are responding to that weak two bid and we've got 10 high card points, three decent trumps. So we've got good trump support, but we're not going to make game. North's got six to 10 high card points and we've got 10. There's just not 10 tricks there. So two hearts is probably high enough. However, I'm going to bid 3♥ and this is not inviting North to game. It's just preempting the opposition, just trying to get the bidding a little bit higher to make it harder for East and West to enter the auction.
Now you might say, well, why not just pass and if East and West do come in, then we can bid 3♥ later. The problem is that as soon as we do let East and West into the bidding, they are going to maybe work out that how high to bid and maybe they can make 4♠. So I'm going to bid 3♥. The idea being that we're just going to make it that much harder for East and West, even though it might mean that I don't make the contract or go down one.
Easy to play but we're down
Really not much to the play here, I'm going to be down by one.
All right, so really why did I do that? Why did I bid 3♥ down one when I could have stopped in 2♥ making two? The problem is I wouldn't have been able to plan 2♥ making two. Let's redo and you'll see what I mean this time.
Letting the opponents into the auction
2♥ from North and this time I'm going to pass thinking that I'll just come into the auction later.
Whoops. Well we've let East and West in now and because we let them in at the two level, it was easier for West or East bid, so that's not so good.
East and West are now going to make their 4♠ contract. Nobody's vulnerable on this hand. The score for 4♠ making four for East West is 420. That's minus 420 to us. When we bid 3♥ going down one, we only lost 50 points on the hand so the 3♥ bid was a good sacrifice.
When should we make that 3♥ bid? When should we raise 2♥ to 3♥? The normal thing is when we've got three card heart support. If we've only got two card heart support, then probably the two level is high enough. With three card heart support we have a nine card heart fit. With a nine card fit playing at the three level, we are either going to make our contract or it's quite likely to be a good sacrifice.
Interestingly with four card support, pretty much regardless of points, if your partner has opened a weak two, you can raise to game. You'll either make it or it'll be a good sacrifice.