~Weak Two Bid and Rule of 17


The Rule of 17

Here is a convention or system that is useful in deciding whether or not to pursue game or slam in partner’s suit after partner has opened a Weak 2 Hearts or 2 spades.
~Add your number of HCP to the number of cards you hold in partner’s suit (at least two).
~If your total equals or exceeds 17, you want to bid game or explore for slam.

If your total is 17 or only slightly higher,  just bid game. With at least a K extra (the count is 20 or more), bid 2NT to find out if partner is at the upper end of  his bid and has an A or K (a feature) in a side suit. Partner will show that holding by bidding three of that side suit; if the feature fits your hand,  bid 4NT as Roman Key Card for a slam try in opener’s suit. If partner just rebids his suit (denying either the feature or the strength), just raise to game.

Partner’s Hand
S KJ8754
D T92
C 76

Your Hand
1. S Q3     H KQ98     D A63     C A432
2. S AQ32     KQ98     D 63     C A32
3. S QT96     H KQJ9     D A63     C A4
4. S QT96     H KQJ92     D AK3     C A
1. With 15 HCP and 2 spades (total of 17), bid 4S
2. With 15 HCP and 4 spades (total of 19, bid 4S
3. With 16 HCP and 4 spades (total of 20), bid 2NT. After partner bids 3H (showing the heart feature), bid 4NT (RKC). If RKC reveals enough keycards, bid 6S.
4. With 19 HCP and 4 spades, bid 2NT. After partner bids 3H, bid 4NT. Missing one control, stop at 6S.

Weak Two Bid
North (D)
S KJ9863
H A74
D T65
C 9
West                                                                                              East
S 54                                                                                               S AT7
H QJT                                                                                          H 9653
D KQJ4                                                                                        D 72
C Q543                                                                                        C 8762
S Q2
H K82
D A983
Bidding Commentary: North should open 2S. The purpose of the Weak Two Bid is to make it more difficult for the opponents to find their fit. North has 8 losers–2 in spades, 2 in hearts, 3 in diamonds, and 1 in clubs. Not vulnerable against non-vulnerable opponents, North can easily make an obstructive bid at the two-level with 6 cards in the suit and only 5 winners. South has a good hand and 2 spades. Using the Rule of 17, South reaches a number of 19 and bids 4S.
Lead and Defense Commentary: After East leads, declarer will immediately finesse a club to set up discards for diamond and heart losers.
Play Commentary: By leading clubs early for a finesse to set up discards. Alternately, declare can concede two diamond losers and a trump loser and discard a heart loser on the club K.


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