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Ekren is a preemptive 2D opening bid, showing at least 4-4 in the majors and 3-10 HCP. It has become a popular convention in Scandinavia, and has appeared on the convention card of Norwegian expert Geir Helgemo, among others.

Responses to 2

Response Meaning
2NTStrong, artificial inquiry of opener's distribution (see below).
3CNatural, 6+ clubs, non-forcing.
3DInvites game, 3-3 in H and S.
3HWeak, preemptive.
3SWeak, preemptive.
3NTTo play.
4HTo play.
4STo play.

Opener's Rebids after 2D : 2NT

Opener's weak bid is 3C. Any other rebid is game-forcing.

Opener's Rebid Meaning
3CShowing a minimum. Responder can bid 3D as a second relay, in which case opener's rebids are:

3H to show 5-4 in H and S.
3S to show 4-5 in H and S.
3NT to show 4-4 in H and S.

3D5-5 in the majors. A 3H/S rebid by responder is slam-invitational and forcing.
3HMaximum, 5-4 in H and S.
3SMaximum, 4-5 in H and S.
3NTMaximum, 4-4 in H and S.

Other Considerations

Ekren is not a Brown Sticker Convention under WBF rules. However, it is disallowed in ACBL events. The ACBL's General Convention Chart requires two-suiters at the two level to show at least 5-4 with 10 points. The closest playable variation would be an ACBL Midchart convention: a 2H opener that shows at least 5-4 in the majors. Per the ACBL's Midchart rules, players using this convention would be required to provide the opponents a written defense.


Ekrens was created in the 1990s and is named for its inventor, Bjorn Olav Ekren of Norway.

See also

  • Fighting Irish 2
    A weak 2 opening bid showing 4-3 or 4-4 in the majors.

  • Flannery 2
    A 2 opening bid showing 5-4 in hearts and spades and minimum strength.

  • Multi 2
    An artificial 2 opening bid showing either a major suit preempt or a strong 4441 hand.

  • Precision 2
    An artificial 2 opening bid from the Precision bidding system, showing a 3-suited hand with minimum strength.

  • Roman 2
    An artificial 2 opening bid from the Italian Blue Team bidding system, showing a strong 3-suited hand.