The Rule of 2, 3 and 4 is a guideline for opening with a weak two bid depending on the vulnerability.


Rule of 2

At unfavorable vulnerability (red on white), the recommendation is to be 2 tricks shy of a 2-level contract. In other words, opener should have 6 tricks to open a weak two bid.

Example:

AKQT54
5
987
654

This is the classic example of a weak two. There are 6 probable spade tricks, and it can therefore be opened 2.


Rule of 3

At equal vulnerability (white on white or red on red), the recommendation is to be 3 tricks shy of a 2-level contract. In other words, opener should have 5 tricks to open a weak two bid.

Example:

65
KQJT87
843
52

There are 5 probable heart tricks, and it can therefore be opened 2.


Rule of 4

At favorable vulnerability (white on red), the recommendation is to be 4 tricks shy of a 2-level contract. In other words, opener only needs 4 tricks to open a weak two bid.

Example:

JT9874
5
AT8
987

3 spade tricks + 1 diamond trick = 4 tricks. At favorable vulnerability, this hand can therefore be opened 2.

See also

  • Ogust
    A strong, conventional and forcing response to a weak two.

  • Raise Only Non Forcing
    The practice of raising a weak two bid as a preemptive, non-forcing bid.

  • Weak Jump Overcalls
    Preemptive jump overcalls designed to obstruct the opponents' bidding.

  • Weak Two Bids
    Opening bids of 2// to show a 6-card suit with a weak hand.

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