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The Strong 2C Opening Bid is standard’s strongest opening in term of High Card Point. But it is surprisingly not that complicated and relatively simple to bid with.

So, the characteristic of this opening is as follows:

  • Describe any hand distribution over 20-HCP. From balance, semi-balance and unbalance. Typically the hands will have 5 losers or less.
  • This opening is not a game forcing opening. Responder can leave the contract at partscore level depending of the combine point and distribution. 
  • The only “game forcing” sequence is after opener bid 2NT post “Kokish relay” – This 2NT represent unbounded opening (have no upper limit) of balance and three suiter hand (This 2NT allow (4441) distribution)
  • Beware if you use this opening for hand with low HCP and more on distributional strength. It is not recommended. The strong distributional hand can be handled with other opening


  • The Strong 2C Opening Bid is alertable [!]
  • Psych bid on strong bid like this one is strictly prohibited. (Although some will still try)

Responder’s Bid:

  • 2?
    2:[!] Negative (0-7) or 12+
    2:Nat, 5+, 8-11 HCP, GF
    2:Nat, 5+, 8-11 HCP, GF
    2NT:Nat, Balance 8-11 HCP, GF
    3:Nat, 5+, 8-11 HCP, GF
    3:Nat, 5+, 8-11 HCP, GF
    3:Nat, 1 suiter 6+, 12-15 HCP, Slam
    3:Nat, 1 suiter 6+, 12-15 HCP, Slam
    3NT:Balance (4333) 12-15, Slam
    4:Nat, 1 suiter 6+, 12-15 HCP, Slam
    4:Nat, 1 suiter 6+, 12-15 HCP, Slam
How to remember

Responder must bid 2D, unless the responder has 8-11HCP (bid Natural) or have 1-suiter suit with 12-15HCP (bid Natural 3H onward).

Everything else: bid 2D (waiting or 12+)

Opener’s Rebid:

Except Kokish relay above, all opener’s rebid are natural.

Kokish relay:
22(Waiting or Negative)
2(*)2(Kokish relay)
2NT:26+BAL or 4441 23+
Use 2NT sequence. FG
3:Natural 5+4, 20+
3:Natural 5+4, 20+
3:Natural 6+, 20+ 1-suiter
3:Natural 5+4, 20+

(*) = please bid 2

Then responder can set the contract or key card asking.

Subsequent Bid

All subsequent bidding also either Natural bid, cue-bid (after fit confirmed), Key Card Asking, Exclusion key card, Quantitative, Grand Slam force or Exclusion key card.

Defensive Bidding

  • Negative Double up to 4
  • Suit bid is Natural 5+card

Competitive Bidding

If the opponent is using this opening, use these below as your competitive means:

  • Use DOUBLE is directing lead in Club
  • Suit overcall are natural, can be merely a lead directing (4 cards possible)
  • NT overcall is also Natural
  • Preemptive bids are light, distributional