Basic 2 over 1 notes | Patreon

This is a set of notes I've been using with a bridge partner which is based on Marston's 2 over 1 book (5th edition, with semi-forcing NT). This document isn't intended to be complete or even really make sense outside of the context of looking something up in this partnership that has agreed to use this system.

As we're both beginners (I wrote this up after playing bridge for about one month), the system is fairly simple and doesn't include a lot of gadgets that are described in Marston's book.

General 2/1 structure questions


Semi-forcing 1NT response (1M-1NT)



Inverted minors off in competition



Opener's rebids

How many points are promised?

What do our rebids mean when partner raises our minor?

Responder's rebids

i.e., responder's 2nd bid

2/1 auctions

Jacoby 2NT (1M-2NT)

Opener's response

Strong 2C opening

Generally shows 20+ HCP or 22+ HCP balanced (with 20-21, would bid 2NT). Can upgrade to 2C if hand is good (lots of A/K) or downgrade 21-22 HCP hand if bad (honors in short suits, lots of Q/J). Maybe skip 2C with up to 23-24 HCP if hand is short in majors and long in minors.

With balanced hand, open 2C then rebid 2NT with 22-23, 3NT with 24-26

Game forcing unless opener rebids 2NT

Responses * 2D negative: 0-7 HCP * 2H/2S/3C/3D: 8+ HCP, 5 cards in the suit * 2NT: 8-10 HCP * 3NT: 11-13 HCP

Opener's rebids * Any new suit shows 5 in that suit * Jump shows a solid suit (, similar to jump raise of own suit in 2/1 auction and sets trump * Reasoning here is that any suit bid is already forcing and there's no need for a weak jump bid, so jump bid must show something else

Note that many people play 2D as a "waiting" response and not "negative", so it may not deny values if someone else bids it. Some people (this seems old school and not super common among younger players?) also play transfers on to 2C and some people use 2H as a "double negative" response that's 0-3 HCP.

The convention card we looked at has a more complex and probably better structure, but 2C auctions are so rare just using this simple structure seems fine for now? If you prefer the more complex structure, I don't mind switching to it, though.

Weak 2 (preempts)


What do we need to overcall?

Overcall specifics

Conventional Overcalls

When opponents intervene

1NT defense

(from the linked convention card, except doesn't change when playing against weak vs. strong NT since we basically never run into weak NT at the club level).

Bid fairly light (bid with 8HCP with one or two good suits).

Responses to above (TODO: how many points to respond if opponents intervene???)

1430 KC



This rarely comes up, we should discuss if we want to do this now or defer until later. Apparently no one really plays the 3NT as meaning some point range, so people put something else in place of the standard beginner 24-26 HCP for 3NT and this is the most common replacement.

Shows 7+ card solid suit in a minor. Denies void or 4+card major.