Preemptive Openings

         A suit opening of 2 or greater is preemptive, showing a weak hand with a long suit. The purpose of such a bid is to thoroughly annoy the opponents.

Requirements for a Preemptive Opening:
    1.     Less than opening strength, and
    2.     A 6-card (or longer) suit with at least two honors.

The level of the opening depends on the length of the suit:

With a 6-card suit, open at the 2-level (not 2).
With a 7-card suit, open at the 3-level.
With an 8-card suit, open at the 4-level.

        After a preemptive opening at the 2-level (2, 2, or 2), you have the following options:


         Pass.      It is often a good idea to pass your partner's preempt, even if you have a fairly strong hand.


         Continue the Preempt.      You may raise your partner's preempt with support for his suit. Such a raise is preemptive, not invitational:

2 3:     3-card spade support. (Not invitational.)
  4: 4-card spade support.


         Raise to Game.      You may raise to game (4, 4, 5, or 3NT) with a good hand. Assuming your partner has 1 trump loser and 7 side-suit losers, you should only raise to game if your hand is worth about five tricks:

        EXAMPLE:     Raise 2 to 4 with:

A84     AK76     9     AJ64

(counting one trick for the singleton).

         Note that a raise to game may be either strong or preemptive. What a nice way to annoy the opponents!


         Invite Game.      The standard way to invite game is to bid 2NT. Partner has the following options:

2 — 2NT — 3: Shows a weak preemptive hand.
  4: Shows a good preemptive hand.
  3NT:     Shows either a solid suit or an outside entry
            (so that 3NT is reasonable).

The 3NT rebid is rare after a 2 or 2 opening, but is fairly common after a 2 opening.