Conventions: Two level Preempts; Lucas Two bids

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The 5/4 hand type is about 3 times as common as the 6 card suit, and it makes sense on grounds of frequency to use this as your weak two.

By Ana Roth
On 3 November, 2015 At 12:23

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Dr Chris Ryall
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Source: chrisryall.net

The 5/4 hand type is about 3 times as common as the 6 card suit, and it makes sense on grounds of frequency to use this as your weak two. Lucas’s original definition was a weak with a five cards in diamonds or a major and a 4 card side suit. If you play it this way in first or second hand you will miss occasional games when the undisclosed suit is a major.

I took up Lucas as a counter to a partner’s tendency to open weak twos on 5332 shape. My experience of these was either a penalty double, or opponents bidding close games and finding their suits break nicely for them. A mini no trump is far more effective on such hands.

Worried about games in the other major I chose to “treat” Lucas as major/minor only essentially re-inventing the Dutch Muiderberg style. My main partnership likes the Multi, which absorbs the six card major and leaves major pre-epts as 5-4. Incidentally a 6-4 cannot be termed “Muiderberg” in Holland. Knowing whether to expect 5 or 6 cards cross the table works well in competition in any case.

The Lucas or Muiderberg style is pre-emptive, common and partner knows what to do! Sequences such as 2 – 4 seem to always score well.

Furthermore Lucas/Muiderberg is frequent. Generally you get in 2-3 weak two openings during a 26 board evening. We once had seven!

Typical “Lucas” hands

aaxx
  classic shape      mainstream?   not this one!  3rd hand nv?   open 2

Whereas Dutch/Muiderberg, or Woo twos would be major/minor only

Classic Lucas responses

  • Next suit – scramble/relay asking for the side suit.
  • Simple raises = “invitational”
    That’s it, folks!

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