Benjamin 2-Bids/French Two Bids
Benjamin 2-Bids are strong artificial bids used to show near game or game-going hands. Most people are familiar with a variation of one of the Benjamin two-bids, the strong 2 opening. The first source I found called them Benjamin Two-Bids, but I have since learned that in the French bidding system they are un-named strong two-bid openings.
Benjamin two clubs shows
- 23-24 points balanced
- 20-22 points unbalanced (with one very good suit)
- 18-19 points with a very strong two-suited hand.
The 2 bid is within a trick and a half of game (many players require it to be within one trick of game). Responses to the bid are
- 2 = negative bid showing fewer than 8 points Begin bidding 4 card suits up the line.
- 2 = 5 hearts and at least 5 points
- 2 = 5 spades and at least 5 ponts
- 2NT = balanced hand, but more than 8 points
Partnerships have different point minimums needed to respond outside of 2. The key point is that the partnership is not forced to game because of the 2 opening.
Benjamin two diamonds is even stronger. It shows a minimum of 24-25 points with even distribution or 23 points and an unbalanced hand. The partnership is forced to game somewhere. The responses are:
- 2NT = fewer than 6 points and no 5 card major
- 2 = 5 hearts (says nothing about points)
- 2 = 5 spades (says nothing about points)
- 3 = 6 clubs
- 3 = 6 diamonds
The only time I saw someone play Benjamin 2 the meanings of the 2 and 2 Bids were reversed to allow opener to continue to conceal the strong hand.