In my regular partnership with Tom Smith we play an interesting Roman-style three-suited 2D opener with a broad range, 11-20 HCP. This seems to have a few adherents in the Virginia Peninsula Unit 110. When the hand has 11-15 HCP then the opener guarantees one of his suits is spades. A typical auction goes 2D – 2H (artificial asking bid) – 2S with a minimum, non-forcing – 2NT “Where’s your shortness”, etc. We’ve had some good results with it but we’ve also had a few bad ones. When we started playing it we didn’t have any real agreements on how to cope with interference. So, for the approximately 4 of us that play it, here’s what Tom and I designed in competition:
Direct interference over 2D:
- P: Penalty pass in D
- XX: replaces the 2H ask
- 2H or 2S starts a scramble.
- NT bids are natural
- 2D-(2H or 2 S natural):
- P: <8 HCP
- X: Negative, 8+ HCP, opener responds as if responder had made the 2H ask
- New Suit Bids: Natural, invitational
- Cuebids: Game forcing, Stayman
- 2D – (2NT natural): X is penalty oriented
- Negative doubles over 3C and 3D overcalls.
Interference over the 2H asking bid:
- P: 11-15,
- 2S: 11-15, short in H
- XX: Big hand with 4H, willing to play 2H-XX in a 4-3 fit. Later X are for penalty
- 3H: Big hand short in H
- 2D-(P)-2H-(2S/3C/3D/3H natural):
- X is max with 4 in that suit
- Next suit is max short in that suit
- Pass is min
I still think that the two sub-ranges 11-15 and 16-20 are a bit too broad. One idea is to use a dual range, something like 11-14 or 18-21. With 15-17 open in one of your suits and rebid another.