“2 Over 1” Bidding – Three Beginner Lessons

Note: “2 Over 1” is often abbreviated as “2/1.” GF means Game Force (showing total points in partnership = 25+).

PRACTICE GAMES AVAILABLE FOR 2/1 — see bottom of page.

If you are just learning to play bridge, I recommend that you start by learning the standard rules. There is already so much to learn when you start bidding and playing bridge as a new learner without adding more complications than you need.  The 2/1 rules require players to pay more attention to the seat order of the opener and responder (the same bid can mean something different when partner has opened in 1st seat compared to 3rd seat) and many 2/1 bids must be alerted. You must know when 2/1 rules apply and when they do not apply. There is much more to remember when using 2/1 rules compared to standard rules.

However, once you are bidding and playing at a comfortable level, then it may be advantageous to learn some 2/1 rules. If nothing else, it may help you understand what your opponents might be bidding. The 2/1 bidding system can be valuable for more precise bidding, especially at the slam level. Most Life Masters, highly  competitive and/or tournament-winning players are probably using the 2/1 bidding system.

Here are three short and easy lessons to get started with some of the features of the 2/1 bidding system.

If you can master these three lessons and want to learn more, there are many books available and lots of lessons that you can take beyond these three. Good luck!

1)  2/1 Game Forcing (GF) Bids and 1NT Forcing:

Lesson 1 – 2 Over 1

2) Bergen Raises and Jacoby 2NT:

2 Over 1 – Lesson 2

3) Reverse Drury:

2 Over 1 – Lesson 3

Practice Games for 2/1 Bidding and Standard American Bidding:

These games are set up in the same way as the Practice Games for my beginner lessons — sixteen games created to match the dealer and vulnerability of duplicate boards, explanations and analysis to guide learning, and equal opportunities for all four players to have chances at bidding and playing. Suggested leads and the expected results are shown. The hands are displayed as real cards (not symbols) which makes it easier to visualize, analyse and set up the hands for playing. Before purchasing these games, I recommend that you look at Lesson 1 and 2 Practice Games posted on this website. This is the style and quality of what you will get. Also, view the sample Board #10 below which is from Lesson #2. This will help you decide whether you wish to purchase these games or not.

What’s also important when learning 2/1 is that bids specific to the 2/1 system are not used all the time. Many times, the same bid would be used whether you have adopted the 2/1 system or are just using standard bidding rules. Players should always be aware of the message they are communicating to partner. You cannot always show GF (Game Force) in the first round. It’s very easy to get confused — I have seen it happen many times! Here’s Board #10 from Lesson 2 so you can clearly see how each game is set up and analysed.
Click on page below to enlarge:

The cost for each set of 16 Practice Games is $5 US. With 4 players in a group and splitting the cost, that’s only $1.25 each for an interesting and perhaps challenging afternoon of learning and applying these rules. Once purchased, you can copy them and use them with larger groups, too, so the cost can be quite minimal when considering the value of playing these games with many more people. Some clubs use these games for practice with several tables. Please click on the “Buy Now” button to order them. Choose which Practice Games you wish (Lesson 1, Lesson 2, or Lesson 3). You will be given the option of paying with PayPal or a credit card. The games will be sent to you by email as an attachment in PDF format, ready for you to print, usually within 24 hours or as soon as possible.

Each of the 16 games show both 2/1 bidding and Standard American bidding so they can be used as practice for any bidding system.


Lesson 1 – 16 Practice Games: (focuses on Game Force 2/1 bids and 1NT Forcing)
Lesson 2 – 16 Practice Games (focuses on Bergen raises and Jacoby 2NT)
Lesson 3 – 16 Practice Games (focuses on Reverse Drury, includes other bids from Lesson 1 and 2)
Use the drop-down menu to choose which set you wish to purchase.

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Note: These games are also available as printed hand records and PBN files. Contact me if you are interested: info@ateacherfirst.com.