“2 Over 1” Bidding – Three Beginner Lessons

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” (two over one) 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 first seat compared to third 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. This is just a start to “get your feet wet,” so to speak. Good luck!

After studying each lesson, you will need to practice the bidding. Practice games are available — see information at the bottom of this page.

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

Lesson 1 – Two Over One

2) Bergen Raises and Jacoby 2NT:

Lesson 2 – Two Over One

3) Reverse Drury:

Lesson 3 – Two Over One

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 for Bidding and Playing (click on the menu bar at the right-hand side) posted on this website. This is the style and quality of what you will get. Many of my readers have purchased these lessons and are using them for teaching and learning.  Also, view the sample below which is from Lesson #2. This will help you decide whether you wish to purchase these practice 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 $5.00 US.  If you have 4 players in your group, that’s only $1.25 each for an interesting and perhaps challenging afternoon of learning and applying these rules. Some clubs are using 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 and often sooner.

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.

Choose Lesson

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