Theory and Conventions


M J Bridge



Context  -  Opening two of a suit

Rules relating to weak/strong multi bids

Note that there are regulations relating to the permissible meanings of artificial opening bids, and in particular to those multis which include both weak and strong options.

All artificial opening bids are subject to various restrictions in their application.

This is so that your opponents stand a chance of vaguely understanding the method and are in a position to piece together some kind of defensive mechanism.  The underlying principle is that complex systems should be successful because they are intrinsically better - not simply because your opponents are unfamiliar with them.

For most club and tournament play in England these permissions are laid down by the English Bridge Union (ebu), and are subject to alteration from time to time.  They are to be found in the blue book in the ‘Law and ethics’ section of the ebu web-site.

The multi 2 is playable in a basic form at level three in those few clubs which still adhere to this level.

Other weak/strong multis are playable at level four, but even then there are some limitations.

Follow this link for more about ‘levels of play’.

All of the bids on this site are permissible at level four at the present time (August 2017) to the best of my understanding, but if you intend to vary them then you should refer to the regulations to ensure legality.

At level two weak/strong multis such as the multi 2 are not permitted.

At level three (no longer defined in the regulations but possibly still used in some clubs) the multi 2 is the only weak/strong multi bid permitted and then only within strict guidelines.

It may be used to show either or both of the weak single-suited opening bids in a major (minimum five or six-card to be defined) together with up to three strong meanings (that is any meaning satisfying ‘the rule for strong openings’).

Typically the strong meanings will be a strong two in either minor together with a no trump range, but a three-suited possibility is a not infrequent alternative to the strong balanced hand.  Many partnerships will not take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate as many as three strong meanings, limiting themselves to perhaps just the strong balanced hand.

At Level 4 there is considerable freedom.

Weak/strong multis may now be played in any of the four suits - the bid may include any number of strong (rule for strong openings) meanings, and the weak meanings may now include a number of two-suited options, or even some three-suited hands.

If you wish to utilise the full complexity of this regulation you should read the original source and apply it with considerable care.


A multi bid should never be announced and should always be alerted.

Note that if you are asked to explain the meaning of the bid then the explanation that ‘it is a multi’ is not sufficient - a full description of the possible hand-types is required.

Intermediate and above

This page last revised 4th Mar 2018