After a strong 2♣ and 2 relay (waiting bid). Now the 2 bid forces 2♠. Now the 2NT bid shows 25+ points if the bid of 2NT shows 23-24 points.

Partnerships can have different points holding for 2NT openers so make sure you have a partnership agreement as some people play 20-21 2NT openers.

Let’s look at some examples of 2♣ openers using kokish relays :-

a)b)c)d)
♠ AK
AJ10
AQ532
♣ AK7
♠ AKJ5
AQ9
A87
♣ AK5
♠ AQ10
AK
QJ104
♣ AQJ10
♠ Q103
AQJ
AQJ
♣ AK96
♠ QJ732
98765
5
♣ 42
♠ 107
K108632
K52
♣ 43
♠ 7432
543
987
♣ 973
♠ KJ954
42
1074
♣ 743

a) 2♣ – 2 – 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 4 – 4.

The 2NT bid shows 25+ points. partner bids muppet stayman and the 3 response denies a 4 card major. Partner bids 4 to show 5-5 in the majors and 4 is reached.

b) 2♣ – 2 – 2NT – 4♣ – 4 – 4NT – 5♣ – 5 – 6 – 6NT

The 2NT bid shows 25+ points. Partner bids a two under slam try 4♣ and partner accepts with a cue bid of 4. Partner does a quick check for keycards and decides 6NT is a better contract.

c) 2♣ – 2 – 2 – 2♠ – 2NT – All Pass

The 2NT bid shows 23-24points.

d) 2♣ – 2 – 2 – 2♠ – 2NT – 3♣ – 3 – 3NT – 4♠

The 2NT bid shows 23-24 points. 3♣ is muppet stayman, 3 denies a 4 card major, 3NT shows a 5 card major and partner bids 4♠.

The kokish relay is a useful system for keeping the bidding at 2NT when you have these 25+ point holding allowing partner to investigate major holdings below the 3NT level. The disadvantage of this system is in order to agree hearts you can end up bidding 4H…

2♣ – 2 – 2 – 2♠ – 3 – ? harder to agree hearts without signing off in 4

Where the bidding previously may have preceded with….

2♣ – 2♦ – 2 – 3 – now can look for a slam in hearts more comfortably

So it’s up to you if you want to play the Kokish relay system…how often do you pick up 25 counts?