~Opening the Bidding

Hands that contain 13 points, either from HCP or from distribution
should be bid by opener. Here are some typical hands:
#1                                  #2                                  #3
S KQ95                         S K5                                S T9432
H 6                                H AQJ65                         H 4
D AJ632                        D AK643                          D A5
C AQ4                           C 2                                   C AKQ43

Balanced hands (containing no 5-card major, no singleton, no minor longer than 6 cards, and containing 15-17 HCP) should be opened with 1NT.
#4                                  #5                                  #6
S KJ6                             S JT954                         S QJ5
H AQ5                           H AQ5                           H AT
D AT8                            D AK                              D KQ9876
C QT96                          C K87                            C KQ

Hands that meet the requirements of the Rule of 20/22 will normally be opened at the one-level: This rule states that if the number of cards in the two longest suits added to the number of HCP equals 20, you should open the bidding. Some experts add the requirement to have two Quick Tricks and call the resultant the Rule of 20/22.
S AT987
H 5
D A4
C Q8762
This hand meets the Rule of 20/22 (5 spades+5 clubs+10 HCP+2 Quick Tricks=22).

Which Suit to Open?

1. Do not open in a major suit with only four cards in the suit. Instead open with a minor suit with at least three cards.
2. If you have two minor suits with 4 cards each or with 5-cards each, open the higher suit, diamonds.
3. If you have a five-card major suit and a 5-card minor suit, open the major suit (hearts or spades).
4. If you have two major suits with 5 cards each, open the higher suit, spades.
#8                        #9                        #10                      #11
S AQ87                S A5                     S 98765              S K76
H AQ87                H 7                       H A5                    H 98
D T98                   D QJ987              D 6                       D JT76
C Q2                     C AK765             C AKQJT              C AKQ8

3 Responses to “~Opening the Bidding”

  1. 123net Says:

    Hand #5 should be opened 1 NT

  2. Bill Butler Says:

    I only open hands with 5-card majors when partner has already passed and not usually even then if the 5-card suit is spades. There are three views among professionals about opening 1NT a 5-card major: one opinion is to always open the hand 1NT; a second view is to never open 1NT with a 5-card major, and a third view is to open 1NT with a 5-card heart suit in certain circumstances but to avoid such an opening with a 5-card spade suit. Select your style (as I and my partners have done) and press on. Regardless of choice, there are a group of professionals who would agree with you.

  3. Bill Butler Says:

    left out only open 1NT with…

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