M J Bridge
Beginner and above
Assessing the hand
Note that the aim of this page is to guide you in the right direction at a relatively early stage.
It assumes that you are considering making an opening bid in first or second seat.
Other possibilities will be considered as you follow the links through to the appropriate pages.
Whether you are at the beginner stage or operating at a far higher level, the way in which you think about the potential of your hand and your choice of opening bid are crucial to all that follows.
There is nothing new in the content of this page but some readers will find something new in outlook.
When you first pick up your hand, and after you have counted it and sorted it to your own satisfaction, I want you to assess it in two separate ways.
The second of these is to count the number of high-
First, however, I want you to note the shape -
In particular I want you to note whether or not the hand contains a suit of six or more cards, or at least 5-
These shapes define the hand-
If your hand qualifies for some type of opening bid then it will be the hand-
Having determined the hand-
Hands with a suit of at least six cards are
(For the moment I shall include hands with 6-
Hands with at least 5-
(An optional alternative method for some 5-
Something of a special case is the hand with
Any other hand will have
Note that the classifications above are irrespective of the strength (e.g. HCP) of the hand.
If you are considering opening the hand then follow the appropriate link above according to the shape of the hand -
However, there is frequently much muddled and ill-
Some basic thoughts on the matter are to be found on the page
This page last revised 23rd Jun 2019
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|