M J Bridge
Beginner and above
It’s simple really -
Q J 6 2
A K 5 4
K 7 3
J T 6 2
A K 5 4
K 7 3
K J 6 2
A K 5 4
A 7 3
Open 1♠ (some would prefer 1♦).
Don’t fall into the trap of opening all 12-
The hand must be the right shape. It is a bid that describes shape as much as it describes strength.
If your hand isn’t balanced (or just possibly 5-
In the early days of bridge, playing a strong no trump, you were expected to have some kind of honour holding in every suit before opening 1NT.
Such days are long gone.
Many players retain a reluctance to open 1NT with an unstopped suit. They count amongst their numbers both beginners and experienced players -
The unstopped suit should not be something to fear. On the contrary it is something to expect. Let’s face it, a hand with exactly three points in each of four suits is not one to set the juices flowing. You have only to put AK in one suit and it will be inevitable that at least one of the other suits is extremely weak.
The important features of the bid are that it describes the hand-
If you happen to have a weakness between the two hands then it is quite possible that your opponents will take the first five or even six tricks in that suit. Don’t worry -
When two suits are wide open there is the potential for things to turn out badly, but usually this will not be the case. The priority is to bid your shape.
And if they happen to double then you will once in a while go for a substantial penalty, but this must be offset against those occasions on which you either reach the optimum low-
Looking ahead slightly you should not be afraid to bid to 1NT or 2NT with a weak suit -
It is, though, important that in a constructive ongoing auction both partners should strive to look for a better fit on their way to game.
K J 6 2
A 5 4
Q T 8 7 3
You have fourteen points and something in every suit, but the hand is nothing like the right shape for a 1NT opening bid.
Open 1♣, intending to rebid 1♠.
K Q 6 5
Q J 6 4 2
Hands containing singletons.
Personally I have some misgivings about opening hands containing a singleton with 1NT, but you will be in excellent company if you choose, as a partnership agreement, to open 4-
There is also an eminent school of thought which chooses to treat singleton kings as Kx -
Following this line of thinking you will not hesitate from opening a fourteen point 4-
If you wish to follow such a route then you should study the relevant section of ‘The Blue Book’ on the ebu web-
Note that the range indicated above applies to the point-
e.g. if you feel that a fourteen point hand is really worth fifteen points then open it as a fifteen point hand.
Can I open 1NT with a singleton?
Yes, by partnership agreement.
I prefer not to, but if it is a partnership agreement, then partner must announce the possibility each time.
If they are weaker than this then pass, and if they are stronger then bid one of a suit first.
Note that if you start with anything else you will not have an honest rebid available.
Follow the links to help you decide whether the particular hand in front of you should be treated as balanced or unbalanced. If your choice is to treat it as balanced then bid as above.
Can I open 1NT with an unstopped suit?
Yes, or even two unstopped suits if the shape is right.
This page last revised 16th Aug 2017
8 7 5
K Q 5
A K Q 4 2
1♣ would not be wrong, but modern practice is to open 1NT.
It will be rare that your opponents can take seven tricks in the majors before you get started.
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|