M J Bridge
With fifteen to nineteen points there is only one way to bid such a hand.
You will open one of your five-
With sufficient strength for a game contract responder will show three-
Twelve to fourteen points
It is only with twelve to fourteen points that you will need to agree your partnership method.
Some partnerships will treat all such hands as balanced, opening 1NT every time -
I will suggest that beginners should focus their attention on the balanced nature of the hand rather than on the presence of a five-
You will probably stick with this approach as you progress to much higher levels but there are alternative options.
Note that this is the method long advocated by Andrew Robson, and which has more recently been adopted as the standard teaching method by the ebu.
The method above is not universal -
First a little history:-
at one time any hand with a good five-
It was soon realised that the preferred target contract was more often 3NT than anything in a minor, and so all balanced hands containing a five-
I consider this to have been a significant step in the right direction.
Indeed, it will be relatively rare that an opening bid of one minor followed by a rebid in that suit will be made on anything less than a six-
When do I open 1NT on a balanced 12-
In those early days a high imperative was placed on showing a five-
This is the method still played by many in many clubs, and passed down from generation to generation.
However, it has long since been realised that the need for opener to show that five-
The priorities have moved towards showing balanced or unbalanced hands and six-
The onus of searching for a 5-
If the deal is game-
facing an invitational limit raise you will show your five-
facing a Stayman enquiry you should always jump in your five-
and if partner’s three-
By opening such hands with 1NT you will release those sequences in which you open and rebid in your major to carry some other message, and this is that such a sequence will promise a six-
On occasion this will open the way for partner to bid a game with no more than two-
There will be occasions on which you have to open and rebid your major on a five-
The principle that the primary purpose of opening and rebidding a suit is to show a six-
There are two particular considerations to take into account as you come to your partnership agreement:-
one is the form of the game (pairs or teams);
the second is the quality of the suit.
Form of scoring
The different bidding strategies relating to different forms of scoring are discussed in some depth on the page ‘pairs, teams, or rubber’.
The most significant difference between these two forms of the game is the relative importance of part-
Your methods should be tailored towards locating the best contract at game-
With this thought in mind my recommendation is that at teams scoring you should open all 5-
As indicated above, the 5-
On occasion you will fail to locate the best part-
By way of contrast, at pairs scoring each hand is equally important.
If you can make 2♠ for 110 when everyone else is bidding and making 1NT for 90, you will have a top, and this top carries exactly the same weight as when you were the only pair in the room to bid and make a slam -
You may therefore choose to adopt a method which makes it more likely that you will play in two of a major rather than 1NT.
(Note though that if everyone else in the room were to make 8 tricks in no trumps for 120, your 110 would suddenly becomes a bottom.)
And this method would be to open one of the major on the hand in question.
Even bearing these thoughts in mind the best policy is far from clear, and there is no clear cut consensus on the matter.
If you choose always to open such hands with 1NT at pairs scoring you will be in the very best of company.
Alternatively, open one of the five-
I rather like to open the good five-
This page last revised 6th Jan 2020
K Q 5
8 7 5
A K Q 4 2
You have a choice between opening 1♦ then rebidding 2♦, and opening 1NT on this hand.
1NT is to be preferred to 1♦ -
A K 6 5 2
J T 4
K Q 3
I open 1♠ on this hand when playing at pairs scoring, but 1NT if playing at imps scoring.
Opening 1NT in both forms of the game would be a more than acceptable partnership alternative.
Beginner and above
Can I open 1NT on a 12-
Yes, if it has 5-
It is a matter of partnership agreement whether you open one of the suit or 1NT when holding a good five-
I am still trying to come by some convincing statistics -
If your choice is to open one of the major then go to
Alternatively return to the page
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|