M J Bridge
As a starting point I will suggest that you should treat all such hands as balanced.
(See below for a possible modification of this style.)
Twelve to fourteen points
It is only with twelve to fourteen points that you might choose to agree a different partnership method.
Some partnerships will treat these hands as balanced, opening 1NT on all such hands in the 12 -
I shall search for the best option in the following, but there is no clear cut consensus on the matter.
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 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-
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-
(even when playing four-
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-
There will be occasions on which you have to open and rebid your major on a five-
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.
Pairs or teams
The most significant difference between these two forms of the game is the relative importance of part-
At teams the game-
With this thought in mind my recommendation is that at teams scoring you should open all 5-
As indicated above, the 5-
The downside to this policy is that you will, not infrequently, find yourself languishing in 1NT when you have a marginally more lucrative part-
This will not score well at pairs.
So, at pairs, with a good five-
My guideline for ‘good’ in this context is ‘two of the top three honours’.
This page last revised 10th May 2019
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.
This leaves me with the hand in the 12-
Playing at teams I have no problem in opening this hand with 1NT every time.
At pairs my inclination is to open such a hand with 1NT, thereby ensuring that when I open and rebid the suit it will have either length or some degree of quality. I will miss some major suit part-
It would not be unreasonable to take the alternative view and open all 5-
Can I open 1NT on a 12-
Yes, if it has 5-
I prefer to open 5-
J 7 6 5 2
A K 4
K Q 3
I open 1NT at at either teams or pairs, but it would not be unreasonable to agree to open 1♠ on such hands at pairs.
And so, to summarize:-
I treat all 5-
I treat all 5-
at teams scoring
I treat all 5-
at pairs scoring
I open 5-
and I open 5-
But I must stress that these are personal choices as agreed with my partner.
There is no clear consensus of expert agreement that I know of on the matter.
If your choice is to open one of the major then go to
I am still trying to come by some convincing statistics -
Beginner and above
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|