Theory and Conventions

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M J Bridge

Bidding

Hands

Beginner and above

Context  -  The opening bid.

Opening 5-4 shape


In this category are 5-4-3-1, 5-4-2-2 and 5-4-4-0 shapes.


Weak Bids


At a basic level there are no weak bids with this hand-shape.

This page last revised 31st Aug 2018

Intermediate and above

At an intermediate level and beyond, many partnerships include artificial opening bids at the two-level which typically cater for weak hands with a five-card major and a four-card minor.


two-suited weak twos

Strong hands


Any hand of twenty three or more points should open with the appropriate game-forcing bid in your system.

In my recommended starter (and beyond) system of ‘three weak and one strong’ this will be a game-forcing (or nearly so) opening bid of 2.


open 2


and rebid in the five-card suit.


Most other strong hands (say nineteen or more points) will open one of the five-card suit and, facing any sort of response from partner, will then either make a forcing strong reverse into the four-card suit or make a jump rebid in the four-card suit to create a game-forcing situation.


(Other systems of opening bids at the two-level, including strong options, are available - see ‘opening at the two-level’.)


Opening one of a suit


As a general rule I am happy to open 5-4 hands according to the ‘rule of 20’.

In practice this means a minimum of eleven working points.


The starting point for your thinking should be that you will start with one of the five-card suit planning to rebid in the four-card suit, but there are exceptions related to the partnership agreement on reverse bidding.


For a fuller consideration follow the link


opening one of a suit


A further exception will occasionally apply on hands with


5-4-2-2 shape


Most hands with 5-4-2-2 shape and normal opening strength will start with one of a suit as above.


But there will be a few hands, mostly in the twelve to fifteen point range (not strong enough for a strong reverse), which are better treated as balanced.  Follow this link to identify such hands.


5-4-2-2 shape


Pass


Any other hand should be passed.

Beginner and above