Bridge Exercises: Choice of Opening Bid

# Choice of Opening Bid

Here we consider an assortment of opening bid decisions. Open or preempt? 1NT or one of a suit? Which suit to open? Photo: Brian Gunnell

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On 25 August, 2013 At 16:10

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Here we consider an assortment of opening bid decisions.  Open or preempt?  1NT or one of a suit?  Which suit to open?

N-S Vul

 J4  AJ92  AJ KQT82 West    North   East     South             Pass    Pass    Pass ??

What do you think of a 1NT opening bid here?  Sure, it’s a tad off-shape, but the alternative is to open 1 and risk a serious rebid problem if Partner responds 1.  Now you won’t be happy (or least you shouldn’t be) with any of these options: (a) reversing into 2 (the hand is not good enough), (b) a rebid of 2 (the hand is too good), (c) a rebid of 3 (the hand does not have enough Clubs).  So, a 1NT opening it is.

Now, swap the Hearts and Spades, giving West 4=2=2=5 distribution.  Is that still a 1NT opener?  It could be, opening 1NT does sometimes have a tactical benefit.  On the other hand, there is no potential rebid problem with this shape, and therefore no objection to opening 1.

Both Vul

 KQT  J6532  A5 AT7 West    North   East     South 1        Pass    1        Pass ??

What would be your choice of rebid?  Do you raise Spades or do you rebid 1NT?  That’s a rather strong hand for a 1NT rebid, don’t you think?  There’s a full 14 HCP, plus a 5-card suit (albeit a ratty one), plus a couple of Tens, plus a couple of Aces.  So, we’d raise to 2, that 3-card support is strong and there is a potential ruffing value in Diamonds.  But the real solution to West’s hand, in our opinion, is to open 1NT, showing 15-17, thereby solving all rebid issues.

N-S Vul

 85  KQ  Q962 A6432 North   East     South   West    ??

On Board 4 we had two 9-point hands which happened to pass the Rule of 20 and which also happened to look like opening bids (at least to us).  Here we have an 11-point hand which also passes the Rule of 20 but, perversely, this one does not look like an opening bid!  Here is why:

That doubleton KQ is not pulling it’s full weight

There are no hidden extras, such as some useful Tens or shortness somewhere

If we open 1, what do we rebid when Partner bids 1?

We could open 1, planning to rebid 2, but that is not particularly appealing on such a featureless and yucky hand.

Both Vul

 K3  J97642 AJT92 West    North   East     South ??

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