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





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






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





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




West    North   East     South



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