Here we look at hands where the question is «Do we open or do we pass?».  You’ll see some references to the Rule of Twenty, it’s a useful guide in these situations, but far from infallible and needs to be moderated by that legendary common-sense that is the hallmark of Wednesday Game players.  This selection of hands contains quite a few «12-counts we would pass». 

1) N-S Vul





Sur Oeste Norte  Este

                 Pass  Pass


Would you open the South hand in third seat?  We wouldn’t.  To start with it does not pass the [button link=»» size=»small» window=»yes»]Rule of 20[/button] .  And it gets worse, the hand has no Aces and no Tens.  But aren’t we supposed to open light in third seat?  Maybe, but only when there is a good reason to do so.  Opening this hand 1 has little or no preemptive value, and it’s not even a suit which we are desperate for Partner to lead.  So we’d pass this one.

 2) E-O Vul





Este Sur Oeste Norte



For the third time this set, someone has an opening bid decision with a 5-6 distribution.  On the earlier hands, the higher suit had 5 cards and the lower 6-card suit was touching.  In both cases we discussed the choices between:

–         Opening the higher-ranking suit 5-card suit, pretending to be 5-5.

–         Opening the lower-ranking 6-card suit, planning to reverse into the 5-card suit.

 Here, things are slightly different in two ways:

–         The suits are not touching, so it seems logical to open 1, planning to rebid 1 if Partner responds 1.  No need to reverse.

–         The hand is not suitable for a reverse anyway, it’s just not strong enough.  So, in this case, if the distribution were, say, 1=5=6=1 (instead of 5=1=6=1), we would open 1 and not 1.  Of course, some might say that the East hand is not worth an opening bid anyway, but we say “Phooey!” to that, the hand passes the [button link=»» size=»small» window=»yes»]Rule of 20[/button] and there are no wasted value.  It’s an opening bid!  At least in our opinion.

More hands [button link=»» size=»small» window=»yes»]click here[/button]