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Beginner's question : what to open

#1 User is offline   Thumpermat 

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Posted 2004-March-13, 08:20

Hello everyone

With the following hand, what would you open in SAYC ?



Should I open 1 because of 5 cards (weakish) or 1NT because of 15-17 HCP, balanced hands and at least 3 stoppers ?

And I apologise in advance if this question is too trivial :)

Mathias
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#2 User is offline   mr1303 

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Posted 2004-March-13, 08:57

The trouble with opening this 1S is that you'll struggle for a rebid if your partner rebids 2C or 2D. For me this is a 1NT every single time. If the spades were strong, with a small doubleton I might open 1S, but not on this hand
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#3 User is offline   Trpltrbl 

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Posted 2004-March-13, 10:31

1 NT, best bid to describe your hand.

Mike :)
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#4 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2004-March-13, 11:29

In SAYC, 1NT is the best descriptive bid for this hand imo.

Ben
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#5 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-March-13, 13:38

Ax is nearly as bad as a small doubleton if you are in 3NT and partner has nothing in clubs. Therefore it might be important to find your 5-3 spade fit if it exists.

I open 1.

Of course you need a way to show a strong (15-17) balanced hand after opening 1 when partner responds at the 2-level. There are two possibilities:

1. Jump rebid 3NT

2. Rebid 2NT

Rebidding 2NT will require that you do something else with weaker balanced hands. With weaker balanced hands unsuitable for a raise of partner's suit you might be forced to rebid your five-card major. Nevertheless I prefer this second scheme.

Wayne
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#6 User is offline   EricK 

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Posted 2004-March-14, 01:30

This is not a trivial question.

I would open it 1NT.

The main problem with opening 1S arises if partner bids 1NT (which is his most likely response). We could easily have 3NT on if partner has 9 points, but equally 1NT may be the limit of the hand if partner has 5 or 6 points.

The downside of bidding 1NT arises if partner has 3 spades, fewer than 5 hearts, and then only if spades plays better than NT.

I think the former argument outweighs the latter.

Eric
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#7 User is offline   mr1303 

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Posted 2004-March-14, 05:29

The problem of opening 1S is slightly less, as a 1NT response is not forcing. However, change the hand to:



and your partner's most common rebid will be 1S, and then you're well and truly stuck, so a 1NT opening must be mandetory.
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#8 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-March-14, 10:53

1NT, whatever the quality of my 5 card Major. You ALWAYS have a rebid problem when you don't bid 1NT with balanced 15-17 (if you agreed that)...
"It may be rude to leave to go to the bathroom, but it's downright stupid to sit there and piss yourself" - blackshoe
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#9 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-March-14, 15:45

1NT, this is not even close. Balanced hands should be treated as balanced hands.
Consider what you will bid to show these values if partner responds with 2 of a minor.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#10 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-March-14, 23:34

The_Hog, on Mar 14 2004, 06:45 PM, said:

1NT, this is not even close. Balanced hands should be treated as balanced hands.
Consider what you will bid to show these values if partner responds with 2 of a minor.

What is wrong with a 2NT rebid?

Okay it is not strictly SAYC but it is recommended by some experts.

"After a two-level response, you can rebid 2NT with 15-18 points. With 12-14 points, show your minimum opening by rebidding your major." Ron Klinger - Guide to Better Duplicate Bridge.
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#11 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 01:28

Wayne,
this discussion is perennial. I guess it is a matter of style. I will ALWAYS open 1N with a 5332 hand in the 15-17 range. We have found that we lose on very few boards and it enables us to play the 2N rebid as a GF and the 3N rebid as gambling in style, based on a solid suit. I guess the best rebid depends on what your partner expects to you to hold for the bid.

Ron
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#12 User is offline   mishovnbg 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 01:44

Spoiler
Hi Mathias!

Spoiler
Theoretically is better to show general type of hand, instead of one its characteristics. In example is better to open 1NT instead of 1. The problem of 1NT with with 5 cards major is 4 of major on 5-3 is theoretically better than 3NT. What for example your partner suppose to bid with:

3NT is right bid, but while 4 is easy makable, 3NT depend of lead/break. To solve similar problems exist puppet stayman, where 1NT opener show only 5 cards of major, while responder show 4 cards inverted on 2 response to puppet stayman. But same way of bidding lose whole branch of major-major and major-minor sign offs, unacceptable for most ot the theorists. Can use also 3 response over 1NT opening as 5 major ask, which is probably best solution among the simple schemes, despite losing 3 bid (rare usage) and lead directing double possibility (exception).

Spoiler
Misho
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#13 User is offline   luis 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 06:18

Depends on the "x"s in your hand. If you have good intermediates (tens, nines and eights) I'd open 1NT. If not I'd open 1s because the hand doesn't look suitable for no-trump, you have an offensive hand.
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#14 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 15:26

"After a two-level response, you can rebid 2NT with 15-18 points. With 12-14 points, show your minimum opening by rebidding your major." Ron Klinger - Guide to Better Duplicate Bridge. "

Incidentally Wayne, rdk whom you quote here, would open 1N without even thinking twice. Read his book "Bid Better, Much Better". 15-18 is too wide a range for constructively looking for a game. Furthermore what do you do with a 19 count? rebid 3N? Now you have just lost a bid for your gambling solid suited hands. Its no surprise that modern theorists open these hands with 1N, regardless of the spot cards.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#15 User is offline   Cascade 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 15:58

Some, perhaps many, of these modern theorists also have a way of finding the five-card major after having opened 1NT.
Wayne Burrows

I believe that the USA currently hold only the World Championship For People Who Still Bid Like Your Auntie Gladys - dburn
dunno how to play 4 card majors - JLOGIC
True but I know Standard American and what better reason could I have for playing Precision? - Hideous Hog
Bidding is an estimation of probabilities SJ Simon

#16 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 16:36

Well rdk plays keri of course.
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#17 User is offline   badderzboy 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 17:50

As a beginner / intermediate

The replies should surely apply to best practice for a beginner. The 'rule' I've had drilled into me is open 1NT with a 5 card major if suit is poor i.e 1 of top 3 honours only because you really don;t want the 2H rebid as the next one and get left there with ptr holding 6pts and xx or worse in major...

I know you guys are far better players and can get away with superior cards play but is there a more constructive answer.

With the hand in question 1NT is the best I agree but with AKxxx of Spades would you give same answer?

Steve
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#18 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2004-March-15, 17:54

Steve, I would open 1N with
AKJxx AQJ xxx Qx.

I wouldn't be rapt in this opening, but the alternative of having to cope with an impossible rebid after a 2/1 or a 1N response is worth it imho.

Interestingly all my partners fully agree with me. (Just as well for systemic understandings, I suppose.)
"The King of Hearts a broadsword bears, the Queen of Hearts a rose." W. H. Auden.
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#19 User is offline   Onedown 

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Posted 2004-March-18, 16:28

I am often asked this in classes and have written a lot about it. Initially the problem with any 15-17 "balanced hand" with 5 in the majors is your rebid problem.

Since we want to get most bids off our chest in in 2 bids, a hand description bid of 1NT looks reasonable here---your spade suit is shoddy---

On the other hand, give yourself 16-17 and a decent spade suit, then a 1S opener can always be followed by 2NT or 3NT dependent on partners response if gives a 1NT response or a 2/1.
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