Bridge & other card games/Bridge


1. Do you feel it is more practical to open a 15-17 point hand with a 1 NT bid even though it is not balanced?  I'm thinking if partner has 0-7 points and 5 of a suit, the bid would be 2 of that suit.  On the other hand, if opener bids one of a trump suit, indicating 13 points only and partner has less than 6 points, the bid would be passed.  It would seem the NT bid to be an advantage; additionally, I keep hearing you should communicate to your partner the number of points you have as exactly as possible, but how do you do that if cannot bid NT because of a void, singleton or 2 doubletons?  I'd appreciate your comments.

2. When the bidding is opened with 1 NT and 15-17 points, is it permissible to re-bid 3 D (with 4 D) if necessary to stay in the bidding?

Many thanks.

Stewart Fluney


It is advantageous to choose a bid that describes your hand within narrowly defined limits (such as a 1NT opening bid) since that allows partner to accurately assess the combined assets of the partnership and to determine high to place the contract and in what suit...or play it, possibly with the assistance of Stayman, Transfers or invitational bids. Since the 1NT opener told his story, the responder becomes the "captain" of the auction. Players, therefore, go out of their way to make these types of limited bids, choosing to open 1NT even on 5-4-2-2 distributions.

However, you have to bid the cards you were dealt. Certainly a narrowly defined 1NT opener showing a balanced 15-17 conveys more information than opening one of a suit, which can show anything from 12-21 points and a wide variety of distributions, but if you are dealt a 13 point hand, or a hand with a singleton or a void, then you have no choice. You open one of a suit and hope to further describe your hand as the auction proceeds. You will not be able to describe your hand using only one bid, life is full of disappointments but maybe you will be able to do so in two or three bids...just make sure you do not get too high. If every hand could be accurately described in one bid, bridge would be a lot less fun and challenging.

After you open 1NT, you should not rebid 3D with a four card suit. There should not be any reason you would need to do this.  

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I can answer questions on bidding and on cardplay with the caveat that the former may necessarily involve some subjectivity. I have been playing tournament bridge for over 20 years and I have won several regional tournaments.

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