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 Opening 1-NT With a 5-Card Major

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PostSubject: Opening 1-NT With a 5-Card Major   Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:51 am

this is an article from the internet
Opening 1-NT With a 5-Card Major
Until recently, Bridge Players were reluctant to open 1-NT when holding a 5-card
Major; i.e., a hand with a (5-3-3-2) distribution. Today, however, to do so is not
uncommon, for doing so holds several advantages, and, as an aside, not necessarily a resultant difficulty in having originally concealed one’s 5-card Major, especially if, and when, the Partnership utilizes “Puppet Stayman,” in lieu of “Regular Stayman.”

The Potential Problems Inherent in Not Doing So
S- JX H- AQ832 D- KQ4 C-KJ9

If you were to have opened with 1H, here, holding 5-Hearts and 16 HCP’s, Partner is likely to respond 1S. Partner’s mention of a new suit forces you to re-bid, and therein lies the potential problem.
a. Re-bidding 1-NT would show 12-14 HCP’s
b. Re-bidding 2-NT would show 18-19 HCP’s
c. Re-biding 2C or 2D would show a 4- or 5-piece Minor suit
d. Re-bidding 2H would show 6 or more Hearts
(All of the afore-mentioned are incorrect and would be misleading to Partner!)

S- AQ832 H- JX D- KQ4 C- KJ9

Opening 1S, here, holds a different set of potential problems.
a. If Partner were to respond 1-NT and the Partnership were not playing a “Forcing 1-NT,” bidding system, and Opener, were to “Pass,” it makes the weaker hand the Declarer, the stronger hand exposed to the Opponents, and the opening lead coming through the stronger hand.
b. Alternatively, if Opener were to re-bid an invitational 2-NT, and if Responder were at the bottom of his/her 6-10 HCP count, the contract might, potentially, be un-makeable.

The Advantages of Opening 1-NT with a 5-Card Major Suit
1. Opening 1-NT (15-17 HCP’s) with one 5-card Major can have an effect in
potentially keeping the bidding with Partner at a lower level. Had you opened 1H or 1S, and Partner were to have responded 1-NT, Opener would re-bid 2-NT inviting Partner to a 3-NT final contract, seeking whether or not Partner were at the top of his/her 1-NT response, (9-10 HCP’s).
Alternatively, had one opened 1-NT, Partner would have “Passed” with a weaker holding of 6-8 HCP’s. In the latter instance where 1-NT was the opening call, two distinct benefits occur:
a. The Partnership would be committed to a 1-NT (7-trick obligation) instead of a
final 2-NT (8-trick) commitment.
b. The stronger hand remains concealed as the Declarer.

2. Opening 1-NT with a concealed 5-card Major suit discloses less information to the Opponents. Had one opened 1H or 1S, and reached a final contract of 3-NT, the Opponent on lead is not likely to lead your Major suit. Not having previously mentioned it, however, the Opponent on lead might be tempted to lead an un-bid Major suit, possibly, beneficially, yours.

3. Opening 1-NT allows for transfers to be utilized by Opener’s responding Partner. Had one opened 1S, for example, and Partner were to hold a weak 5 (+) card Heart holding, he/she would have “Passed.” Under this latter condition, the Partnership is likely to be in a far-better contract of 2H, or even 3H should Opener have made a “Super Acceptance” of the transfer.

4. Even when Responder holds game-values (11 {+}), having the stronger hand as the Declarer holds an advantage for the declaring team.

5. An opening bid of 1-NT gives an immediate 3-point spread of the strength of
Opener’s hand which might, under some borderline circumstances, lead to a game which might, otherwise, have been missed.

6. Opening 1-NT eliminates the potential problem by simplifying Opener’s re-bid
difficulty, especially if he/she had opened 1H or 1S, where any potential re-bid by
Opener might have been awkward, especially had Opener’s 1-NT holding been,
specifically, with 15 HCP’s.

7. Opening 1-NT makes it more difficult for the Opponent’s to compete in that they are forced to enter the auction at the 2-level, whereas, had the Opener opened 1H, a 1S overcall becomes facilitated. Furthermore, opening 1-NT eliminates Opener’s left-hand Opponent (LHO) from overcalling 2C or 2D, with a single 5-card suit, since such overcalls , oft times, used artificially by Conventions such as that of “Cappelletti,” or “DONT,” in order to show specific, conventional holdings.

8. Even when a 8-card, Major suit, “Golden Fit” exists, a final 3-NT contract might be the better and safer contract. In 3-NT, a ruff by the opposition can be avoided. In addition, a (5-3-3-2) distributional pattern, opposite a (4-3-3-3) pattern, often makes the same number of tricks in No-Trump as it would have generated in the Major suit game, even if the trump fit is 5-3 or 5-4, or, possibly, even with a 6-4 Major suit fit.

9. Lastly, a further benefit of a 3-NT contract vs. a four-of-either-Major suit contract is that strong Players will infrequently lead away from an Ace against a suit contract, but they are likely to do so when leading 4th best against a No-Trump contract, and having done the latter, could enable an extra trick for the declaring team.

The Disadvantages of Opening 1-NT with a 5-Card Major Suit
1. Opening 1-NT, when holding a 5-card Major suit, can have the negative impact
such that, should the opening team wind up on defense, and Opener’s Partner were to be on lead, the leader to trick #1 holds less information as to which suit beat to select.

2. After an auction of 1H – 1S – 2H – 2S, if Opener “Passes,” the Opponents, if
holding 9-trump pieces within the Partnership are likely to re-enter the auction with a 3H call, thereby either stealing the contract, else forcing you to consider a possible 3S re-bid.

3. In some instances, had Opener opened either 1H or 1S, Responder, in some
Partnerships, might have made a pre-emptive call of 3H or 3S, if holding 3-5 HCP’s and 4-pieces of Opener’s Major suit. Doing so might preclude the Opponents from entering the auction.

4. Unless the Partnership is playing “Puppet Stayman,” a potential 5-3 Major suit
“Golden Fit” may remain undiscovered.

Summary
As is the case with almost any subject in Bridge, few course of action are always good or bad, statistically effective or non-effective. The decision as to use one method or the other is strictly a matter of Partnership agreement and acceptance. In the final analysis, however, there appears to be more advantages in this instance than there are disadvantages.
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