One of Major Opening Bid

Opening bid of 1 of a Major shows an opening hand (by ZAR standards), and five or more in the major. A few rules,

The responses to 1M are based upon show support with support, and several ways to "unload" traditional forcing 1NT. Also, remember that over 1H, we play modified Kaplan Inversion, so be sure to read the chapter on that to see the exceptions to the auctions given below.

Reponses to 1 MAJOR

  • 1NT = semi-forcing (See also Kaplan inversion)
  • 2C (after 1st/2nd seat opening bid), three way,
    ---------> 5+ Clubs, GF values
    ---------> (10)11+ balanced hand
    ---------> 7-9 hcp 4 card support or 8-12 with 3 card M support
  • 2C after 3rd/4th hand opening, 3 card Reverse Drury
  • 2D after 1st/2nd seat opening, GF, 5+ diamonds
  • 2D after 3rd/4th seat opening, 4 card drury
  • Raise to 2M weak raise, 3 cards, up to bad 8 hcp
  • 2H (over 1S), GF, 5+ hearts
  • 2S (over 1H), weak, six card plus suit
  • 2NT - Jacoby 2NT Plus (limit raise or better, 4 card support)
  • 3C/3D = invite, six card suit, fair values (think 9 to 12)
  • 3H (over 1S) = invite, six card suit, fair values (think 9 to 12)
  • Double jump shift = splinter (limited values)
  • 3NT = three card support, 13-15 (without bid 2C first, with more bid 2NT).
  • 3M = preemptive 4 card support, generally 7 hcp or less
  • 4M = to play, generally five card support
  • 4NT = Natural 18-19 hcp, balanced, to use RKC, start with 2NT then bid 4NT

In choosing to opening, I apply ZAR points. With 25 ZAR points and four or more spades I tend to open, with 26 ZAR points and 4+ spades, I do open. With 26 ZAR points and five hearts, I tend to open, with 27 ZAR points and five hearts, I do open.

Three suiters with a five card major. We open 2C with three suiters and five or less losers with five or more controls. An exception is with weaker versions of 5440 hands where you have five losers, or four losers and weaker hcp totals.

Opening hands. What do you open?

♠ A K 10 6 3
♥ Q 6 5 2
A Q 10 3

Open 2C, three suiter, 5 control 4 loser, extra values


♠ A K 10 6 2
♥ Q T 9
A Q 8
♣ 8 2

Open 1NT, 14-16 hcp, balanced. Don't worry about clubs


♠ Q 10 9 6 5 3

A K 10 6
♣ Q 9 7

Open 1S, 30 ZAR points, more than minimum


♠ A J 10 8 4 2
♥ 10 9 2

♣ K Q 7 3

Open 2 Spades, Black 2-suiter minimum opening hands


♠ A Q 8 7 3
♥ A K J 8
♣ K 9 5

Open 1S, planning on 2C over 1NT, 2D over 2C, 2H over 2D
Notice the 2C rebid, over 1NT is Riton 2♣ showing better than mininum. Given chance, you will rebid 2 showing 5-4 and good 15+. Over 2♣ by partner, you are too good to respond 2♥, so you bid 2 showing better than minimum, planning on bidding hearts next.


♠ A K 10 9 4
♥ J 10 9 4
A 9 2
♣ 5

Open 1S, planning 2Hearts over any bid, showing min.


♠ A K 9 8 6 3
♥ A 8 3
9 7
♣ A Q 6

Open 1S, 2D over 2C, 2C over 1NT, pass 2S, 4S over 3S
Here, your spade suit is not good enough for jump to 3♠, Bid 2♣ (Riton 2♣) and then rebid 2♠


♠ A K J 8 3
♥ A 2
9 8 7 6 5
♣ 9

Open 1S, rebid 2D over 2C or 1NT (different meaning). Over 2C, 2D shows better than minimum, while over 1NT, 2D shows minimum with diamonds. How can it be better than minimum over 2C and minimum over 1NT. The answer is simple. Over 1NT, your parnter may be long in clubs and weak. Over 2C, if he is long in clubs, he is strong. If over 2C, parnter might have a spade fit, over 1NT he DOES NOT HAVE A SPADE fit. With possible diamond or spade fit, this hand is a ZAR monster. 14 distributional, 12 hcp, and 5 controls for 31 ZAR points before fit is found. 30 or more Zar's virtually always requires 2D response to 2C.


♠ A K J 8 4
♥ Q J 7 4 2

♣ K 8 4

This is a two suiter, 5 losers, so no choice but 1S, then 3H (not strong enough for MisIry


♠ A K 9 8 3
♥ A 8 2
9 7
♣ A Q 6

Too strong for 1NT, no choice but 1S


♠ K J T 9 6 5 2
♥ K Q
9 8 7
♣ 9

Open 1S, no need to preempt 3H (trasfer) with opening hand. Note Zar would open this with a 3 level preempt. So if you feel that 3 hearts (transfer to 3S preempt) is right, go for it.

♠ A K Q J 6 2
♥ K Q 3
♣ Q J T

Looks like 8 tricks, but clubs slow, best 1S, 3S


♠ A K J 10 7 6 5 3
♥ A 8 3
9 7
♣ A Q 6

Open 2C, too many controls for Namyats 4D, too many tricks for 1S


♠ A K J 8 3
♥ A 2
9 8 7 6 5
♣ 9

Open 1S, rebid 2D over 2C or 1NT (different meaning). Over 2C, the 32 ZAR points is too much for a 2S rebid. Over 1NT, the weakness of diamonds and the likelyhood partner is long in clubs and weak make anything but 2D ill advised.

Now for some routine auctions to demonstrate the methods

Board 5 S J2
H K764
D A76
S 953 C KJ82 S QT
H QJT52 H 83
D T3 D Q9542
C AT4 S AK8764 C 7653
H A9
C Q9

North East South West
Pass Pass 1S Pass
2C! Pass 2D Pass
3NT Pass 4S/Pass

2C! three way 2C
2D extra values
3NT balanced 11-12

IMP-8 South Dlr: South
Board 7 S Q5 Vul: Both
H T72
East D T9763 West
S K7 C K43 S JT86
H KQ5 H J64
D A542 North D Q8
C J862 S A9432 C QT97
H A983
C A5

East South West North
Pass Pass 1S
Pass Pass Pass

No need to stretch to respond. Our
1S opening bids are limited. Compare
with the next hand.

MP-17 Dlr: North
Board 1 S QT9764 Vul: None
D 3
S A85 C AT S K2
H T74 H 8
D AQ72 D JT84
C J74 S J3 C Q98652
H 96532
D K965
C K3

West North East South
Pass Pass
Pass 1S Pass 1NT!
Pass 2C Pass 2D
Pass 2H Pass 4H All Pass

This time you respond with a weak hand
because if parnter has good hand and hearts
you can easily have game. Even good hand
with spades your two kings and spade jack
might be more than enough for game.

2C is riton 2C, showing good hand, and 2D
is waiting for open to define his hand.
When parnter bids 2H (at least 15 hcp, four
hearts, ZAR points kick in. South has 23 fit
Zar points more than enough to bid game.

IMP-14 Dlr: West
Board 8 S JT42 Vul: None
H T862
S 875 C T9 S K
H AJ54 H Q97
D J32 D QT874
C J63 S AQ963 C K742
H K3
D 96
C AQ85

West North East South
Pass 1S
Pass 2C! Pass 2D!
Pass 2S! Pass 3C
Pass 4S All Pass