Opener’s Notrump Rebids
January 2, 2017
January 2, 2017

1NT Opening

1NT Opening

An opening bid of 1NT is different from any other opening bid in that it shows a narrow point range and a balanced hand. It is not the start of a conversation – partner will choose the final contract.

  • 12-14 HCP*
  • no 5-card major
  • no singleton (1-card suit) or void (0 cards)
  • at most one doubleton (2-card suit)

*15-17 if you’re playing the Standard system, popular in the USA.

Your hand is just right for a 1NT opening. Anytime you have 12-14 HCP and a balanced hand you should always open 1NT in preference to 1 of a suit. You describe your shape and your strength in just one bid.

Your hand is just right for a 1NT opening if you are playing a 15-17 1NT.

You should still open 1NT with a 5-card minor, but not with a 5-card major. This hand also has two small spades and that’s ok – there’s two of them!

Responses to 1NT

It is usually responder’s job to choose the final contract after a 1NT opening. Responding to 1NT is easy because opener is limited to 12-14 (or 15-17) which makes it easy for responder to calculate the combined total.

10 HCP is not enough for game if partner’s maximum is 14. You should pass, as you are happy to play in notrumps.

If partner’s minimum is 15 however, you have plenty for game.

With 13 HCP you are strong enough to bid game.

This time you have enough HCP for game. The opening 1NT promises at least 2 hearts so you have a fit.

Even though your hand is weak, it will take more tricks if hearts are trumps. A weak hand with a long suit is better played in the long suit. Bid 2H. Remember that you choose the final contract. Partner will pass as you are the boss! There is no conversation about it.


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