Play Bridge | 01 10 2017 | Hand 9 | ♠842 ♥J9864 ♦JT5 ♣T5
October 1, 2017
Play Bridge | 06 10 2017 | Hand 1 | ♠2 ♥92 ♦AK865 ♣QJ763
October 6, 2017

Poll: Can I open 1NT with a 5 card major?

Play

Would you ever open 1NT with a 5 card major? Many players do and here’s an example of why it can be a good idea.

Suppose you are playing a strong 1NT opening showing 15-17 points and 5 card majors. That means that if you bid 1NT on the second round you’re showing 12-14 points and if you jump to 2NT on the second round you’re showing 18-19 points.

If you open 1H with the South hand, partner will bid 1S. Now what? You’re too strong to bid 2S and partner will expect youto have a four card spade suit if you jump to 3S. You can’t bid 1NT now because that would show 12-14 points on the second round and you’re not strong enough to jump to 2NT. Close, but it wouldn’t be quite right.

The solution advocated by many top players is to open 1NT even with a 5 card major.

27 Comments

  1. lynng says:

    Oooo so glad to find the spade fit and game. Wish I could’ve eeked out one more trick like you my friend @banksia9. Good one!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2N
    P 3 P 4
    P P P

  2. You can make 11 tricks with spades as trumps if you play East for the KH, (he withholds it on your JH lead) and discard a diamond on the ace of hearts. Using the clubs as entries, you can ruff two rounds of hearts, and ruff clubs in dummy, as West holds the longer clubs. An interesting have, to be sure.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 3
    P 3N P 4
    P P P

  3. banksia9 says:

    Welcome back, @lynng. We all appreciate your positive attitude.
    As Graeme suggests, opening 1NT with a 5 card majro can work nicely.
    Frequently it protects doubleton honours in the hidden hand when we play transfers.
    (Not needed this time, although I did open 1NT)
    East was generous to me leading K, a deep position.
    Although he smothered my J, I would otherwise be unable to play the hearts without losing K.
    There is the extra trick

  4. pauljh says:

    Nicely negotiated contract, thankyou partner. As fortune would have it as all the opponents Kings are placed perfectly for some textbook finessing and running finessing.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P 2 P 4
    P P P

  5. kevinh says:

    bad calling by me too late in the day made 4 spades 12 tricks 2 try
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 4
    P P P

  6. collar says:

    Why didn’t north bid again with spades. I made 6 bidding stopped at 2
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P P P

  7. ladygaga says:

    Oops, went 2H and made 4. Felt I should bid H for the second time as only had 3 spades. Good result in the end.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2
    P P P

  8. xinchess says:

    bid 4S and made 2 overtricks. The robot gave club opening lead, which really make life easier:) Diamond open lead would get things much tougher. I played for heart J to Ace and then trump finess while pitching small diamonds. It worked out well.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P 2N P 4
    P P P

  9. maryshaw says:

    So glad I was brave enough to go to 3NT. Paid off with a top board and I hate playing NT’s but I am trying to get better at it.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  10. fishy says:

    OOPs 2S made 12!
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, strong twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2
    P P P

  11. shiningstar says:

    3NT making 11
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2N
    P 3 P 3
    P 3N P P
    P

  12. danishmand says:

    Bid 6 spades & made the same.just gave 1heart king trick.Made little slam with just 25pts.
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 2 P 4N
    P 5 P 6
    P P P

  13. mariagee says:

    I’m with cardplayer on this won 11 tricks and pleased with that although should have gone for 4S
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P P P

  14. glsamuelson says:

    I think I did a Graeme and went straight to 4 Spades. (Let’s see.)
    Made 11 tricks.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 4
    P P P

  15. rita928 says:

    Bid and made 4S, the 2nd time when I played more carefully!
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  16. kbalagopal says:

    Oops didn’t understand that 3C meant 5 spades. Should have checked… Making 10 in 3NT
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2N
    P 3 P 3N
    P P P

  17. laura89 says:

    Bid 3 NT and made 12 oh happy days
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  18. nelle says:

    Bid 2S and made 3S. Will try NT.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2
    P P P

  19. nelle says:

    YES! 3NT makes 12.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 2
    P 2N P 3N
    P P P

  20. peter49 says:

    Bid and made 6S. But it took some time to work out how.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1N
    P 2 P 6
    P P P

  21. martin-w says:

    In the right contract . Made 5S Can see how to make 6
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  22. peter49 says:

    Made 6NT.
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 1N
    P 2 P 3
    P 3 P 6N
    P P P

  23. 32dwemce says:

    made 4 spades, wd 6nt makers

    Bidding System: 5 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  24. pne2nw says:

    Made 12 tricks in 4S. double dummy Max tricks:
    C 9 by NS
    D 9 by NS
    H 10 by NS
    S 12 by NS
    NT 9 by NS
    Bidding System: 4 card majors, weak notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1
    P 1 P 2N
    P 3 P 3
    P 4 P P
    P

  25. davstevens says:

    Opened 1NT despite five heart. When partner transferred to spades I bid 3S to show at least three with a maximum and partner passed on me! Made only five because I saw more potential harm in taking the diamond Ace to take the finesse in spades. What should I do to make partner bid with his or her eight HCP and a singleton?
    Bidding System: 5 card majors, strong notrump, weak twos, transfers.
    Auction
    W N E S
    – P P 1N
    P 2 P 3
    P P P

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