Every bid we make has two functions. There is the literal meaning–a wager to take a certain number of tricks, as well as the descriptive meaning–a message to partner about what cards you hold. When partner is a passed hand, the message you send to partner is less important, because partner is limited and will not get the auction too high. In these situations, it’s sometimes best to bend the rules about what you’re allowed to do. For instance, bidding 1NT with an unexciting 15 count is often a winning action if you’re playing ACOL. Try to do it as much as you can!