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Short club bid

A question today for those playing Standard, with 5-card major openings. This question is from Royal member @IMPatti - thank you, Patti!

Short club bid in Bridge

What do you open?

You're too strong to open 1NT and don't have a 5 card major. So you have to open your longest minor, so 1♣ is your best bid.

Those playing Acol won't face this dilemma. Did you choose the correct bid? After you answer the poll, watch Graeme and Bajir discuss this question. Then play the hand.

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Especially for the beginners and the learners reading this, please leave a comment to let us know if this makes sense. This club is full of people learning (and re-learning) the game. Don't be shy! We'd love to hear from you.


Normamgm says:
I opened 1nt, played in 3nt and made 10 tricks with a club lead .
Delta says:
Made ten setup first
jorj41 says:
All these hands become so simple when you adopt the philosophy that 1C, alone among the one-bids, is a two-way bid. It shows a hand based upon a club suit, or a balanced hand outside the range for the 1NT opening. It follows that a 1D bid will always show diamonds as the longest or equal longest suit. 1D will show five cards unless specifically 4441. It is so much easier to unravel the exact shape of a balanced hand when the bidding begins with 1C, as against 1D. A club fit will not be lost, as it well might be with say 2236 and 6 points, opposite a 1D opener. 1C-1NT shows 3334, 1D-1NT could be almost anything, a 7+ card (club) suit or a void somewhere, or both.
jlpurdie says:
Usually play 4 card majors but have decided that I need to extend my knowledge. Opened 1 club as unless partner has an absolutely useless hand gives room for them to bid so that my next bid could be 2NT showing 18-19 points and balanced hand. Made 10.
daisy08 says:
I opened 1C, played in 3NT and made 11 tricks!
JBrown says:
I enjoyed the hand, played in 3nts and made 9. I would have loved to see a video of Graeme playing the hand.
JBrown says:
Silly me, just saw the video. Thank you!
playing 5 card majors would you take a chance a call 4 hearts? I called 1NT
senorita says:
I play that 1NT bid promises 15-17 HCP. That is on my convention card. If you play 16-18 make sure that is on your convention card. Don't wait until you see that hand to decide which point count you'll use.
colinjohn says:
I changed my settings to strong NT from weak so I could play the hand but it resolutely came up with a 1H opening hint. I exited with the new settings and came back into the game but 1H was there again.
colinjohn says:
Thanks - that worked
I play Acol, so there was no problem for me. I opened 1H and then to 3NT. Easy 10tricks made
Elfe says:
Opening 1Club,answer 1Diamond,then jump into 2Nt,answer with 3 NT
Peony123 says:
What a great lesson I would never have opened 1club. I always open 5 card majors and now I won’t feel so lost when I get a hand like that,thanks
CAF says:
I opened with 1H, Partner went 1NT so I bid 3NT .... similar to Joan but we achieved 11 tricks.
Tribeca12 says:
This has been a big issue of debate recently with 18 & 19 points. Some players have been using 2C to show 18 to 19 points and not using 2C as 23plus points. Instead maybe using 2Dimonds. I have been trying to figure what is the advantage of bidding 2C for 18 to 19 points.
Tribeca12 says:
This has been a big issue of debate recently with 18 & 19 points. Some players have been using 2C to show 18 to 19 points and not using 2C as 23plus points. Instead maybe using 2Dimonds. I have been trying to figure what is the advantage of bidding 2C for 18 to 19 points.
suzicoo says:
Iwent clubs then told my partner about my hearts finished with 3nt made 9. I did toss up with the 18/19 2nt. Thanks again for all your handy tips.
Bid 1 C partner responded 1 D, I showed by 4 hearts, partner bid 1 NT, went straight to 3 NT, very satisfactory contract
Balanced hand and partner might have nothing, so stretched my rules to some of common sense. 1NT and went to 3NT making 10
I'd be interested in seeing what the overall % were for each. Is there a wrong or a right bid?
Gunna says:
1C showing I have an opening hand and no 5-card suit. I may have 5 C but that will be seen with next bid.
MrsH says:
I opened 1♣, partner showed s, I bid 1, then partner showed limited points with 1NT so of course I jumped to 3NT, making 11.
In real life, my partner and I play the short club a little differently....it may be as few as 2 ♣s. A 1 opening promises at least 4s. Partner is expected to bid if Opponents pass and will try to mention a major suit with at least 4 cards, looking for a fit.
I am more familiar with the term "convenient minor" or "better minor" when opening what could be a 3 card suit in 4-4-2-3 or 4-4-3-2 and 4-4-4-1 or 4-4-1-4.
Piebajar says:
opening hand, no maior suit of five, no for diamond I open 1 club
Marilyn says:
Played in no trump It was not a problem but play better minor when opening
loulla says:
This hand is too strong for opening 1nt. I opened 1heart with partner saying q1nt. With a spade lead opponent cashed both his aces . When I got the lead with the ace of hearts it became easy to make 10 playing 3 nt. Good practice hand.
SallyFish says:
Question? Is 1 club a demand bid to partner (responder)?
veste says:
Open 1H them go to 3 NT, made 9 tricks.
Megs says:
Graeme, I have missed you and Bajir and Tina I must have been dropped off your email list. On this hand I bid 1 NT although I hear now that 18 pts is too strong. My partner and I have always played 15-18 with responses at 2 level for 15-16 and at 3 level for 17-18 points. I made 10 tricks.
HappyBug says:
Made complete sense to me and I surprised myself with a great result upon playing the hand.
shirley says:
Yay it seems like I'm back on your mailing list - thank you, love it!
jlmeyers says:
I learned 5 card majors and also short club opener for this type of hand. I can definitely relate to the person who said they then hope that partner doesn't pass.
opened 1♣ made 11
Fionallt says:
A few players in our club will use 1C to denote an opening hand but the absence of a five card major. However they will also use the ALERT card when doing this. You don't mention this in the video, but I presume that would be expected.
suzicoo says:
Just watched the video. I would have played 1club but my next would have been 2nt showing I have 18/19 points.Am I on the right track @graeme @Bajir
I thought not strong enough to open 1 NT
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