Preempts
February 14, 2017
Benjamin Acol
February 14, 2017

Rule of 20 in bridge

Rule of 20


The Rule of 20 in bridge is a simple way to decide whether or not to open the bidding.

  1. Count your high card points.
  2. Add to your points the length of your two longest suits.
  3. If the total equals 20 you have enough to open the bidding.

High card points

Ace = 4 points
King = 3 points
Queen = 2 points
Jack = 1 point

AQ765
KJ98
J76
4

This hand has 11 high card points

Longest suits

AQ765
KJ98
J76
4

5 spades + 4 hearts = 9 length points

Can you open the bidding?

AQ765
KJ98
J76
4

11 High card points would not normally be considered enough to open the bidding, but using the rule of 20 you add your points (11) and the length of your two longest suits (5+4) to give you a total of 20 points. Open 1.

The ‘Rule of 20’ is a helpful way to decide whether or not to open with a borderline hand. It takes distribution into account in a more accurate way than ‘adding points’ for length.

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