# Rule of 20

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

- Count your high card points.
- Add to your points the length of your two longest suits.
- 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.