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A minor opening question

#1 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 00:02

Hi there

I have been struggling a bit recently with choosing the right minor option in some situations. No idea if it is that my regular partner dislikes minors or I am doing things wrong

South dealer, all vulnerable MPs



My reasoning here was to reverse and I opened 1C - which sadly led to us being in an incorrect major contract - not the best minor fit
Others bid 1D first and found a minor fit

Was I totally off course trying to reverse. Any other way to show a nice 2-minor hand
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#2 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 00:34

While it's true reversing is a way to show strength, it also promises* that the first suit you bid is strictly longer than the second suit, so that partner will be able to work out what your best fit is. If you bid clubs first, your partner will almost always end up putting you in the wrong contract later on, giving preference to clubs or a major when they have diamond support.

Conversely, if you open 1 and get the expected 1 (or 1) response, you can rebid 2 on your next turn, with a general plan to rebid clubs again (though no trumps may come into the picture at some point) - this will tell partner that not only do you have 5 clubs, but also an extra diamond (otherwise you would have opened clubs after all).

It's true that a 2 rebid isn't forcing.. but partner also knows that you have a wide ranging hand, and will strive to keep the bidding open in case you're at the upper end. If they have an awful hand which will pass 2, then that's likely to be the best contract, so you haven't lost anything.

* some argue there are occasional 4-4 hands where it may be right to reverse. But never 5-5.
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#3 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 02:30

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-September-19, 00:34, said:

* some argue there are occasional 4-4 hands where it may be right to reverse. But never 5-5.


I agree with this in the minors, but with both majors and a huge hand I much prefer to bid 1-1N-2 then 3 than to bid 1-1N-3 then 4
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#4 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 03:36

The above hand is too HCP light for me to reverse so I open 1 with a view to bidding 3 (showing 55) as a follow-up given the hand's playing strength.
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#5 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 04:17

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-September-19, 03:36, said:

The above hand is too HCP light for me to reverse so I open 1 with a view to bidding 3 (showing 55) as a follow-up given the hand's playing strength.

It's worth noting that in the N/B forum where the assumption is always standard bidding, this would show *more* HCP than a reverse, and definitely isn't advisable on this hand. But I'm guessing you play something more advanced.
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#6 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 04:37

View Postsmerriman, on 2022-September-19, 04:17, said:

It's worth noting that in the N/B forum where the assumption is always standard bidding, this would show *more* HCP than a reverse, and definitely isn't advisable on this hand. But I'm guessing you play something more advanced.

I play something totally different now, but originally learnt, as here, to consider fast vs slow arrival so opening and rebidding 2 keeps the bidding lower so shows the stronger hand.
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#7 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 05:11

With unequal length, open the longest minor.
With equal length, the highest from 5-5 or 6-6, the lowest from 4-4 (and some people will advocate 1 on 4-4 with an unbalanced hand, good luck with that one).

Bidding 1 followed by 2 (over partner's 1-level answer) shows approximately 17+ with no real upper limit, may contain a good 16 at partnership discretion.
Bidding 1 followed by 3 (over partner's 1-level answer) show approximately 18+ with no real upper limit, tends to not include good 17's. For some partnerships this shows 19+ but may include good 18's.

On the auction 1-1X; 2 partner will realise that opener's bidding is very wide ranged - approximately 10-17, and should stretch to keep the auction going with 8+. For example, raising with 4-card clubs, rebidding a major with a 6-card suit or giving (false) preference with 2+ diamonds.
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#8 User is offline   bluenikki 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 05:52

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-September-19, 05:11, said:

With equal length, the highest from 5-5 or 6-6, the lowest from 4-4 (and some people will advocate 1 on 4-4 with an unbalanced hand, good luck with that one).


With 3=2=4=4, 18-19 and xx in the doubleton, opening 1 would force you to rebid 2NT after a 1. response. (Unless you were willing to promise a longer club suit.)
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#9 User is offline   LBengtsson 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 06:47

The one thing that not one has said here is that with a void in a suit, there is a little more probability for you to have a misfit with partner, and whilst you have two strong suits in the minors, the hands might not fit well. I am in the camp of bidding 1 followed by 2, not reversing here. With a good partner, and the opps not making intervening bids, he will realise that you have shape and points and are close to a reverse but cannot bid it.
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#10 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 08:32

I think this will cover most situations.

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 5-5 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2, pass a minimum (2, 2 of original major) response
inv - open 1, rebid 2, bid 3 over a minimum response
gf - open 1, rebid 3

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 5-4 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2, pass a minimum (2, 2 of original major) response
inv - open 1, rebid 2, bid 2NT/something else over a minimum response
gf - open 1, rebid 3

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4-5 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2/1NT
inv - open 1, rebid 2, respect partner's sign off
gf - open 1, rebid 2, do not respect partner's sign off

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4-4 minors, with (23) majors:
min - open whichever minor your system dictates (default 1), rebid NT
inv - open 1NT
gf - open whichever minor your system dictates (default 1), jump rebid NT

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4144:
min - open 1, rebid 1 over 1, pass a minimum (1NT, 2 response but be ready to upgrade the hand after a fit
inv - open 1, rebid 1 over 1, continue with 2NT unless partner shows a fit
gf - open 1, rebid 2 over 1

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 1444:
min - open 1, rebid 1NT/2 over 1
inv - open 1, rebid 2 over 1, continue with 2NT (Note: this is the most common shape for faking a reverse, so opening 1m and rebidding 2 can also de considered an option for inv and gf hands)
gf - open 1, rebid 2NT/3 over 1
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#11 User is online   DavidKok 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 10:32

View Postbluenikki, on 2022-September-19, 05:52, said:

With 3=2=4=4, 18-19 and xx in the doubleton, opening 1 would force you to rebid 2NT after a 1. response. (Unless you were willing to promise a longer club suit.)
Sign me up, that sounds good. I get to show my shape and my strength.
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#12 User is offline   thepossum 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 17:56

Thx for all the comments
Partner had weak major dominated hand with a good fit in diamonds which was missed. 2 or 3D part score
If I had opened 1D opps competed in clubs

A few people forced too much or overestimated their nice hand and ended in game minus
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#13 User is offline   bluenikki 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 19:22

View PostDavidKok, on 2022-September-19, 10:32, said:

Sign me up, that sounds good. I get to show my shape and my strength.

If you mean you want to gut out the xx, that will often have you down 1 in 2NT. Not to mention missing slam in whatever minor you didn't open.
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#14 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 20:14

View Postthepossum, on 2022-September-19, 00:02, said:

Hi there

I have been struggling a bit recently with choosing the right minor option in some situations. No idea if it is that my regular partner dislikes minors or I am doing things wrong

South dealer, all vulnerable MPs



My reasoning here was to reverse and I opened 1C - which sadly led to us being in an incorrect major contract - not the best minor fit
Others bid 1D first and found a minor fit

Was I totally off course trying to reverse. Any other way to show a nice 2-minor hand

Yes

Classic novice thinking. ĎI have a strong hand. Reverses show strong hands. Therefore I reverseí

No

No, no, no.

When you open 1C, every time thereafter that you bid diamonds, you are showing ever longer clubsÖyour clubs are ALWAYS longer.

Besides, another novice level mistake, this isnít that good a hand. Yes, itís a nice hand, and if you had the majors, Iíd say it was a very good hand. But you need to take 11 tricks to make a minor suit contract. If thatís available, correct bidding should let you find itÖand to find the best minorÖif you open 1D.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#15 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 20:16

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-September-19, 04:37, said:

I play something totally different now, but originally learnt, as here, to consider fast vs slow arrival so opening and rebidding 2 keeps the bidding lower so shows the stronger hand.

Then make a mental note that whoever taught you that notion doesnít understand the game.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#16 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 20:24

View PostGilithin, on 2022-September-19, 08:32, said:

I think this will cover most situations.

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 5-5 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2, pass a minimum (2, 2 of original major) response
inv - open 1, rebid 2, bid 3 over a minimum response
gf - open 1, rebid 3

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 5-4 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2, pass a minimum (2, 2 of original major) response
inv - open 1, rebid 2, bid 2NT/something else over a minimum response
gf - open 1, rebid 3

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4-5 minors:
min - open 1, rebid 2/1NT
inv - open 1, rebid 2, respect partner's sign off
gf - open 1, rebid 2, do not respect partner's sign off

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4-4 minors, with (23) majors:
min - open whichever minor your system dictates (default 1), rebid NT
inv - open 1NT
gf - open whichever minor your system dictates (default 1), jump rebid NT

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 4144:
min - open 1, rebid 1 over 1, pass a minimum (1NT, 2 response but be ready to upgrade the hand after a fit
inv - open 1, rebid 1 over 1, continue with 2NT unless partner shows a fit
gf - open 1, rebid 2 over 1

Simplified Bidding Ladder for 1444:
min - open 1, rebid 1NT/2 over 1
inv - open 1, rebid 2 over 1, continue with 2NT (Note: this is the most common shape for faking a reverse, so opening 1m and rebidding 2 can also de considered an option for inv and gf hands)
gf - open 1, rebid 2NT/3 over 1

Granted that you are proposing a simplified approach, the only quibble I have is 4=5 minors, minimum range

Iím a big fan of opening 1C even playing a standard type of method, which I donít do in my regular partnerships. However, say you have Jx Qx AKQx Jxxxx

1C (1S) x (P) ?

2C? Ugh

1N? Double ugh

2D? Triple ugh (I donít play that as a full reverse but I do play, and think itís common to play, this as slight extras.

So if but only if I can anticipate a normal auction creating a nightmare and my diamonds are very strong and my clubs very weak, Iíll open 1D

Many experienced players will open 1D even more readily.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#17 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-September-19, 23:39

View Postmikeh, on 2022-September-19, 20:16, said:

Then make a mental note that whoever taught you that notion doesnít understand the game.

I play something similar in the Majors which you have disparaged before. Perhaps you don't understand the value of being able to show a hand that has strong playing stength, but is more likely pass/correct given the light hcp versus one that has a higher probability of playing in 3NT.
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#18 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2022-September-20, 00:36

View Postmw64ahw, on 2022-September-19, 23:39, said:

I play something similar in the Majors which you have disparaged before. Perhaps you don't understand the value of being able to show a hand that has strong playing stength, but is more likely pass/correct given the light hcp versus one that has a higher probability of playing in 3NT.

I bow to your far deeper understanding of the game
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#19 User is offline   mw64ahw 

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Posted 2022-September-20, 01:07

View Postmikeh, on 2022-September-20, 00:36, said:

I bow to your far deeper understanding of the game

Gained from those as qualified as you!
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#20 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-September-20, 08:15

View Postmikeh, on 2022-September-19, 20:24, said:

Iím a big fan of opening 1C even playing a standard type of method, which I donít do in my regular partnerships. However, say you have Jx Qx AKQx Jxxxx

So if but only if I can anticipate a normal auction creating a nightmare and my diamonds are very strong and my clubs very weak, Iíll open 1D
Many experienced players will open 1D even more readily.

I agree with this completely but my experience has been that if you teach it to beginners too early, they end up abusing the idea and overuse it. "When to break the rules" is a lesson I think best saved for upper intermediate level players. You have to know the rules first before you can work out whether your current hand is better off doing something different.
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