Quick summary

If you are balanced-ish, leave it in NT

If you are unbalanced, a part score from a minor match at a low level is the most likely outcome, but a game can sometimes be found in Hearts or NT.

Don't leave it in 1NT if very unbalanced.


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal
spade A K 5 4
heart Q J 10 3 2
diamond K 10
club J 2
Example Deal
You: South
Dealer: West
Vuln: all

Opening NT, with an unbalanced hand??
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«  0053  »

Unbalanced Openers rebid. Partner bid 1NT

Game in Spades most unlikely! NT ?

Your partner has nothing obvious to bid after your opening bid, but he has 6-9 HCP and needed to let you know that, so he bid 1NT.

If you're reasonably balanced, and have cover in the suits which your partner has in effect denied having, leave it at 1NT if there is no chance of game, as will generally be the case. If you're at the weak end of your promised 12-19 point range, you may in any case feel obliged to pass. If you're very unbalanced, or there's a big hole somewhere, put it back into a suit, because the opposition can be expected to exploit the hole !

If on the other hand you have 16-19 points, which can be expected in 25-30% of occasions, you should get quite excited because you may have 25 points between you:

  • If you're balanced and have the full 19 points, you'll probably put it into game with 3NT. If you're slightly short of 19 HCP, you'll probably bid 2NT, asking partner to raise to 3NT if he has the maximum from his promised 6-9 range.
  • It gets more difficult if you have an unbalanced hand. In principle you want to try to find a "game" fit in a Major or NT. So the two of you are going to have to use the remaining bidding space to search for a Major fit (a bit unlikely given the bidding), or try to convince yourselves that NT is safe. Trial bids and 4th suit forcing might both be helpful techniques to be aware of in this situation. However, a common and sensible if unexciting outcome will be a "part score" in a minor, i.e. 2 or 3diamond or club.



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