02 December 2011

Would you open 5C?

I thought everyone would open at the 5 level with this hand but half the room didn't. Would you?

K T 8 7
J T 9 8 7 6 3 2

Butler pairs (IMPs scoring) and you're first to act at nil vul.

Who passed?

If you bid you're unlucky. The auction is passed round to RHO who doubles and LHO leaves it in. If they get the defence right (or you miss guess the play) you go -800 against a game.

During the same set there was another interesting decision:

A Q T 8 7 5 3
A 8
K 8 7

This time you're favourable and RHO opens a multi 2*.

You only have 13 highs but there's no useless values and a 7 card trump suit is worth a lot.

Imagine a "dummy" like:

x x
T x x x
J x x
J x x x

Often opposite this rather tragic sight you'll make 6 spades, a heart and a diamond, 8 tricks. That's about 3 tricks more than a more normal 15 count 5332 shape overcall. If partner has

T x x x
Q T x
J x x x x

You need to be in game. I antagonised briefly and bid 3.

Partner raised with J QJ3 AQ965 J864 and 10 tricks rolled home. I'm pretty sure I got lucky.

* Weak two in either major, 20 - 22 balanced or strong two in either minor.


  1. Four clubs for me. I want a purer pre-empt (better clubs) to open at the five-level otherwise partner has no hope of judging what to do when he holds the good hand.

  2. I bid 4C. We play that 5C is a makeable game opposite a bad 7 in partner's hand. If I bid 5C, I am apt to get raised to 6 when partner has the Ace of clubs and a decent side suit. Of course, partner's side suit will not be diamonds.

  3. Not much variation in the answers.
    I always find that if 5C shows a good suit my partner can accurately predict whether 3NT is the right spot.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. At nil vul and IMPs, 5C a bit much to ask - shit trumps. Your brother opened 5C in APBF pairs on 87/3/8/J98765432 at favourable. Piet tracked with K953/A65/AKQ72/T and started wildly redoubling but opponents reached 5HX -2. Full hand here (bd 28): http://www.2011apbf.com/OpenPairsF2.pdf