Lesson 8 -- Opening Bids above 2NT

3 of a Suit

Opening 3 of a suit typically shows a 7 card suit and 7-10HCP . Opening 3 of a suit is pre-emptive meaning that you don't really expect to make your contract (without support from partner); but you keep your opponents out of a good contract. It can be very difficult to get into the auction at the 3 level.

When opening 3 of a suit, you should try to make sure that most of your points are in the suit bid. The rule of weak two suit quality (2 out of the top 3 honors, 3 out of the top 5) will serve you well. Also, you really shouldn't have an ace or king in another suit. The reason is that partner is expecting a hand that has no defense, and an outside A/K is a pretty good defensive trick.

Because 2C is a strong, forcing bid, 3C might be made on a good 6 card suit.

The Rule of 2 and 3

The Rule of 2 and 3 is a rule used to determine whether or not you should open with a pre-empt. The rule states You should be within 2 tricks of your contract vulnerable and 3 tricks non-vulnerable. So, if you open 3 Diamonds, you should be able to take 7 tricks (if diamonds are trump) when vulnerable. Ideally, those 7 tricks would be the AKQJT98 of diamonds and nothing else. If you aren't vulnerable, then you only need 6 tricks, such as KQJT987 of diamonds.

Opening 4 of a suit or higher

The opening of 4 of a suit or higher is usually preemptive with extra trumps (following the rule of 2 and 3). Although sometimes near openers (10-13) HCP open a game bid because they are afraid of being passed if they open 1 of a suit.

NT Openings

Standard 3NT opening is merely showing a large number of points. 24-25. (You can also go through 2C with different point ranges and lots of points). 4NT is Blackwood, used to check on aces.

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