To open or to pass?

So I’ll try to say it well.

Bob Munson runs the Men’s bridge game, which meets one Monday a month.  Non-sanctioned game, 8 men playing an individual movement.  Sometimes in Bob’s house, sometimes somewhere else.

The game is pretty high caliber–I was a sub for 4 years before I made the cut and got my varsity letter.  We play 4 boards with everyone, so sometimes the partnerships are longstanding like Bob and Danny or me and Mike, sometimes we are playing with a guy we rarely or never play with.  Considerable table talk is permitted to discuss systems, but the play and defense are serious as a heart attack.

Last Monday I had a hand I’m still musing about–let’s see what you think. I held, second seat, red vs white:





13 points.  I’ve been told since the first day I learned bridge to open 13 point hands.  Micky says I should open any 12 with a K.  Nancy Boyd want to open all 11’s.

So I held my nose and opened 1C, but I didn’t like it.  50 years ago Charles Goren said to subtract one for no Aces, but maybe he’d add one for the doubleton.

We discussed the hand afterwards, and Mr. Dr. Michlmayr, who regularly opens on air and hope, said he would pass it.

So what do you think?  Open or pass?  Leave a comment, I think this hand is interesting.

Oh yeah, I can breathe a bit now.   Still coughing a little, still don’t have much of a voice, but decidedly better.  Thanks for all the suggestions on how to get better–I’m sticking with Thera-Flu and bourbon.

7 thoughts on “To open or to pass?

  1. I’m a passer. I make that hand to be a good 11 count. We won’t miss game if partner can’t open, and I’d certainly be happy to defend with this.

    I’ll go as low as 12 on a balanced hand if have two quick tricks.

    • I use Bergen’s method as found in Slam Bidding Made Easier. This is the kind of hand that takes awhile to compute. His method would show…

      Subtract for “Adjust 3”, 6 Queens and Jacks without any Aces or tens so minus 2
      Add for the quality suit, KQJ9 so plus 1
      Subtract for the dubious honor, Q8 so minus 1

      13 HCP less 2 Bergen point adjustments = 11. With only 1 quick trick, I am passing this one!

  2. I would open.

    But, a long time ago in a land far away, Danny and I played K-S. This was a system that was totally focused on quick tricks for opening values. AK A, an 11 count, was a clear opener – 3 quicks. They posed the max hand that they would ‘not open’ – a 15 count with a K and the 8 quacks. You had this hand (except for lacking 2 of the jacks)!

  3. I would definitely open.

    This hand has easy rebids after any response by partner. After 1 spade response, I would bid 1NT although many might say 2 Spades with 3 card support and doubleton diamond queen.

    If partner has less than 11-12 HCP response, likely auction will end in 1NT, possibly with opponents balancing at 2 level.

    If partner has 11-12 HCP response, it is, of course, possible to get too high for minus score. Pay your money – take your chances…..

    • Yes, I would open while holding my breath. An open might get in the way of the opponents. Also, NT could work out ok with all the intermediates.

  4. I generally give a hand a demerit for no aces, a demerit for no distribution and a demerit for no aces. (I have other demerits too, such as a demerit for a 4card suit with 10 high card points)

    The demerit is a inexact value of between 1/2 & 1 full point.

    I wouldn’t open this hand. It doesn’t even have 10s to give some umph to the Js.

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