"My wife and I play a version of best of minors that was questioned by a friend as "I never heard of such a thing." We open best of minors seeking a four card major, but by opening with one club we offer three clubs, maybe four, and expect a two club response by partner if she has five clubs, thus giving us eight or nine clubs altogether. Or, when we open one diamond we promise four diamonds, expecting a two diamond response from partner if she has four or five diamonds thus giving us eight or nine diamonds altogether.

Does this make sense, or are we out of touch? What should we tell our friend?

  • When do you open a major? What is the name of the system (if any)?
    – Aryabhata
    Apr 23 '14 at 0:17
  • 1
    You will be stuck if you have 2 clubs and 3 diamonds and 4-4 Majors and its outside of your no-trumps ranges. Then you'll have to cheat and either bid 1C or 1H. Apr 23 '14 at 12:31
  • This is part of the standard French system. Jun 19 '14 at 14:52

Your opening style seems fine, but responder should prefer to bid 1 heart or 1 spade holding four cards in the major to go along with support in your minor. That is, after you have opened 1C, partner should respond 1H holding


There are a number of reasons for this; perhaps the most important is that making ten tricks in a major-suit contract is almost always easier than make 11 tricks in a minor-suit contract when you have a 4-4 fit in the major and a 5-4 fit in the minor.


As @user2617804 mentioned, you may find yourself with the 4-4-3-2 hand, unable to open a 5-card major but also lacking 4 diamonds.

And similar to what @ruds said, especially at duplicate, you want the major suit part score (or NT) instead of a minor part score. Especially at match points!

Those are the reasons why you should prefer the 4-card major to showing support for a minor. That said, I have heard that "better minor" described as a regional thing, referring more to answering the question: What do you open (a non-1NT valued) with 4-3-3-3? 1C or 1D? West coast style (at least what I was taught) is that you ALWAYS open that 1C.

If you're say 3-2-4-4 for example you would open 1D. But some people look at the quality of the minors, when they have equal number of cards in each, to decide which to open. That's what I understand "better minor" to mean.

If you play a system where a 1C opener COULD potentially promise ONLY two clubs (that is, a bid of 1D ALWAYS promises 4+, so you would open a 4-4-3-2 hand 1C) the ACBL requires an Announcement "could be short" when pard opens 1C.

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