By "light," mean with something like (s) AKQJx (h)Jxx (d)xxx (c)xx, or (s) KQJTx (h)Jxx (d)Axx (c)xx, or even (s) AKQJT (h)xxx (d)xxx (c)xx?

I can think of two reasons. 1) I was taught that three or four honors in sequence is worth a point or so more than their nominal value, so e.g. AKQJx is worth 11, not 10, and KQJT is worth 7-8. Then AKQJT is worth about 12. If I make these adjustments, I have enough to open. And 2) the honors bonus will defray whatever penalty I incur.

Or am I "stretching" too far to open in most positions and vulnerabilities?

  • Experts only play Honours scoring in money games; against suckers. "If you don't know who the sucker in the games is; it's probably you." Don't twist your game around trying to adjust for this; collect it when you or partner hold it, concede it when the opponents hold it, and practice improving your defense and card-reading skills instead. – Forget I was ever here Dec 23 '15 at 6:03
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    @PieterGeerkens: The point of the question (as revised), is "Do the honors (including 1 T) signal that the holding is stronger than its nominal value? (That is, "10" is really worth 11?) In your other example, you convinced me that your "11 hcp" holding with tens and nines was actually worth 12. – Tom Au Dec 23 '15 at 15:34
  • Asking about Honours is just a red herring that obfuscates the real question on hand evaluation. – Forget I was ever here Dec 23 '15 at 22:52

As for me, I do not think about hand strength here. There are only 3 reasons to bid, and if you have 2 of them- you can bid: Constructive - to bid you best contract Destructive - create a problem for opponents Defense plan

Here you suggest very different hands. I'll answer about AKQJx -3-3-2, because KQJxx, Axx, Jxx xx is completely ok to open imho.

I don't like to open 1s with AKQJx. For several reasons. If you are going to win the bidding - you would probably choose NT or spades. So, if you finish in spades - you are definitely playing from the wrong side. May be it's impossible to reach spades from another, but who knows? If your partner supports spades, your J almost disappears. And you still have 8 losers. If you find NT- how many HCP you need to win the game? Something like 14-16 , otherwise you will not find 4 tricks, or opps will hit their suit faster. Of course, much less could be enough, with some lucky leads and distribution. But generally, your partner should hold strong NT.

For destruction I can open 2sp. This does not work very good, because of flat shape, but if I want to make a move...

For lead- you don't need to open. If opps bid 1nt-3nt - double. If they have lots of points- they will walk to 3nt if you pass.

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