Is it against the rules to use your judgement as to whether to open two or three with a seven card suit? Instance was third seat opening with a seven card suit, two of the top five, and 8 points with distribution - not vulnerable. Playing with players that are very conservative in their bidding so opponents could easily had each held twelve points giving my partner a possible ten points if forth seat didn’t bid after my pre-empt. Help - Opponants said I was going against the rules and had to open three with a seven card suit. I can’t find any answer for this situation - unless it is obvious and you can never open two with a seven card suit.


You are, within certain constraints designed to prevent wholly destructive bidding systems, allowed to make any call that is:

  • any of a sufficient bid; a valid Double or Redouble; or Pass; and

  • not otherwise constrained by penalty under the Laws of Rubber Bridge consequent to a prior irregularity.

However your opponents are entitled to a full and complete description of the agreements and understandings between you and partner.

In particular, you are most definitely entitled to make a call based on your understanding of the opponents methods, in the context of the current auction. But if you make a habit of certain actions in common circumstances, such as a third hand opening following two passes as here, this must be added to the partnership agreements made known to the opponents.

Nothing you have stated in your post suggests to me that your opening bid is inappropriate. While not a call I would likely make myself, I see merit in your reasoning when playing against timid opponents.

It would seem that your opponents on this hand have conflated the rules of the announced bidding system (really just guidelines for improved play and partnership harmony) with the Laws of Rubber Bridge.

  • 1
    Thank you so much! You have answered my question! Since I posted my question, I found an excellent lesson on Preemptive Bidding on Richard Pavlicek’s website. Within the lesson is an example of Pre-empt Opening 2 with a seven card suit when vulnerable and an hcp of 8 and a hand valued at six tricks. It is explained how to value your hand for Playing Tricks and explains “In order to determine when and how high to preempt it is necessary to estimate how many tricks your hand will win if your long suit is trumps. “ – Diane M. Jan 26 at 0:16
  • My pleasure. Pavlicek's site is great; I'm glad you found it. P.S. You do know what the little grey check mark is for right? – Forget I was ever here Jan 26 at 0:17

In the convention card, me and my partner have, it states that 2 or 3 level can be preemptive with a 6+ cards and 4 level has to have at least a 7 card.

We do this so with a hand of e.g.


We can preempt (because this hand is nicer than a 6-3-2-2.

  • 2
    The question is explicitly about the Laws regarding such a bid - not about strategic concerns. Your example of a strategic concern thus fails to be an attempt at an answer to the question. – Forget I was ever here Aug 5 at 19:47

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