With a balanced 15-17 HCP and 5-card major, I will usually open 1M instead of (strong) 1NT. The traditional balanced HCP for bids are as follows:

  • 12-14 HCP: Rebid 1NT
  • 15-17 HCP: Open 1NT
  • 18-19 HCP: Rebid 2NT
  • 20-21 HCP: Open 2NT

No problem exists for having 5-3-3-2 shape with a 5-card minor, but with a 5-card major and 15-17 or 20-21 HCP, there is no suitable bid (I think) when responder bids a new suit. Should the ranges be more lenient after a 1M opening, such as

  • 12-15 HCP: Rebid NT at lowest level
  • 16-21 HCP: Jump rebid NT

or is there a better way to describe these types of hands?

2 Answers 2


Probably most experts these days open 1NT with a balanced hand with a 5 card major in their NT range (whatever that is). Many of them play conventions that allow their partner to ask if they have a 5-card major; probably the most common is for 3C to ask for a 5 card major, but some roll it into their 2C responses or use some other bid.

A few people still that 1H-1S-1N is a wide ranging bid, usually 12-bad17, and use a 2C artificial bid after the 1N to ask about strength and spade support. (Crowhurst, or variants of Roudi)

Some experts play Gazilli, where 1H-1S-2C (as well as 1H-1N-2C and 1S-1N-2C) is forcing and shows either clubs as a second suit or 16+ points, over which 2D is an artifical response showing game values opposite the 16+ option and everything else denies that strength. This eliminates the problem since 1H-1S-1N is now limited to 15.

Most somewhat advanced American players now play that 1M-2newsuit is game forcing, so there is never a need to jump to 3N at that point, though it's still useful to play 3N as a specific point range and 2N as other point ranges. (My preference is that 1M-2X-2M can include a balanced minimum, saving more bidding space.)

If you don't want to learn any of these (or come up with your own), you just have to lie as best as you can.

As usual, agree whatever you want to do with partner.


Assuming you are not playing 2/1-Game Forcing, you have the difficult rebid after

1M - 2m

There are a few way to solve this:

  • playing 2m forcing to 2NT and having the 2M as a (forcing) catchall including the weak NT
  • playing the 2NT rebid forcing (as you promise a 2card minor support you should be able to play 3m) either 12-14 or 18-19
  • playing the next "step" (2d after 2c, 2h after 2d) as a waiting bid with a minimum hand.
  • What about 1M-2m-4N with 18-19? Commented Jun 25, 2020 at 1:56

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