With a holding like AKQTxx in one suit, and no side honors, I could usually open with a "weak two." But suppose the suit were clubs. Then I can't open with two clubs because that is a much stronger bid. And suppose I don't believe in "preempting" with only a six card suit. Is this holding strong enough to open one club if I have limited distributional values with a 6-3-2-2 hand? (I would open one club with a 6-3-3-1 distribution?

Would the addition of a side jack (bringing to total hcps to 10) make a difference when one has a six card suit? How about AKQJx in a five card suit (no side honors), and a 5-3-3-2 distribution.

And how about AKQxxxx with no side honors? Here I only have nine hard card points, but I have two extra cards in the suit, and IMHO, each extra card is worth at least two points, bringing the total to 13. I've seen experts open with 11 points and a somewhat "random" hand. Here, I have only nine points, none of them "wasted" and highly concentrated values that could take seven tricks. If a major, all I need from partner is three extra tricks, that is about 10 points, and we can make game with about 19 hpcs because so many tricks come from my trump suit.

There are some modern experts like Barry Crane who will open with eleven hcps and a "good" suit. So how about 10 hcps and a "great" suit. Or nine hpcs and a "tremendous" suit?

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    So you open 1S with AKQxxxx x xx xxx and the auction proceeds 3H-Pass-Pass back to you? Partner very likely has a trap pass of 3H and expects a balancing Double from you, because you promised some (now non-existent) defense for your opening bid. Or maybe RHO isn't bidding because of a Spade stack, and can't raise LHO to game. Why are you insisting on trying to guess these situations at your first call rather than practicing simple sound bridge? Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 0:08
  • @ForgetIwaseverhere: YOU quoted Barry Crane as saying "Open any 11 point hand containing a king. With good distributional hands open lighter." boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/56266/… That includes 10 point hands with a suit of AKQxxx, and a side jack, and I was asking if this could be extended to nine point hands of AKQxxxx. Also, there was the issue of a 2 club bid being ruled out. Are you telling me that I must pass with AKQxxx of clubs as opposed to either 1 club or 3 clubs?
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 3:58
  • Are you playing Crane's (4 card Majors) system? Crane didn't just open light - he built an entire system around the concept of early entry and early exit, and deliberately sacrificed slam accuracy as the trade off. If that's not YOUR system, or not YOUR approach to the game; or even if you're simply not the best matchpoint player ever - perhaps be more realistic about your bidding. Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 5:41
  • @ForgetIwaseverhere: OK, I think Crane's four card trump suit system a bit extreme. But I like his idea of "deliberately sacrificing slam accuracy for early entry." In my question, my compensation for an inferior point count is a vastly superior trump suit and distribution. In the question cited in my last cooment, you moved me in that direction (philosophically) by advising me to "double [light] and be done with it," and pass all subsequent non forcing bids. I assume that there is merit to this kind of approach since you endorsed it.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 7:30
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    Just open 3C on 6 card suits. Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


If you have nine or ten points, and not a two level bid, you pass. Not every hand is biddable; AKQTxx clubs plus a jack somewhere is one of them. If you actually have a game, partner will be able to open; you also may well have a chance to bid after opponents open the bidding. Both of those actions will describe your hand adequately.

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