One-of-a-minor openings

The minor openings are the most frequent openings. Particularly, 1♣ is the most frequent, 1 the second. Therefore, it is important to learn the continuation of these openings.

The minor openings can be made from three kinds of hands:

  • Open the longer minor in a balanced hand with 12~14 or 18~19 H without a 5-card major.
  • Open the longest suit in an unbalanced hand with normal openings strength.
  • Open the longest suit in a 3-suiter or 5-4-3-1 with 2♣ strength where the 5-card suit is a minor. See also the dedicated section.

Opener probably has a 4-card major. Therefore, responder should always think about bidding the major first. A notrump or a support in minor always denies a biddable major.

Responses to 1♣

The 1NT response is always constructive because there is no suit below clubs. When 1NT acts as a dustbin, responder bids 1NT to show a suit below the opening. This is obviously not the case for 1♣.

1, 1, 1♠
6~16 points, 4+ cards.
1NT
Constructive 1NT, 7+~10 HCP, balanced.
2♣
6~10 points, 4+ support.
2, 2, 2♠
Strong jump shift, 17+ points, 4+ cards.
2NT
Invitation to 3NT, 10~11 HCP, balanced.
3♣
Limit raise, invite to 3NT or 5♣, 11~16 points, 5+ support.
3!, 3!, 3♠!
Splinter, 12~16 points, 0~1 card, 5+ support.
3NT
To play, 12~15 HCP, balanced.

Choice of new suit

  1. Choose the longest suit.
  2. To break a tie, bid the cheapest call for 4-4, the highest suit for 5-5 or above.
  3. Nevertheless, if responder cannot force to game, skip diamonds in 4-4.
♠KQ65 653 KJ86 ♣J9
Bid 1♠. Skip diamonds because you cannot force to game.
♠10983 9 KQJ103 ♣J72
Bid 1. Diamonds are longer than spades.
♠KQ93 72 AK73 ♣J63
Bid 1 because you can force to game.
♠KQ105 7643 J642 ♣10
Bid 1. Skip diamonds, and then 1 is the cheaper call.
♠Q974 A1062 AQ108 ♣7
Bid 1. No skipping for a game-forcing hand.

Simple raise

The 2♣ simple raise is not so simple.

For preemption, responder raises to 2♣ with 4+ clubs and no 4-card major in a non-constructive hand. This is the only case that 2♣ responder should has only 4 clubs.

For a constructive hand, responder always raises with 5+ clubs and an unbalanced distribution because constructive 1NT is preferred.

♠976 965 A109 ♣J1085
Bid 2♣. This hand is too weak for constructive 1NT.
♠QJ6 J5 J932 ♣J987
Bid 1. This hand is too weak for constructive 1NT.
♠964 104 AJ65 ♣A1094
Bid 1NT. The constructive 1NT is preferred over a minor suit.
♠53 K84 432 ♣KQ765
Bid 1NT. The constructive 1NT is preferred over a minor suit.
♠8 J43 Q762 ♣A6432
Bid 2♣. Make a constructive raise with unbalanced distribution.

Adjusted responses by a passed responder

Since responder has made a limit pass, which denies stength of opening, new-suit responses are no longer forcing.

Jump shifts from 2 on are fit-showing because responder gave up preemptive opening.

2
Weak jump shift, 8+ points, 6+ cards.
2!, 2♠!, 3!
Fit-showing, 11+ points, 5+ cards, 5+ support.

Responses to 1

1, 1♠
6~16 points, 4+ cards.
1NT
Dustbin 1NT, 6~10 HCP, without another suitable call.
2♣
2/1, 12+ points, 4+ cards.
2
6~10 points, 4+ support.
2, 2♠
Strong jump shift, 17+ points, 4+ cards.
2NT
Invitation to 3NT, 10~11 HCP, balanced.
3♣
Strong jump shift, 18+ points, 4+ cards.
3
Limit raise, invite to 3NT or 5, 11~16 points, 4+ support.
3!, 3♠!, 4♣!
Splinter, 12~16 points, 0~1 card, 5+ support.
3NT
To play, 12~15 HCP, balanced.

Choice of new suit

  1. Choose the longest suit.
  2. To break a tie, bid the cheapest call for 4-4, the highest suit for 5-5 or above.

Adjusted responses by a passed responder

2♣
Invitational, 11+ points, 5+ cards.
2!, 2♠!, 3♣!
Fit-showing, 11+ points, 5+ cards, 4+ support.

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