FIVE CARD MAJORS


  THE OPENING
The Dealer is the Opener. The Dealer could pass, bid a suit or No Trump. If he bids a suit or No Trump, then the Opener is the Opening Bidder and has made the Opening Bid. Seems logical!
        If the Opening Bidder passes, then it is his left hand opponent's turn to bid. In this case the Opening Bidder has not made the Opening Bid. Someone else at the table will have to make the Opening Bid. Could be a relative , friend or even a perfect stranger. If no one does (four passes), then life as well as Bridge continues. The Dealer collects the cards; the shuffle, cut and re-deal.
        To make an Opening Bid in one of a suit you must have a Total Point Count (TPC) of 13 - 20. Can you pass a hand with 13 points? Yes, if you have a hand without an Ace. But with 14 points you must open the bidding. Do not pass with 14 points.

MAJORS / MINORS
The Major suits are the two highest ones in the bidding order: Spades and Hearts. The Minor suits are the two lowest ones in the bidding order: Diamonds and Clubs. We will soon see that the Majors are truly the important suits in Bridge. Like baseball, in Bridge you want to play in the Majors, not the Minors. The salaries are greater.
       So it is crucial to find a Fit in the Majors. To make this easier someone suggested that when you open the bidding in 1of a Major, (1 S or 1 H), this should indicate that you have at least 5 cards in that suit. Then your partner will need only 3 cards to support you. (3 + 5 = 8 which is the Golden Fit.) This bidding system, known as Five Card Majors, is one of the cornerstones of Standard American Bidding (SAB). 


 
 
 
 
 


SPADES
HEARTS 
MAJORS
DIAMONDS
CLUBS 
MINORS


  FIVE CARD MAJORS
Up to now you have been allowed to open the bidding in one of a suit as long as that suit had a minimum of 4 cards. From now on, your opening bid will have to take into account not only the number of cards in a suit, but also whether the suit is a Major (Hearts or Spades) or a Minor (Clubs or Diamonds). 
        It will now be necessary to have a minimum of 5 cards in a Major suit to open the bidding in that suit. We will also see that it is sometimes necessary to open a Minor suit with only 3 cards in that suit. Let's now take a look at the rules of the system called Five Card Majors as outlined below.

 

OPENING BIDS - 1 OF A SUIT


  FIVE CARD MAJORS
w  You must have a 13 to  20 Total  Point  Count 
(TPC = HCP + DP) to open the bidding in 1 of a suit. If you have then. . . 

w  bid a 5 card Major (1 S or 1 H); that is a Major suit with 5 or more cards.

w  If you have two 5 card Majors open the bidding
1 Spade (1 S). This is the higher ranking suit on the bidding scale.

w  If no 5 card Major, bid your longest Minor (1 C or 1 D).

w  If the Minors are the same length (4 or 5 cards each), then open the bidding 1 Diamond (1 D). This is the higher ranking suit on the bidding scale.

w  If no 5 card Major and no 4 card Minor then bid a 3 card Minor.

w  With two 3 card Minors, (3 Clubs and 3 Diamonds), open 1 Club (1 C). The only exception to bidding the higher ranking suit on the bidding scale.

w  Never open a  2 card Minor or a 4 card Major.

 
SAB                 SAB

STANDARD AMERICAN BIDDING

 FIVE CARD MAJORS



 QUIZ 1
OPENING IN 1 OF A SUIT   

YOU ARE THE DEALER. WHAT IS YOUR OPENING BID?


   

1.
S  A Q 7 
H  K Q 8 6 2 
D  3 
C  J 8 7 4
 

6.
S  A Q 9 7 6 2 
H  K Q 3 
D  7 6 3 
C  4
 

11.
S  K J 9 4 
H  A Q 8 5 
D  Q 7 
C  J 8 6
   

2.

S  Q 9 8 6 2 
H  A K J 7 3 
D  J 5 
C  6
 

 7.

S  A Q 7 2 
H  A 9 8 
D  K 7 2 
C  9 8 4
 

12.

S  K J 9 4 
H  A Q 8 5 
D  Q 7 4 
C  J 8
   

3.

S  A K 8 
H  Q 9 6 2 
D  A 4 
C  6 4 3 2
 

 8.

S  9 
H  A 8 7 6 
D  K 9 4 3 
C  A Q 7 2
 

13.

S  6 2 
H  A J 8 
D  K 9 7 2 
C  A J 6 4
   

4.

S  9 
H  A J 9 7 2 
D  A Q J 8 4 
C  6 4
 

 9.

S  A Q 7 6 
H  Q 8 6 4 2 
D  3 
C  K Q 
 

14.

S  8 
H  A Q 10 4 
D   J 7 3 2 
C  K Q J 8 
   

5.

S  A J 9 
H  K Q 7 
D  J 8 4 3 
C  J 7 2
 

10.

S  A J 8 7 4 
H  4 
D  A Q 9 6 5 
C  7 2
 

15.
 

S  8 3 
H  A Q 10 4 2 
D   J 7 3 
C  K Q J 
 
SHDC
An opening bid of 1 of a suit is a Telling Bid. It tells S & S.
SHAPE & STRENGTH

ANSWERS to Quiz 1


 

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