“BALANCED” Hands (4333, 4432, 5332 shapes) :
- 12 - 14: open 1NT. 15 - 16: open 1 of a suit, rebid 1NT.
- 17 - 18: open 1 of a suit, rebid 2NT.
- 19 - 20: open 1 of a suit, rebid 3NT. 20 -22: open 2NT. 23+: open 2C, rebid 2NT.
- 6 - 10, 6 card suit: open 2D, 2H, or 2S. You CANNOT make a weak 2 bid in Clubs!
- 6 - 10, 7 card suit: open a pre-empt at the 3 level.
- Open 2NT (balanced 20 -22) or 2C (Unbalanced 21+ OR balanced 23+)
Will open 1 of a suit. But here the key is the REBID. Sherlock is very keen on the idea that before you make your opening bid you decide what your rebid is going to be. This will depend on your
assessment of your hand. Your hand will normally fall into one of two distinct ranges: 12 - 15 and 16 - 19. With the first you can only make a minimum rebid, but with the second point range you must make some kind of forcing or jump rebid.
Here are some examples of how different rebids tell different stories. Assume partner makes a 1-level response of some kind:
- OPEN: 1H, REBID: 2H. You show 5+ H's and 12 - 15
- OPEN: 1H, REBID: 3H. You show 6+ H's and 16 - 19
- OPEN: 1H, REBID: 2D. You show 5+ H's, 4+ D's and 12 - 15
- OPEN: 1H, REBID: 3D. You show 5+ H's, 4+ D's and 16 - 19
Don’t be shy – bid your hand. I know the opposition (sometimes, even your partner) will contrive to make it difficult for you to bid exactly what you want when you want. Nevertheless, Sherlock says you should have a very good idea of – IDEALLY – what your rebid will be.
The point is that by doing this you are forced to assess the value of your hand at the beginning of the auction, not two-thirds of the way through when you might by then have forgotten why you opened in the first place!
The other key factor is to listen carefully to the bids made by partner and the opposition to see if you can gather information about where certain key cards might be and how that affects the value of your hand. Remember the value of your hand may go down as well as up – just like your investments (hollow laugh…)