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Lead us not into temptation





Not all black suited hands are created equal



The House normally wins when rolling the dice

Do you open the bidding in first seat with the following first seat?

A x   x x   x x   A J 10 x x x x

Most players would not open this 9 High Card Point hand in first or second seat.  The hand only contains 2 "quick tricks" and does not meet other modern criteria for an opening hand, such as the Rule of 20 - adding HCP to the length of the two longest suits (9 here).

From a practical standpoint, taken by itself the hand has little value except in the Club denomination.  Should one's partner bid other suits and eventually balance in Notrump, this hand has few entries to promote the Club suit.

If the black suits were reversed to:

A J 10 x x x x   x x   x x   A x

Aggressive players astutely note the Spade suit could be rebid several times, advising responder of the one-suited nature of the hand.  Still others might open 3S, bidding preemptively.  Yet with an outside Ace, most players shun the idea of preemptive 3 level opening bids (okay at the 2 level, though).

In summary, this is not the type of hand  to open 1C in first seat under normal circumstances, playing against opponents of the same caliber; playing against far superior opponents or looking for a "swing board" playing Duplicate, one might consider opening the hand 3C, forcing opponents to guess about their best game and giving your partner useful lead direction (should your Left Hand Opponent bid 3 Notrump).  But bidding this way is gambling and could backfire - partner could have a big hand, resulting in a missed slam.



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