Newcomer & Novice #8: Orchestrating Notrump Contracts

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Do you look forward to bidding and playing a Notrump contract or do you fear Notrump enough to influence your bidding? Sure, we’ve all had an occasion of playing in a poor Notrump contact. Suits can split poorly, stoppers don’t always hold up, and declarer play can be challenging. Yet avoiding a makeable Notrump contract faces its own consequence.

In this issue, we will take a look at the basics of Notrump contracts: the hand shape, hand evaluation, opener rebidding considerations, and play fundamentals. Do you worry about a worthless doubleton? Are all honors created equal? Should you upgrade your hand with a five card minor suit?

The Rule of 5 provides a handy rule of thumb to consider in competitive auctions. The saying goes, “the five level belongs to the opponents.” Let’s consider the rationale behind this axiom and when your common judgment might prevail.

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