Scottish Daily Mail
Playing Pairs, what would you open on each of these hands?
EITHER or both of the hands could be opened with 1Nt, according to the range you agree to play. Pairs select their preferred three point No trump range from as low as 10 and as high as 18 points, but the popular and normal range in Britain is 12-14.
the above hands are identical except for the ♠J and ♠Q; but the difference is enormous in terms of the bidding problem, which that extra point causes.
hand (a) is a fairly routine 1Nt opener, but (b) is just outside the agreed range for 1Nt, therefore must be opened with 1♣ (the lower of your two black suits).
the potential problem arises with your rebid after a red suit response from partner.
if Partner bids 2♣, you pass; if he bids 1♠, you raise to 2♠ . But what if he bids 1♦ or 1♥? Do you rebid 1♠ or 1Nt?
that’s a good question, and one which you need to discuss with partner. Both options are technically correct; however, you’re playing duplicate here, and i strongly recommend 1Nt, for reasons which we’ll discuss further tomorrow.
1Nt perfectly described hand (a) and now you have exactly the same distribution, but with 15 or 16 points.