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How open 5-major + 6-minor?

#1 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 14:01

Which suit do you generally open, when you have opening strength with 5-card major + 6-card minor?
The major, or the minor?

Does it matter how strong the hand is?

Does it matter if MP or IMP?

Does it matter in which seat you open?

I'd be interested to have some input/discussion around this....

EDIT:
And -- by the way -- what about 5 spades + 6 hearts?
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#2 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 14:04

It certainly matters how strong the hand is: if it's strong enough to reverse I'd always open the minor. Otherwise I'd be more inclined to open the major if it were heart & diamonds than any other major-minor combination.
Gordon Rainsford
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#3 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 14:49

All the considerations matter a LOT.

MP's, 5 card majors rule over 6 card minors and 5-6 in the majors will often face competition that makes it too tough to bid spades twice, or even a good idea based on general strength.

Seat, suit quality etc. I lean to the 5-card suit and treat most of them as 5-5's, hoping for the best unless I can anticipate a free run auction but 55%-45% success rate is all I aim for. Most of the time you treat them as 5-5's or 4-6's depending on how you feel the auction will unfold.
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#4 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 15:43

I mostly open 1 M. But my main criteria is playing strength rather than reverse values.

Kx AJxxx AJxxxx void I open 1

x AKxxx KQJTxx x I open 1
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#5 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 16:31

Almost always open my long suit unless weak with H + D and the hearts are good.
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#6 User is offline   Stefan_O 

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Posted 2016-June-26, 16:44

View Postggwhiz, on 2016-June-26, 14:49, said:

Most of the time you treat them as 5-5's or 4-6's depending on how you feel the auction will unfold.



Interesting.
What are the criteria that guide your feeling?
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#7 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 00:33

Almost always open the longer suit. This is actually a "rule" in my bidding notes, but we have been known to deviate occasionally.

The few exceptions are typically based on suit quality and ODR.

Having read the above comments, I now realise that hands with + may be best suited for such deviations from my "rule".
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#8 User is offline   mathboy 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 01:09

Always 1m.
When you have a powerless hand,rebid 2m,or rebid 1M if you are lucky.If you are strong enough,you can make a reverse bid.
Do not worry of missing a major fit .If so,it must be a part contract.
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#9 User is offline   mathboy 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 01:18

To solve the problem,I suggest you to learn WALSH.
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#10 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 01:42

Although it is usual to open the bidding with the higher ranking suit In a hand of normal ( non-reversible) strength there are more other aspects like a convenient rebid,the high card strength of each of the two suits,,the number of losers in the two suits,the total losers in the hand,presence of voids and/or singletons,wasted honors outside the two suits ,the first /second round controls etc deserve to be considered before choosing whether to open the bidding in a six card minor or the five card major.The way the auction may develop has also to be considered.It is not as simple as it appears.
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#11 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 01:54

Always the major. Helps a lot when you compete with a 6-4 on other hands.
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#12 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 01:57

I know some top Italian pairs jump reverse to show 5-6 shape on hands not strong enough for a normal reverse.
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#13 User is offline   fromageGB 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 04:47

Always open 1M unless strong enough for a 2 open (and you have a subsequent way to describe a 2-suiter). There is no problem in showing your minor after interference or not, and no problem showing strength if you have a strong hand. Provided you have this understanding with partner, bidding and repeating the minor (if it goes that way) does not imply 6 of the major.
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#14 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 05:26

For me it comes down to whether I am prepared to show the major if the opps barrage on the first round. That means that I am much very likely to open the major with hearts and somewhat less likely with spades. I think it is best when holding extreme shape to think first about the effects of interference and working from there. If they do not come in we will probably be ok regardless of which suit we open; if they do bid then we want to make sure we have at least gotten the major into the auction.

Oh yes, and I recommend moving this either to the I/A forum or to Natural Bidding.
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#15 User is offline   notproven 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 08:21

One way (non-standard) to treat these hands is to open 1m, then jump in the major. It promises shape only. With 17+ points, reverse normally. Your point count can therefore be 9 to 16 (use Rule of 20), you get your suits in, and you jam the opponents' auction.

Lacking that it becomes a matter of partnership style whether to open the minor or major. At IMPS I strongly prefer to open the minor, as minor suit games are more in play than at matchpoints. I would then repeat the minor, unless the bidding allows me to introduce the major without promising extras (e.g. 1, 1, X, pass, 1/).
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#16 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 09:21

View PostStefan_O, on 2016-June-26, 16:44, said:

Interesting.
What are the criteria that guide your feeling?


First off my losses in this style are almost always partscore swings and gains are game swings often enough to show a profit imo. The jackpot is a pre-emptive (or any other) 4 card raise of your 5 bagger by partner that isn't happening in your 6 card minor even if partner has 4 of them. Our card has 4 card raises of a major for all point ranges in a free run and for weak and mixed raises (7- poor 10) in competition so they happen fairly often

Suit quality in the 5 card suit probably comes first. If my minor is good quality I want say KJTxx as a minimum

Short spades R v W where competition from them may bury a 5-3 heart fit

Minimum openings that feel like 10 trick games are more likely than 11 and occasionally partner wanders into 3nt where my 6 bagger is a secret weapon

State of the match

Whatever the little birdy tells me

An understanding partner who allowed me to experiment until I made better choices
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#17 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 09:39

View Postmathboy, on 2016-June-27, 01:18, said:

To solve the problem,I suggest you to learn WALSH.

It would be an extreme version of Walsh that involved responding in a THREE card major in preference to a five card minor!
Gordon Rainsford
London UK
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#18 User is offline   jeananne25 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 19:06

View Postgordontd, on 2016-June-26, 14:04, said:

It certainly matters how strong the hand is: if it's strong enough to reverse I'd always open the minor. Otherwise I'd be more inclined to open the major if it were heart & diamonds than any other major-minor combination.

Agreed 100%
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#19 User is offline   malafaya 

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Posted 2016-June-27, 23:41

Without reverse strength i will always open the highest rank major with one exception: 6 5, i open 1. There is even a case for opening 1 with 5 5.
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#20 User is offline   shiang 

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Posted 2017-February-19, 21:40

Here's my general guidelines:

*note, with extremely distributional hands losing trick count tends to work better than counting HCP. Points in the short suits should be HEAVILY discounted, non-A's should generally be ignored*

I would value
QJ109x x AKJ10xx x

higher than
KJxxx K AKxxxx K

While the first hand has only 11 HCP and the 2nd hand has 17 HCP. The first hand is much better suited for offense with the good spots, allowing you to play opposite shortness in partner's hand and little wasted value and no defense.
The 2nd hand is much better for defense. Note the stiff K's are most likely worthless on offense while it may be worth almost half a trick on defense (should they chose to finesse the Q) I would value the K's not only as 0 but -1 HCP.

So now the 2nd hand is really only 10 pts and the first hand should be upgraded a by at least 1 point if not 2 for the good 109 spade spots and the J10 in diamonds making it 12-13. Note these are evaluations for KEY HCP's not total points. I'd say the first hand is worth 20+ pts should a fit be found, as with just Kxx of spades from partner 4s is a favorite to make.

For playing strength on offense the two hand are roughly equal, with the first still favored but since the 2nd hand defends better than the first hand I would bid the 2nd hand LESS competitively than the first and be more keen to let them play or sit for partner's double.



General guidelines for opening minor vs major.

-If I have a good 6c minor and a 5c major I open a minor (aka the minor must be good KQ10xxx or better and At least as good as the major):

Q5432 x AKJ10xx x (yes this is only 10 HCP but with only 6 or so losers and the understanding when I bid minor, major, major I may have a lot fewer HCP I'm wining to start with a fake reverse)

KQ109x x AKJ10xx x (this hand I would probably open 2c, even though it's only 13 HCP it has only about 3 1/2 losers. My plan is to hopefully first bid 3d then get the chance to bid spades twice. If the auction gets competitive I'll compete up to 5d generally unless the auction warns me that is not a good idea). The main concern here is not that my partner has no points but a complete misfit with a similar hand in hearts and clubs, xxxx xxx xxx xxx makes 4s an excellent proposition with I'd say a 50-50 chance to make off of just 13 HCP between both hands, when it goes down the opponents probably have a good shot at making slam. The nightmare hand would be x KQxxx x KQJxxx. This style is certainly not for most people, but my motto is "live by the sward die by the sward". With a new partner and without good planning I'd recommend opening this 1d then keep bidding spades until you hit 4s (unless your partner supports one of your early then consider bidding some more)


-If I have a bad 6c minor and a good 5c major I will open the major.

AKJ10x x Q10xxxx x (when it fells like you'll almost always be playing in 4 of the major instead of 5 of the minor then get it in the picture first and try to bid the minor twice, this hand isn't 2 far from a AKJ10x - KQxxx xxx which you'd surely open 1s)

-The more wasted value I have in the short suits the more I'm inclined to open the major so I won't feign strength with a reverse and allowing the opponents to buy their contact at a lower level. The more spots I have and honors in my long suits the more I'm inclined to open the minor

QJxxx K QJxxxx K I'm more likely to open 1s and bid diamonds twice

KQ109x x KQ109xx x I will open 1d then reverse and re-bid spades.


This may or may not be right but It's generally how I bid. Hope it's of some use.
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