Opening bid – 1NT

If you bid No Trump you show that you have a balanced hand with no void, no singleton and at the most one doubleton

Suitable hands

To open 1NT you should try to ensure that you have some control in all suits by having an honor card in each. Notrump openings show a balanced hand and can be made with a five-card major suit or a five-card minor suit. You should also have an honor card of Queen or higher in all of the suits and your hand should not contain a void, a singleton or a worthless doubleton.

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Distribution of your hand can be in either of the three following patterns
5, 3, 3, 2
4, 3, 3, 3
4, 4, 3, 2
If your cards are in either of these three patterns your hand is called “balanced” or “flat”.
* If you have a 4 card major then your partner can use the Stayman Convention (2C) to discover them.          

Opening with a 1NT Bid· 15-17 HCP
· a balanced hand
· No more than 1 doubleton* (2 cards)
· Your hand may contain a 5 card major suit
· Your hand may contain a 5 card minor suit


A doubleton when in a NoTrump contract should contain an honor card with the rank of Queen or higher. If the doubleton has two cards neither of which is a Q or higher then it is referred to as a “worthless doubleton” because effectively there are no stoppers in that suit

Exercise: With the hand below, what would you open the bidding?

Your Hand

  • ♠ K 7 6 3
  • ♥ A 10 8 7
  • ♦ K Q 7
  • ♣ A 7

Answer: Open 1NT with this hand. With no 5 card Major suit you should show your 4-4-3-2 distribution and 16 HCP

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