Open The Bidding at the 1 Level
3A.  Starting the bidding in Bridge
3B.  Opening bid – 1NT
3C. Opening bid – Major Suits

Responding to an Opening Bid At The 1 Level
4A.  Responding bids – Overview
4B.  Holding Openers Suit
4C.  When you don’t have Openers Suit
4D. Responding to 1NT with 0-9 points
4E.  Responding to 1NT with 10-12 points
4F. Responding to 1NT with 13+ points

Opening Bids at The 2 Level
5A. Opening the bidding with 23+ points
5B. Opening – 2NT
5C.  Opening Weak Two bids

Responding To Opening Bids at The 2 Level
6A. Responding to a 2C opening
6B. Responding to a Strong 2NT
6C.  Responding to a Weak 2 opening bid

The ‘Short Club’ in Bridge is also called the ‘preferred minor’ bid is used when you have opening hand points but you have no ability of making this suit into the trump suit. It is a waiting bid and tells partner you have opening points and only if you rebid the suit it a second time is it a real suit. This Bridge lesson builds on the opening bid skills you learned our Beginners Bridge Lessons.

How to bid if you only have 4 card majors using Standard American

In the SAYC (Standard American) bidding system if you do not have a five-card major suit and you have 13-14 HCP, there are no opening bids available for you. There is a bid which promises at least a 3 card suit, its called a”short” club opening bid ( and is referred to as a “preferred Minor suit opening” and you should only use this when you are in a position to start or ‘open’ the bidding.


You must have at least 3 club or diamond cards. If your minor suits are equal length, always bid the club suit – if clubs are shorter however then open the diamond suit. Partner will need to be aware that your Club or Diamond suit opening bid could be but may not be a “short suit”.

Preferred Minor Opening Bid

Opening 1♣ shows 13-21 points and 3+ clubs and possibly a 4 card Major suit. Opening 1♦ shows 13-22 points and 3+ diamonds (the club suit will be shorter than your diamonds) and hints at a 4 card Major suit.

  • If you have 13- 21 HCP
  • 4 or less cards in both your major suits
  • at least 3 club cards (with no upper limit on length)
  • your club suit is longer than your diamond suit
  • If you have 13- 21 HCP
  • 4 or less cards in both your major suits
  • at least 3 diamond cards (with no upper limit on length)
  • your diamond suit is longer than your club suit

Exercise: This is your hand and it is your turn to bid, what will you say?

  • ♠ K 9 7
  • ♥ A K J 2
  • ♦ K 8 7
  • ♣ 9 7 5

Answer: This hand is 1 heart card short to open 1♥ and 1 point less than needed to open 1NT. Your bid is 1♣. If you had 4-4-3-2 shape and the same HCP open your Diamond suit. Partner knows the club suit is 3+ cards

The above lesson is a short extract from the full lesson available to members.

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Inline glossary (hover over a bridge term to see the definition)
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Sample hand and guidance

Practice hand with guidance and hints.

Extra hand with hint and table of potential contracts to experiment with.


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