Common Pitfalls in Bidding
19 points including distribution. You still must start by bidding 1♠ as opening bidder. Some think that they would like to bid hearts first and then bid spades later, so that they can show a big hand by “reversing”. A reverse (when opener bids a new suit at the 2 level higher in rank than the suit they opened) always promises more cards in the first suit than in the second. It is true that you would be showing a 17 + point hand by bidding hearts first, but you would also be distorting the shape of the hand by promising more hearts than spades.
You must open with the higher ranking 1♠ even with this weak hand and better hearts. It is all about quantity, not quality. If you start with 1♥ and partner bids 2♦, now what?
You must open with 1♣. If you start with 1♦ (tempting) then what do you now bid when partner responds 2♣.
With 3-3 in minors, always open with 1♣. With 4-4 in minors, always open with 1♦.
Open with 1♦.
If you open with 1♣ and partner now bids either 1♥ or 1♠, you do not have a rebid. The rules of opening the bidding are all based on having a legal rebid later.
You are the dealer. What do you open? NOT 2♠. Your hand is way too good, even though you have the classic requirements that you have heard about: 6-10 HCP and a good quality 6 card suit. This hand adds up to 13 points including distribution or if you count points the other way i.e. length, you must use the rule of 20. (Add your HCP and the number of cards in your two longest suits. If this adds to 20 or more, open with one of a suit.) Either way you have a full opening bid. Start the bidding with 1♠.
Partner opens 1NT. Now what?
You must use Stayman. If you use a transfer, your ♥ suit will remain undisclosed forever.
Here is partner’s hand:
You transfer to spades (not knowing that you should always bid Stayman with 5-4 in the majors) and then when partner bids 2♠, you now bid 3NT. Your opponents take the first 5♣ tricks. You should be in the safe contract of 4♥.
Hope it all makes sense.