~Opening Preemptive Bids in a Minor Suit


 Preemptive Opening Bids

Here is a typical Preemptive hand in a minor suit:
S T5 H 7 D AKJ5432 C Q54

When you open three of a minor, you promise 8-10 HCP, a strong seven-card suit (two of the top 3 or three of the top honors in third seat)  and less than two quick tricks. The hand should not hold a void or a 4-card major. The bid tells partner that you have a long strong suit with very little outside strength. The bid also invites partner to bid 3NT holding 2+ cards in the long minor and stoppers in all the side suits. The bid is a try for 3NT if partner has the right cards with 5 of the minor also a possibility. Another purpose of the 3-level preemptive bid is to make it more difficult for the opponents to find their fit. The hand usually meets the requirements of the Rule of Twenty; there may be the possibility of opening at the 1-level.

Preempting in a major suit is a bit different. The high card strength may be less–generally 5-10 HCP and a 7-card suit; with unfavorable vulnerability, the hand and suit should be stronger. Again the hand should not contain two quick tricks, a void, or an outside 4-card major. The primary purpose of a 3H or 3S bid is to interfere with the opponents’ bidding. If partner has a good hand, game may be possible; but more likely in 4 of the major, not 3NT. A 3H or 3S bid is more preemptive than three of a minor, because there are fewer bids available at the 3-level.

Bidders may preempt as high as the partnership feels comfortable doing so, but preemptive bids at the four and five levels are common. These bids usually are made with an 8-card or longer suit.

Examples of minor suit preempts:
1. S –   H 53    D KQT87654    C J64
Only six losers and a good suit. In third seat, with favorable vulnerability, open 5D. With unfavorable vulnerability, 3D is sufficient. With equal vulnerability, bid 4D. Note: In first or second seat, partner may hold a good hand. Consider opening at 3D; 3NT may be your best contract. In fourth seat, pass.
2. S 4    H 76    D AKQJ432    C J54
Pass or bid 1C in first or second seat. Bid 3D in third and fourth seat.
3. S QJT876542    H 5    D 6    C K5
Bid 3S or 4S depending on vulnerability.


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