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1NT opening

Sorry, i should have said - would you open 1NT with just 3 Aces i.e. 12 points


  • Same Answer. Yes. I would. Not sure why it is a problem. Better than, for example, KQ Qxx Jxxx Axxx.

  • Almost all bridge players use the point-count method for valuing hands where an ace is 4, king is 3, queen 2 and jack is 1. This is a good method, which has stood the test of time because it is simple enough to be practical and a good approximation to the value of these cards. But most experts would agree that the point-count method slightly under-values aces and aces tend to be worth fractionally more not less than the value assigned.

    I would judge that a 12-count, consisting of three aces is a "good" 12 and would have no qualms about treating the hand as falling within the 1NT range. Yes, the aces only provide three certain tricks, but they provide other less obvious benefits:
    - They help to promote the value of honour cards in partner's hand (imagine that partner holds KQX in a suit - this holding is worth a further two tricks if I hold the ace, but may only be worth one trick if RHO holds the ace).
    - They help to neutralised the opponent's honour cards. (If your ace is sitting over an opposing king, the ace is likely to render the king worthless).
    - They can help establish a suit to generate length winners . (If you hold AXXXX then it is likely that you will only need to lose the lead twice to establish the suit, If you hold 9XXXX then it will be difficult to establish the suit because you will likely need to lose the lead three times).

    Which hand do you prefer: (A) AXXX AXX AXX XXX or (B) QJXX QJX QJX QJX? They are both 12 points, but I would suggest that hand (A) is worth a 1NT (!2-14) opening, whereas hand (B) is not.

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