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One of the advantages of playing a “Weak Notrump” - whereby a 1NT opener shows 12-14 points - is that a partner who opens One of a Suit cannot have a minimum, balanced hand. Either he has extra points (15+) or a distributional hand with five(+) cards in the suit he opened (exceptionally a 4-4-4-1 shape).
The corollary is that if partner’s bidding implies he is minimum for his opening bid, you should assume he has at least five cards in the suit he opened.
♠ K 9 4 2
♥ 8 4 3
♦ K J 4
♣ Q 10 4
♠ A J 7
♥ K 10 7 6 2
♦ A 9
♣ 9 5 2
♠ 10 8 5 3
♥ A Q J
♦ 8 5 3 2
♣ 6 3
♠ Q 6
♥ 9 5
♦ Q 10 7 6
♣ A K J 8 7
|1 ♥||1 ♠||2 ♥||Pass|
The reason North felt safe in supporting his partner’s ♣s with only three cards was that South had passed over East’s 2♥ bid implying a minimum opener, and was thus almost certain to hold five ♣s.
West led ♥6 and the defence played three rounds of ♥s, declarer trumping the third. If he had drawn all the opposing trumps at this point he would have gone down - with only one trump remaining and two aces to dislodge. Instead he led ♠Q at trick 4. West won ♠A but, with dummy trumping ♥s, played a second ♠. Winning dummy’s ♠K, declarer drew all the trumps, then forced out ♦A. He made his contract - as would 2♥ by the opposition.
ANDREW’S TIP: Play a minimum opener to have five + cards in the suit opened. (Assuming a Weak Notrump is being played.)