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The difference between 4-4 and 5-5 in the Majors

When you are 5-5 you will bid both your suits. It pays to open 1so you can next bid 2. That is more economical than opening 1 and rebidding 2 (you’ll never be able to bid 1 after opening 1 because the bidding will have gone past that point).

 Say responder has a weakish “dustbin” 1NT response with three cards in the suit you bid first and two cards in your second suit. Contrast these two routes:

  • a)    1 -  1NT - 2
  • b)    1 - 1NT - 2

In (a), responder has to go to the Three-level to give a preference back to the first suit, 3.
In (b), responder can give a preference back to the first suit at the Two-level. 2

When you are 4
-4, you are not planning to bid both your suits. You’ll bid one, then rebid Notrumps (I’m assuming you’re 15-19, for with 12-14 and 4-4, you’ll open 1NT ). It’s better to open 1, because that gives partner the easy opportunity to introduce spades at the One-level. If partner doesn’t respond 1, you’ll presume he doesn’t have four of them and rebid Notrumps. Mistakenly open 1 and partner may lack the strength to respond 2. A heart fit might go a begging.

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