Rule of Twenty

This is more of a quibble about Book One than any intent for a discussion.
Whenever I teach Rule of Twenty I always stress that the notes in Book One are slightly misleading. I say that you can or could consider opening on the rule, but you must be prepared for ANY response by your partner. Don't open under the rule if you would have to rebid a very poor suit, eg if you held:
A 9
K J 7 4
J 6
Q 8 5 4 3
What would you do, having opened 1C if Partner responds 1S or worse still - 1NT?
Change this to:
A 9
Q J 5 4 3
K J 7 4
8 6
This is worth opening as you have an easy rebid, whatever your partner does.
The examples and text at the bottom of p31 are fine (especially as all the hands have Aces and Kings!) but the need for a valid rebid should be stressed. I'm probably just fretting over the use of the word "worth" in the text - implying actually doing it as long as the rule is satisfied. I don't think it's that simple.

On the same subject, at the Teachers Conference, I bought a copy of the new EBED flippers and note that on the page on "Opening 1 of a Suit" it implies only using the Rule of Twenty with 11 HCPs. Is this a deliberate change of intent? Will the new Book One drop using it with 10 HCPs?



  • Surely the examples of "rule of 20" in the book are all hands with a sound rebid.
    That is what we use to teach.

    There are millions if hands where even experts will disagree over the correct opening bid. So simply stick to the course hands.

    We are teaching absolute beginners so introducing hands that meet the "rule of 20" but that should be passed because the hand has no sound rebid is just too confusing and too much to take on board.

    How many club players open the hand first then realise there is no sound rebid. Just avoid such hands.

    My mantra "Teach them what they need to know. Don't teach them everything you know"
  • Nice mantra!

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