FOR ACOL BRIDGE PLAYERS
As a general rule – you will make an opening bid of 1NT if you hold a balanced hand (no void or singleton, only one doubleton) and have 12 – 14 high card points.
The Exception – A 5 Card Major Suit
Every good rule has an exception. If you have a 5 card major suit, then open the bidding with one of that suit.
Opening 1NT With A 5 Card Minor
But suppose you hold a 5 card minor suit instead of a 5 card major suit? Such as this example:
There is a 5 card suit, so you might be tempted to open the bidding with 1 Club. This might not be a good idea – 1 NT could be safer, but why?
If you open the bidding with 1 club, you give the opponents the opportunity to enter the auction cheeply by bidding at the 1 level.
Bid 1 NT. This doesn’t promise partner that you have stoppers in every suit – it simply tells partner that you have a balanced hand, 12 -14 points and you DON’T have a 5 card major suit.