The Rule of 20 is a guideline for deciding whether to open the bidding. It attempts to refine traditional high card point count by also taking suit length into consideration. The rule is pretty simple: add your high card points plus the number of cards in your two longest suits. If the total is 20 or more, then the hand is worth an opening bid.


Examples

S T8
H KT973
D 6
C AK865

10 HCP + 5 hearts + 5 clubs = 20. Open 1H in accordance with the Rule of 20.

S AQ9
H AJ63
D JT2
C 754

12 HCP + 4 hearts + 3 of any other suit = 19. Pass.


Origins

The Rule of 20 was popularized by American expert Marty Bergen in the 1990s.

See also

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