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What should I announce?

My partner and I gave just agreed (as a trial) to open 4441 hands with a singleton club and 12-14 points with 1NT. All other 1NT opening hands are standard 12=14 balanced. It seems to me that the fact that the singleton (if there is one) can only be in clubs is relevant information.

Should we announce it as :
"12-14, may contain a singleton" (as per BB 4E1)
"12-14, may contain a singleton club"
"12-14, may contain a singleton, further information is available" (or some such)
or something else?

The second seems most sensible, but I believe the Blue Book is quite prescriptive in how an announcement should be made.


  • I would go with "12-14, may contain a singleton club"

    I fail to see any damage to the ops from saying that - whereas "may contain a singleton" sounds as though the singleton could be any suit and does not seem complete enough to me.

    I am not sure of the legality of that, but I am sure about the morality of it :)

  • I think you should say the second. Although the Blue Book does seem rather prescriptive about this, in a different context it says:

    "The announcement may be altered in line with the partnership understanding, for example
    “May be two with five diamonds”. Both members of the partnership must always make the same
    announcement." I would therefore expect your announcement to be acceptable (and helpful). I know of one player who routinely announces that her 1NT opening could have a singleton diamond and have never heard anyone object to this.

  • In the face-to-face world the restrictions on the wording of announcements is to limit the possibility of using variations to pass UI to partner. In the case of online announcements (except F2F emulation on Realbridge) this problem does not occur. There should be no restrictions in the online context.

    There are other examples around too where the Laws or Regulations were built for the face-to-face world and are at best irrelevant, at worst counter-productive, in the online world.

  • I have been using "12-15 may contain a singleton in a minor suit" for years (level 4 of course).

    The better explanation would be "12-14: may be 4441 with a singleton club" assuming that you would open 3-4=5=1 hands with 1 diamond.

    The RA does have some discretion on how information regarding the meanings of calls can be remembered and imparted to the opponents - (Law 40B)

    if playing on BBO I recommend putting some frequently used conventional bids into the chat manager so you can send a fuller explanation to opponents - the space you have for the initial explanation isn't that great and when you start abbreviating you can cause confusion. As a player you only really need an introductory message so if you plan it you could have

    Introductory message for partnership with player 1
    Meaning of bid
    Meaning of Bid
    Meaning of Bid
    Introductory message for partnership with player 2
    Meaning of bid
    Meaning of bid
    Meaning of bid


  • While the UI issues with announcement go away online, it's still a good idea always to use the same wording.
    If sometimes you say "12-14 may be 4441 singleton C" and sometimes you say "12-14" or "12-14 may have a singleton" the opponents may start to think that your announcement is affected by the hand you hold. If it is, you are giving away free information; if it isn't you are sowing confusion.

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