To open 1N or 1C that is the question


First make certain that no other betaacol opening bid is appropriate - if there is then do not choose either 1C or 1N.

In the case of 1NT make necessary HCP adjustments and verify to be in your chosen range. The default strength we use is 12-14. However those that favour other strengths with a 3 point range such as 13-15, 14-16, 15-17 or even variation with vulnerability may  choose to do so. In beta good 3rd hand 12-14 1NT openings are encouraged BUT we will not shade to 11 HCP. However a 1C opening is usually 12+ but maybe shaded to 11 in third or fourth opening positions.

The distribution restrictions on our 1NT openings must be adhered to in all positions these are:: No 5 card Major or Diamonds, No void or singleton, at least 4-3 in the minors, a 3 card minor must be headed by AKQ. 2245 & 2236 are allowed.

The choice is now easily made! If the 1NT opening conforms to these rules and is in your chosen point count range: Then  open 1NT Never 1C. Otherwise always open 1C with 12+.

So we prefer 1NT whenever we can instead of 1C. The theoretical reason for this preference is that the INT opening may contain a single 4 card Major about 40% of the time with a distribution of {24}{34} - an ideal 1N distribution. So are {23}44 & {23}35.
Now {34}{33} hands are always opened 1C and any of the above mentioned that fail the Hxx test in a 3 card minor are also opened 1C.