Opening in 3rd hand position


Essentially: With a passed partner and a passed RHO it is more than likely that your LHO is ready to open the bidding! The theory behind 3rd hand openings is to increase the opportunities to put your LHO on the defensive! That is to deny LHO the ability to make his regular opening bid and instead to force him to use defensive bids instead.

If your hand qualifies for a regular opening one must still do it.
The text that follows lowers the requirement for the following openings:

a) 1 of a suit
b) 2D with a weak major two
c) 1NT
d) 2-suited openings (or intended rebid after a 2D opening which are normally required to be 4-7LTC may now be shaded to 4-8LTC

1 of a suit
Can be in any suit save Clubs as these show 5 cards normally. We retain the requirement for 5 cards but decrease the opening values by 1 or 2 even 3 HCP depending on distribution and intermediate (9s, Ts)!

Minimum requirements for SHD opening:
Minimum requirements for  a1 Club opening:
If partner responds with a potentially poorly playing bid - rebid your suit - which is to be taken as a light opening. Be prepared to pass other bids if your opening is subnormal.

2D showing a weak 2 in a major

Besides opening with about the same values the main relaxation is to have a decent 5 card major instead of the usual 6 card requirement. the majority of your high card points must lie in your 5 card Major.
Partner should not use 2NT or 2S responses opposite a 3rd hand 2D opening!
That leaves him with PASS if RHO bids other than PASS and 2H! (PASS or CORRECT) if RHO passes!
If both opponents are quiet the 3rd hand will PASS a 2H response OR bid 2S.
Clearly a 2NT or 3mi rebids are available as usual with a strong 2D opening.

1 NT
Only a relaxation of 1 point is permitted. therefore the range becomes 11-14. All other normal rules for a 1NT opening still apply.
This relaxation may also apply to a 4th seat opening of 1NT.
2-level responses remain the same. But 3-level bids now show weak 6+ card suits (as 15+ is not possible).
Also 2C is now promissory - no longer non-promissory.

Rebid Rules following a light 3rd hand suit opening

This is simple: PASS. With a rebid of PASS your partner is left in no doubt - your opening was a 3rd hand light opening!
You achieved your objective of throwing the opposition into defensive bidding - now don't overdo it!
Only if your partner's response was particularly attractive an improved your hand do make another bid!

If your LHO passes AND:

If partner responds with 1 Major : PASS
If partner responds at the 2-level: PASS
If partner responds with 1NT: PASS
If partner raises you: PASS

--but if clearly an unfaourable contract rebid your suit.

-- if your opening is genuine make some other bid than a simple rebid.

If your LHO bids and partner bids a suit: PASS

Rebids following a 3rd hand 1NT opening

If partner bids 2C 2D 2H respond as usual
If partner bids 2S - a maximum pass without major respond with longer minor or 2NT
If you are doubled by opponents bid your longer minor

That's it folks!