3 Suited Hands

     

In this discussion we are principally concerned with 2 distributions:

A note on the 3rd & recommended distribution is presented in this page.

4441 & 5440 

These distributions are the bane of ACOL & SAYC because they do not sit easily into the regular provided bidding methods. They cause 'lies' to be made (or distortions in the projected distribution if you prefer). Some ACOL tournament players do wisely use 2 to show 3-suited hands BUT we don't!

They do not fit comfortably as in reality they are truly in a class of their own, neither balanced or unbalanced: as Beta ACOL prefers to describe various bids.
Indeed they can equally well end up playing in NT's or suit contracts  and so this duality needs to be explored.

These exceptional hands with double fits and the shortage is useful can even produce slams - so again good explorative sequences are required.

Beta's Openings with 3-suited hands:
With a 5 card Major or Diamonds bid it!
With 4-4 in the majors bid 1
With a 4 card Major and a Major shortage open 1
With a minor shortage 1 is the only possible opening but the rebid can be troublesome!
    If a Major fit is exposed then all's well, if
    But one may have to rebid 1N with a singleton lurking in possibly partner's 6 card Major which he now rebids and you may have to PASS!
     Or on your 1N rebid partner inquires with 2 if one has an undisclosed heart or spade suit you can now bid it safely. E.g. 1-1S-1N-2-2Ma or  1-1(spades)-1N-2-2 BUT in the former case partner may he may again rebid his 6 card Major and have to play with a 6-1 fit ...
     Or finally partner leaves you in a 1NT with an unexpected singleton...
Many argue its not worth the bother as their overall frequency of occurrence is just 2.993% & 1.243% respectively - a total of only 4.24% rounded.
      Partner may have 4 's and you end up in a 2 possibly even in a fit!  
Despite all the foregoing gloom 3 suiters have a spectacular probability of producing a 4-4 fit or even a double fit! Probabilities:

4441:
Single fit: 80.3%
Double fit: 18.5%

5440:
Single fit: 88.3%
Double fit: 20%

If opponents open in our shortage our Multi 1NT o'call can be used to show the remaining 3 suits but only if 16+HCP - shown with a 2N rebid - then partner can choose any of the 3 suits to play in or even in NT's.  However we have no special sequences set aside for 4441 hands due to their low frequency of occurence.
Saying that Beta's  style of  Protection bidding provides choices with 1N, *, 2suit  to give an excellent description.