Bridge Chestnut 5 - "Playing at the five level belongs to the opponents"

NESW
1245
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This chestnut comes from the fact that it is very rare that both 5 and 5 will be making contracts. It is very likely that both 5 and 5 will fail.

If North follows this chestnut, he should pass or double 5 and not bid 5.

Does North really know what South has for his 4 bid? I doubt it. That is a good reason to pass with ordinary hands.

Of course, there will be exceptions. If you opened 1 with 10 HCP and a 7 card suit, you have a better case for bidding 5.

If you are sure 5 is going off without spade tricks, then opener should double if only to keep partner quiet.

If opener wishes to investigate slam great hand, diamond void etc he needs to bid 5H. That shows a better hand than a 5 bid.

In summary, this chestnut applies for ordinary hands. Both sides are probably out of their depth at the 5 level.

Go to Chestnut 6 - A change of suit by an unpassed responder is forcing