Question from a hand at the Sunday morning session sectional.
I had 22 HCP 4=4=1=4 hand with a singleton ♦A.
The bidding went 2♣ P 2♦ (waiting) at which point RHO stuck in 3♦.
If I double, is that take out?
I passed and partner doubled. I bid 3♥, she bid 4♥. Down 1 given our six card heart fit. Partner had 4 HCP.
The opponents said that with 4-4-4-1 shape, you should always bid and jump shift, instead of opening two clubs and bidding 2NT with a singleton ace.
It is a very close decision with your hand. I agree with your opponents that I try to AVOID opening 2♣ when I have a 2-suited or 3-suited hand because it takes up so much bidding room AND because it allows the opponents to preempt at a high level (if they choose) before you have bid ANY of your suits naturally. [Imagine a very strong 6-5 hand in majors and it goes 2♣ P 2♦ 5♦ and you have yet to name either of your suits.]
I also tend to avoid opening 2♣ when I have a long minor, but the hand has a singleton or void so NT is questionable. Partner needs EXTRA values for us to make game in a minor, so if partner cannot respond to a one of a minor opening, we probably DON'T have game. Here is an example hand that a student opened 2♣ but which I would open 1♦: ♠AQx ♥x ♦AKQJ10x ♣KQx.
So, with your hand I would tend to open 1♣ and hope partner can eke out a bid, or that RHO balances, allowing me to bid again.
HOWEVER, your hand is very powerful, and opening 2♣ is NOT unreasonable. After the 3♦ call, you can bid 4♦, hoping partner will bid a major, but willing to play 5♣ if partner bids clubs. I think a double would be ambiguous on the auction. You can also pass, expecting partner to figure out that you DON'T have a five card suit of your own or a diamond stopper and see if she can take action. (I think it would be mandatory for partner to take auction because you have opened 2♣. With nothing, she can double and you can decide what to do then. Most people play DOPS over interference with 2♣ opening—double shows zero (nothing); pass shows something.)