The 5-5 & 4-4-4-1 Shapes.
The 5 - 5 Shape.
The most economical way of bidding the 5-5 Shapes are:-
If the TWO SUITS are BLACK then bid the CLUB Suit first and then Bid the SPADE Suit TWICE.
a. 1♣ - P - 1♦/1♥ - P
1♠ - P - 2♦/2♥ - P
2♠ = Partner I'm 5 - 5 in the CLUB Suit & the SPADE Suit.
With all other CONBINATIONS of 5 - 5 SHAPES you bid the HIGHER RANKING ONCE & the LOWER RANKING TWICE.
b. 1♥ - P - 1♠/2♣ - P
2♦ - P - 2♠/3♣- P
3♦ = Partner I'm 5 - 5 in the DIAMOND Suit & the HEART Suit.
c. 1♠ - P - 2♦ - P
2♥ - P - 2N/T - P
3♥ = Partner I'm 5 - 5 in the HEART Suit & the SPADE Suit
d. In all the above examples the RESPONDER would probably deide the CONTRACT.
The 4 - 4 - 4 - 1 Shape
This is probably the worst shape hand to bid for the opener. Because in the ACOL system if you bid a suit and then bid a second suit of a lower ranking you are effectively stating that the first suit is longer than the second suit bid.
Unfortunately the 22.214.171.124 shape does not comply with this promise, so at times you will tell little white lies. The good thing is that the 126.96.36.199. shape hand is a minority and are not very often dealt.
So what is the best way to bid to avoid too many mishaps in the bidding so as not to mislead your partner.
One of the best ways to bid the 188.8.131.52 shapes is to bid the suit below the singleton UNLESS you have the "RUNNING THREE" (When three suits are touching) which are ♣ - ♦ - ♥ & ♦ - ♥ - ♠ then you must always bit the HEART SUIT.
a. 1 4 4 4 Bid One Heart. (The Running Three) and then if your partner bids One Spade you can bid Two Clubs.
b. 4 1 4 4 Bid One Diamond and then if Partner bids One Heart you can bid One Spade.
c. 4 4 1 4 Bid One Club and then if Partner bids One Diamond you can bid One Heart.
d. 4 4 4 1 Bid One Heart. (The Running Three) and then if Partner bids Two Clubs you can bid Two Diamonds.
The main reason to bid this way is the priority of finding a Major Fit.
Support your partner immediately should a fit is found, don't go on exploring, hoping for a better contract. Consider a N/T contract if the your singleton suit has been bid by your partner.
The worse that can happen is if your partner believes that they are putting you to a FIVE-TWO fit when it will be a FOUR-TWO fit.
Look on the bright side 25% of the players in the room are experiencing the same problem.