After the Opponents Overcall

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 05/01/2015
Level: Intermediate

After the Opponents Overcall

What happens after partner opens the bidding and the opponents overcall?

Let's start on the 1-level.

 

The opponents overcall partner's 1-level opening bid with a suit bid.

 

WestNorthEastSouth
   1(something) 1(something) 

 

 

 

 

If partner opens 1-of-a-suit and the opponents overcall in a suit:

>New suits by responder are forcing one round (if on the 2-level, 10+ points).

 

Example: 1♠ (1♠) 1♠ = forcing one round (+ points)

1♠ (1♠) 2♠ = forcing one round and 10+ points

>New suits by responder promise 5 or more cards, except when the opponents overcall 1♠ with 1♠ and we respond 1♠ or 1♠.

Example:  1♠ (1♠) 1 MAJ = 4+ in that major
1♠ (1♠) 1♠ = 5 or more spades and 1♠ (1♠) 2♠ = 5 or more clubs.

>New suits by responder on the 3-level (not a jump, though) are GF. Example: 1♠  (2♠)  3♠ = 5+♠, GF

>New suit jumps by responder require partnership agreement (fit-showing is possible, but most players would likely play this as a weak jump in competition).  Example: 1♠  (1♠)  3♠

>Single raises are natural and mean what they would have meant without the interference. If forced to raise to the 3-level, it shows a little extra.  Example:  1♠ (2♠) 3♠ = 3+ ♠ and 8-10 in support (approximate)

>Cue-bidding the opponent's suit shows a limit-raise or better. Example: 1♠ (2♠) 3♠

>Jump raises are preemptive (assuming modern style).  Example: 1♠ (2♠) 3♠

>Notrump bids are natural (1NT=6-10, 2NT=11-12, 3NT=13-15) with a stopper in their suit (and balanced).
   Example:  1♠  (1♠) 1NT=6-10 with spades stopped

More examples:

OPENEROpponentRESPONDERMEANING        
1♠  1? 1 MAJ 4+ cards 6+ points
1♠  1?  1♠ 5+spades, 6+ points
 1♠  1♠  2? 5+? 10+points
 1♠  2♠ 3? 5+? GF
 1♠ 1? 2♠ Partnership agreement
 1?  1? 2? 4+?, Limit Raise+
1?  1♠ 2NT 11-12 balanced NF, ♠stopper
 1?  1♠  3NT 13-15 balanced, ♠ stopper
 1♠  2?  3♠ 4♠, weakish (0-7)
 1♠  2?  3? 3+♠, Inv+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doubles are negative. You can read more about negative doubles here

 

The opponents overcall with 1NT:

If they overcall 1NT, assuming no conventions, a double is penalty, and a new suit bid is natural, NF 

Examples:

WestNorthEastMEANING
 1?  1NT Double Penalty
1?  1NT 3? Preemptive
1? 1NT  2? 6+?, NF

 

 

 

 

 

The opponents overcall with a Michaels Cue-bid:

Details on this topic are covered here.

 

The opponents overcall with preempt: 

A new suit by responder is forcing for one round on the 2-level. If responder bids a new suit on the 3-level, it is game forcing. 

 

The opponents overcall our preempts:

Doubles are penalty. Raises are competitive/further preempting--not inviting.

For example:

WestNorthEastMEANING
 2?  2? Double PENALTY
 2?  3?  3? NOT INVITING 4?

 

 

 

 


 

 

updated: Dec, 2020