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BEGINNER S BRIDGE
OVERCALLS AND RESPONSES
Competitive bidding between opponents is all part of the game of bridge. This interchange of information between the partnerships may consume levels of bidding otherwise needed by the opponents and, thus, their subsequent action. There are both advantages and disadvantages to competitive bidding. They include:
Advantages of Competitive Bidding
1. Despite the opponents having opened, your partnership may have the predominant point count and enough combined strength within the partnership to make a part score, or even a game.
2. Even if your side doesn't have the strength for game, you still may be able to interfere with your opponent's exchange of information thus making it difficult or even impossible for them to arrive at their best contract.
3. If your opponents do play the contract, the information imparted from your competitive bidding may
assist your side in defense including the best opening lead.
Disadvantages of Competitive Bidding
1. If you are bidding singularly to interfere with the opponents, and inadvertently bidding beyond your sides capacity, you might end up playing a contract you cannot possibly make.
2. At the same time you are giving your partner information about your hand, you are also giving information to you opponents as well, thereby assisting them in making their specified contract.
THE OVERCALL ‑ This is the simplest form of a competitive auction. It occurs subsequent to the
opponents opening the bidding. It can be made at the l‑level, the 2‑level, or even
higher. It can be made in a suit or in No Trump.
Requirements For a Suit Bid
1. A 5‑Card or longer suit (Regardless of Major or Minor Suit)
2. 8+ HCP's or more at the 1‑level and 10+ HCP's or more at the
3. A "suit quality" that approximates the bid contemplated.
4. An increased quality of suit and/or points if vulnerable.
5. If a choice of suits to overcall is present bid the
Requirements For 1NT Overcall
1. 15‑17 HCP's (That is Equivalent to a 1NT opening hand)
2. An Evenly Balanced Hand (No Voids, Singletons, & at most l
3. At least one STOPPER in the opponent's bid suit; i.e.,
strength &/or length in the suit bid by opener.
RESPONDING TO AN OVERCALL ‑ When the overcall is made in a suit, and since the overcaller promises at least a 5‑card suit, the responder to the overcaller needs only 3‑card support in order to raise. If the overcall is a 1NT overcall, and is effectively the same as an opening 1NT with the added feature of a guaranteed stopper in the opponent's suit, and the responses here are the same as to a l NT opening bid.