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Definition: ‑ Any positive action; i.e., a bid other than a Pass, by a member of the opposite team to the left or
right of the opening bidder.
Influencing Factors: ‑ (In descending order of importance)
1. LENGTH ‑ Almost always based upon at least a 5‑card suit or better. Exception: A potential
overcaller in the balancing position who, in desperation might overcall with a 4-card suit.
2. STRENGTH ‑ An overcall usually has a minimum of at least 8 HCP's at the 1-level and at least
10 HCP's at the 2‑level. Vulnerable overcalls usually imply an even stronger hand.
3. VULNERABILITY ‑ A non‑vulnerable player can better afford to make an "unsound" overcall for
the opponents are less eager to double for penalties.
4. LEVEL ‑ One‑level overcalls can be made more freely than two‑level ones, etc..
5. QUALITY ‑ The texture of the suit may have lead‑directing implications.
6. OBSTRUCTION ‑ The overcall has the effect of consuming the opponent's bidding space. This
value is minimized, however, by the negative double available to the opponents.
7. OPPONENT'S VULNERABILITY ‑ The relative vulnerabilities make overcalls more or less
attractive. At favorable vulnerabilities freer overcalls can be exercised;
at unfavorable vulnerabilities, greater discretion must be exercised. 8. OPPONENT'S METHODS ‑ Overcalls can be made with greater impunity against opponents who
utilize the negative double for access to the penalty double is made impossible.
Types of Overcalls:
1. Simple overcalls ‑ At least 8‑HCP's at the one‑level and 10 HCP'S at the two‑level PLUS at least a 5‑card
Suit or better.
Examples: 1H 1S (or) 1H P P 1S (or) 1H 2C (or) 1H P P 2C
2. A take‑out double A holding, equivalent or better, in comparison with openers hand.
Examples: 1H Dbl. (or) 1NT Dbl.
3. Weak jump overcalls ‑ a pre‑emptive bid with less than an opening HCP value and at least a 6‑card suit.
(Similar to a weak 2‑bid) The HCP's are usually concentrated in the bid suit and is,
therefore, a hand of little defensive strength.
Examples: 1C 2D (or) 1NT 3H (or) 1S 3C (or) 1H 2S
4. 1NT overcall ‑ an equivalent hand to a 1NT opening with the additional guarantee of at least one stopper in
the opponent's bid suit. Examples: 1H 1NT (or) 1C 1NT
5. The Unusual NT overcall ‑ An overcall of 2NT after a Major‑suit opening used to show two 5‑card
or better Minor suits Is in essence, an artificial bid to be construed as a
take‑out double for the Minors; i.e., evidences a 5-5 or longer holding in the Minor
Examples: 1H 2NT (or) 1S P 2S 2NT
6. The Michaels Convention ‑ An advanced two‑suit take‑out conventional bid which will be presented in detail later. Such bids evidence 5-5 or better in two suits as follows:
Examples: 1C 2C (Both Majors) (or) 1D 2D (Both Majors)
1H 2H (Spades + One Minor) (or) 1S 2S (Hearts + One Minor)
1NT 2NT (Both Minors The 2 Lower-Unbid Suits) (or) 1D 2NT (Clubs & Hearts 2 Lower-Unbid Suits)