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INTERMEDIATE BRIDGE

 

LESSON 11

 

OVERCALLS

 

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 opener’s 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

                                                Suits.

                                                                         Examples:   1H    “2NT”     (or)     1S    P    2S    “2NT”

 

6.      The Michael’s 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)