Even if you are non-vul, keep 2-level overcalls for GOOD suits.
Partner cannot guess your high card point strength – so never be shy about showing your stuff!
This week’s tip is this: Make an effort break the bidding barrier when you have alot more high card points than your opening bid shows
Use ’em or lose. Honour cards – aces, kings, queens and jacks take tricks, and the more you have the more tricks you can win
Let’s talk through the jargon.
General principles: When you break the barrier your bid is forcing, so partner must make another bid.
What is the bidding barrier? Think of it like a ladder. In order to take the next step up the ladder, your side MUST have a combined 4 extra values. The next step is slightly smaller – you only need a combined 3 extra values and you have reached game. and so on up to bidding for all thirteen tricks with 37 HCP
An opening bid and response shows 12+ 6 = 18high card points. Step up the ladder with 16+6=22. To take the next step you’ll need 25. The next two steps take you to slam – 33 more points, and with another 4 points combined for your side will bring you very close to grand slam.
The One Level Opening Ladder
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
On all these next deals you sit East and your right hand opponent has opened one spade. What should you call?
If you hold:
Let partner decide what suit to play in.
BEST BID: DOUBLE
You have a terrible suit and an ugly hand.
BEST BID: PASS
Make a call that is safer than 2 of your suit and a lot more descriptive.
BEST BID: 1NT
Having all your strength in your two longest suits is a big plus. 2-level
overcalls on a 5-card suit should include a quality suit (3+ honors). Even then, avoid this bid unless you are non-vul and have good distribution and a promising hand.
BEST BID: 2 Hearts
ALSO WORTH KNOWING ABOUT TWO LEVEL OVERCALLS.
A) When your RHO opens 1♦, a 2♣ overcall may not seem like a big deal. Because the opponents’ search for a major must then begin at the two level, overcalling 2♣ over 1♦ can actually be very effective.
B) -200 is a terrible result at match-points. It’s no big deal at IMPs. So, be reluctant to make a borderline vulnerable 2-level overcall when playing duplicate Bridge.
Enjoy your competitive bridge auctions.