Defence Against Opponent’s 1NT Overcall

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When partner opens 1-minor and the next opponent overcalls 1NT, there are generally two types of hands you would (like to) bid with.

By Ana Roth
On 2 September, 2016 At 17:40

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Source: AUSTRALIAN YOUTH BRIDGE BULLETIN JANUARY – FEBRUARY 2016

When partner opens 1-minor and the next opponent overcalls 1NT, there are generally two types of hands you would (like to) bid with. Firstly, if you have a strong hand with 10+points, you would start off with a penalty double, hoping to penalise the opponents since you and your partner have the majority of the high cards. The second type of hand is where you do not have enough strength to make a penalty double, but enough strength and distribution to compete for a part-score.

Generally, if you have support for your partner’s minor, the opponents would usually have a major-suit fit anyway, and your minor suit is always outgunned. Additionally, if you play short club, you would usually be waiting for a long time to hold a hand with six-plus (or a distribution five) card club suit in order to support partner. Therefore, it is not very efficient to support partner’s minor, and instead, you should play something conventional that would allow you to fight for the part-score more easily.

Over 1 – (1NT) – ?

You should play:

2 = Both majors, at least 5-4 either way

2 = Natural

2 = Natural

2 = Natural

Being able to show both majors is an important hand type to get across, because if you are to win a part-score battle, having a major-suit fit will usually do the job! Not to mention, it is still entirely possible for your side to have a game in a major suit. Over 2 showing both majors, partner usually picks his longest major and bids that suit. If opener has equal length in the majors, he can simply bid 2 to “Ask partner’s longer major”. If you like to get fancier, you could even play 2 as “Diamonds and a Major” rather than just “Diamonds”. As for the hands where you have club support, you can just forget about them. If you have a club fit, the opponents are likely to have a fit elsewhere anyway. If you have a very distributional hand with clubs, you could always jump to 3 to show clubs.

Over 1 – (1NT) – ?

You should play:

2 = Both majors, at least 5-4 either way

2 = Natural/simple raise

2 = Natural

2 = Natural

This time, over 2 showing both majors, a 2 rebid by opener should not be asking – it would be better utilised as a natural bid, showing more diamonds. Since a 1 opening usually promises 4+’s in most natural systems, you can frequently support partner’s diamonds when you hold four-card support – this is why 2 can be used as a raise (rather than play it as a conventional bid).

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