Andrew Gumperz

When is the most advantageous times to intervene over an opposing preempt: with shortness in the opponent’s suit or with length? 

Let’s take an example:

(2)  —  ?
Hand 1: x AJxxx  xx KQTxx
Hand 2: xxxx AJxxx KQT x

Hand 1 is a much better overcall for several reasons:

1. The shortness in RHO’s suit means that LHO is likely to raise. If LHO raises spades, you will have shown your hearts at the 3-level rather than trying to guess whether to show them at the 5-level.

2. The shortness means that your partner frequently will not have enough distribution to act in the balancing seat. Thus if someone is going to bid for your side, it needs to be you. On hand 2, if you pass 2S, your partner will often be able to balance with a double and you will get a chance to show your hearts later.

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