I have reached the point at which many beginner and intermediate books tend to grind to a halt. I am well aware that the reader also has a tendency to grind to a halt at this point even when the guidance doesn’t.
There are good reasons why the writings in this area are thin on the ground.
In many situations, overcaller’s hand will be quite tightly defined. The possible continuations tend not to be numerous, and they were probably discussed at the same time as the overcall.
This applies in particular to weak jump overcalls, natural overcalls in no trumps, and the immediate double.
I will repeat any advice relating to these situations in the following pages, and perhaps consider one or two extended sequences which were not analysed earlier, but there is little original in these pages.
It is when partner overcalls with a simple bid in a new suit that the going gets difficult, simply because this bid is so wide-
There are many chapters written about advancer’s actions when he has support for overcaller’s suit.
These are indeed the most important hands, and I shall repeat more or less standard advice relating to this scenario.
However, I have found that the guidance for advancer after partner has made a simple suit-
On the relevant page I have introduced some rules which might aid judgement in this area.
It is true that we have reached a point in the auction where judgement is of the essence, and where the reevaluation of your hand in view of the auction to date is paramount. The judgements made by world experts tend to owe more to experience and ‘feel’ than to a simple set of rules. However the player advancing from beginner to and through an intermediate standard needs more help than this.
The rules and point ranges which I suggest on these pages are not set in stone. Start by learning them and playing to them, and then as you progress feel free to discard them as no more than guidelines.
We are by definition in a contested auction. Your left-
The aims of your side have not changed. If the hand belongs to the opposition then you want to bid up as quickly as you can in the hope that they will be forced to guess at their best contract -
I should emphasise some points already made in the section on overcalling.
The double is by no means the only action available to overcaller when holding a hand with opening values. However, the immediate double will always promise values and more often than not these will equate to opening strength. It is therefore imperative that advancer has bids available to search for a contract and not just to obstruct or sacrifice.
Similarly, a natural overcall in no trumps shows a genuine interest in competing for a contract or a penalty.
Partner’s overcall in a suit however, although it might disguise a holding of as many as sixteen points (or possibly even eighteen depending on the partnership understanding), will be obstructive or lead-
Finally, I should perhaps reiterate one of our guiding principles.
If partner’s overcall has indicated length then we will not attempt to rescue on a weak hand.
We might find some kind of raise with trump support, or we might search for a better contract if we hold a good hand, but without these we will just keep quiet.
For the continuations specific to the opponents’ opening bid follow the links on the left.
Beginner and above
This page last revised 19th June 2017
M J Bridge
|Overcaller's rebid and beyond|
|Responder's rebid and beyond|
|The continuing auction|