Landy over 1NT

Theory and Conventions


M J Bridge




Historically the first of these conventional methods over 1NT was the one introduced by Alvin Landy.

It has evolved in numerous different ways.

In the basic form of Landy double is usually played as strong (for penalties).

Other bids will be based primarily on suit length and quality.  Typically they will be made on hands of eleven to fifteen points, but ten will not be unknown and less than this is possible with extra length and favourable vulnerability

The common theme is that an overcall of 2 promises both majors.

Modern partnerships may interpret this as any one of ‘at least 4-4’, ‘5-4 or 4-5’, or ‘at least ‘5-5’.

Most common (and recommended) is ‘5-4 or 4-5’.  Advancer can then use 2 to identify the five-card suit.

If your choice is 5-5 you will be operating in safe territory, but the occasions on which you can interfere will be greatly decreased.

4-4 is the choice for those who like to get involved at every possible opportunity.  I like this sort of approach when playing against some sort of ill-defined one of a minor opening from your opponents, but you are paddling in the quicksands when playing against something as precisely defined as an opening 1NT.  It is not my choice.

Alongside the 2 overcall other bids may be allocated in a wide variety of different ways.

The simplest, and original, structure is that other suit bids at the two-level are natural and single-suited. This is the allocation which I shall assume below.

K Q 6 4

A Q 8 5 3

A 2

T 8

Opponents open 1NT (weak).

Bid 2, if playing Landy with 5-4 shape.

5-4 in the majors and reasonable suit quality.  Take away the A and I still make this bid.

If partner responds 2 I will bid 2, identifying the five-card suit.

My thoughts

You will be in the very best of company if you follow the ‘Landy’ route.

I like the basic 2 bid based on 5-4 in the majors, and the method as described above is both delightfully simple and easily memorable.

It gets the whole hand off your chest in one go and to some extent it invokes the preemptive potential of the major suits.  Furthermore suit quality can be compromised just a little as you will always be able to show your hand without going beyond the two-level.

For a basic method against a weak no trump I would recommend either this or Asptro.

Alternatively, either one of these can be combined with D.O.N.T. against a strong no trump.

However, I find it limited in its inability to show a variety of different hand shapes and relatively inefficient in its use of the other available bids.

If you wish to base a method around the basic Landy method then consider Multi-Landy.

Alternatively, for a taste of expert methods, try all the complications and extended sequences associated with transfer overcalls.

Intermediate and above

Advancer’s next bid