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.

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

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

The simplest, and original, structure is that other suit bids at the two-level are natural and single-suited.

All bids other than double will be based primarily on suit length and quality.

The 2 bid

Modern partnerships may agree to play any one of ‘at least 4-4’, ‘5-4 or 4-5’, or ‘at least ‘5-5’.

Most common 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.


Typically the 2 bid will be made on hands of about ten to fifteen points, but you may vary this either as a partnership style, or by taking into account other factors involved.

One such factor might be vulnerability.

Secondary factors are likely to be extra length and the placement of the high cards.  Certainly I would consider making this bid on eight points at favourable vulnerability on 5-5 shape with all of my points in the two long suits.

K Q 6 4

A Q 8 5 3

A 2

T 8

Opponents open 1NT (weak).

5-4 in the majors and reasonable suit quality.  Bid 2, if playing Landy with 5-4 shape.

Replace the A with a small card and I still make this bid.

Further, replace the K with a small card and I would still consider the bid when not vulnerable.

My thoughts

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

The method as described above is both delightfully simple and easily memorable.

Of the variations mentioned above I like the basic 2 bid to be based on 5-4 in the majors.

It gets the whole hand off your chest in one go, and a simple overcall never takes you beyond the two-level.

For a basic method against a weak no trump I would recommend either this or Asptro (my personal favourite).

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

However, I find Landy limited because of 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

Context - Acol bidding - overcaller - opponents opened 1NT - conventional methods.

This page last revised 14th May 2019