Theory and Conventions


M J Bridge



Post-beginner and above

Advancer’s next bid

This page last revised 8th Aug 2017

Unusual 2NT

This convention can be added to your system as a stand-alone feature, paired with the Michael’s cue-bid, or combined into a system of three two-suited take-out bids (although it will frequently be redefined when part of a three-bid, method).

It can also be used later in the auction.

In the present context of an immediate overcall of an opening bid it is usually used to show a weakish hand (say eight to twelve points) with 5-5 shape in the two lowest unbid suits.


7 4

K Q 8 5 3

K J 7 5 2

Opponents open 1 or 1.

Bid 2NT.

Let partner know exactly what you have got, and take away much of the opposition’s bidding space - all in one bid.


K Q 8 5 3


Q T 7 6 5 2

Opponents open 1.

Bid 2NT,

showing the lowest two unbid suits in a weakish hand.

Technically you are a point light for this bid, but the extra club more than compensates.

It is worth noting that little is lost in the way of natural bidding by the adoption of this convention.

If you happen to hold a balanced hand of eighteen or more points, say, with good stops in opener’s suit, then you can always start with a double and follow with a natural bid in no trumps.

Protective seat

I like to use this bid in the same weak and artificial manner as above in the protective seat, but it will depend on other aspects of your system.  You might agree to relax the requirements regarding length and strength in this seat.

Alternatively, it might suit your system better to use it in a natural sense showing, say, eighteen or nineteen points after two passes.

Intermediate and above


The traditional use of this bid promised a strength of eight to twelve points, or thereabouts, as indicated above.

There is, though, no reason why it should not be played either as ‘wide-ranging’ or ‘weak or strong’.

These two approaches are discussed on the page at the end of this section which looks at ‘general considerations and relative merits’.

Context - overcaller - opponents opened one of a suit - two-suited hands - artificial methods.