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 Playing Overcalls at the 2-Level as all intermediate May 4 2017

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PostSubject: Playing Overcalls at the 2-Level as all intermediate May 4 2017   Thu May 04, 2017 5:20 pm


from
http://www.montrealrelay.com/montreal/OVERCALLSP.html
by Roy Wilson

Overcalls at the 2-Level
In the long-ago jump overcalls showed very strong hands, and then in the 1960's when weak-two bids were introduced players decided to use single jump overcalls to show preemptive 6-card suits. Most players agree that they show about the same values as a weak-two opening bid, although aggressive players are very loose about that. The change was devastating to old-time players who hated them, but these days even rookies play weak jump overcalls. Also, modern players have learned to defend against such preempts and are no longer concerned much about them. In the history of the game, it was the change to 5-card majors and weak jump overcalls that produced negative doubles, perhaps the best defense to weak jump overcalls.

As an alternative to the standard treatment consider replacing weak jump overcalls as Roy Wilson suggests:

We play overcalls at the 2-level, whether a jump or simple overcall, as Intermediate Value Hands. That's an opening hand with at least a 5-card suit and at least 12 points.Jump bids at the 3-level are preemptive.

I would suggest using at least 12 combined points for the shown value that is at least 10 high card points + 2 long suit points for a 5 card suit or 7 high card points + 5 long suit points for a 6 card suit.
Advancer should treat all 2 level overcalls as showing a 5 card suit so only show support with at least 3 cards.


If you play 2 level overcalls this way then overcalls at the 1-Level can mean something different:
Since jump overcalls show an opening hand, then simple overcalls generally have fewer than 12 points. To have an agreement, let's say 8-12 with an unpassed partner, but can be fewer after partner has passed.

Further, we freely overcall with 4-card suits at the 1-level. These bids are not particularly lead-directing, either, if partner has a reason not to lead the suit. Most players use responder's cue bid as a limit raise, but since our 1-level overcall is so limited we need to use the cue-bid to show a very good hand.
Do not raise your partner's 1-level overcall unless you have at least 4-card support and distributional values!
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