Quick summary

You have to bid at the two level.

The requirements on Length and Strength are more stringent:

Bid 3club (not 2club) to show clubs, if you use Landy


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Bridge Venue

Example Deal

«  0102  »

Interfering bids. Overcalls, in a suit, over 1NT

I've got an Opening hand, and a 6-card suit (or a 5-4)

After Acol weak NT

You have to overcall at the two-level of course, and against an opponent with possible strength in any of the suits. These factors make the requirements more stringent compared with overcalling against a one suit opening

  • an opening hand (7-losers)
  • 6 card suit, or a 5-4 distribution

Not Clubs

Some people like to reserve the 2club overcall over a weak 1NT to show at least two good 4-card suits, using either Landy (Majors) or DONT. So you'll need to overcall at the 3 level if you're long in clubs.

Other suits

Shape: An overcall against any NT opening (strong or weak) promises either a 6+ card suitor at least 5-4 in two suits.

Never overcall with 1NT with 5-3-3-2 shape or with a 4-card suit. It is acceptable to double 1NT on balanced shapes if your hand is strong enough, but not to overcall.

High card points: With a 6-card suit, you may overcall with a good 11 HCP. With only a 5-card major, you should normally have 12-13 HCP. "Good" high cards are cards located in your long suit, and outside Aces. "Bad" high cards are Kings, Queens and Jacks that are dispersed throughout the hand and worst of all crammed into a short suit.

All these hands are worth a 2 suit overcall of 1NT:
AKxxx, x, KQTx, xxx
KQTxxx, xx, AQx, xx
KJTxxxx, x, AJxx, x

None of these hand should overcall:
Jxxxx, Kx, Kxxx, AQ
Qxxxx, K, Qxxx, AQJ
Qxxxxx, KQ, Kx, Qxx

A Losing Trick Count of 7 is perhaps the shortest way of summing up the strength that you need.

In the 4th protective seat

After an opening 1NT and two passes, is a double the same as a protective double after a suit and two passes ? And, more germaine to the current topic, would a suit bid in the 4th seat have the same meaning whether the opener called a suit or 1NT? All interesting questions for you to have a look at.

After strong NT

Against a strong 1NT opening bid, overcalls are primarily obstructive. The 6+ or 5-4 shape requirements still stand.

When your points are in your long suits, you may overcall down to a good 8-9 HCP. For example: KJTxxx, x, Axx, xxx is a fine 2S call against a strong NT. However, Jxxxxx, Kx, Qxx, Kx should pass.

Now try the quiz

Can you put all this into action ? Try the quiz for this subject by clicking on the link at the top left of the page, just below the main menu.
(You can try quizzes for any other subjects too while you're there. Look out for the thin red line).



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