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Robot overcalls on 4 card rag suit

#1 User is offline   svengolly 

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Posted 2017-December-22, 21:36

Here's the hand.

Overcall on 4 rag spades

This was in one of the daylong tournaments. I am South (hands reversed due to making me declarer). I just don't know how to recover from something like this. If I think GIB has a real suit (5 cards with something), I bid as I did. But that auction is off the charts misleading. GIB should have passed. 2nd choice is a negative double.
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#2 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-December-22, 21:55

This is not an "overcall". Overcall is a bid by defending side over an opening bid. The term is "free bid" in this position.

Sorry, but bidding 4 cd spade suit is pretty routine on this sort of hand after 1c-(1d). The only reasonable alternative is 1nt, but that normally denies a 4 cd major, which isn't great when south will never open even holding KQJx/AKxx of spades. You can't find 4-4 major fits if neither opener or responder is going to bid them.

Negative double, over 1c-(1d), is traditionally played as showing both majors, not one major (only this auction, other auctions promise one unbid major and ability to handle the auction if partner bids a major not held).

You could have shown 3 cd spade support with a support double over 2d, which North might convert.
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#3 User is offline   svengolly 

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Posted 2017-December-22, 22:25

View PostStephen Tu, on 2017-December-22, 21:55, said:

This is not an "overcall". Overcall is a bid by defending side over an opening bid. The term is "free bid" in this position.

Sorry, but bidding 4 cd spade suit is pretty routine on this sort of hand after 1c-(1d). The only reasonable alternative is 1nt, but that normally denies a 4 cd major, which isn't great when south will never open even holding KQJx/AKxx of spades. You can't find 4-4 major fits if neither opener or responder is going to bid them.

Negative double, over 1c-(1d), is traditionally played as showing both majors, not one major (only this auction, other auctions promise one unbid major and ability to handle the auction if partner bids a major not held).

You could have shown 3 cd spade support with a support double over 2d, which North might convert.


Hmmm my regular partner (1500 MPs) would kill me if I made that free bid. But I'll accept the explanation and move on.
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#4 User is offline   Stephen Tu 

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Posted 2017-December-22, 23:10

Your partner just has a hole in his knowledge. Most other free bids do promise 5, this is an exception, free bids at the one level generally only show 4. Except 1s over a 1h overcall, playing traditional neg doubles where dbl shows 4 spades and bidding 1s promise 5. Some hypermodern players modify even this, playing x = values without spades, 1s = 4+ spades, or x = 4+ spades, 1s = values without spades, among other variations.

There are dozens of internet references to the std treatment, just search for negative double after 1d overcall, you'll see tons of authors saying 1M showing 4+ only.
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#5 User is offline   svengolly 

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Posted 2017-December-23, 00:06

View PostStephen Tu, on 2017-December-22, 23:10, said:

Your partner just has a hole in his knowledge. Most other free bids do promise 5, this is an exception, free bids at the one level generally only show 4. Except 1s over a 1h overcall, playing traditional neg doubles where dbl shows 4 spades and bidding 1s promise 5. Some hypermodern players modify even this, playing x = values without spades, 1s = 4+ spades, or x = 4+ spades, 1s = values without spades, among other variations.

There are dozens of internet references to the std treatment, just search for negative double after 1d overcall, you'll see tons of authors saying 1M showing 4+ only.


Thanks. I'll ask my other expert partner (and sometime teacher) too. See what he says.
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#6 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-December-23, 11:04

View Postsvengolly, on 2017-December-23, 00:06, said:

Thanks. I'll ask my other expert partner (and sometime teacher) too. See what he says.

There is something to be said for a free bid showing a decent suit.
Modern bidding has gone to bidding suits like 5432 and NT wide open in suits.
Oh for the good old days.


Sarcasm is a state of mind
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