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Why overcall naturally in an opponents' suit?

#1 User is offline   Antraxxx 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 01:36

I read somewhere that in an auction that goes (1) - p - (1) - 2, the 2 is a natural overcall in spades. Generally, that when the opponents bid two suits, bidding the second one shows the suit naturally. However, why would I want to show a suit naturally when opponents got there first? It's unlikely to find a fit with partner, even if we do find a fit it'll split badly, and if the opponents end in game then I may have just steered them from playing a suit contract with bad splits, myself. So, what's to be gained by showing a suit showed by the opponents, assuming beginner level? (so no psyches)

Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 02:42

you normally only do this in responder's suit, because A) responder doesn't need a very good hand, a random 4 count would be possible even without calling it a psyche B ) you can finesse through RHO c) you only do it on very good suits, 99% to be 6 cards, where you can handle the bad break and where the prospects of the opps declaring in the suit are around 0.

if you did it in LHO's suit, the finesses would be wrong and LHO has an opening hand and perforce often a decent suit, so bidding LHO's suit is kept as a Michael's cuebid or whatever pervy variant you like to play.
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#3 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 03:05

Another reason is the lack of other useful meanings for the bid. Double and 2 are available for two-suited hands, and some people also use 1NT for two-suiters. The hand that is most difficult to bid is something like AKJxxx AJ2 xx Qx.
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#4 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 04:44

Because you might have a game or good partscore in their suit.

Because youu might have a very strong spade suit.

Because other possible meanings for 2S are less useful.

By the way, I would play 2C as natural too.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#5 User is offline   Antraxxx 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 05:37

Thanks. So if RHO's call shows five cards (for instance, if partner also overcalled), is there less incentive to overcall?
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#6 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 06:31

Yes, definitely less incentive in that case. For example after 1C - p - 1S I play that both 2C and 2S are natural but after 1H - 1S I play that 2H is Michaels and 2S is natural. Woot, two calls to show spades!

More common examples:

1D - 1H - Dbl - 1S = spades.

1C - Dbl - 1S - 2S = spades.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#7 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 13:02

I played 2C there my whole life as natural but I now think michaels is much better.
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#8 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 13:25

View PostJLOGIC, on 2010-December-29, 13:02, said:

I played 2C there my whole life as natural but I now think michaels is much better.


I've got the opposite view. Especially in the modern game where a lot of people seem to play 1 "could be short" it's increasingly common to have a real club suit in this position. When I have this hand and pass, I often see a raise of responder's major and get to back in at the three-level (MUCH more dangerous).

I think that Michaels is quite overrated, and that I can often take other actions with this hand type.
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#9 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 14:10

View Postawm, on 2010-December-29, 13:25, said:


I think that Michaels is quite overrated


Yeah I also used to feel this way but have done a 180. I feel like getting both of your suits in immediately is really important. It is especially useful when they open 1C and you get to bid 2C since you can still play 2 of either red suit (as opposed to like 1S-2S where you have to play your minor at the 3 level). This gives you more safety and allows you to come in more aggressively, without having such a high risk. I mean personally I would hate to pass with xx Kxxxx KQxxx x, and I think being forced to double makes it too hard for partner to figure out what to do as I might X with a 4-4 12 count also.

Adam I think I remember that you like sandwich NT (correct me if I'm wrong)? If so then michaels wouldn't make much sense since you can bid 1N with this type of hand. Personally I think being able to show both suits with 5-5 is important, and I would rather give up a natural 2C than a natural 1N.
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#10 User is offline   jh51 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 15:03

View PostJLOGIC, on 2010-December-29, 14:10, said:


Adam I think I remember that you like sandwich NT (correct me if I'm wrong)? If so then michaels wouldn't make much sense since you can bid 1N with this type of hand. Personally I think being able to show both suits with 5-5 is important, and I would rather give up a natural 2C than a natural 1N.


And when was the last time you had a natural 1NT that you really wanted to play in this situation? Your partner figures to have almost nothing. If you have your values in the OPPs' suits, wouldn't you rather defend than declare?
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#11 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 15:24

View Postjh51, on 2010-December-29, 15:03, said:

And when was the last time you had a natural 1NT that you really wanted to play in this situation? Your partner figures to have almost nothing. If you have your values in the OPPs' suits, wouldn't you rather defend than declare?


Oh thx never thought of this!

I would rather declare GAME and get a GAME bonus! When I have a balanced 18 or w/e we often have a GAME, especially if the opps are not terrible. In my experience I have a 1N overcall far more than a 2 of their minor overcall, and when I have a 1N overcall I'm much more likely to have a game than when I have a 2 of their minor overcall.

I mean seriously everyone says you never hold a 1N natural overcall in this situation but it seems pretty common to me.

You ask when was the last time I had a 1N overcall. Yesterday I kibitzed one match of a swiss when my pair game was done, and the player I was kibitzing had KJx AKx AQJx xxx and it went 1D p 1H. He bid 1N, and his partner bid 3N, and it was cold. If he had passed LHO would bid 2C and you just get a small plus on defense or in a partial if you balance. This kind of thing does not happen so infrequently in my experience. Sometimes you get to bid 1N and play a partial, with partner having a weak hand and a long suit and being able to bid/compete. Had you passed throughout, you would miss this. This is another gain of a natural 1N.

I think the difference in the perceived likeliness of having a natural 1N bid and my experience is just level of opps. No doubt if the opps are beginners and open with 12 and respond with 6, a 1N overcall is not that useful. The better opps you play, the more likely they will be to open light and/or respond very light.
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#12 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2010-December-29, 15:25

View Postjh51, on 2010-December-29, 15:03, said:

And when was the last time you had a natural 1NT that you really wanted to play in this situation? Your partner figures to have almost nothing. If you have your values in the OPPs' suits, wouldn't you rather defend than declare?


Sandwich is rarely played by top players. One of the reasons is that openings can be light, and responses can be lighter, and there you sit with your 17 as you check the back of the cards.

Sandwich is also one of the most abused treatments out there. I see weak players doing it on 4-4, just because they thing they can mess with our bidding, and their partner goes bananas.
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#13 User is offline   Antraxxx 

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Posted 2010-December-30, 04:22

What's Sandwich and what's Michaels?
If I understood correctly, then 2, 2 are natural, what do you do with a strong balanced hand? Double and then NT?
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#14 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2010-December-30, 04:40

Sandwich NT = 1x-pass-1y-1NT = 5-5 in the other 2 suits
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#15 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2010-December-30, 05:38

View PostJLOGIC, on 2010-December-29, 15:24, said:

Oh thx never thought of this!

I would rather declare GAME and get a GAME bonus! When I have a balanced 18 or w/e we often have a GAME, especially if the opps are not terrible. In my experience I have a 1N overcall far more than a 2 of their minor overcall, and when I have a 1N overcall I'm much more likely to have a game than when I have a 2 of their minor overcall.

I mean seriously everyone says you never hold a 1N natural overcall in this situation but it seems pretty common to me.

You ask when was the last time I had a 1N overcall. Yesterday I kibitzed one match of a swiss when my pair game was done, and the player I was kibitzing had KJx AKx AQJx xxx and it went 1D p 1H. He bid 1N, and his partner bid 3N, and it was cold. If he had passed LHO would bid 2C and you just get a small plus on defense or in a partial if you balance. This kind of thing does not happen so infrequently in my experience. Sometimes you get to bid 1N and play a partial, with partner having a weak hand and a long suit and being able to bid/compete. Had you passed throughout, you would miss this. This is another gain of a natural 1N.

I think the difference in the perceived likeliness of having a natural 1N bid and my experience is just level of opps. No doubt if the opps are beginners and open with 12 and respond with 6, a 1N overcall is not that useful. The better opps you play, the more likely they will be to open light and/or respond very light.


Agree with all of this. I really dislike Sandwich.
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#16 User is offline   han 

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Posted 2010-December-30, 08:55

I had two sound 1NT overcalls yesterday, both times after both opponents had bid.
Please note: I am interested in boring, bog standard, 2/1.

- hrothgar
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#17 User is offline   jillybean 

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Posted 2010-December-30, 09:00

View Posthan, on 2010-December-30, 08:55, said:

I had two sound 1NT overcalls yesterday, both times after both opponents had bid.

Could you post the hands please, Han?
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#18 User is offline   gilceavag 

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Posted 2013-December-23, 03:54

View PostAntraxxx, on 2010-December-29, 01:36, said:

I read somewhere that in an auction that goes (1) - p - (1) - 2, the 2 is a natural overcall in spades. Generally, that when the opponents bid two suits, bidding the second one shows the suit naturally. However, why would I want to show a suit naturally when opponents got there first? It's unlikely to find a fit with partner, even if we do find a fit it'll split badly, and if the opponents end in game then I may have just steered them from playing a suit contract with bad splits, myself. So, what's to be gained by showing a suit showed by the opponents, assuming beginner level? (so no psyches)

Thanks.

Biding natural after the auction goes like 1cl-1sp-2p is out of bridge, no reason to play in opponent suit knowing they might have more trumps than you, immediate bid 2sp after 1sp is really wrong, you MUST pass 1st and if see no fit you can reopen if opponents quit biding at a low level, but not even in this situation you cant do it unless you have really strong cards. Bridge give you tones of possibilities to bid your cards, but bidding natural has absolutely no point, unless your partner reopen with a double. And again..why should i want play level 2 withy weak hand and 5 cards on opes suit? Is this the goal in bridge? Yuop have their suit and good cards..defence is easy..
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#19 User is offline   gilceavag 

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Posted 2013-December-23, 04:00

View Posthan, on 2010-December-29, 04:44, said:

Because you might have a game or good partscore in their suit.

Because youu might have a very strong spade suit.

Because other possible meanings for 2S are less useful.

By the way, I would play 2C as natural too.

You like often to play a part game in opss suit? if your partner passed and opss bid 2 suits already, where is your part score and what is the point? you would like and x and 2sp-2/3? what if your p has 0-3 points? Do you know something about ops cards after bid goes: 1cl-p-1sp-2sp? what do you know about ops cards aor about responder cards? I tell you: one single information , 1sp shows 4+ cards and 5+ points, but you already know missfit and werak response after 1cl open? yes.,.you can bid 2sp with natural meaning..but looks right for you? noone try find some speciall meaning,,how about a defence agaisnt 3nt or 2-3 sp bid by ops? You want involve 100% in all boards? you said you bid 2sp b/c you might lose a game or part score in spade..really? how you came to this conclusion? Your parnter's pas is forsing?
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#20 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2013-December-23, 07:52

I like to play 2 as natural (1m)-Pass-1. It's not a call that I make that often, but it happens. Give yourself a spade suit such as KQJTxx. You will be taking five tricks in spades. If I have some outside values I bid 2 because I expect to be able to make 2. Frequently it ends the auction, and when it does I generally find that I come out fine.

I have played 2 in other ways as well, but natural is my preference.

I have also preferred that bidding the opponent's minor be natural, but a current partner likes it to be two-suited and so I play that with him. I'm not convinced, but I play it his way, I am not sure we have yet had a hand where it made a difference which we were doing.

I usually agree to play the sandwich nt but I rarely actually make the call. Suppose the auction goes (1)-Pass-(1)-? and I have a weak hand with the red suits. The opponents will probably be playing this deal in spades, 1NT won't stop them from doing so, and then my rho probably will declare the had somewhat double dummy if I call 1NT now. I just pass. With enough concentration of values in the reds I will come in, but usually I pass.
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