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Overcalling a weak 2 bid and its continuation.

#1 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 11:51

Recently my wife was faced with this deal and later asked me how I would have bid it. I am just not sure what I told her was best. In the end we can't get back to the hand so I can't play it for myself...
2 Heart Weak
She ended up bidding 2 to which all passed and dummy laid down a small doubleton in spades. Both sides were bidding in a 2/1 system with identical cards (it was on her phone). I suggested a rebid of 2NT with 15- and a stop and a half in Hearts. She thought I was daft and immediately asked me what I would do in response to the bid, which I had to think about...To answer that I needed to see North's hand and its displayed below
I'm assuming West would pass the 2 NT bid as it did pass 2Since we are the interlopers 2 NT isn't lebensohl and is showing a balanced hand. Sitting across from my wife, I might be tempted to bid a garbage Stayman here to keep the auction going so I can show my diamonds, or preferably pass her 3 response. I hesitate to bid 3 directly for fear of the 3 hearts response, which miscommunicates my hand and raises the auction without providing any information. So in all fairness I likely pass and be happy to make. If I am playing on my phone, my bid would probably be a 4 four suit transfer bid and I would take my chances in 4, but my wife doesn't play that yet so...Is there a better way to bid this hand?Was my advice of the 2NT overcall sound or should I redact my previous statement and offer her a better approach?Is there anyway for us to land in 3 Diamonds?What would you interpret 3 to mean after a 2NT overcall of 2Thanks for any input.Regards,Bill
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#2 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 12:14

I see nothing wrong with 2. so it didn't workout that's why people pre-empt as much as possible, its hard to deal with
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#3 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 12:19

I think 2n and 2s are both reasonable bids. After 2s I think partner should pass. After 2n he might just find a raise to 3n. I don't see any reason to use stayman.

Btw 2n is a bid scary if you haven't discussed if transfers and stayman apply after a notrump overcall!
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#4 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 12:23

FWIW, I agree with your wife in terms of overcalling 2, altho I can certainly see the attractions of 2N. I just think that suppressing a decent (not 'good') 5 card spade suit is a bit much.

If partner has values, we can sometimes get back into notrump after bidding spades, but it is almost impossible to get back into spades after bidding notrump, unless partner has 4+ spades (in which case, we weren't getting to notrump after spades anyway....with 4+ support partner will always put us into spades no matter what we try (below 6N, anyway)

Once we overcall 2, we are stuck there. West doesn't have the values to bid, since 3 would be forcing in any mainstream method.

I really don't understand your suggestion of a transfer. If 4 is diamonds, how do you show clubs? Please don't tell me that you use either 3 or (shudder) 3N to show clubs!

In any event, firstly this is the B/N forum so transfer advances of overcalls of any opening, pre-empt or otherwise, is not a good idea, and secondly I wouldn't want to suggest playing in 4 (or higher) over a 2 overcall. What is there about this advancing hand that makes one think that 4 is a better contract than 2?

Btw, I have played a scheme that involves transfer advances of overcalls of pre-empts, but the transfers start with the cuebid and end 1 below our suit, so here 3 would show either invitational spade values or slam try (or, rarely, choice of games, expecting to bid 3N over partner's 3 rejection of the ostensible invitational raise. Over a weak 2, we'd have the ability to transfer into hearts, constructive or better, via 3. I don't see how you can play 4 level transfers effectively without giving up 3 (which means that the meaning of 3 becomes way too wide) or 3N, and giving up a natural 3N strikes me as horrible, even if one were prepared to use lebensohl, so that 2N would be forcing....which I wouldn't do anyway, since a constructive 2N is more use than using 3N as a club transfer.
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#5 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 13:28

View Poststeve2005, on 2014-November-24, 12:14, said:

I see nothing wrong with 2. so it didn't workout that's why people pre-empt as much as possible, its hard to deal with

I'll let her know of the +1 for her bid.

View Posthelene_t, on 2014-November-24, 12:19, said:

I think 2n and 2s are both reasonable bids. After 2s I think partner should pass. After 2n he might just find a raise to 3n. I don't see any reason to use stayman.

Btw 2n is a bid scary if you haven't discussed if transfers and stayman apply after a notrump overcall!


Make that +2, I rejected Stayman pretty quickly, I thought the chance of getting the 3 response was pretty small, but without knowing the holding I was just looking for a way to talk about my diamonds.

View Postmikeh, on 2014-November-24, 12:23, said:

FWIW, I agree with your wife in terms of overcalling 2, altho I can certainly see the attractions of 2N. I just think that suppressing a decent (not 'good') 5 card spade suit is a bit much.

If partner has values, we can sometimes get back into notrump after bidding spades, but it is almost impossible to get back into spades after bidding notrump, unless partner has 4+ spades (in which case, we weren't getting to notrump after spades anyway....with 4+ support partner will always put us into spades no matter what we try (below 6N, anyway)



OK + 3 for spades, I'm going to have to concede the point, for not the first or last time.

But...

I wasn't crazy about the spades due to the distribution of the points, The presence of stoppers seemed more important to talk about, but I frequently open five card majors 1 NT so I might incorrectly be applying that logic here. Since North hasn't had a chance to bid yet, and I am half expecting LHO to support hearts to the 3 level, my thinking was: I want to tell partner about my overall strength, balanced hand, and that I have some heart honors.

View Postmikeh, on 2014-November-24, 12:23, said:

Once we overcall 2, we are stuck there. West doesn't have the values to bid, since 3 would be forcing in any mainstream method.

I really don't understand your suggestion of a transfer. If 4 is diamonds, how do you show clubs? Please don't tell me that you use either 3 or (shudder) 3N to show clubs!

In any event, firstly this is the B/N forum so transfer advances of overcalls of any opening, pre-empt or otherwise, is not a good idea, and secondly I wouldn't want to suggest playing in 4 (or higher) over a 2 overcall. What is there about this advancing hand that makes one think that 4 is a better contract than 2?



Should I have asked this in the Intermediate forum? If someone wants to move the thread please feel free. I will in the future, default to that forum.

3 is forcing over 2 ...

With regards to the transfers, I am just playing what is available to me, and it was only one of the options I suggested. Sitting at a table I would most likely pass the 2NT, sitting on my couch, or if West bids 3 hearts I might play it in 4.

The system seems to work very similar to what is presented in The Lebesohl Convention Complete by Ron Anderson even though this is not a lebenesohl sequence. It was this book that caused me to turn it on in the first place. Using it I haven't met with too many calamities and I can seem to land in any contract I want. The only problem I run into is when I want to hide my tenaces, It's hard for me to become declarer in these sequences.

It works basically like this:

After a weak 2 Preempt bidding 2 NT shows a balanced strong NT Open. From there

Pass = flat 9-

3 = Stayman

3 transfers to

3 transfers to

3 transfers to

3 NT flat 9+ (natural and not forcing)

4 transfers to

The appeal of a transfer here to me is that the overcaller of a preempt will usually have the stronger hand (which is obviously the case this time) and as such I would like to allow her to declare.


View Postmikeh, on 2014-November-24, 12:23, said:

Btw, I have played a scheme that involves transfer advances of overcalls of pre-empts, but the transfers start with the cuebid and end 1 below our suit, so here 3 would show either invitational spade values or slam try (or, rarely, choice of games, expecting to bid 3N over partner's 3 rejection of the ostensible invitational raise. Over a weak 2, we'd have the ability to transfer into hearts, constructive or better, via 3. I don't see how you can play 4 level transfers effectively without giving up 3 (which means that the meaning of 3 becomes way too wide) or 3N, and giving up a natural 3N strikes me as horrible, even if one were prepared to use lebensohl, so that 2N would be forcing....which I wouldn't do anyway, since a constructive 2N is more use than using 3N as a club transfer.


This is where I am getting a little confused. 2NT can't be lebensohl because we are overcalling, not dealing with interference. That's most likely my fault since I mentioned it first. I am also discussing my response to 2NT in the auction so after 2 2NT- (P) - ? I wouldn't know about her Spades and would most definitely want to talk about my diamonds as I have little tolerance for no trump sitting in North. 2NT is not forcing, and 3NT is natural in the system described above. I doubt that is going to change opinions though. I do like your transfer scheme which seems to be of use when the preempt overcall isn't in NT. In those sequences my responses are usually natural.
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#6 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 13:46

View Postmikeh, on 2014-November-24, 12:23, said:

I really don't understand your suggestion of a transfer. If 4 is diamonds, how do you show clubs? Please don't tell me that you use either 3 or (shudder) 3N to show clubs!

In any event, firstly this is the B/N forum so transfer advances of overcalls of any opening, pre-empt or otherwise, is not a good idea, and secondly I wouldn't want to suggest playing in 4 (or higher) over a 2 overcall.


I think this is where things went South... My suggestion of a transfer would have been North's response to my suggested 2 NT overcall of the pre-empt, not the 2 she actually bid. I would have definitely passed her 2S overcall just as had actually happened. So 2 - 2NT - (P) - 4 - (P) - 4 - All (P) would have been the full theoretical transfer auction.
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#7 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 14:10

I think that 2 is the best bid, though I wouldn't fault 2NT.

If I held the North hand and I heard partner overcall 2NT, I'd bid 3NT.
If 2NT makes, 3NT will as well and who wants to play 5m.
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#8 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 14:24

Bad thing about 2 is that pd will have hard time to find a bid with the hands that he has no spade fit. Obviously he will not have stopper(s) in suit thus he can't bid NT, he can not cue w/o fit unless he has big hand. And although by bidding 2 NT we can miss a spade fit, 2 NT or 3 NT can still be the best place to play and/or at least playable. Fwiw I am 2 NT bidder. And tbh, if/when I end up playing in 3 NT, I prefer pd holding 3+ spades more than I prefer him holding 0-1-2 spades.
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#9 User is offline   ArtK78 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 14:49

Unless I am mistaken, MikeH thought that you were referring to transfer advances of the 2 overcall, not of the 2NT overcall that was not made. [I see that you already mentioned that]

With my regular partner, I play Puppet Stayman and 4-suit transfers over a 2NT overcall, in the same way that we play them over a 2NT opening. This is a playable method. If you play Puppet Stayman over the 2NT overcall, it might make you more likely to bid 2NT on these cards, as partner can find out if you have 5 spades.
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#10 User is offline   rmnka447 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 14:59

I don't have any problem with either 2 or 2 NT. I would prefer 2 NT because the suit isn't that good and there is a potential double stopper in s.
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#11 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 15:21

ArtK78 said:

1416862193[/url]' post='821376']
Unless I am mistaken, MikeH thought that you were referring to transfer advances of the 2 overcall, not of the 2NT overcall that was not made. [I see that you already mentioned that]

With my regular partner, I play Puppet Stayman and 4-suit transfers over a 2NT overcall, in the same way that we play them over a 2NT opening. This is a playable method. If you play Puppet Stayman over the 2NT overcall, it might make you more likely to bid 2NT on these cards, as partner can find out if you have 5 spades.


On a reread, I caught that too, and tried to post a correction. The phone doesn't use puppet on the 2 nt over call, but I kind of like the idea. I use puppet over 2nt openers, but not 4 suit transfers again configuration limitations... I wouldn't have invoked stayman on this particular auction with doubleton spades and counting 9 known hearts plus pd implied heart stoppers means west is most likely stiff.
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#12 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 15:29

MrAce said:

1416860678[/url]' post='821370']
Bad thing about 2 is that pd will have hard time to find a bid with the hands that he has no spade fit. Obviously he will not have stopper(s) in suit thus he can't bid NT, he can not cue w/o fit unless he has big hand. And although by bidding 2 NT we can miss a spade fit, 2 NT or 3 NT can still be the best place to play and/or at least playable. Fwiw I am 2 NT bidder. And tbh, if/when I end up playing in 3 NT, I prefer pd holding 3+ spades more than I prefer him holding 0-1-2 spades.


It's probably inexperience, but I shy away from NT contracts when I know ops have a 6 card or longer suit, which is what would make me want to transfer. I would rather play in minor part score than 2NT part score and I'm probably not gutsy enough to bid 3NT.
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#13 User is offline   wittelsbac 

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Posted 2014-November-24, 18:41

The S suit is not so strong. The hand is oriented to notrumps. 2NT is a better bid.
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#14 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 03:53

How about using Lebensohl over 2? I doubt the phone does it but then 2N 3 3 pass gets you where you want to be. All other bids are then forcing seems like you are only losing a natural 2N, which is hard to define a range for anyway
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#15 User is offline   phoenix214 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 07:14

I have a suggestion for you, maybe it makes life simpler.
Do you need stayman when you overcall over their major suit? Well most likely you do, but since that would be a strong(inv or GF) bid anyway, you can give yourself some extra options by rotating the bids:
3 - diamonds
3 - 4 and invite(stayman)
3 - spades
3 - clubs
Now you get your diamond transfer in on a cheep level, also this can be used in the situation (1M)-1NT
Anyhow, with the problem you had with your wife. If you do not have any tools to bid, then just pass the contract she bid and wish her luck...
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#16 User is offline   kgr 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 09:28

My first thought was 2NT. (Not sure if I'm good enough to make this count as a +1 for you :) ).
Note:
After (2H)-2NT we don't play the same system as after a 2NT opening because we don't want to play in H anymore.
3C is a puppet to 3D and can be weak with D or S, or some other strong hands.
Our bidding at IMPS would then be:
(2H)-2NT-3C-3D
or
(2H)-2NT-3NT
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#17 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 10:51

View Postphoenix214, on 2014-November-25, 07:14, said:

I have a suggestion for you, maybe it makes life simpler.
Do you need stayman when you overcall over their major suit? Well most likely you do, but since that would be a strong(inv or GF) bid anyway, you can give yourself some extra options by rotating the bids:
3 - diamonds
3 - 4 and invite(stayman)
3 - spades
3 - clubs
Now you get your diamond transfer in on a cheep level, also this can be used in the situation (1M)-1NT
Anyhow, with the problem you had with your wife. If you do not have any tools to bid, then just pass the contract she bid and wish her luck...


I wasn't playing with my wife at the time. She was playing while I was at work. so all I had was a screen shot taken right after dummy fell.

At first glance I like the bidding structure, especially being able to show both minors cheaply, but I need to spend some time thinking through the various auctions... Just for clarification is it supposed to be 3 - 4 is the acceptance with 4 spades, 3NT would be acceptance without 4 spades, what would a response of 3 show? Slam try in spades, or should it be a sign off? Would a cue bid (i.e. completing the transfer) be better to show interest in continuing the auction? Should the cue show, deny or be silent on hearts stopper? I kind of like 3 levels as showing weaker overcalls and cues as showing slam interest. this would take the top end of the range off the 2NT overcall.

So transfers could be used on weaker hands with long suits 5(6?)+ (continuation of strong transfers TBD) and Stayman would denote some extra strength with interest in a major suit game.
1 [tab] 2
So these would be the possible Stayman auctions:
2 - 2NT - (P) - 3 (Stayman) - 3, 3 or 3NT (3 here could be pick your major with Smolen responses), extra strength would need to be shown at your next turn to bid.
2 - 2NT - (P) - 3 (Stayman) - 3, 3NT, 4, 3 super accept in spades
2 - 2NT - (P) - 3 (Stayman) - (Pass) minimum 4+ hearts, 3NT, 4, 3 super accept in hearts --This would be the only auction where the strong hand doesn't declare.


Great now I have even more questions, I might start a new thread in the intermediate forum after some more thought. Our local club was recently able to scratch up two tables for a Wednesday night game, and they seem to have me (correctly) marked as the newbie and I was stymied by a preempt multiple times on the two occasions I was able to play. They also seemed very capable of working around my preempts.

As an aside, is there a better way to format sequences like the above so they are more readable. I looked through the pinned topics and the help section, but didn't find much. If there is a preferred format please provide a link.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion...
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#18 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 11:32

The other commentators have covered all the bases regarding responses to 2 or 2NT. In my opinion you are a tad too balanced to call 2 and a tad too skinny to call 2NT. And the pressure is on you in 2nd position. Can you conceivably pass with a 15 count? And how about the vulnerability? Mmmm...

Whatever you do could be right or wrong. That's the luck element in bridge and we all have to accept that. It's statistically more likely that you miss a part score as opposed to a game, and the ops probably will find it uncomfortable playing in 2 if that is their final resting place if you do pass.

And, it also depends on what sort of hands partner will balance in 4th position too. Decisions, decisions...

Bidding 2NT just gives partner the impression that you have a stronger hand than you have, so maybe 2 is the lesser evil. And passing could turn out well too.

2 may also induce the ops to sacrifice in too - something you would be happy with - so, on reflection bid 2 and hope for the best.
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#19 User is offline   wclucas42 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 12:10

View Postnekthen, on 2014-November-25, 03:53, said:

How about using Lebensohl over 2? I doubt the phone does it but then 2N 3 3 pass gets you where you want to be. All other bids are then forcing seems like you are only losing a natural 2N, which is hard to define a range for anyway


The way I play it right now is the 2NT open shows a strong NT open on overcall.

As I mentioned in another reply dealing with these preemptions has been on my mind lately. When I played at my first club game back in September, I was preempted a fair bit. I was only able to declare twice out of 27 boards, and while it was very helpful for my defensive game, I didn't get much declarer practice. Comparing scores it was obvious the other table either wasn't preempted or were able to work around it. I asked the other players how they dealt with the preempts, and that's where I first heard about 4 suit transfers, etc. I looked at using lebonsohl as well because I was starting at the two level anyway, but I was just learning the convention (still am honestly) and it made my head swim.

View Postkgr, on 2014-November-25, 09:28, said:

My first thought was 2NT. (Not sure if I'm good enough to make this count as a +1 for you :) ).
Note:
After (2H)-2NT we don't play the same system as after a 2NT opening because we don't want to play in H anymore.
3C is a puppet to 3D and can be weak with D or S, or some other strong hands.
Our bidding at IMPS would then be:
(2H)-2NT-3C-3D
or
(2H)-2NT-3NT

I can't see why I wouldn't count it, but I forgot to tally the marks in the 2NT column in general : /.

This also looks like the lebensohl 2NT, but lebonsohl is a lot more than a 2 NT bid.

So in your bidding would 2 - 2NT - 3 - 3 be Stayman with a heart stopper conversely would 2 - 3 be Stayman without a stopper? (this is where I started tanking) or do you just borrow the 2NT puppet bid?

From what I understand, in this use case lebonsohl is used after the takeout double of a weak 2 bid by the responder. I wasn't and am still not really certain it would work invoked for overcalls and advances.

Quickly applying lebonsohl:

overcalls of 2 of higher suit would still be natural and non-forcing

overcalls of 2NT puppets a 3 club (3 level continuations would work)

overcalls of 3 of a suit could still be game forcing

overcalls of 3 level cue bid, could still be Stayman w/o stopper (I don't know what advancer would do here with out stops in the opps suit and no 4 card major, is a new suit to play? How could he force? if short in opps suit, how could he show a long minor with slam interest? It's not like he can retreat to a previously bid suit so sign off and forces become problematic)

3NT makes me a little sick to my stomach, but transfers the problem nicely.

Being able to apply lebonsohl here has the advantage of one fewer gadget to memorize, but it seems like it will wrong side more contracts than 4 suit transfers... and as nekthen points out, I also lose the ability to pass in 2 NT as it is now a puppet bid.


Thanks for the responses, it's given me a lot to think about.
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#20 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2014-November-25, 12:28

View Postwclucas42, on 2014-November-24, 13:28, said:

Should I have asked this in the Intermediate forum?


It depends on how complicated you want the answers to be.

I am not sure what you mean when you refer to Lebensohl. Usually in this context it applies if the overcaller had doubled instead. Advancer's 2NT then puppets to 3, which is pass-or-correct (though advancer may do something else with your choice of hand-types.
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