Quick summary

Remember, they are weak, and trying to steal your contract, so be aggressive.

To overcall a Preemptive opening bid at the 3 level you only need:

If you are very strong (say 5-losers, 6-card suit):

Overcalling in NT is harder after a weak-3 preemptive opening than after a weak-2.

To double (for takeout!) at the three level, & forcing a possible 4-level response, you need

In the pass-out seat, be more aggressive

Do not double for penalties 1st time round

Responding to the overcall:


Print cribsheet

Bridge Venue

Example Deal
spade A K 8
heart A Q 7
diamond K 6 5
club A 4 3 2
Example Deal
You: South
Dealer: West
Vuln: all

Strong advancer sits opposite pre-emt overcaller
Go to quiz (& full page) of deal # 126050

Click the + buttons to peep

Click the + buttons to peep

Click the + buttons to peep

Click the + buttons to peep
#1+<-- click the + to show/hide one possible Bidding Sequence
3C 3H p ???

#2+<-- click the + for explanation of relevant Bidding Techniques

#3+<-- click the + for ideas on the Opening Lead

#4+OK, What's Your Plan for trying to make the contract ?

Only after you've thought about your plan for a short (but important) while, click the + to show/hide Card Play questions.

«  0108  »

Interfering bids. Overcalling a Preempt

Very frustrating

The thieving enemy is weak, so try to be aggressive!

You've got a lovely opening hand, but RHO has opened with a preemptive 3club, and suddenly you can't really say anything. Annoyingly, you know they've only got 6-10HCP.

But that's the whole point of their bid. They are trying to deny you a contract, using the one thing they've got: length.

You can smile, and privately swear revenge to do the same thing to them when you get the chance . . .

Unless either. . .

. . . you have a good strong long suit that you can bid at the 3-level.

With 12HCP and at least 6-cards in a suit (or 5 really good ones) overcall in your long suit, in this case (overcalling their 3club) that could be 3 of diamond,heart or spade.

Your partner will know that you are only interested in playing in the suit you bid, and will not try to bid his own different suit, especially with so little bidding space. There's really not much point at this stage of having a battle of the deaf. (That's also partly because his next bid of any suit will be taken as a cuebid showing Slam interest and first round control of a suit, which is far more useful, see deal #126050 for an example).

The situation is somewhat similar to defending a weak 2 opening, a page where you can also read about overcalling in some extra situations

  • when you are very strong (double then rebid your suit)
  • in NT (but difficult after 3 opening)
  • in the pass-out seat (being more aggressive).

Or double for takeout can work too. . .

. . . if you are short in the enemy's preemptive opening bid (quite likely), and good in the other suits, you could "double for takeout".

This forces your partner to bid their longest suit, and in most cases could require a 4-level reply. You should therefore have a strong 6-loser hand.

For example, after 3heart from the enemy to your right, suppose you have this hand:

Hand 1
S A K 8 3  

You are short in heart, and good enough to take any bid from your partner in any suit. You've got 14HCP, plus nice shape, with 5.5 losers. You know the enemy is weak.

H 2
D K Q 5 2
C Q 10 9 6

3heart is not a strong opening bid, so double for takeout. You partner will bid his longest suit. (This double can be left by partner of the doubler if the partner has two stops in the enemy Heart suit and he considers more points will be gained by defeating the contract).

Do not double for penalties first time round

Because your partner will get very confused and upset.

Doubling for penalties can come later. For example, after 3heart from the enemy, suppose you have this hand:

Hand 2
S 4  

Instead you must pass. If you double your partner will think you're asking him to choose his best suit from anything other than Hearts. And to ‘take you out' of the double. Worst of all, he will most likely jump to 4spade.

H K Q 10 5 2
D K 8 4
C A Q 5 4

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).



About us   Contact us     Terms & conditions of use      Log in      Comment on current page

© Bid and Made. Nothing on this website may be reproduced without written permission from Bid and Made. Just drop us a line, and we'll almost certainly say yes.