The 2 No Trump Overcall
The 2NT bid shows a strong two suited hand. One suit is always known, which is the non-touching suit, over 1 club it's hearts and over 1 diamond it's spades and vice versa. What do we mean by strong? Any hand that has fewer than 4 1/2 AKQ losers (according to the Losing Trick Count - LTC8).
Here's an example 2NT bid over a 1 heart opening:
S A H x D AK9x C KQT9xxx.
This is a pretty good three loser hand; the hand has a loser in every suit outside of spades. Slams would be a pretty good bargain opposite an ace and queen fourth or fifth in either minor. As it turned out, we were in slam opposite the ace of hearts, JTxx of diamonds and a stiff club, which worked when the diamond hook was on through the opening bidder. Although
the 2NT can be off-shape as in the example, the normal would be 5-5 or a good 6-4, like S x H QJTxx D AKQxxx C x. The advantage we have comes from quickly describing our hand, allowing advancer to make a good decision even with a modicum of values. It's never this easy in standard.
Responding to 2NT - Uncontested Auction
- Bid of known suit is to play with a very weak hand.
- Bidding the cheapest non-cuebid suit also shows a weak hand looking to play in the back suit.
- Bypassing the cheaper non-cuebid suit implies an ok hand for the higher suit and a tolerance to play in the anchor suit, but essentially it's still weak.
- Cue-bid asks for further description; tends to be a good invitation or better. Doesn't promise more than 1 trick, since 2NT has 4 1/2 losers or fewer.
- Jump in known suit either to play in game or invitational if not already game.
- Jump in unknown suit or opener's suit is a splinter for overcaller's known suit.
Responding to 2NT - Contested Auction
These auctions come up quite infrequently, but are awesome when they do. Just be familiar with the general process involved and go from there. When these auctions come up, remember to look at the potential cover cards in your hand because many of these positional games and slams roll home as the points have already been located.
- If the opponents bid a suit:
- bid of anchor suit is to play -- weak.
- double is the same as cue bid if anchor suit could be bid at 3 level. Value showing if anchor suit cannot be bid at 3 level, and tends to deny fit for anchor suit.
- If the opponents double:
- bidding anchor suit is to play; redouble is the same as cue bid above.
- pass forces a redouble or bid of second suit if lower than anchor.
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