The Roman Jump Overcall

The two cheapest jump overcalls over a one level bid by opener show the suit bid and the higher touching suit with generally 6-15 HCP. There will always be at least nine cards in the two suits. If there are only 9 cards, the lower ranking will always have five cards and the higher ranking will have four. The bids are as follows with minimum holdings and tendencies: The point ranges and limitations are very sensitive to relative vulnerability. Non-vulnerable vs. vulnerable opponents, 2H/1C with S Jxxxxx H Txxxxx D x C --, would be acceptable. Vulnerable vs. non-vulnerable opponents, 2H/1C with S KJxx H AJxxx D Qx C KQ, would be reasonable, as opposed to a double, especially opposite a passed partner. One hand that you will never have is 4-5-3-1 shape with shortness in opener's suit because that is a NTO.

Responding to a RJOC - Uncontested Auction

  1. Cue-bid shows the best possible hand; either interested in one of overcaller's suits or the fourth suit. Responding in the cheapest possible fashion shows the worst hand by overcaller. Certain responses are logical. For example, if the auction proceeded 1D - 2H - P - 3D; P - ?, then a 3H response shows any minimum, 3S shows a 5-5 relative minimum, 3 NT shows relative extras with a diamond stopper (probably 4-5-3-1 shape), 4C/D both show relative maximums with shortness in that suit, and 4H shows 6 hearts and 4 spades with a little extra.
  2. 2NT response promises at least invitational values, and leaves more room to investigate. It also tends to show interest in the higher ranking suit. Again, follow the maxim that the cheaper the response, the worse the hand overcaller has. Jumps are still like in the cue-bid above, showing shortness and extras.
  3. Any raise of either the higher ranking or the lower ranking suit is blocking whether a single or double raise. A double jump of the higher ranking suit is mildly invitational red v. white.
  4. Bidding the fourth suit as a non-jump is non-forward going , but a single jump in the fourth suit would be a splinter while a game bid in the fourth suit would be to play. This can be a little confusing, but doesn't come up very often.

Responding to a RJOC - Contested Auction

  1. If the opponents double, redouble is equivalent to a cue-bid above.
  2. Pass is to play. Any other bid is essentially as above.
  3. If the opponents raise or bid the 4th suit, a double replaces the cue bid. A double at a very high level just shows values. Any raises of the higher ranking suit aren't necessarily invitational, but remember advancer is under pressure. We would probably re-raise to game with a maximum.

We have auctions where responder quickly leaps to game following a RJOC. What frequently happens on these hands is that no one knows who can make what, nor do the opponents have the courage to double us, fearing that it will be a lucky make. Many times we go down two, maybe even vulnerable. Even so, most times the opponents have a game in a side suit, and can't find it because responder is forced to pass on certain hands over a RJOC while opener can't take action at the four or five level. We thus have an effective tool for finding good sacrifices; sometimes even good sacrifices versus their partscores. Try to utilize this preemption whenever possible.


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