~Bidding Over the Enemy 1NT

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The strength of a 1NT bid is the strength in high cards; the weakness to the bid is the balanced shape and lack of long suits. An opponent with  a long suit of six or more cards or two suits of five cards each may be able to overbid the 1NT opener with good success. The Rule of Eight is a good indicator of when to pass and when to overcall. The Rule of Eight requires that the overcaller hold at least 6 HCP and adequate shape defined as follows: add the number of cards in the overcallers two longest suits (nine if the overcaller has 6-3-2-2 or 6-3-3-1 shape—or maybe 10 when 6-4). With two suits of five or more cards, the total will be 10 or more. Now, count the losers in the hand and subtract that number from the number of cards in the two long suits. If that number is two or more, the Rule of Eight has been met (6 HCP+ the resultant 2 or more equals 8 or more). Bid whatever convention describes the holding.

Popular conventions are Meckwell, Hamilton/Cappalletti and D.O.N.T.

Meckwell:

~Double: 1-suited minor or both majors. Partner responds 1C.
~2C: Clubs and a major.
~2D: Diamonds and a major.
~2H/2S: A natural 1-suiter in the suit bid.
~2NT: Both minors.

Hamilton:

~Double: for penalty. Partner passes unless weak.
~2C shows a long suit; partner bids 2D and the overcaller either passes or bids the long suit.
~2D shows both majors.
~2H shows hearts and a minor.
~2S shows spades and a minor.

~Strength: can double for penalty
~Weakness: may have to play clubs at the 3-level. You may want to increase strength requirements when clubs is the long suit.

D.O.N.T.:

~Double shows a long suit. Partner must bid 2C and the overcaller passes or bids the long suit.
~2C shows clubs and a higher suit.
~2D shows diamonds and a higher suit.
~2H shows hearts and a higher suit (H & S).
~2S shows a long spade suit.

~Strengths: Fits can be found at the 2-level. There are two ways to show a long spade suit—either by bidding 2S directly or by first doubling and then bidding 2S. Some play that 2S denies a full opener while doubling first shows the stronger suit. Others play that 2S may be a strong 5-card suit while doubling first shows 6+ cards in the spade suit.
~
Weakness: No penalty double available.

 

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