The Wokingham Paper

ROUND THE BRIDGE TABLE: How to deal with a pre-emptive overcall


This week I would like to use a hand we played recently to demonstrate how difficult it is to deal with a pre-emptive overcall.

West dealt and passed.

I was North and opened 1D showing 12-19 points and at least four diamonds.  East made an excellent overcall of 3S.  This is a pre-emptive bid and shows a weak hand, usually about 6-10 points and a good 7-card spade suit.  A pre-emptive bid makes the auction very difficult for the opponents.

It is so high it is hard to call over and also as the pre-empter has such a long suit it is difficult to penalty double them.

My partner chose to bid 4D, which in the circumstances was a good option.  He wanted to show his hearts but it would be too dangerous to introduce a new suit at the 4-level which is higher ranking than mine at this stage.  I bid 5D and was fortunate to make it with an overtrick.  Because our opponents had two aces they could have made two tricks.

However, East led ♠Q and I won it in dummy with the ace.

I led ♢2 to my king and East’s ace.  East now has a tricky decision because he does not know whether I have ♠K or his partner does.

He led another spade and I was able to win in hand, take out the remaining trumps and discard my two clubs on dummy’s long hearts.

Without the overcall it would be easy to bid to 4H and score 420 but were lucky to also score 420 by playing in 5D+1.

Contact June Booty on 07846 397875 or for information about Bridge classes and duplicate.




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