L6.1 – Overcalls

After the opponents have opened any bidding action by the other side is called competitive bidding.

So there is only ever one opener and their partner responds to that opener. If we then ‘get in the action’ our bids can never be opening bids and therefore :- 

An overcall is NEVER the same as an opening bid . Some beginners  confuse  opening  bids and overcalls – This won’t happen to you !!


There are a number of reasons for overcalling :-

  • We might make game , never a slam as they have at least 12 points !!
  • We might make a part score and not them
  • They might get into a bad contract and “go down”
  • We can use the overcall to direct partner as to a ‘good lead’ 

You are allowed to overcall if :- 

  • You have a 5 card or longer suit 
  • You have 7-15 points 
  • The suit is headed up with 2 honour cards
  • You can only overcall at the 2 level if you have 10 HCP or more

If you have strength (12-15 HCP)  you can ‘jump overcall” 

If have a stopper in their suit you can overcall at 1NT if you have 16-18 HCP