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Responding To Overcalls Which Could Be 4 Cards

#1 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-November-19, 18:39

There have been a few threads on the pros and cons of overcalling with 4 cards at the 1 level. I'm asking for people's opinions on how to respond to 1 level overcalls when in a significant minority of the time an overcall will be 4.

I'm not concerned about raising to 2 with 3 cards. My concerns are with:
1) Preemptive raises to the 3 and 4 level - how many cards, at what vulnerbility, and
2) Inviting/going to game with 3 card support, and distinguishing it from 4 card support.

Pd and I had been overcalling with 4, but pretty selectively (like to have KQJx or AKxx, or so), and so the frequency of 4 card overcalls was low enough so we just assumed 5, with little ill effect.

Our suit quality standards have been slipping a bit lately, but we still assume 5. This thread was prompted by the current "Feelin' Frisky" thread in Interesting Bridge Hands, where Ben advocated ovecalling at the 1 level with K108x in hearts (favorable, pd a passed hand). I kind of agreed, which made me realize how far my standards have been slipping.

What are the advancing practices of those who overcall fairly freely with 4?

Peter
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#2 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-November-19, 18:58

when i overcall with a 4 card suit it will be a decent suit *and* my cards in opener's suit will be well placed... for example, if rho bids diamonds and i overcall with a decent 4 card spade suit, i'll usually have something in diamonds (maybe Kx or something) iow, whatever values i have will be working... i'm not crazy about the K10xx example, even at favorable, but i might do it depending on other factors
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#3 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 05:57

As Jimmy I don´t take it in consideration unless I take to defend the hand(my partner does it quite frequently).

4 cards overcalls are made at their own risk, ideally the overcaller will have 5 cards in opener´s suit, wich normally is just what you need for LTT to fit with a 5 card suit overcall.

So the standard is just to bid 2 with 3 trumps, 3 with 4 and 4 with 5, or 1 step less if we are vulnerable and they aren´t.
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#4 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 06:52

I also agree: bid with 4 card, but know your partner consider's it as a 5 card. So with a poor 4 card you're bidding at your own risk.

Inviting is easy, you have a cuebid (or some transfer bid), and if overcaller has only a 4 card he'll either consider it as minimum, or rebid NT with a stopper. With 5 card bid as you'd do normally.
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#5 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 08:00

I prefer to play overcall systems that make aggressive use of 4 card major overcalls.
I've never had too much trouble with the advance structures.

Cue bids show limit+ values with 3 card just
Jump to 2NT shows limit+ with 4 card support
Jump shifts are fit showing
Jump cue bids show 4+ card support and shortage

A single raise shows three pieces
A jump raise to 3M shows 4 pieces

I don't see the problem...
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#6 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 08:26

If your partnership uses 4 card overcalls frequently, is that an alert?

If not it would seem to be a secret partnership agreement if not on cc somewhere.

If the opp do know about it then I would assume your results are less effective as they learn to combat it and most good results are from unprepared defense.
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#7 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 08:38

i don't think it's alertable... if an opponent asks, most people just say 'natural, 4+'... actually, whether the overcall suit is 4 or 5 probably won't matter re: defense... usually it's a 5 card suit anyway, so i don't see how an op can benefit by playing as if a 4 card suit was overcalled... he'd usually be wrong

btw, in my opinion overcalling with a 4 card suit isn't a matter of somehow messing with the opponents, it's just good bridge... all good bridge players occasionally overcall with a 4 card suit... lawrence's book is very good on this subject
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#8 User is offline   mikestar 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 08:52

In the ACBL, overcalling on four card suits is not an alert unless you do it above the one level--which very few do.

A one level overcall which frequently has less than 6 HCP is alertable (and prealertable) even if it promises 5 cards.
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#9 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 09:02

mike777, on Nov 20 2004, 05:26 PM, said:

If your partnership uses 4 card overcalls frequently, is that an alert?

If not it would seem to be a secret partnership agreement if not on cc somewhere.

If the opp do know about it then I would assume your results are less effective as they learn to combat it and most good results are from unprepared defense.

Failing to provide complete disclosure of methods is SO 1980s...

When I want to cheat, I normally find it much easier simply to dose my opponent's coffee. And, of course, a piece of rebar to the knees can certainly impact folks game.

Why is it that clueless gits feel free to accuse players who use somewhat unusual methods of cheating by failing to provide complete disclosure? More specifically, why are you accusing me of cheating?

In my experience,

(a) Folks who make the effort to play something unusual actually understand what they are playing and are in a much better position to describe their methods.

(B) Players who are using unusual methods are VERY aware that they do so at the discretion of the authorities and go out of their way to provide compelte disclosure. Are their exceptions to this rule? Of course... However, I expect MUCH better dislclosure from a precision pair than the LoL's playing their own twisted version of standard.
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#10 User is offline   pclayton 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 11:35

4 card overcalls are on the ACBL's card in black. So - its 'constructive disclosure' - i.e., the opponents have to look at the cc, but you don't have to alert.

In Overcall structure, where overcalls are frequently 4 baggers and as low as a 4-5 count, its alerted - usually you say "its a hand that many would preempt on".

For instance an automatic 2 overcall over 1 can be: xxx, xxx, x, KQJxxx.
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#11 User is offline   pbleighton 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 11:37

"A single raise shows three pieces
A jump raise to 3M shows 4 pieces"

Richard -

1) Do you play that the single raise is only 3, and ~6-10, and the jump raise is 4, ~6-10, or is the single raise 3+, ~6-10, and the double 4 and very weak?

2) How aggressive are you? RHO deals and opens 1D. Would you overcall 1S with KJ7x-xx-Kxxx-Kxx?

Peter
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#12 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2004-November-20, 11:51

>1) Do you play that the single raise is only 3, and ~6-10,
>and the jump raise is 4, ~6-10, or is the single raise 3+, ~6-10,
>and the double 4 and very weak?

Not fond of HCP, particular in fit showing auctions...
Losers make life much easier.

Raises to the two level or three level are semi-preemptive, promising about 9 losers.
Raising to 2 level shows three card support, raising to the three level shows 4+ card support

>2) How aggressive are you? RHO deals and opens 1D.
>Would you overcall 1S with KJ7x-xx-Kxxx-Kxx?

I'd happily open 2 with the hand in question. I'm certainly willing to make a 1 overcall. I'd prefer KJT7 in Spades, but nothing's perfect

As I've noted before (and as Ben mentioned in this same thread), if you are adopting this type of overcall style, then you should put in the work necessary to develop a comprehensive system.

I'm fond of

1. "Power" doubles with Herbert negatives
2. Overcalling on 4 card suits at the 1 level
3. Raptor NT overcall
4. Cue bid = weak/pure takeout
5. Jump shift = Roman Jump Overcalls
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