Monday, May 20, 2013

Balancing Jump Overcalls

West             North             East             South
1                 Pass               Pass             ?

South is in the balancing position....a pass would end the bidding. Should South ever make a "weak jump overcall?" No, because there is no need to jam up their bidding. With a very weak hand, just pass and leave them in their partscore; don't give them a chance to reconsider and perhaps bid a game. Therefore, jumping in the balancing position is not weak - it shows a good 6-card suit (or longer) and around an opening bid. If South's hand was:

♠ A Q J 9 7 5
 9 3
8 5
♣ K Q 6

South would jump to 2. North would know South has a decent hand, not a junky hand that is just balancing, and this bid makes it harder for the opponents to bid again on a low level. (With a weaker hand, South would bid 1; with a stronger hand, South would first make a takeout double and then bid spades.)