Can You Make A 1NT Response After A Suit Overcall?

Yes, you can and it is still used to show a fairly weak hand, but it isn’t quite the same as making a 1NT response when the opponents haven’t overcalled. Once the opponents have made a suit overcall you must hold a stopper in that suit if you are going to make a 1NT bid.  Also, you will want to be holding 7 to 10 points, whereas without the overcall you would bid 1NT with 6 – 9 points.

Why the increase in minimum points?

Without an overcall we should bid if we hold 6 or more points.  Our partner could hold 18 or 19 points and still have made an opening bid of one of a suit.  We don’t want to miss a game bid. However, once an overcall has been made, partner will have the opportunity to bid again anyway, so we can pass on a poor hand with 6 points.

Take a look at these examples:

Example 1 1NT bid after overcall This is a nice, balanced hand and ideal hand for making a bid of 1NT.  If our partner rebids 2NT, we would be happy to continue to bid for game with 3NT.
Example 2

This isn’t nearly such an attractive hand.  Without the overcall we would usually bid 1NT as it has 6 HCPs.  Now, with the overcall, we can pass as partner has the opportunity to bid again anyway.

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