Astro and intervention

Astro is the overcall of a 1NT opener to show interest in two suits with a 5-4 distribution. Point count is 11-12. In this example, West opens with 1NT, and North bids the 2♣ Astro Convention. This 2♣ overcall means North has nine cards with s as the anchor suit and a minor as the other suit:

North bids Astro

Conventionally North is asking partner for his s. But in this case the 2NT intervention by East relieves South of the need to respond. In fact South will not bid with 6 points or less, even if holding three cards in s. But with a 4-card suit in support he might bid 3s. Note that 2NT is showing a stop in ♣s. The Astro overcall is fully described in Chapter Thirteen.

Overcall of a suit opener – summary
Overcall of a suit opener
Opening bidOvercallPointsNotes
Opening one of any suitUnbalanced hand
1♠8-15Simple overcall at the one level; with a 5-carder and 2 honours
211-15Simple overcall at the two level; with a 5-carder and 2 honours
2♠/316+A jump overcall, with a good five-carder
2♠/312+Jump overcall, with a good six-carder
Double13-19A takeout double asks partner to suggest one of the unbid suits
Balanced hand
1NT15-17Double stop in opener’s suit
Minor18-19A waiting bid, planning to show NT next time round
Unbalanced hand – use these jump bid conventions (see Chapter Thirteen):
2NT8-15Unusual No Trump. Looks for minors
2NT8-15Michael’s Cue Bid. Looks for majors
Overcall of a No Trump opener
Overcall of a No Trump opener
Opening bidOvercallPointsNotes
1NT2/2♠/2/2♣15-17With a five-card suit
2♣12-14The 2♣ Acol weak double overcall
3/3♠16-18Jump overcall
Double16+A takeout double
2NT15-18Acol 2NT convention. Game force with a powerful two 6-carders

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To continue reading go to: Pre-emptive overcalls

By Nigel Benetton – based on the UK Acol Bridge Bidding System
Last updated: Friday, 9th April 2021