Bidding over the Opponents’ Preemptive Openings

“When in doubt” guidelines for actions in the direct seat (right-hand opponent opens a weak two-bid or three-bid):

In the balancing seat (2H-Pass-Pass-?):

A helpful convention: Leaping Michaels (direct-seat overcalls after they open a weak 2-bid)

Over an opponent's Weak 2-Bid in a major (opening of 2H or 2S), here are the meanings of "Leaping Michaels" direct overcalls: 

Over an opponent's Weak 2D opening:  A jump cuebid (2D-4D) = Both majors.

Summary of Direct-Seat Actions

Your action:

Over their Weak 2-bid:

Over their 3-bid:

Simple overcall

10-17 points
5+ card suit

12-17 points
6+-card suit or strong 5+ cards


12+ points, shortness in their suit
3-4+ cards in all unbid suits
  OR 18+ points and a long suit

14+ points, shortness in their suit
3+ cards in all unbid suits
  OR 19+ points and a long suit

Double, then bid a suit

17+ points
Strong 5+-card suit

18+ points
Strong 5+-card suit

Jump to 3S over 2H opener   

16+ points, very strong 6+-card suit


Jump to 4 of a minor

(2H/2S - 4C or 4D = Leaping Michaels
Strong 5-5 or better in bid suit & other major

3C-4D = Strong one-suiter, asks for cuebid

4H or 4S

16+ points and a strong 6+-suit

16+ points and a strong 6+-suit

Cuebid  (2H-3H)

Usually a strong 1-suiter
Asks for stopper for notrump

Minor (3C-4C) = Strong, at least 5-5 in both majors
Major (3H-4H) = Strong, at least 5-5 in spades and a minor   

Jump cuebid

Leaping Michaels  (2H-4H, 2D-4D)



14-18 points balanced with stopper(s)


Double, then rebid NT

18+ points balanced with stopper(s)

22+ points with stoppers and support for unbid suits


16+ points with stopper and a long running minor   

16-22 points with stopper(s)
 May be a running minor and stopper(s)

Responder's Actions

After partner’s direct overcall  (2H-2S-Pass-?)

After partner’s direct double  (2H-DBL-Pass-?)

After partner’s direct cuebid of their suit (2H-3H-Pass-?)

After partner’s notrump overcall  (2H-2NT-Pass-?)

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