Many beginning bridge players can get confused about the rules of Bridge changing depending on whether you are the ‘opener-responder’ or ‘the defense’. This lesson explains the bidding rules for the defense

What’s my bid if the opposition have already opened?


So far we have only learnt how to open the bidding and how to respond to partner’s opening bid. It’s much more fun, though, if everyone is bidding. If you bid after your opponents have opened the bidding, you are an overcaller.

The rules are now different. Instead of trying to get to game, you are attempting to:

  • Steal the contract
  • Obstruct the opponents
  • Suggest a lead to partner

Guidelines for Overcalling at the Level of 1

Suit LengthOvercall at the One Level
5 cardsHave at least two honors or a strong hand
6 cardsSuit can be very weak

If you have a good 5-card suit you can simply bid that suit even with less than 12 TP. All you promise is a good suit, so partner shouldn’t expect a lot of points. A good rule of thumb for a good suit is that you should have 2 honors.

Your right-hand opponent bids 1 ♥ . What is your overcall?

Your Hand

  • ♠ K Q J 10 9
  • ♥ A 6 2
  • ♦ 8 7 4
  • ♣ 9 3

1♠. You have a good suit and points aren’t as important when you are overcalling. Even if you changed in your hand the ♥Ace to the ♥9, you would still overcall 1♠.