Matchpoints. Both vulnerable.
♠Q J 6 3 ♥– ♦K Q J 6 5 ♣A K Q 10
What’s your call?
You have values, but no convenient bid. Experts prefer to have a six-card suit to overcall in a minor at the two level, and you can’t double or bid notrump with a heart void. Bidding 2NT should deliver a fifth club, and, in any event, you won’t know what to do over partner’s minimum preference.
“2♦,” said Jill Meyers. “This violates my general principle by overcalling at the two level with only a five-card suit. I have so many high-card points and such good suit quality in the minors that I don’t feel I can pass.”
“I choose 2♦ by process of elimination,” said Don Stack. “I cannot make a takeout double or bid 1NT with a heart void. I hope there will be more action. Players don’t sell out to 2♦ these days.”
“I bid 2♦ — okay you got me,” said Barry Rigal. “Passing leaves me on lead against 1♠ or trying to figure out what to do over 2♥ — no thanks.”
“You couldn’t pay me to double with a heart void,” said Steve Robinson, who also bids 2♦. “Someone will likely bid hearts, and I’ll get a second chance. If I pass, it could pass out and we could have a game.”
“No hearts equals no double,” said Kay and Randy Joyce. “We bid 2♦ and feel we’ll be well-placed if partner can dredge up a bid.”
“2♦ is a start,” said Larry Cohen. “If I double, I’ll be hearing hearts forever.”
Linda and Robb Gordon agreed with 2♦. “Pass is tempting, but there are too many ways the auction could get out of hand. Double with a void in the unbid major usually comes to a bad end.”
“All bids besides 2♦ are worse,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “If we bid an unusual 2NT and partner bids 3♣, we will have no clue what to do next. We think we have a better chance of ending well if we start low.”
Three experts chose 2NT.
“After bidding 2NT, I’m going to follow with 3♠ to try and picture this awkward hand,” said August Boehm.
“I’m getting in there with 2NT,” said Mike Lawrence. “I would prefer, however, when bidding 2NT with 5–4 shape to have five clubs and four diamonds.”
“This hand is so strong that we must start with double,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “We can continue with notrump over partner’s likely heart call.”
“Pass,” said Jeff Meckstroth. “I’m glad my opponents are vulnerable. That makes defending much more attractive.”
The experts preferred overcalling 2♦ to bidding 2NT or double. An overcall doesn’t necessarily end the auction. As Cohen says, it’s a start.