I. After opponents' natural overcall of partner's 1nt opening
Overcalls are at the 2 level
1. Double is for penalties** (author recommends negative doubles here)
2. A Two-Level suit bid is to play (showing very weak hand)
3. Three-Level suit bid is forcing to game
4. A TWO-NOTRUMP bid is artificial, forcing opener to bid three
Responder's rebids over three clubs:
a. Pass with a weak hand and long clubs
b. Any suit bid below the rank of the overcall is a signoff.
c. Any suit bid abvoe the rank of the enemy suit is invitational.
5. An IMMEDIATE cue-bid by reponsder is Stayman. It promises
1 four-card major and DENIES a stopper in the enemy suit. Opener's
a. bid a four-card major if he has one;
b. bid 3nt with a stopper in the enemy suit;
c. lacking both a stopper and a four-card major, look for a better
i. with a minimum usually rebid four clubs or four diamonds,
ii. with a max, opener should jump to five of long minor, or cue
opp's suit to ask responder to pick a minor at the 5 level
iii. Opener may decide to try a 4-3 fit if he knows responder's
6. A direct jump to three notrump over an enemy overcall DENIES
stopper in the enemy suit. Opener then
a. passes with a stopper
b. bids a five card major if he has one (we do not)
c. explores for a better contract.
7. TWO NOTRUMP followed by a cue bid after partner's forced 3c
Stayman and SHOWS a stopper. Opener must bid 4-card is he has one;
otherwis, he must bid 3nt. The problem occurs where the overcall was a
natural 2c bid. Most partnerships overcome this problem by using the
double as Stayman instead of as penalty.
8. Two notrump followed by three notrump shows a stopper and ask
to pass and play in three notrump.
***9. Jacoby transfers - where opponents have interfered either
double or 2 club bid, Jacoby transfers should remain ON, at least at the
two level (2d=2h, 2h=2s,2s=3c, 3c=3d). Where the transfer is to the 3
level, it is the same as a Lebensohl straight 3 level bid would be -
forcing to game.
Where opps' overcall is at the 3-level
10. A bid below game is forcing to game.
11. A double is takeout, no penalty (neg. dbl). Opener must
unless he chooses to convert the double into penalty.
12. Game bids are signoffs
13. Three no trump shows or denies a stopper depending upon partnership
agreement.*** (I think it should show a stopper.
14. A cue-bid of a minor suit is either
a. Stayman, or
b. Slam interest (with or without a major). Subsequent bids will
show which one.
Feel Comfortable with this? Good, because Leb. continues..
II. After opponents' 2-level preempt
This is pretty much the same as Leb. vs. natural overcalls, but
clarifies cue bids and responses to artificial 2c and double
1. Vs. 2-suiters, where both suits are KNOWN (Landy, Ripstra, Brozel)
a. Bidding the cheaper
suit is game-invitational
b. Bidding the higher suit is game-forcing. (e.g., 1nt 2c! (Landy) 2s
is game forcing).
c. All Leb. rules are on (2 level bids of unknown suits are
to play, 3 level bids are forcing. 2nt and other 3 level bids and
rebids retain their meaning.
2. Vs. 2-suiters where one or both suits are UNKNOWN (Astro,
a. The known suit is the cue bid, and all other Leb. rules apply. If
you don't know either suit, the cue bid is unavailable, obviously.
3. All Cue bids are stayman-like, except where opps overcall shows
majors. 2nt followed by cue-bid shows stopper.
4. Doubles and Redoubles are natural. Ptr promises defensive values in
one or both of the opponent's suits. Opener is invited to double
anything he can. Redouble shows a good hand.
5. Delayed doubles are penalty, delayed suit bids are simply
6. Vs. artificial doubles - IGNORE THEM!
7. Vs. artificial 2c - double is stayman, otherwise ignore it
is still on. 2nt bid is natural.
8. PASS IS FORCING AND ALERTABLE. IF overcaller's partner passes, opener
MUST reopen the auction either a reopening double, redouble, or bid of a
5-card or longer suit (in our case, a minor).
Whew! There are several suggested innovations to Leb., but i only
included the ones that make the most sense. You'll notice that the
additions reduce the differences between Leb. for natural and artificial
III. Lebensohl in response to partner's takeout double of opps'
1. 2nt forces ptr to bid 3c, allowing partner to signoff in 3
suit, cuebid as stayman with stopper, or rebid 3nt with a stopper.
***If opener has a very strong
hand, he should ignore the 2nt transfer,
a. bid 3nt with a stopper;
b. cue bid - this is game forcing. Ptr rebids 3nt with stopper, or
bids best minor at the 4 level;
c. bid another suit at the 3 level - this promises extra strength, and
is invitational, not game-forcing.
2. Direct and non-jumping 3-level bids are CONSTRUCTIVE, informing
he has some useful values (strong 7pts to poor 11 count).
3. Cue-bids are STAYMAN-LIKE - they imply, but do not promise,
4 of a
major. Direct cue bids deny a stopper, 2nt followed by cue shows
IV Aside - Handling partner's 2nt overcall of opps preemptive opening.
In coordination with ptr 2nt overcall. The 2nt overcall of opps'
level opening shows 15-17 points balanced. Transfer remain on. A
transfer to opps' suit shows shortness in that suit, no 4 card major,
and game-forcing values.
V After partner's reverse.
1. After a reverse, two notump by responder is artificial and
openers to bid 3c, enabling responder to sign off at the 3 level.
Opener can and should bid more than 3 clubs when he is too good to allow
responder to pass 3 clubs.
2. Any other response other than 2nt is natural, constructive,
3. ***Suggested exception (i haven't developed an opinion on this
yet). To avoid wrong-siding a nt contract, where the reverse is 1c/2d,
use theunbid 4th suit to show weakness and transfer to 3c. Responder's
2nt bid then becomes a natural game force.
4. If the reversing partner bids anything else besides 3c
transfer, he is showing extra strength (beyond that of the basic
reverse), and is inviting partner to bid game with any constructive
5. If responder has a good 12-15 points he should jump to 3nt.
6. Reverse after a 1nt response by partner. LEBENSOHL IS OFF,
VII. Other suggested applications of Leb.
a. In response to openers
strong jump shift to hearts or two spades.
b. After partner's repeated takeout double. 1s dbl 2s pass
is no longer for penalty,
but is takeout. Penalty doubles therefore
are only used at the 3 level.
c. Lebensohl after a 1nt
overcall and further interference
by opps. E.g., you have S K6 H64 D1076432 C 9864 and the bidding goes
1h 1nt 2h ???
This is the same situation
as 1nt 2h you, so you may want to apply Leb.
here to get to 3d.
d. Lebensohl when our Auction starts at the 2-level.
e.g., 1s pass(you) 2s dbl
pass you. What would you bid with
a. s 632 h97 d1083
b. sJ54 hK8 d1094 cKQ1087?