Two suited hands are stronger than their point count initially indicates. The result of this is a whole family of bids, both opening bids and overcalls, that specifically tell partner about two suits in your hand. Normally, most of these concern weakish hands with 2 places to play. A hand like
is short on points but a bit handy in playing strength. Luckily, common conventions exist to deal with these fairly frequent hands.
The first one to learn is the UNUSUAL NO TRUMP. This is an overcall of 2NT that you make when you have a weakish hand and the two lowest ranking unbid suits and they are 5 - 5.
The player on your right deals and opens 1S. What do you do with the above hand.
2D? 2C? PASS?
Oh no very much no no no. What you do bid is : - 2NT!!
Fabulous. You just ripped the heart out of their bidding sequence. The whole 2-level just went flashing by. Plus you gave partner an option of two suits in which to play.
2NT as a direct overcall says : “I have about 6 - 9 points and am 5-5 in the two lowest unbid suits – in this case the minors. Choose your favourite.”
Even better is the sequence: 1C - 2NT!!! Now you just wiped out the whole of the 1 AND the 2 level and showed H’s & D’s into the bargain because the UNUSUAL 2NT BID says you hold the 2 lowest unbid suits 5-5.
So after 1C you show H’s and D’s. After 1D you show H’s & C’s. After either major you show both minors.
Some of you will have spotted that, good as it is, it doesn’t quite cover all the possibilities which is why … NEXT WEEK, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN — THE MICHAELS CUE BID!!!!
Have fun now, y'hear?