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 Rule of 7 versus Preempt - When an opponent opens preemptively, the Rule of 7 provides the overcaller a guideline on what values to anticipate in partner's hand.  First, the overcaller should have an opening hand or better, with values and length in side suits.

In essence, the Rule of 7 (guideline) suggests the overcaller predict an ordinary 7 points in advancer's seat - one without controls in specific suits.   Using this criteria when advancer makes a minimum response, the overcaller and advancer have a standard criteria to assess forward-going bids.  Example:

1.   (2D) - X - (P) - ?

2.   (2H) - X - (3D) - ?

Partner expects advancer to hold a mediocre 7 point hand when responding.  For this illustration, imagine advancer holds:

A. A poor 2-5 point hand, flat with no Aces, Kings, or useful features

B. A lackluster 6-8 point hand, perhaps with 1 control but no appreciable length

C. A good 7-9 point hand, with either 2 controls or 1 control and working length

  (2D) - X - (P) - ? (2D) - X - (3D) - ?
Hand A Minimum response Pass
Hand B Minimum response Minimum bid (freebid)
Hand C

Jump, cuebid, or Notrump

Freebid or jump

Incidentally, the Rule of 7 also applies when Overcaller is faced with a difficult decision whether to enter the auction in direct seat.  While the rule of thumb requires overcaller to have an opening hand with shortness in opponent's suit (except bidding Notrump with stoppers), the astute overcaller may profit by considering the Rule of 7 with lesser values.


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