The Raptor 1NT overcall

Some hands are just hard to bid. Consider for example that you hold
RHO opens 1. You have a good hand, but you feel that your club suit is insufficient for an overcall. 1 is also less than ideal. A double is out of the question, as you have no tolerance for . The solution: A Raptor 1NT overcall!

Raptor 1NT: Exactly 4-card major + 5/6-card minor

These are exactly the problem hands in competitive bidding. It is a legal convention because one suit is known. Either there is only one unbid major or only one unbid minor:
  • 1 - 1NT: 5/6 + 4-card major
  • 1 - 1NT: 5/6 + 4-card major
  • 1 - 1NT: 4 + 5/6-card minor
  • 1 - 1NT: 4 + 5/6-card minor

    There are some very interesting inferences of this bid as well. If partner overcalls 2/, he almost never has 4-card major! Another advantage is that you do not have to make take-out doubles on off-shape hands that require Equal Level Conversion. Partner is much more free to bid on after a take-out double because of the implied fit.

    There is one drawback, and it is the obvious one. You cannot make a natural 1NT overcall. With a balanced hand and 15-18 HCP you have to pass, double, or make some creative bid. I feel that this is a small loss. If you don't get to play the hand (which is not that unlikely) opponents know so much about your hand that you are at a disadvantage. To add insult to injury, when you make a trick you have to lead towards the other strong hand and declarer can play accordingly.

    Responses to a Raptor 1NT