Sometimes it pays to get creative with your overcalls. In a club game recently RHO opened 1♥ and it was up to me.
I wanted to get in the auction with this 13 point, 6-loser hand but what to do? I didn't want to make a takeout double with a singleton club, and my diamonds were rather weak. My values were actually in my chunky 4-card spade suit, so I ventured the bid of 1♠.
LHO bid 1NT and partner bid 2♣. RHO passed and now I bid 2♦. Partner corrected to 2♠ and all passed.
Clearly it was our hand, so it was important to get a plus score. The ♥Q was led. RHO took the first two hearts and LHO ruffed the third. I was not displeased with this beginning because LHO rated to have the spade length and it was good that it be shortened. LHO then shifted to a club which I won in my hand.
I decided to play on diamonds before spades to see what would happen. I led the ace of diamonds and a low diamond and the opponents obliged by crashing their diamond honors. When I played on spades, RHO turned up with Jxx enabling me to draw trumps for no losers. Although the defense was less than optimal, I was able to scramble 140 for a top board. (Better defense would have held me to 110 which would have still been a 69% board.)
Hand 2. After 2 passes, RHO opened 2♥ and it was up to me.
This was a good hand. I figured it was worth more than 16 points because of the positioning of the honors over the opening bidder. I could have overcalled 2♠, but decided to make the more aggressive call of 3♠. A jump overcall after a preempt denotes strength. LHO passed and partner raised to 4♠. A heart was led and dummy was pretty good--only 1 trump but two bullets.
I elected to play spades out of my hand to preserve dummy's aces, and
ended up losing two trump tricks as RHO held Ax and LHO had Jxxx.
Luckily, diamonds spit 3-3 so I was able to pitch my losing club on the
Plus 420 was another top (enroute to a 70% game)! A note on the bidding: Had I overcalled 2♠, partner would have probably bid 3♥, asking me to further describe my hand. I then would have bid 3NT. This would have required careful play to ensure that LHO didn't win the first spade and clear the heart suit before RHO got in with her spade ace, but probably would have been successful. We were the only pair making game. Most of the field scored 170, one pair went down, and there were a a couple of 140's.
In discussing this hand later, my partner, Larry Hansen, pointed out this helpful description of Defenses to Weak-two bids which he found. We agreed to use Method 2.
See you at the table!