The origin of this defense method (conventional method) is seemingly unknown, although the concept may be attributed to Mr. Michael J. Roche of Ontario, Canada. The features behind the concept of this competitive defense method are employed after a No Trump opening by an opponent.

Note: Whether or not the concept can / should be employed only in the immediate seat or also as a balancing action followed by two consecutive passes is dependent on the individual partnership agreement.

Note: The Roche conventional defense method is normally, but not exclusively employed if the opening 1 No Trump bid by the opposing side is classified as a weak No Trump with a range between 12-14 points, which is generally the norm when playing the Acol weak No Trump approach.

Note: Any additional information about Mr. Michael J. Roche would be greatly appreciated, especially photographic material.

The following outlines the meanings of these overcalls. Source is: David Stevenson.

Double: Any double is for penalty. Partner must pass.
2 : Promises a balanced holding with 12-14 high card points and at least a 3-card Club suit.
2 : Promises generally a 6-card plus Diamond suit. Natural.
2 : Promises generally a 6-card plus Heart suit. Natural.
2 : Promises generally a 6-card plus Spade suit. Natural
2 NT: Per partnership agreement.
3 : Promises generally a 6-card plus Club suit.

The overcalls employed in the Roche conventional defense method are, for the most part, natural bids showing a one-suited holding instead of a two-suited holding. The individual partnership may alter this concept to meet the needs of particular bidding systems or as an adaptation to the partnership understanding. The partnership may also employ this defense method for any No Trump range with values adjusted accordingly.

Note: Some partnerships have agreed that the distribution of the holding, when overcalling could / may be reduced to 4-4 in both Major suits regardless of the state of vulnerability, otherwise the distribution is generally 5-4, 4-5, or 5-5 depending on the state of vulnerability. This is entirely a partnership agreement in all employed variations of the concept.

Since there are several idle bids available, the partnership can utilize them for other shapes, patterns, and distributions. Any jump response by the advancer can / may constitute strength and length, but this again is an individual partnership understanding.


Although there are several response methods to the 2 Clubs overcall, which promises a balanced holding with 12-14 high card points and at least a 3-card Club suit, the following response method is, by consensus, the most optimal.

Opponent   Overcaller   Responder   Advancer   Meaning
1 NT               Per partnership agreement.
    2           Promises a balanced holding with 12-14 high card points and at least a 3-card Club suit.
        Pass   Pass   A pass by the advancer promises a 4-card plus Club suit, and denies any 5-card higher-ranking suit. (Although uncommon several individual agreements include a 3-card Club suit with two winning tricks such as AKx or KQJ.) A pass also communicates no interest in a game contract. A pass generally and strongly indicates a distribution of 4-4-4-3Clubs.
            2   Promises a 5-card plus Diamond suit. This response is non-forcing.
            2   Promises a 5-card plus Heart suit. This response is non-forcing.
            2   Promises a 5-card plus Spade suit. This response is non-forcing.
            2 NT   Since the 2 Clubs overcall promises a distributional pattern suitable for play in No Trump and also limits the values to 12-14 points, then a response of 2 No Trump by the advancer is considered to be invitational for a game contract in No Trump.

Note: The information that the opening No Trump bid promises 12-14 points plus the additional communicated information provided by the intervenor with an overcall of 2 Clubs, showing also a balanced holding of 12-14/15 points, then the advancer, with sufficient points can either invite with 2 No Trump and/or establish the final contract by bidding 3 No Trump. This is based on the communicated information that the partner of the opener must, by necessity, hold the weakest values at the table.

Note: Any jump bid by the advancer is to play since a jump response is considered to be a preemptive action. For example, following a 2 Clubs overcall and a 3 Diamonds jump bid by the advancer following a pass by the responder establishes the final contract, promising no interest in any game contract. The advancer should hold at least a 5-card suit containing 4 winning tricks (KQJ109, and otherwise a minimum of a 6-card plus suit in order to make a preemptive bid.



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.