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Balancing on the one level: garbage 1NT. Playable?

Modern style is to open, overcall and respond light. Balancing overcalls at the one level don't come up too often. Standard treatment after 1-in-a-suit - p - p - ...? probably is: takeout dbl 8+ hcp, suits are natural and 11-14/16 1NT together with some range asking stayman. This treatment solves all possible balanced ranges neatly. But the balancing takeout double and the non-jump suit overcalls are all very wide range.

I'm toying with this idea: in passout seat all overcalls are as strong as in second seat. Basically this mirrors fourth seat overcalls with second seat overcalls. Simplicity being a factor for infrequent sequences. I.e., after 1 - p - p - ...:

  • dbl: takeout, full value (like in direct seat)
  • 2: natural, good hand (like in direct seat).

This would create a problem for hands that want to balance, but lack the strength for a sound double or two-level overcall. To solve this problem, a garbage balancing 1NT is needed. So balancing 1NT would show maybe 8-13 hcp, unsuitable for another action.

Upside of this approach (in theory): better definition of double and suit overcalls. Leaves the partnership well placed, if anticipating some 11-14 balanced hand or penalty pass-type with partner in second seat. Also will reach 1NT immediately with lesser hands.

Downside (for real): handling all stronger balanced hands (14+ hcp) is, ehmm, messy at best.

Any one tried something along these lines? Just looking for a reality check, so,  the actual poll question: At imps, full value takeout doubles and overcalls, combined with a garbage 1NT, is.....:


Totally nuts and utterly unplayable
Averages out with standard approach to balancing on the one level
Generates some losses, but gains in the long run

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