Astro is a convention for use after the opponents open 1NT.

Double   For penalty. (See also: Gates Double)

2 Shows hearts and a minor (at least 5-4 or 4-5). 10+ points.

2 Shows spades and another suit (at least 5-4 or 4-5). 10+ points.

2 Natural, 5+ hearts. 10+ points.

2 Natural, 5+ spades. 10+ points.

2NT Shows clubs and diamonds (at least 5-4, usually 5-5 or better). 10+ points. Partner should take his preference by replying 3 or 3.


Responses to the 2 Overcall

  • 2 is a signoff.
  • 2 is natural with 6+ spades. It tends to deny 3+ hearts. Non-forcing.
  • 2NT is artificial, showing 12+ points and asking partner to bid his minor suit. This is the only forcing response.
  • Any 3-level bid is natural and non-forcing.

OpenerResponder
T2SAJ9
HAQT92K3
DAT96J743
CT8KJ92

Opponent 1    
1NT
Pass

Overcaller    
2 (1)
3 (3)

Opponent 2    
Pass


Advancer    
2NT (2)


  1. Hearts and a minor.
  2. Artificial and forcing, asking for the minor.
  3. Natural.


Responses to the 2 Overcall

  • 2 is artificial and denies 3+ spades. Non-forcing, but partner may choose to bid his second suit at the 3-level.
  • 2 is a signoff.
  • 2NT is artificial, showing 12+ points and asking partner to bid his minor suit. This is the only forcing response.
  • Any 3-level bid is natural and non-forcing.

OpenerResponder
AQT2SJ983
HAQT92K3
D64J743
CT8Q75

Opponent 1    
1NT

Overcaller    
2 (1)

Opponent 2    
Pass

Advancer    
2 (2)


  1. Spades and another suit.
  2. A natural signoff.

OpenerResponder
AQT52S53
H2KQT83
DAJ976J53
CT8Q75

Opponent 1    
1NT
Pass
Pass

Overcaller    
2 (1)
2 (3)


Opponent 2    
Pass
Pass


Advancer    
2 (2)
Pass (4)


  1. Spades and another suit.
  2. Artificial, denying 3+ spades.
  3. Natural, confirming 5+ spades. Note that the overcaller could pass 2 if his second suit was hearts.
  4. Opting for the 5-2 fit rather than risk a 4-3 minor-suit fit at the 3-level. Note that if advancer held better minors (e.g. 4-4), he could bid 2NT to ask for partner's minor suit.


Origins

Astro was invented by American players Paul Allinger, Roger Stern, and Lawrence Rosler. The first letters of each player's name are concatenated to form "A-ST-RO". Since its creation, Pinpoint Astro and Brozel , two related conventions, have gained popularity. The original Astro bids are more ambiguous, and waste more space.

See also

  • Hexagon
    A system of multipurpose two- and three-level bids that uses transfer preempts.

  • Brozel
    A defense to 1NT in which a double shows a one-suited overcall, and all 2-level bids show specific 2-suited hands.

  • Cappelletti (Hamilton)
    A defense to 1NT in which double is for penalty, and 2-level overcalls are conventional.

  • DONT
    A defense to 1NT in which double shows a one-suited hand, and 2-level overcalls show the bid suit + a higher suit.

  • Gates Double
    An artificial double of 1NT by a passed hand.

  • Landy
    A (very old) defense to 1NT in which a 2C overcall shows both majors.

  • Multi-Landy (Woolsey)
    A very scientific defense to 1NT.

  • Pinpoint Astro
    A variation of the Astro convention, using double as penalty.

  • Ripstra
    A slight variation of the Landy convention.

  • Roche
    A (very old) defense to 1NT in which a 2C overcall shows 12-14 points and 3+ clubs.

  • SCUM
    A defense to 1NT that shows two-suiters by Shape, Color and the Major suits.

  • Suction
    A restricted defense to 1NT that uses ambiguous overcalls.

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