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In bridge, Ghestem is a conventional two-suited overcall that shows at least 5-5 distribution. The convention is named for its inventor, the late Pierre Ghestem of France. The overcalls differ if the opponents opened 1C vs. any other 1-level bid.

Over 1C, the conventional overcalls are as follows.

Overcall Meaning
2D At least 5-5 in H and S
2NT At least 5-5 in D and H
3C At least 5-5 in D and S

Over any other one-level opening:

Overcall Meaning
2NT At least 5-5 in the two lowest-ranking suits
3C At least 5-5 in the two highest-ranking suits
Cuebid At least 5-5 in the top and bottom suits

Point strength needed for Ghestem depends on partnership agreement. Here are three possible approaches:

  • Constructive, showing 12+ points
  • Any strength, 0+ points
  • Weak (0-10 points) or strong (16+ points). With an intermediate hand of 11-15 points, begin with a simple overcall and bid your second suit later.

Ghestem vs. Michaels

Compared to the Michaels cuebid, Ghestem always specifies exactly two suits. A Michaels major-suit cuebid, on the other hand, shows the other major and an unspecified minor.

But Ghestem has its own drawbacks. The 3C jump overcall loses its weak preemptive meaning and also forces the bidding up to the 3-level. Compare this to Michaels, in which a 2-level minor-suit cuebid lets the overcaller compete at the 2-level.

See also

  • Colorful Cue Bid
    An older, conventional cuebid to show a two-suited hand based on suit color.

  • Copenhagen
    A set of specialized jump overcalls that show two-suited hands.

  • Leaping Michaels
    An extension of the Michaels convention for use after an opposing weak two.

  • Michaels Cue Bid
    A cuebid of an opposing suit to show a two-suited hand.

  • Roman Jump Overcalls
    A set of 2-level jump overcalls that show two-suited hands.

  • Unusual 2NT
    A conventional 2NT overcall to show the two lowest unbid suits.