Cue Bidding

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With an agreed suit and a strong hand it is useful to know the number of aces in your partner's hand to evaluate whether to bid a slam. Blackwood, Gerber and Roman Key Card are conventions designed so that you can count aces. But they do not show which ones.

 

Any new suit bid after the agreement of a suit is a cue bid. This shows control in that suit. When a cue bid is used it shows an interest in a slam. 

 

First round control can be the Ace or a void.

 

The suit should be the lowest in which the bidder has control. This allows partner to bid a suit at the next lowest level in which she has control i.e. bidding ‘up the line’.

 

1S - 3S - 4C (control in clubs) - 4D (control in diamonds)

 

Missing a suit up the line denies control in the missing suit.

 

1S - 3S - 4D (shows control in diamonds but not in clubs)

 

The repeat of a suit in a second round of cue bidding shows second round control in that suit.

 

1S - 3S - 4C - 4H  (shows control of hearts but not diamonds) - 5C (shows second round control of clubs)

 

Where a suit is bid before a suit is agreed that suit becomes a cue bid after the suit is agreed.

 

1D - 1S - 3S - 4C - 4D - (4D now a cue bid)

 

With this information a decision on the contract can be made without undue risk.

 

Cue bidding should not be used over an opening bid of 1NT or 2NT where Gerber or Blackwood is preferred.


Splinters

 

A double jump response in a new suit  is call a splinter.

 

1H - PASS - 4C

 

A splinter bid shows four card support in opener's suit and first round control in the new suit ie. an Ace or a void.

 

The responders hand should have at least 10 points since a game level contract is the minimum rebid.

 

Any bid of a new suit after the splinter is a cue bid showing an interest in a slam.

 

Michael's

 

This is an overcall in the opener's suit (cue bid) to describe an overcallers  hand.

 

The Michael‘s convention can be used with a weak or strong hand but not with an intermediate (11 - 14) hand.

 

If the overcaller bids at 2 level over opposition’s minor suit such as 1C - 2C or 1D - 2D, then the  overcaller has 5 cards in both majors.

 

If the overcaller bids at 2 level over opposition’s major suit such as 1H - 2H or 1S -2S, then this shows 5 cards in the other major suit and a minor suit.

 

If your partner uses the Michael's bid, you must respond however weak your hand.

 

Response to 2C or 2D 

 

2H or 2S - a long major with weak hand

3H or 3S - 3 card support and at least 10 points

3C or 3D - a 6+ minor with no 3 card support in a major

2NT - invitation  to game

3NT - Play

 

Response to 2H


2S - At least two spades and weak hand

35 - 4 cards in spades and at least 10 points

2NT - Ask for the overcaller’s minor suit

3C or 3D - 6+ minor with no 3 card support in a major

3H - Artificial bid showing interest in a slam in spades. 

3NT - Play

 

Response to 2S

 

3H  -  Sign off

2NT - Ask for the overcaller’s minor suit

3C or 3D - 6+ minor with no 3 card support in a major

3S - Artificial bid showing interest in a slam in hearts

3NT - Play