My Artificial (or Conventional) bidding systems

Most of my bidding is “natural”, based on the card-distribution and points in my hand and my partner’s. However, some hands and situations cannot be described easily without “artificial” or conventional bidding. These pages describe some of the conventions - based mostly on the Standard American system - that I strive to remember.

Opening bids

Responses to Weak 2

Raise Only Non-Forcing (RONF)

2NT to ask for feature

2NT Ogust (*)

Response to Strong 2C

Show controls (*)

2D Waiting

After a No-Trump opening bid

Stayman

Jacoby Transfer

Minor Suit Stayman

Super Accepts of Jacoby Transfer

After 1-bid

Minor suit opening

Major suit opening

With strong support for opener’s suit bid

Jump Raise

Forcing Raise

Limit Raise

Bergen Raises (*) (alertable)

Splinter bid (alertable)

Jacoby 2NT (alertable)

Drury (alertable)

Slam-searching conventions

Ace-Asking…

Gerber - After an NT bid...

Ace-Asking… after a suit has been decided…

Blackwood

Roman Key-Card Blackwood (RKCB) 1430 (*)

After Interference of ace-asking bid (DEPO)

Control Bidding (or cue-bidding towards a Slam)

Grand Slam Force

Some General/Additional Notes:

Total points for Contracts

Counting Points for bidding

Length Points

Short Suit Points

How and when to use Length and Shortness points

Counting tricks (specially for pre-emptive bidding)

The “Rule of 2, 3 or 4 shy”

After Stayman!

Garbage Stayman

Crawling Stayman

Interference Bids (or Bids after opponents have bid)

Overcalls:

Doubles:

Takeout Double

Negative Double

Other kinds of doubles (not included, but put here for “completeness”):

Unusual Notrump

Michaels cuebid

Opening bids

1C :        12-21 hcp (except 1NT opening hand), 5+ Cs or no 5-card major, 2+ in Cs

1D :        12-21 hcp (except 1NT opening hand), 5+ Ds or no 5-card major, 4+ in Ds

1H :        12-21 hcp, 5+ Hs.

1S :        12-21 hcp, 5+ Ss.

        [Open the longer, if weaker major. Bid higher major of equal-length (5-5 / 6-6) suits.]

1NT :        15-17, balanced - no singleton, no 5-card suit (sometimes 5-card minor is allowable)

2NT :        20-21, balanced

2C :        22+ hcp (or 8-½ tricks); non-passable (the only really artificial opening bid in this system.)

3NT :        25-27, balanced

2 bids:        (except C or NT) 5-11 hcp, minimum 6-cards (2 of 3, or 3 of 5, top cards)
[Also,
Rule of 2, 3, or 4 shy, based on vulnerability, can be used.]

3 bids: 6-10 hcp, minimum 7-cards


Responses to Weak 2

Raise Only Non-Forcing (RONF)

This is a standard response to an opening weak-2 bid.

Single Raise:        Sign-off (“Raise Only, is Non-Forcing”)

Jump raise:        Opening hand, invitational

New Suit:        5+ Cards in new suit. Forcing for one round.

2NT:                15+ points with interest in game. It usually shows support. Forcing.


There are two types of response to 2NT after weak-2 and a partnership must decide which of these they play:

2NT to ask for feature

Responses are:

Suit rebid with minimum hand

With AKQ or AKJ in bid suit, bid 3NT

Show the cheapest side suit with an Ace or King (feature) with a good hand

2NT Ogust (*)

2NT response to a weak 2-bid shows 15+ points with interest in game. It usually shows support.

Responses are:

3C :        Bad hand (5-7 hcp) with only 1 of 3 honors in preempt suit

3D :        Bad hand (5-7 hcp) with 2 of top 3 honors

3H :        Good hand (8+ hcp) with 1 of top 3 honors

3S :        Good hand (8+ hcp) with 2 of top 3 honors

3NT :        Good hand (8+ hcp) with all of the top 3 honors

(Memory mnemonic: Minors, minimum, 1-2-1-2-3)


Response to Strong 2C

A partnership must decide which of these they play:

Show controls (*)

Counting controls in the hand with A=2 controls, K=1 control, KK=2 controls,

Responder shows the controls in his hand thus:

2D:        0 or 1 control

2H:        2 controls (A or KK)

2S:        3 controls with Ace (AK)

2NT:        3 controls with Kings (KKK)

3C:        4 controls

2D Waiting

After a strong 2C opening, responses can be:

2D :         “waiting” bid - either 0-7, or no good bid (eg 4441 distribution disallowing NT bid)

2H :         8+ hcp; 5+ cards in H

2S :         8+ hcp; 5+ cards in S

2NT :         8+ hcp; balanced hand

2C :         8+ hcp; 5+ cards in C

2D :         8+ hcp; 5+ cards in D

After a 2D Waiting bid, opener’s responses are:

2H :         5+ cards in H

2S :         5+ cards in S

2NT :         22-24 hcp, balanced hand

3C :         5+ cards in C

3D :         5+ cards in D

3NT :         25-27 hcp, balanced hand

4NT :         28-30 hcp, balanced hand (!)

5NT :        31-32 hcp, balanced hand (!!)


After a No-Trump opening bid

Stayman

2C response to 1NT. (Or 3C after 2NT.) It shows a game-invitational hand with one or both majors.

Asks balanced-hand partner to show 4-card major(s).

NT-bidder bids 4-card major, 2NT with both majors and 2D if no majors:

(See “After Stayman” in Annex)


Jacoby Transfer

Opener bids 1NT. Responder bids 2D, 2H asking opener to bid 2H, 2S. This is so that the stronger hand becomes the declarer. Promises 5 cards in the requested suit.

Opener can “super accept” - bid 3 of the requested suit with a maximum (17 hcp) hand and 4 cards in the suit.

Other “super accept” bids are detailed below...

After a 2-level response, transfer requester can

With a weak hand: Pass

With an otherwise balanced (no singletons or voids):
Bid 2NT. Partner can pass, or signoff with 3-level supporting bid, or bid 3 NT.
Bid 3NT with game-strength hand. Asks opener to pass or bid 4 of the agreed major.

With 5-5 in both majors, asking partner to contract with the better suit in his hand: bid other major. Typically, with 0-6 points, first bid 2D (transferring to 2H) and then bid 2S. WIth a good hand, first bid 2H (transferring to 2S) and then bid 3H.
(Note that, with 4-5 in majors, Stayman would be preferable.)

With a 6-card major:
Invite partner (if he has support) to game with a 3-level rebid
With game-strength hand, signoff by bidding game.
(He would have made a Texas transfer instead of Jacoby transfer, if that is part of the partnership agreement.)

With a game-strength hand and a 5-5 or 5-4 distribution: bid a new suit

Some partnerships use 1NT-2S to simply transfer to 3C and 1NT-3C to transfer to 3D (*).

Others play Minor Suit Stayman…

A partnership must decide which of those they play.

Minor Suit Stayman

Jacoby transfer (2D/2H) and Stayman (2NT) neglect minor suit asks. So, some partnerships use the 2S bid to advantage and agree to play MSS. This shows interest in game or slam, usually finding a good 3NT contract.

Requester should have 8+ hcp, 5-4 distribution in minors or, with a strong hand and interest in slam, 4-4 in minors. It denies 4-card major.

Opener should rebid:

2NT :         Denies a 4-card minor and stoppers in both majors

3C :         4 Clubs. Could be 4-4 in minors

3D :         4 Diamonds. Denies 4 Clubs

3H :         Shows a H stopper. Invites partner to bid 3NT with S stopper. Opener may have 4-card minor but is looking for a 3NT contract

3S :         Shows a S stopper. Invites partner to bid 3NT with H stopper. Opener may have 4-card minor but is looking for a 3NT contract

3NT :        Denies 4-card minor. Shows maximum hand with stoppers in both majors

4C :         Shows 4 C, maximum hand

4D :         Shows 4 D, maximum hand

The responder bids naturally after this. However, a bid of a major shows singleton or void in that suit, with an interest in slam.

Super Accepts of Jacoby Transfer

After responder transfers (to a major suit), NT opener can super-accept if

He has 3 or 4 (or 5!) cards in support of partner’s suit and is at the top of his NT range (17). With 3 cards, he must have 5 HCP in the transferred suit.

Transferer can repeat the transfer bid with a minimum hand so that strong hand is declarer. Or, with no room, can bid his suit himself.

So what are the super-accepts by NT bidder?

After 1-bid

After a 1-level opening bid of a suit, most responses are natural. A raise to the 2 level shows 6 to 9 points.

A jump shift to a different suit is a strong bid, showing 5+ cards and is an invitation to slam.

Minor suit opening

If the opening bid is in a minor suit (recall that 1D implies 4-cards in D):

1NT shows 6-9 points and is non-forcing

2NT is 13-15 HCP and is game-forcing

3NT is 16-18 HCP

After opener opens a minor, partner can bid his major with 4 or 5 cards in the suit. WIth 5-4 in majors, he should bid the 5-carder first. With two 4-card majors he should bid up the line (?).

Minor opener can support the major-suit bid by partner with 3 cards in the suit.

If partner has a game-going hand, and he wants partner to show shape and size, he bids 2NT which is forcing and asks partner to bid

3C :        3-card support, 12-14 hcp

3D :        3-card support, 15-16 hcp

3H :        4-card support, 12-14 hcp

3S :        4-card support, 15-16 hcp

3NT :        3-card support, re-evaluated to 17+ points

4suit :        4-card support, 17+ points with no shortness - singleton or void

Other 4-bid :         4-card support, 15+ points and shortness in bid suit.
                If shortness is in S, then correction will be to 5H, so 4S bidder should have 17+ points.

(What should 1C opener do with 3 Hs and 4 Ss and partner bids 1H?)

Major suit opening

If the opening bid is in a major suit:

1NT shows 6-9 points and is non-forcing.

2NT is Jacoby 2NT (below)

3NT 15-17 HCP, balanced hand with 2-card support.

However, there are some special artificial bids that are important …


With strong support for opener’s suit bid

Jump Raise

If partner opens 1 of a suit, a jump raise can mean two things and a partnership must decide which of these they play:

Forcing Raise

This is a natural “I have a strong hand, should we look for a slam?” bid, made with an opening hand or better.

However, modern experts suggest that a more frequent and useful use of the jump raise is the..

Limit Raise

A jump raise shows 10-12 points (limit) and 4-card support for D/H/S opening (opener has shown 5+ cards in major and 4+ cards in D) and 5+ support for C (2+ cards with opener).

Opener can pass a Limit Raise with a minimum opening hand or bid on.

Bergen Raises (*) (alertable)

An alternative to a Limit Raise (which can only be made with strong support (4 cards) and 10-12 points), Bergen Raises are bids from a responder who sees 4 cards in his partner’s 5-card bid suit in his hand. Bergen Raises are graduated options.

Responses following a 1H/S opening will be:

2H/2S -        3-card support, weak 7-10 hcp

3C -        4-card support, weak 7-10 hcp

3D -        4-card support, strong 11-12 hcp

3H/3S -        preemptive 4-card support, <7 hcp

4H/4S -        preemptive 5-card support, <7 hcp

[Again, Bergen Raises disallow the Limit Raise bid. Now, the double jump in partner’s suit is preemptive.]


Splinter bid (alertable)

This is a slam-inviting bid, with a strong (10-12 hcp) hand and at least 4 cards in partner’s suit and a void or singleton (not A or K “control”) in a side suit. Since, with an opening supporting hand, slam could be biddable by normal methods, a splinter bid after a major opening is more usually used with 10-12 hcp hands.

Splinters can also be bid by opener (or later bid by responder) to show slam interest and shortness. Splinters are not applicable if opponents are bidding.

A Splinter is an unusual jump into the short suit - usually a double jump after a major opening bid.

Examples:

1 - (P) - 4

1 - (P) - 3

1 - (P) - 1 - (P) - 3 [4+ Heart support, shortness in Spades, looking for slam]

1 - (P) - 1 - (P) - 4 [4+ Spade support, shortness in Clubs, 18+ points]

However, after some bidding has happened, an unusual jump can take the form of a single jump bid (at the 4-level) after a suit has been agreed, or a 2-over-1 bid has shown game-going values. Also, if partner has shown a 6-card suit, a splinter bid can be made with 3-card support.

1S - 2D - 2S - 4C        : Splinter bidder has 3+ Ss and shortness in C.


Jacoby 2NT (alertable)

Opener bids a major at 1-level. Partner bids 2NT. This shows an opening hand, with support of at least 4 cards. Being artificial, Jacoby 2NT is alertable.

Opener’s rebids are:

Put another way, opener’s rebids are:


Drury (alertable)

(I don’t usually play Drury. It is listed here to understand when opponents bid this. And, waiting for a situation to prove its value :-) It is also described under “Other Conventions”

You pass. Partner opens a major (3rd or 4th hand possibly opening weak).

You, the Drury bidder, bid 2C showing 10-12 hcp, 3+ support.

Partner bids:


Slam-searching conventions

Ace-Asking…

Gerber - After an NT bid...

4C is ace-asking after NT contract is decided.

Responses are:

4D : 0 or 4 Aces        4H : 1 Aces                4S : 2 Aces                4NT : 3 Aces


Ace-Asking… after a suit has been decided…

A partnership must decide which of these they play:

Blackwood

4NT is ace-asking.

Responses are:

5C : 0 or 4 Aces        5D : 1 Aces                5H : 2 Aces                5S : 3 Aces

5NT following 4NT is king-asking:

Responses are:

6C : 0 or 4 Kings        6D : 1 King                6H : 2 Kings                6S : 3 Kings

Roman Key-Card Blackwood (RKCB) 1430 (*)

(RKCB 0314 reverses the first two responses)

4NT bid is ace-asking after a trump suit has been agreed.

A Key-Card is any Ace, and the King of trumps.

Responses are:

5C :         1 or 4 key-cards

5D :         3 or 0 key-cards

5H :         2 or 5 key-cards without the trump Q

5S :         2 or 5 key-cards with the trump Q

Optional: If responder has a void… (I do not play this convention myself.)

5NT :        Even number of key-cards and a void somewhere

6C :        Odd number of key-cards and void in C. If C is trumps, then void somewhere

6D :        Odd number of key-cards and void in D if H/S is trumps. If D is trumps, then void in H/S

6H :        Odd number of key-cards and void in H if S is trumps. If H is trumps, then void in S

Note that this could take the bidding into really high levels and so this sequence is only possible in some circumstances. For example, with S as trump;

4NT (RKCB 1430)        -        5C (1 key-card)

5D (asking for Q-S)        -        5S (denial)

6S (possible Q-S loser, so shut it down)


After Interference of ace-asking bid (DEPO)

If 4C (Gerber) or 4NT (BW/RKCB) is interfered by opponents, DEPO responses are

Double = Even, Pass = Odd

DEPO after Gerber/BW is         Double = 0, 2, or 4 Aces, Pass = 1, or 3 Aces

DEPO after RKCB is        Double = 0, 2, or 4 key-cards, Pass = 1, 3 ,or 5 key-cards


Control Bidding (or cue-bidding towards a Slam)

This is a methodical way to make your way to a slam and figure out where your partnership’s strengths are; or rather, understand where your weaknesses may be, if any.

Some refer to a “cue-bid” as bidding an opponent’s suit only, so we will refer to this kind of bidding as Control Bidding here. Control-bidding is sometimes preferable to Blackwood for slam searching because it doesn’t merely show Aces and Kings, it shows Controls - counting Aces and voids as first-round controls and Kings and singletons as second-round controls. When attempting a slam in a trump suit, shortness can be as important as honors, and slams can be made with smaller combined HCP holdings.

A Control Bid is made when a trump suit has been agreed, or if it is obviously implied. If you and your partner have about 33 points (counting for distribution), you can either go the Blackwood route to try for a slam, or you can make a bid in an unbid or enemy suit at a level above 3NT to show first-round control (Ace or void) in that suit (except: 3S is a CB if the agreed trump suit is H). All non-trump suit bids from that point are Control Bids. Control bids are made straight up the line, at the cheapest level. Skipping a suit means you lack the control to make the bid. Bidding a suit you have skipped or a suit where control has been identified implies second-round control - except in the case of bidding partner’s bid non-trump suit - there, the control could be first- or second-round.

Return to the trump suit shows reluctance by the player to continue to slam, but partner could override and, knowing better, continue bidding.

Examples (assuming opponents are not bidding):

1 - 3 - 4 : Ace or Void in  and implies lack of first-round control of

1 - 3 - 4 - 4 - 4 : Shows second-round control in  otherwise he would have bid 3 over 3

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 4 - 5 :  is agreed trump suit. South has both A and K of  and no first or second--round control in


Grand Slam Force

This is a 5NT bid where the bid cannot be mistaken for something else, eg it would not apply after Blackwood has been initiated, or if it is a natural NT raise. It asks partner to bid a Small Slam with less than two of the top three trump-suit honors and a Grand Slam with two of the top three trump-suit honors (A/K/Q).

Unless a trump suit has been agreed by previous bidding, the GSF designates the last-bid suit as the trump.

It is bid by a player who has one of the top three honors and is sure that the other suits are stopped. If partner has the two remaining, a Grand Slam is a definite possibility and, without that, a Small Slam is worth a try.

Examples: (assuming opponents are not bidding)

1 - 5NT : H is the agreed trump suit.

1 - 2NT - 4 - 4 - 5 - 5 - 5NT:

Here, the Jacoby 2NT establishes  as trumps. A jump shift to 4 shows a two-suited hand with a good 5 carded  suit as well. 4 is a cue-bid showing A. As is 5. 5 shows first- or second-round control in  (since it is partner’s suit and he should know), at which point opener makes his 5NT bid because all the suits are covered and all he needs to know is if the partnership has all of the A,K,Q in the  suit.


Some General/Additional Notes:

Total points for Contracts

Game: 25 HCP

Small slam: 33 HCP

Grand slam: 37 HCP

25-27: Game in major suit or NT

28-30: Game in minor suit

31-33: Slam in a suit

34-36: Slam in NT or Grand-slam in suit

37-40:        Grand slam


Counting Points for bidding

Besides counting your High Card Points (A=4, K=3, Q=2, J=1) when you start bidding, you should count your distribution points as bidding progresses, based on your combined holdings. There are two methods (which should not be used together):

Length Points

You count 1 point for each card more than 4 in any suit. So, 5-carder=1, 6-carder=2 points etc

Short Suit Points

Once a suit has been agreed, or a possible fit identified, shortness can provide clues for a partnership’s potential for game or slam. Do not count Short Suit Points if you are heading for an NT contract.

Void = 3; Singleton = 2, Doubleton = 1

Singleton and doubleton honors should not be counted both as HCP and Shortness.

How and when to use Length and Shortness points

When there is no agreed upon trump suit (and for opening bidding), add HCP and Length points.

When a suit has been agreed, add HCP and Shortness points.

When bidding NT, count HCP only.


Counting tricks (specially for pre-emptive bidding)

For this hand, count 7 tricks:

6KJT9542QJ427

The “Rule of 2, 3 or 4 shy”

With Unfavorable Vulnerability (Us vul, They non-vul), pre-empt 2 more than the number of tricks in your hand

At Equal Vulnerability (both vul, or both non-vul), pre-empt 3 more than the number of tricks in your hand

At Favorable Vulnerability (They vul, Us non-vul), pre-empt 4 more than the number of tricks in your hand

So, with the hand above, you can bid 4H if non-vulnerable and 3H if vulnerable.


After Stayman!

Partner bids 1NT (15-17 balanced), you Stayman with 2C. Now what?

After 2D response: (no majors)

2H:        5 Hs and 4 Ss. Invitational

3H:        5 Hs and 4 Ss. Game-forcing

4H:        6 Hs and 4 Ss. Sign-off

2S:        5 Ss and 4 Hs. Invitational

3S:        5 Ss and 4 Hs. Game-forcing

4S:        6 Ss and 4 Hs. Sign-off

3C:        5 Cs (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

3D:        5 Ds (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

2NT: Invitational

3NT: Signoff

4NT: Invites 6NT

After 2H response:

3H:        Four Hs, Invitational

4H:        Signoff

2S:        5 Ss, 4 Hs. Invitational

3S:        5 Ss, 4 Hs. Game-forcing

3C:        5 Cs (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

3D:        5 Ds (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

2NT:        4 Ss, <4 Hs. Invitational. Expects opener can pass, signoff with 3 S with 4 Ss, or signoff with 3NT

4NT:        Combined hands have slam potential. Invites 6NT

After 2S response:

3S:        Four Ss, Invitational

4S:        Signoff

3H:        5 Hs, 4 Ss. Invitational

3C:        5 Cs (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

3D:        5 Ds (usually 6), does not guarantee a 4-card major. Game-forcing.

2NT:        Invitational

3NT:        Signoff

4NT:        Combined hands have slam potential. Invites 6NT

Garbage Stayman

With a responder holding of 4-4-4-1 or 4-5-4-0 (with singleton or void in C) and few points, Stayman may be used, with the intention of passing any bid by 1NT opener.

So, with “Garbage” holdings like these, 1NT-opener’s partner will attempt to shut out opponents by bidding Stayman and will pass opener’s response in any suit, hoping to, at best, play in a 4-4- major fit or, at worst, find a 4-4 fit in Diamonds.

Suitable hands for Garbage Stayman are:

T987 A974 98743 -

Q987 QT43 9875 T

J986 JT8 97532 9

Crawling Stayman

With a shortage of Diamonds and 4-4 (or better) in majors, responder inquires with Stayman. Major responses are passed. If the response is 2D (no majors), Stayman bidder escapes to 2H. If NT opener has 3 cards in Hs, he passes, otherwise corrects to 3S with 3 cards. Otherwise, with 2-2 in the majors, he bids 2NT, asking partner to correct to 3C.

Suitable hands are:

T987 A984 - Q9753

Q653 Q432 3 J765

Interference Bids (or Bids after opponents have bid)

Overcalls:

(Terminology notation: A direct overcall is made immediately after RHO bids.If LHO bids, the next two players pass and you overcall - this is called a balancing overcall.)

Overcalls can be made to Compete, Sacrifice, Disrupt or as Lead-indicators.

Overcalls are usually natural and show length (5+ cards) and strength (usually 2 of top 4 honors or 3 of top 5 cards, if partners agree).

If made in an unbid suit, it usually shows length and strength in the suit.

-        At 1-level, it shows 8+ points (6+ if non-vulnerable)

-        at 2-level, 10+ points

-        at higher levels, it should be made with opening values

Jump overcalls are made like weak 2 or 3 bids - pre-emptive and show length and insufficient strength - and bid to disrupt opponents.


Doubles:

Usually, doubles at game or slam levels are for penalty. Doubles at lower levels are conventional...

Takeout Double

Your RHO opens the bidding at any level, a Takeout Double shows (1) an opening hand with tolerance (3+ cards) in the unbid suits and no other suitable bid, so unlikely to have a 5-card suit, or (2) 18+ points and any distribution.

It is forcing and asks partner to bid the best of the three unbid suits.

With (1), the doubler is likely to pass any bid. So partner should bid

With (2), the doubler will obviously continue the bidding.

Negative Double

This is a Double after partner bids a suit and opponent also bids a different suit.

Opponent’s cue-bid of partner’s suit or NT overcall do not apply. Doubles in those cases are for penalty.

A Negative Double denies support for partner’s major suit and promises 6+ points at 1-level, 8-9+ points at 2-level and 10+ points at higher levels.

It also tends to deny stoppers in opponent’s suit and therefore inability to bid NT.

If there is one unbid major, this promises 4 cards in that suit. If you have 5 or more cards, this bid implies a weak hand (7 points).

If there are no bid majors, this promises 4 cards in some major.

If both majors are bid, this promises 4-4 in the minors.

Usually, a negative double indicates that the doubler has an insufficient hand to bid his suit.

For instance:

1 -        (1) - X:        You have at least 4 s. Or 5+ s, and less than 10 points because then you would bid 2 with 10+ points.

1 -        (2) - X:        You have 4+ cards in some major

1 -        (2) - X:        You have 4+ s, 9+ points.

1 -        (1) - X:        Shows exactly 4 s. With 5+ s, bid 1.

Other kinds of doubles (not included, but put here for “completeness”):

(If and when we start to play these, they will be promoted up.)

Support Double

Responsive Double

Game-Try Double

Protective Double

Responsive Double


The Unusual 2NT convention and Michaels cue-bid are usually played together by a partnership.

Unusual Notrump

After opponent bids; a normal NT overcall would show a strong hand with even distribution with stopper in opener’s suit. A jump NT bid is unusual and shows strength in the two lowest unbid suits. Usually, the hand is weak - 6-11 points. However, by partnership agreement, it could be of any strength.

Unusual 2NT can also be bid after both opponents have bid.

It is, of course, forcing.

For example:

(1) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

(1) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

(1) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

(1) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

(1) - P - (1) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

(1) - P - (1NT) - 2NT :        Shows 5+ s and 5+ s

Cue-bidder’s partner usually bids the suit for which he has the most tolerance. With equal length suits (especially with two doubletons) he bids the cheaper suit - if opponents double, he can run to the the other suit.

With a weak hand and 4+ support, partner can make a pre-emptive jump bid.

With a good hand, partner cue-bids opponent’s suit. This asks 2NT bidder, with 0-10 points, to bid his cheapest suit; with 10+ points, to make any other bid.

If partner bids a new suit, it is natural and shows a decent hand, 6+ cards and no support for 2NT bidder’s suits.


Michaels cuebid

Over opponent’s 1-level opening, an overcall of the same suit at the 2-level indicates a 2-suited hand with at least 5 cards in each suit.

If overcall is over a minor suit, it shows both majors.

If overcall is over a major suit, it shows the other major and another minor suit. Partner can make a NT relay bid to ask for a bid of the minor.

Michaels is forcing, of course, as are all cue-bids.

A partnership must decide which of these they play:

Some partnerships bid Michaels with either weak hands (0-10) or strong hands (16+). With intermediate (11-15) hands, they agree to bid the higher suit and then show the other suit if possible. With a hand in the lower range, Michaels bidder will pass the next bid; if in the higher range or with an unusual hand, he will continue bidding. Other partnerships bid Michaels regardless of point range, believing that showing shape is important, even in the intermediate point range.

A Michaels over a weak 2-bid shows two unspecified 5+-card suits and a good (opening strength) hand.

Responses to Michaels are:

After 2C cuebid: (both majors)

2D:        Natural; good 6+ Ds. (Cue-bidder probably has 0-2 Ds)

2H/S:        Non-forcing sign-off. Could have 0 points. With equal support for H & S, H should be bid.

2NT:        Natural. Invitational to 3NT.

3C:        Artificial. Shows game or slam interest in H or S. Forcing.

3D:        A very strong D suit (6+). Forcing. (Unusual)

3H/S:        Pre-emptive; shows 4+ cards in bid suit. Non-forcing.

3NT:        Natural sign-off with no interest in major suit game. Strong balanced hand. (Unusual)

After 2D cuebid: (both majors)

2H/S:        Non-forcing sign-off. Could have 0 points. With equal support for H & S, H should be bid.

2NT:        Natural. Invitational to 3NT.

3C:        Natural; good 6+ Cs. (Cue-bidder probably has 0-2 Cs)

3D:        Artificial. And shows game or slam interest in H or S. Forcing.

3H/S:        Pre-emptive; shows 4+ cards in bid suit. Non-forcing.

3NT:        Natural sign-off with no interest in major suit game. Strong balanced hand. (Unusual)

After 2H cuebid: (Spades and unspecified minor)

2S:        Non-forcing sign-off. Could have 0 points.

2NT:        Asks cue-bidder to bid his minor suit, with intent to sign off with that bid.

3C/D:        Natural; good 6+ suit. (Cue-bidder probably has the other minor)

3H:        Artificial. And shows game or slam interest in S or a minor. Forcing.

Cue-bidder makes the cheapest bid (3S) with 0-10 points.

All other bids are 10+ points and are forcing.

3S:        Pre-emptive; shows 4+ Ss. Non-forcing.

3NT:        Natural sign-off.

After 2S cuebid: (Hearts and unspecified minor)

2NT:        Asks cue-bidder to bid his minor suit, with intent to sign off with that bid.

3C/D:        Natural; good 6+ suit. (Cue-bidder probably has the other minor)

3H:        Natural sign-off.

3S:        Artificial. And shows game or slam interest in H or a minor. Forcing.

Cue-bidder makes the cheapest bid with 0-10 points.

All other bids are 10+ points and are forcing.

3S:        Pre-emptive; shows 4+ Ss. Non-forcing.

3NT:        Natural sign-off.



NOTES: