BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES -

Splin­ter bids are an im­por­tant part of any bid­ding sys­tem. They show 4 card sup­port for part­ner’s suit and a sin­gle­ton or void in the splin­ter suit. So which bids are splin­ter bids? When the op­po­nents are silent, new suits at the min­i­mum level are one round forces and jumps in a new suit show a strong 6+ card suit, are forc­ing to game and show slam in­ter­est. The next level bids are the dou­ble jumps like 3S, 4C and 4D over 1H. Th­ese are the splin­ter bids and they show 11+ hcp and the short­age. Do not count shape points be­cause the short­age is ex­plic­itly shown.

In the hand shown in the next col­umn, EW were not play­ing splin­ter bids and failed to solve the bid­ding prob­lem. East made cue raise and West signed off in 4H show­ing a min­i­mum. West should have cue bid 4C to sug­gest more than min­i­mum since they have 12hcp + 3 shape points

East tried RKC but couldn’t find an ex­cuse to bid the slam since there ap­peared to be spade losers and an empty di­a­mond suit.

Look how a splin­ter bid would solve the bid­ding prob­lem. Over 2S, East could bid 3C to show a club suit and force to game. Thus, 4C is not needed as a stronger bid and is treated as a splin­ter bid. Over 4C, West now counts two less club losers ( i. e. four losers rather than the ini­tial six losers) and so cue bids 4D to show in­ter­est in slam. East has 14 hcp and has only shown 11+ hcp so they have a king in ex­tra val­ues which they have not yet shown and should co­op­er­ate in bid­ding a slam by ei­ther cue bid­ding 4S or bid­ding RKC. The key in­sight is that with a king, or more, bet­ter than the min­i­mum that you have shown so far, you must try to avoid mak­ing a min­i­mum bid. Ex­perts want to have this kind of cue­bid con­ver­sa­tion about slam suit­abil­ity and that is why they don’t play Ger­ber.

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