The cue bid of an opponent’s suit has two major uses in the modern game. One is the cue raise and the other is asking for help in the bid suit for a 3NT contract. It promises one stopper in the suit and asks partner for a second one such as Kx, Qx, Jxx. The second one is often dependent on playing 3NT from the right side. In the hand shown, West showed a minimum with club support at his second turn. East then showed the diamond suit and this new suit at the 3 level is game forcing as usual. The danger of the heart suit to a 3NT contract is clear and West realised that a second heart stop was necessary. By cue bidding the opponent’s suit, West showed one stopper and asked East for a second stopper. East bid 3NT since he had a second stopper with the queen since the lead has to come from the hand which is presumed to hold the KH. If East happened to not hold a heart honour, they would bid 3S and hope to find a safe resting place. The second heart stopper gives declarer time to knock out the AC and win the second heart before enjoying the club suit. It is important to see how the auction would change if the heart honours are placed differently. When the AQH are moved, pretend the AQD are moved to keep the values in each hand the same. If the EW hearts are:
♥ AQ4 ♥ 53 West will simply bid 3NT with the double stop rather than 3H. If the suit is:
♥ 534 ♥ AQ East will bid 3NT rather than 3D since West has shown a minimum and there is no reason to look for a 6D contract. Lastly, if the hearts are:
♥ Q54 ♥ A3 East will look for 3NT by bidding 3H rather than 3D. It is not necessary that one of the stoppers be the ace. In the hand in question, a heart holding of:
♥ K54 ♥ Q3 would be sufficient to provide two stoppers if played by East.