Passion of The Game of Bridge

Splinter Cuebid: Reach Slam with Precision but Minimal HCP

Reach game with 26 HCP and small slam with 33 HCP are only good for those that just started playing bridge. For intermediate and advanced player, your partnership should be able to reach game or slam with as low point as possible but with higher precision about the shape and distribution. To achieve that,  Splinter CueBid is one of the tools that you can use to achive this extra ordinary result.

Have a look this very good shape hand. The challenge is, how you can reach unbreakable 6 with this 21HCP only. Go on, test your partnership:

Cross Ruff
AQJ763
A
6543
43
KT98
75432
AK63

Fortunately, it is surprisingly easy when you use splinter bid.

Splinter bid is a convention to show that you have good fit with partner suit and have void/singleton in other suit as slam try.

Let us start by showing how we can bid above hand to slam:

Small Slam ?
Partner You
1 5+ card , normal opening hand
3 Splinter Bid: fit good spade, void in , slam try
3 interested in slam,
good spade, and void or has A
4NT key card in Spade?
5 has 2 Aces plus Q 6 Good luck, partner !

When partner show control in , it should be clear from “you” that 6 is a likely (1 potential loser in Club, that’s all), with spade Honor in check then you just bid the slam. It will have 13 tricks if defender did not lead Spade or have freak distribution.

The key of this technique is as follows:

  • Splinter bid can be done immediately after partner show at least 4+ card in the particular suit with double jump. (single jump only for 1 Major sequence)
  • The fit should be “good fit” meaning either extra card or with Honor. There are occassion where splinter bid lead to a slam with no problem on other suit except the trump suit itself. Something that need to be avoided.
  • It’s slam try, meaning game is already in hand. So you cannot stop until a game is bid.
  • The splinter hand cannot be too much strong. If it is too strong (say 16+ HCP) then just do normal bid naturally and ask for key card later.
  • When there is a slam try, you need to re-valuate your hand. If “Partner” hand above has nothing extra, then show that you are not interested.
  • The subsequent bidding should show first round control (Ace or void) first.
  • 4NT is key card on the suit

Finally, discuss with your partner as at least the sequence below should be covered by your partnership:

You Prt You Prt
1 3 first control in (Ace/Void) 1 3 first control in (Ace/Void)
3 first control in (Ace/Void) 3 first control in (Ace/Void)
3 first control/singleton in ♠ 3 first control in (Ace/Void)
4 singleton in 4 singleton in
4 singleton in 4 singleton in

4 singleton in
1 3 1 3
3 first control in (Ace/Void) 3 first control in (Ace/Void)
3 first control in (Ace) 3 first control in (Ace/Void)
3 first control/singleton in 3 first control in (Ace)
3 NT Good shape but no first control 3 NT Good shape but no first control
4 To play, not interested in slam 4 To play, not interested in slam

You can continue the sequence as needed.

Happy Splintering !

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