Page 0019

If the opener is certain there is no slam, then he

simply signs off in four of the agreed major suit. The

splinter bidder is not allowed to bid on - if he wants

to carry on looking for a slam then he should have

started with 2NT Jacoby and asked the questions, as

opposed to making a splinter bid and showing

partner the answers.

If the opener is certain he can make a slam if there

are enough aces (or key-cards) present, then he can

launch into Blackwood.

If the opener's hand is in between and he can see

the likely possibility of a slam without being certain,

then he must use cue-bidding and investigate.

Let's see a few hands you might hold for a 1´

opening bid and what you would do with each of

them when partner splinters with 4®:

Hand A Hand B

´ K J 9 7 6 ´ A J 9 7 5 4

™ J 3 ™ K

t A 2 t A 2

® K J 9 3 ® 7 6 4 3

Hand C Hand D

´ K J 9 7 6 ´ A K Q J 9

™ A K J 6 ™ Q 3 2

t Q 3 t J 8 3

® Q 8 ® K J

Hand A has a lot of wasted values in clubs, and only

9 points outside the splinter suit; the odds of a slam

are almost zero, so sign off in 4´.

Hand B by contrast is ideal. The 6-4 trump fit will

make the play very easy, and you have a full opening

bid outside the club suit. Blackwood will get all of

the answers you need and lead to a slam on most

occasions.

Hand C has a good 14 points (discounting the

useless ®Q) and goodish spades and hearts, so a

slam might be on. You need quite a lot of help from

partner though, and a cue-bid of 4™ is the right

move. If the splinter bidder now signs off in 4´ then

you must respect his decision and pass. Even facing

a perfecto of ´A, ™Q, tA-K, which is 13 points, you

still need to pick up the queen of spades to make a

slam, barely a 50/50 chance.

Hand D looks very impressive, with solid trumps

and a bit outside. Remember that the ®K-J are

useless, however, and you lack any controls in the

red suits. Stay safely in 4´ and pocket the money.

19

February 2015 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

Let's review the dos and don'ts of splinter bidding:

Do:

• Agree to play splinter bids with partner and

remind him about 1´ - Pass -4™ lest you

end up in the 'inevitable' 3-1 fit.

• Discount any points you have in the

splinter suit (apart from the ace) if partner

makes a splinter bid and you are wondering

whether to bid on.

• Appreciate that a void is significantly better

than a singleton, especially when accompa nied

by massive trump support.

Don't:

• Splinter with singleton aces, it will just

cause partner to mis-evaluate his hand.

• Splinter on good hands (14+); if you are

wondering whether or not to bid on after

partner signs off, then you made the wrong

bid on the previous round.

• Splinter when you have a long, strong source

of tricks for partner: when you splinter, you

are telling him that the main highlight of

your hand is the shortage. r

7-13 October 2015

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Blue

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