Welcome to the Convention-of-the-Week Club (courtesy= BridgeToday.com ).
March 19, 2002
You pick up
Your LHO opens 1S. Partner bids 2S, and RHO bids 4S. What is your call?
What was 2S? Let's assume it was the very popular Michaels convention, showing hearts and a minor.
Convention of the Week: COLOR CUEBIDS
The illustration in the preview shows a big flaw in the Michaels convention. Fourth seat must pass 4S or risk disaster at the five level if partner has hearts and clubs. But what if partner has hearts and diamonds?
It is much better to play that the cuebid of a major-suit opening shows two specific suits. That way fourth seat has a good idea how to handle the auction.
Some people use "Upper 2 Suits Cuebid." Another version is "Color Cuebids."
1S-2S = the red suits: hearts and diamonds
1H-2H = the black suits: spades and clubs
This is our choice. It's easy to remember and fun, too. Some people play that it shows 5-5 shape, like in the Michaels convention. You can also play it with 4-6 shape. Yes, then the cuebid does not promise 5 cards in the major, only 4. But if you have only 4 in the major, you will have 6 in the minor. It's interesting to note that it's safer to use it with 4-6, since you're more likely to have a safe harbor with a six-card suit.
How many points do you need for this bid?
Points, shmoints. If you have the suits, and you are watching the vulnerability, you can use your discretion.
In the example shown, using Color Cuebids, fourth hand has an easy 5D bid. The full hand was:
South West North East
1S 2S 4S 5D
>From this point on, East-West have a winning position.
South West North East
1H 2H 3H 4S
In one bid, West tells East that his hand contains 10 black cards, and East is in an excellent position to judge the auction.
Responding to Color Cues:
All bids are natural and not forcing. A cuebid invites game with 3-card support for the major. After third hand raises opener's suit, double can be used to show the invitational hand with 3-card major-suit support.
What do you lose by playing this convention?
You can't show a 5-5 hand type with a major and a different colored minor; you'll have to overcall or pass with this hand. But then you haven't lost a lot, since you were never able to describe that minor in one bid.
You might get too frisky and run into a misfit. So here are words of advice: Watch the vulnerability! When vulnerable, make sure you have good interior spot cards in your suits.
__ Color Cuebids over their major-suit openings:
__ shows 5-5 in the other color
__ could also be 4-6