~Splinter Bids

Splinter bids offer a method to make a slam inquiry below the four-level of  partner’s suit.  A splinter bid over partner’s 1 major shows a void or singleton in the suit bid, four or more trumps, and an opening hand. The bid is made as a double jump shift into the splinter suit. If the singleton is an honor card (not the A), the hand should hold opening count not counting the singleton honor. If partner has no wasted values in the splinter suit–or a full opener not counting any wasted values–a slam can usually be made with a combined 26+ HCP because all high cards are”working”–complementing each other as they are all in the same three suits.

Partner          Opp 1          You          Opp 2
1S                   P                    4C            P
With a minimum opening and wasted values in clubs, opener will bid 4S to reject the slam try–and responder with extras can still make a slam try by bidding past 4S. If opener makes any bid other than four of the agreed major, the slam try has been accepted. Opener and responder may start a cue-bidding sequence to show aces, kings, or first-round controls–or may start a Blackwood or Roman Key Card inquiry.

Possible continuation of the bidding:
Partner          Opp1          You         Opp2
1S                    P                 4C           P
4H*                 P                 5D**       P
6S***              All pass
* I accept the slam try, and I hold the ace of hearts but not the ace of diamonds
**I hold the ace of diamonds but not the ace of spades or a void in clubs
***6S looks makeable
With a good “read” on the hand opener bids 6S with expectations of making the bid. Here might be representative hands:
Opener                         Responder
S AQJ32                       S K987
H A2                             H KQ43
D K98                           D A54
C T43                           C 2
Total HCPin the combined hands: 26; making slam–priceless.

Splinter bids can also be made over partner’s minor suit opening with a double jump shift into a new suit. Since the 1 minor bid can be made with a three-card suit, responder should hold 5+ cards in partner’s suit.

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