SPLINTERS

A splinter bid is a bid showing a void or a singleton. Such a bid may be done by opener, on his second turn, or by the responder at his first turn. Splinters require accurate agreements.

In MAF splinters differ from what is usual in other systems.

As response to major suit openings "single jumps" are used in MAF instead of the usual "double jumps". The advantage is clear.

Next you may read the reasoning why single jumps are used:
In MAF the response in a new suit is a sign you do not like the opening suit very much. A new major is always a 4+suiter and a new minor has to be always a 5+suiter. All 2-level responses promise 10 hcp's at least.
A bidding course of:     1© - pas - 3 - pas - .............   nearly never end up in a game contract. You cannot blame the opponents that you are in trouble here.
In MAF the search for a the kind of contract to be played is different.
If there still is a need for the dutch-acol-jump-responses, to show 6-cards and >=12 points, then these could be shown as a jump respone after a Sohl rebid, as a second response. These biddings are free. I never percieved in practice any wish to something like that.

Further a splinter bid is always a bid in the suit of the void/singleton. It shows a fit in the suit mentioned by the partner and it is game forcing when done by the responder.

Jump opening bids in MAF are often weak (some may have strong meanings too) and jump overcalls are always weak. Jump responses and jump rebids are always strong. To show weak one suited hands s responder uses the Sohl-by-pass. A weak jump rebid is a nonsense option, unless the manoevre is an agreed preemptive lhoS rorriMMirror Sohl like 1 opening bid. This the only exception.
If possible jump rebids are avoided, because they eat bidding space in situations where you need it, because you are strong.

So the splinter jump responses are strong. They are even game forcing.

After minor suit openings "half splinters" can be shown sometimes through the conventions SHiD+, SHiD+++, SHiCe and MaD+++. These conventions are not real spinters because the trump suit has not yet always been established when the splinter bid is done. These conventions serve mainly the purpose of informing the partner about the strong hand and of course the distribution of that hand. If you want to see more details please follow the appropriate links.

These conventions are part of the MeRDe-complex ("MeRDe "= "Mean Repulsive Devices ", merde also is the french word for shit; the word is used frquently by angry Frenchmen) of void/singleton showing conventions. The conventions WeevandeDree and the CUE bid, which will be discussed now, also belong to this complex.


CUE
It is impossible to do a splinter in a suit in which the opponents have made an overcall or jump overcall. The cue bid offers a fine defence against such moves.
When the opponents overcall the opening bid or a response and you possess a void or singleton in the overcall suit you may consider to do a cue-bid in the opponents suit. This is only useful when you are sufficiently strong in the suit your partner called on his last turn. You must be sure that you are able to play at least a game contract in that suit.
The auction continues after the cue with the exchange of controls, at least until the game has been reached (as described at the Jacky 2NT convention).

The situation may rotated too over 180 degrees.
When the opponent in the 4th position overcalls the response and the opener has a void or singleton in the overcall suit he may establish his partner's suit as trump suit by doing a cue bid.
Under these conditions the cue is not game forcing. The responder may stop by repeating his suit. If he doesn't he should bid the cheapest suit he controls.

We saw in these two situations that, always by doing a cue your partner's suit has become the trump suit. There is yet a third situation: Overcall in the second hand, new suit introduced by your partner (so little support in opening suit), cue by the opener in his rebid. The responder's suit has been made trump suit. Under these conditions the bidding is not yet game forcing and will not be either if the responder repeats his suit.

This may be compared to the situation, where the opener splinters in his rebid.

Quite a few situations are discussed now. The are even more situations. I have the feeling that it is confusing now already. Therefore I tried to create some order. I'm not very content about the result. It still is complicated. Maybe it is of any help to you.


  #            N         W         S         E           type
of bid
who
did it?
what is
the trump suit?
game
forcing?
remarks
 
A1 1major pass 3     splinter responder opener's major yes none
 
A2 1major pass 2minor pass   splinter opener responder's minor no none
  3          
 
  #            N         W         S         E           type
of bid
who
did it?
what is
the trump suit?
game
forcing?
remarks
 
B1 1major 2 3 pass   cue bid responder opener's major yes none
 
B2 1major 2 2major pass   cue bid the opener the same major not yet none
  3          
 
B3 1major pass 1NT 2   Sohl responder unknown no none
  ???         never show your singleton/void, respond the Sohl request, neglect interferences
 
B4 1major pass 2minor 2   cue opener responder's minor no none
  3          
 
  #            N         W         S         E           type
of bid
who
did it?
what is
the trump suit?
game
forcing?
remarks
 
C1 1minor 1 2 pass   SHiD or SHiCe responder unknown no 2-suiter
  ???         impossible to establish a trump suit, opening bid is conventional
 
C2 1minor pass 1major 2   cue opener responder's major not yet compare B4
  3          
 
C3 1minor' 1 2minor" pass   cue opener responder's minor" no none
  3          
 

The cue may also be used after minor suit openingbids by the opener on his second turn to establish his partner's suit as the trump suit.
Further you recognize some common properties of splinters and cues:

The follow up bidding after a splinter or cue has been discussed in the beginning of this chapter.



If you want to see examples of bridgames, in which the matter, treated above, is practiced, you should click on examples and choose for the appropriate convention or for any other typical call.


Remark:
This convention is part of the MeRDe-complex ("MeRDe "= "Mean Repulsive Devices ", 'merde ' also is the french translation of 'shit '; it is used quite often by angry Frenchmen).
This complex consists of the next, void or singleton showing, conventions: SHiD+, SHiD+++, splinter, MaD+++, CUE, WievandeDrie and SHiCe