Splinter Bids -- The Last of the "Full Suite"
Improving your Bidding
What Constitutes the “Full Suite”?
We have seen that the entire suite of conventions, utilized with the 2-over-1 variant of Standard American, render every supporting response to 1H or 1S a meaningful limit bid. Limit bids are the most powerful bids we can make -- they describe our strength down to a very narrow range, giving partner the opportunity to place the contract precisely. The “full suite” consists of:
2-over-1 game force
Splinter Bids (aha! This is a new one!)
Splinter Bids -- Completing the Full Suite
Splinter bids are jump responses at the 4-level to a major suit opening. They show game-forcing strength, 4-card support, and shortness in the bid suit. For example:
1H - 4D The 4D bid promises 4 hearts, 13+ points,and at most 1 diamond.
1S - 1H Promises 4 spades, 13+ points, and at most 1 heartclub
1S - 1H Promises 4 spades, 13+ points, and at most 1 heart
1H - 4S NOT a valid splinter, as it takes us beyond our game-level bid in hearts!
The Power of the Full Suite -- Limit Bids
To illustrate just how pervasive the Full Suite is, consider that we open our hand 1S in first or second seat. If we employ all of those conventions, here are what every possible support response means:
1S -- 1NT -- 2x -- 2S Minimum raise, 6-7 points, 3 spades
1S -- INT -- 2x -- 3S Invitational raise, 10-12 points, 3 spades
1S -- 2x -- 2y -- minimum spade bid Game force (2-over-1) with 3 spade support
1S -- 2S Constructive raise, 8-9 points, 3 spades
1S -- 2NT Jacoby 2NT, 13+ points, 4 spades
1S -- 3C Bergen Raise*, 10-12 points, 4 spades
1S -- 3D Bergen Raise*, 6-9 points, 4 spades
1S -- 3S Bergen Raise, <6 points, 4 spades
1S -- 3NT Choice of games, 3 spades, 13+ points, balanced
1S -- 4C Game force, 13+ points, 4+ spades, short in clubs
1S -- 4D Game force 13+ points, 4+ spades, short in diamonds
1S -- 4H Game force, 13+ points, 4+ spades, short in hearts
1S -- 4S Weak and preemptive, 5+ spades
Note that we have limit raises that show 3-card support:
6-7 points (1NT-2S)
8-9 points (2S)
10-12 points (1NT - 3S)
13+ points (2x, 2S)
And we have limit raises that show 4-card support:
0-5 points (Bergen 2S)
6-9 points (Bergen 2D)
10-12 points (Bergen 2C)
13+ points (Jacoby 2NT, Splinter bids
Now, THAT is a powerful suite of conventions to get you to the correct major suit contract!