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Ace-Showing Cue-Bids by David Bakhshi


In this article I will discuss a treatment which is useful when developing auctions in which at least one member of the partnership has some interest in looking for a slam. My approach is aimed at players who have not used cue-bids before, and wish to continue using other slam-going methods covered in this series so far.

What is an ace-showing cue-bid?

While the term ‘cue-bid’ is used in several different contexts, ‘ace-showing cue-bids’ are control-showing bids which may be used to help the partnership to assess the prospects of a slam. Either player may bid a suit in which he has the ace (or occasionally a void), until the decision can be made to commit the bidding beyond game.

What is the difference between a splinter bid, a trial bid and an ace-showing cue bid?

Just like splinter bids (see English Bridge, February 2009) and trial bids (see English Bridge, April 2009), ace-showing cue-bids are a useful method when assessing whether a partner ship has good trumps and a source of tricks. In order to distinguish which bid is which, the following scheme is helpful.

Once a trump suit has been agreed:

  1. Splinter bids show shortage. They are usually made on a double jump.
  2. A trial bid is the first bid in a new suit following suit agreement, and always occurs at the lowest level. Trial bidding for slam aims at finding out which positive assets (if any) partner holds in the suit bid.
  3. Ace-showing cue-bids typically occur as a positive continuation following a splinter or a trial bid.

When is it useful to make an ace-showing cue-bid?

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