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Conventions: Splimit, Jump-Reverses & Bluhmer


The Splimit, the combination of two bridge terms SPlinter and LIMIT, is a convention inspire by the Splinter family and defined by Pier Massimo Fornaro, author of the bidding system ‘Quinta Maggiore Milano’.

They may be integrated into any five card major bidding system, provided you do not play Bergen Raises.

After a major suit opening, the bids show 4-card support for the major and a singleton/void and are defined:

Openings: 1

2 Splimit hearts fit, 7-10HCP spades singleton/void
3 Splimit hearts fit, 7-10HCP clubs singleton/void
3 Splimit hearts fit, 7-10HCP diamonds singleton/void

Openings: 1

3 Splimit spades fit, 7-10HCP clubs singleton/void
3 Splimit spades fit, 7-10HCP diamonds singleton/void
3 Splimit spades fit, 7-10HCP hearts singleton/void

Jump-reverses (Mini-splinters)

They are also used over a minor suit opening when responder bids a major at the one level.To show a fit, responder with 15/16+ points and a singletion or void bids at the three level below the major into a higher ranking suit than the minor bid, a jump-reverse:

Here are the only four splimit response bids:

1 – 1; 3 singleton/void in diamonds
1 – 1; 3 singleton/void in hearts
1 – 1; 3 singleton/void in diamonds
1 – 1; 3 singleton/void in hearts

If you were not making a jump-reverse, a jump to the three level in a lower-ranking suit (for example, 1 – 1; 3), this would be considered a strong-jump shift showing 19+ points, and therefore is not a splimt bid.

Bluhmer bids

This not so well known convention has something similar to the Splinter and is due to the American player Lou Bluhm.When the rare opportunity comes it may be really very useful. The convention may be adopted when the Opener shows a three suits hand, in a clear misfit situation stated by the responder with a NT bid: the convention takes place using an unusual jump done by the responder in the first suit answered.

Two common sequences are used by the Bluhmer:

South North
1      1
1      1NT
2      3

South North
1       1
1       1NT
2       3

In the two sequences, responder’s jump cannot show a strong hand or a long hearts suit, as these two possibilities have been both excluded by his previous bid of 1NT that could have been passed by the Opener. The jump in delayed repetition shows, instead, a great fit in the last suit of the Opener and almost total absence of values in his
first suit.

South              North
KJ32             Q104
A9853         K2
KQ106         AJ1026

The bidding would go:

1       1
1       1NT
2       3  (bad hearts, great clubs)

With these cards 3NT would be a very bad contract, easily beatable by one or more tricks. A c lub game or even slam, instead, shows sensible possibilities. A Bluhmer bid by North is really very effective as it shows to the Opener there are no wasted HCP in hearts.

The Bluhmer, in one snap, avoids a NT game and pushes him toward clubs game or slam.But how does the
Opener keep up bidding after a Bluhmer?

South North
1        1
1        1NT
2       3
3 = cue bid (accepts the slam try)
3NT = sign off (he has likely a singleton honor in hearts)
4 = discouraging (on hearts loser and minimum)
4 = kickback (slam try)
5 = sign off

Bluhmer is a very smart bid and may be used by an expert line in many other situations to be agreed upon.

South North
1         1
1         2
3         4

North, having shown a 4-4 spades fit, answers to the Opener cue bid showing interest for a slam try conditioned in their line there are no wasted HCP in his first answered suit, where he only has 4+ small cards with no honors.


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