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1H:3S what does partner show? (2/1)

#21 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-September-04, 14:59

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-September-04, 12:50, said:

In my system, only 1 is constructive. Any jump in the first round of auction is preemptive.

That is, all of 2, 3 and 4 are preemptive here.

I don't see the value of splinters as we can always use other forcing bids to set trump agreements and start cuebidding afterwards.


The value of a splinter comes comes with the knowledge that the high cards are outside the splinter suit.

If your splinter range is 12-14, then AJ10xx, Kx, KQx, xxx becomes an encouraging slam hand opposite a 4C splinter.

The problem IMO is the overuse of splinters and misunderstanding their nature as a card-location bid not a shape-showing bid.
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#22 User is offline   apollo1201 

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Posted 2021-September-05, 01:54

View Postmikl_plkcc, on 2021-September-04, 12:50, said:

I don't see the value of splinters as we can always use other forcing bids to set trump agreements and start cuebidding afterwards.

I think smerriman gave a good example. Cueing a K or a sg will always be a cue and partner will not always (unless they have AK) know what it is. Then what, are my KQx good facing the ace, or are they useless, and these 5 points will be lacking in other suits to make the slam good.

That is where the « tight definition » that other posters mentionned plays its role. Splinters need to convey a well and narrowly defined strength (but sufficient for game obviously!) meaning « partner, if you have no wasted points facing my shortness and the overall appropriate strength for slam, knowing how much I have outside the shortage, then slam might be on, let’s investigate, but otherwise, just bid game and make it😉 ».

Therefore I think splinters are useful to the extent they are properly used and not just bid for the pleasure of making an extravagant jump and show to the opps look how clever I am I know a convention you guys might not know.
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#23 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-September-06, 21:12

View PostDavidKok, on 2021-September-04, 01:15, said:

It might be helpful to consider the historical context in which splinters were popularised. I think this was during the era that people bid 1M-3M with 4(+) support and a GF hand, over which it is very difficult to have a scientific slam auction. Splinters were a big improvement on this by pinpointing shortness and excluding hand types from the jump raise. (Please correct me if this story is inaccurate, I recall reading this at some point but don't remember what my source is).
In the modern day we have different tools (J2N, 2 GF not promising length) for some strong hands with support, so the pressure to play splinter bids is not as great. But it doesn't make a lot of sense to play 1M-4X as anything else (or 1-3, for that matter), so the convention perseveres. And, if it is tightly defined, it is a very useful tool.

I've personally also gotten a lot of mileage out of opener splintering on the second round - say 1-1; 3 - or splintering in contested auctions such as 1-(P)-1-(X); 4. These splinters are slightly wider range for me, but narrowly define partner's shape shape and establish that it is our deal. My double and forcing pass are locked and loaded if the opponents bid on, and the defence practically plays itself even if partner has a king less than expected.


In the UK in the 70's 1M-3M was (is) a limit raise and 1M - 4m was a convention called Swiss showing game raises with different levels of controls. There were various versions, the Bridge Bum site gives a couple which were used in the USA: Swiss Raises Bridge Convention - Bidding and Responses (bridgebum.com.

Jacoby and splinters is much better.

I play a simple approach with 4+ card support: A splinter is about 8-12 hcp, singleton or void and no really good suit of my own. Jacoby is 12+ hcp but a bit stodgy. Change of suit followed by game bid (or game force sequence showing support) is an old-fashioned "delayed game raise" showing a good 5 card suit of my own as a potential source of tricks (think passed hand jump shift but about an Ace stronger).

On a good day you can "DGR" and splinter on the same hand: 1H-2C-2H-4D "I have good clubs, short diamonds and heart support". See my response to this hand from AL78 Missed slam (X-IMPS) - BBO Discussion Forums (bridgebase.com)
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