Two Suited Hands


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Two Suited Hands
An overcall shows a one-suited hand - a takeout double shows support for the three unbid suits but what do you bid holding a two-suited hand?
Two conventions have been developed to handle that: Michaels Cuebid and Unusual NT.
Michaels' Cuebid
A cue bid of openers suit shows a two-suited hand of 5-5 or better (5-4 with favorable vulnerability. If the cuebid is a minor suit, it shows two 5-card majors; if it is a minor suit cuebid, it shows a minor and the other major. If your right hand opponent opens 1C/1D and you hold 5-5-2-1, bid 2C/2D. If your right hand opponent opens 1H and you hold 5-2-5-1 - bid 2H showing 5 spades and a 5-card minor suit. If your right hand opponent opens 1S and you hold 2-5-1-5 - bid 2S showing 5 hearts and a 5-card minor suit.
Unusual NT
Bidding 2NT over right hand opponents opening bid shows a hand with at least either (1) two 5card minors or (2) two 5-cards in the 2 lowest unbid suits. Again the suit lengths could be 5-4 at favorable vulnerability. This choice is a partnership agreement and should be shown on the upper right hand side of the back of your convention card.
Using the 2 lowest unbid suit option: Bid 2NT over a 1H or 1S opening bid with at least 5-5 in Clubs and Diamonds Bid 2NT over a 1D opening bid with at least 5-5 in Clubs and Hearts Bid 2NT over a 1C opening bid with at least 5-5 in Diamonds and Hearts
Point count requirements for both conventions
There are no firm HCP requirements. You are bidding a hand with shape. Hands with shape tend to win more tricks that the HCP would indicate.
There is a school of thought which provides guidelines for deciding whether to enter the bidding with this type of distribution.
1. Vulnerable - Use either convention only with a big hand (17+ HCP).
2. Non-Vulnerable - Use either convention with very weak hands (6 HCP) - the interference value of taking an entire level of bidding from the opponents by bidding, for example, 2S over 1S is extremely valuable in making it difficult for your opponents to get to the correct contract.
3. With a minimum opening hand bid the higher ranking suit followed by the lower ranking suit, e.g., with a minimum opening hand with 5 spades and 5 diamonds, over a 1C opening, bid 1S and, if you have a chance, bid diamonds at a higher level.
Ultimately the high card values required to use these conventions is a partnership decision. You should discuss it to insure you and your partner are on the same page.
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Responses to Michaels' and Unusual NT Michaels' Cue Bid
Responding to a minor suit cue bid, bid your best major Responding to a major suit cue bid: • If you have support (3 cards) for partner's major suit, bid it. • If you don't have support for partner's major suit, bid 2NT, asking partner for his minor. Unusual NT Responding to a 2NT overcall of a minor suit opening (Clubs and Hearts or both minors): • With heart support, bid hearts. • Over 1C-2N-P, with no heart support but with diamond support, bid or raise diamonds. • Over 1D-2N-P, with no heart support but with club support, bid or raise clubs. • With no real support for either of the above, bid your best minor. 1. 1D - ?
(A) S - XXXXX H - XXXXX D - XX C - X 2D (B) S - XX H - XXXXX D - X C - XXXXX 2N (C) S - XXXXX H - XXX D - XXX C - XX 1S or Pass
2. 1C - ?
(A) S - XX H - XXXXX D - XXXXX C -X 2N (B) S - XXXXX H - XXXXX D - X C - XX 2C
3. 1H - ?
(A) S - XXXXX H - X D - XXXXX C - XX 2H (B) S - XX H - X D - XXXXX C - XXXXX 2N
4. 1H - 2H - P - ?
(A) S - XX H - XXX D - XXXX C - XXXX 2N (B) S - XXX H - XX D - XXXX C - XXXX 2S
5. 1H - 2N - ?
(A) S - XXXX H - XXX D - XXX C - XX 3D (B) S - XXX H - XX D - XXXX C - XXXX 3C
There is a problem with Unusual NT in that you can't show a 2-suited hand with a 5-card spade suit. There is a convention called Modified Michaels' Cue-Bid which solves that problem. You can access it on the internet at www.bridgeguys.com/conventions/modifiedmichaelscuebid. I will post a copy of their explanation on the lesson archive on the homepage of our website.
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Two Suited Hands