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Splinter Bid - A method of using an unnecessary artificial jump in a side suit, generally to show a 4+ major trump support and a singleton or void in the bid suit.  The splinter bidder promises game going values, typically 12+ for responder, 20-21 for opener. 

Exception - 3 card splinter suits are permissible when:
 

1.

Partner has shown a 6 card suit

2.

Partner opens with a Strong Club and rebids a suit

3.

Bidding begins: 1S - 2H; 4x

Examples:

1H - 3S

Responder has 4+ Hearts and shortage in Spades, as well as 12+ points

1H - 1S;
4D

Opener has 4+ Spades and a shortage in Diamonds, as well as 19+ points

1D - 1S;
3H

Opener has 4+ Spades and a shortage in Hearts, as well as 19+ points (2H would be a reverse)

1S - 2H;
2S - 4C

Responder has 3+ Spades and a shortage in Clubs, as well as 12+ points

1S - 2H;
4D

Opener has 3+ Hearts and a shortage in Diamonds, as well as 12+ points.  Only "2 over 1" responses like 1S-2H are the only auction sequences where splinter bidder may have only 3 trump and partner may have only 5 Hearts.

1S - 2D;
2S - 4C

Responder has 3+ Spades and a shortage in Clubs, as well as 12+ points; responder may only have 3 trump support since opener likely has 6 trumps.

1N - 2D;
2H - 4D

Responder shows 6+ Hearts using a Jacoby Transfer and a shortage in Diamonds

1H - (1S) - 3S

Responder shows  4+ Hearts and a shortage in Spades as well as 12+ points.

Warning: some players use transfer structures to show Splinter bids; be sure to discuss non-standard methods with partner before playing Splinters.

Secondly, making a splinter when holding a stiff Ace may distort one's strength since the holding shows both first and second round control.  Experience shows splinter bids with a singleton Ace are usually more effective by the stronger hand where slam exploration is assured.

Full Splinter jump rebids by opener show 4+ trump support in responder's suit, shortage (singleton or void) in the bid suit, and 18+ distributional points.  Additional bids are included to contrast similar bids sometimes confused by novice and intermediate players:

Bid

Meaning

1C - 1D;
3H/S

4+ Diamonds, 18+ distributional points, singleton or void in Hearts/Spades; note the splinter suit is always above responder's suit (2H/S would be a Strong Jump Shift)

1C/D - 1H;
3S

4+ Hearts, 18+ distributional points, singleton or void in Spades; note the splinter suit is always above responder's suit (2S would be a Strong Jump Shift)

1D - 1H/S;
4C

4+ Hearts/Spades, 18+ distributional points, singleton or void in Clubs; note opener's 4 level jump rebids are game-forcing splinters (2C is non-forcing, 3C is a Strong Jump Shift)

1C/D - 1S;
4H

4+ Spades, 18+ distributional points, singleton or void in Hearts; note the splinter suit is always above responder's suit (2H would be a Reverse, 3H is played as a Mini-Splinter by some - see below; others may choose to play 3H as a Full Splinter)

1S - 1N;
4C/D/H

5+ Spades, 18+ distributional points, singleton or void in lower suit; opener makes a rare "auto splinter"

Reverse rebid by opener with 17+ points; additional bids are included to contrast similar bids sometimes confused by novice and intermediate players:

Bid

Meaning

1C - 1H;
2D

17+ HCP, 5+ Clubs and 4+ Diamonds (Clubs longer), reverse suit is above opener's first bid but below responder's bid

1C - 1S;
2D/H

17+ HCP, 5+ Clubs and 4+ Diamonds/Hearts (Clubs longer), reverse suit is above opener's first bid but below responder's bid

1D - 1S;
2H

17+ HCP, 5+ Diamonds and 4+ Hearts (Diamonds longer), reverse suit is above opener's first bid but below responder's bid

1H - 1N;
2S

17+ HCP, 5+ Hearts and 4+ Spades (Hearts longer), reverse suit is above opener's first bid but below responder's bid

1H - 2C/D;
2S

If playing Standard American, 16+ HCP, 5+ Hearts and 4+ Spades (Hearts longer), reverse suit is above opener's first bid but below responder's bid.

If playing 2/1 system, strength is dependent on partnership agreement

Definition of Opener's Strong Jump Shift: Opener's jump bid is in a rank higher than both responder's suit as well as opener's initial suit rank.

Strong Jump Shift by opener with 19+ points:

Bid

Meaning

1C - 1D;
2H

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (Opener's second suit is above both opener's and responder's suit)

1C - 1H;
2S

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (Opener's second suit is above both opener's and responder's suit)

1D - 1H;
2S

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (Opener's second suit is above both opener's and responder's suit)

1D - 1H/S;
3C

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (typical Opener 3 level jump rebid, below opener's and responder's suit)

1H - 1S;
3C/D

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (typical Opener 3 level jump rebid, below opener's and responder's suit)

1S - 1N;
3C/D/H

Strong Jump Shift, 19 - 22 HCP (Opener 3 level jump rebid over 1 NT)

Regular rebid by opener:

Bid

Meaning

1C - 1D;
1H/S

Up to 18 HCP - responder could pass (no need to reverse with 17-18 HCP)

1C - 1H;
1S

Up to 18 HCP - responder could pass (no need to reverse with 17-18 HCP)

1D - 1H;
1S

Up to 18 HCP - responder could pass (no need to reverse with 17-18 HCP)

Mini Splinter 3 level jump rebids by opener show 4+ trump support in responder's suit, shortage (singleton or void) in the bid suit, and 16+ distributional points.  By definition, opener's Mini Splinter suit must be beneath responder's suit, allowing responder to signoff in 3H/S with a minimum hand (6-8 bad points):

Bid

Meaning

1C - 1S;
3D

4+ Spades, 16+ distributional points, singleton or void in Diamonds, inviting game; note Mini-Splinter suit is always below responder's suit (2D would be a Reverse)

1D - 1S;
3H

4+ Spades, 16+ distributional points, singleton or void in Hearts, inviting game; note Mini-Splinter suit is always below responder's suit (2H would be a Reverse)

1C - 1H;
3D

4+ Hearts, 16+ distributional points, singleton or void in Diamonds, inviting game; note Mini-Splinter suit is always below responder's suit (2D would be a Reverse)

1D - 1S;
3H

4+ Spades, 16+ distributional points, singleton or void in Hearts, inviting game; note Mini-Splinter suit is always below responder's suit (2H would be a Reverse)

See more Cuebids

Also see books on Slam and other slam conventions: 1430, Baby Blackwood, Blackwood, Controls, Exclusion Blackwood/Voidwood, Gerber, Grand Slam Force, Jacoby 2 Notrump, Key Card Blackwood, Kickback, Last Train,  NAMYATS, Pick a Slam, Quantitative Notrump Bid, Rolling Blackwood, Serious 3 Notrump, Slam Try - Stayman, Splinters, Opener Jump Shift, Strong Jump Shift, and legacy treatments as Roman Asking Bids, Roman BlackwoodRoman Gerber.  Slam treatments also include interference of an overcall by opponents, as Negative Slam Double, DOPI, DEPO, ROPI.

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