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Dual Range Splinter Bids

In a Nutshell

A problem with normal splinter responses to major-suit openings is the point range is too wide; i.e., responder can have a minimum game-force or extra values. By using a relay structure, it is possible to show two ranges of splinters and a balanced (non-splinter) forcing raise, all below four of opener’s major. Another advantage of this structure is that when opener has no slam interest whatever, responder’s splinter will remain hidden from the opponents.

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Details

The following responses to a major opening show trump support. Single raise shows 3+ trumps; all other raises show 4+ trumps. Note that point ranges are shown by dummy points; hence a 13-15 splinter raise would typically have 10-12 HCP.

West
1 M
North
P
East
?
South








Call
2 M
3 M
3 M + 1 step
3 M + 2 steps
3 M + 3 steps
3 M + 4 steps
4 M
Meaning
7-10
11-12 (good 10); I
13-15; unknown splinter
16-18; non-4th-step splinter
13-15; no splinter
16-18; natural splinter
weak

Special follow-ups:

After a 1-step raise, opener may relay with the cheapest bid to locate the splinter, which is shown naturally except a bid of 4 in the trump suit indicates the unshowable splinter.

After a 2-step raise, opener may relay then the two possible splinters are shown by Astro-like relation: 4 D = S, 4 H = C, 4 S = D.

After a 3-step raise, opener may relay as an all-purpose slam try.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek