Structure 7G77   Main


Invisible Cue-Bids


  by Richard Pavlicek

In a Nutshell

In the late 1970s a convention called “unusual over unusual” was developed (not sure by whom) to cope with an opponent’s unusual 2 NT overcall. While reasonable, its specific application to one kind of two-suited overcall was shortsighted. Therefore, I generalized it for all two-suited overcalls and added some wrinkles. The basic agreement is that the cheapest bid in a suit shown by the opponent shows support for opener, with values better than a single raise.

The name had to be changed. “Unusual over unusual” sounds pretty stupid when the enemy bid is Michaels, so “invisible cue-bids” were born — the implication being that the cue-bid suit was never actually bid. I introduced the name in Modern Bridge Conventions (1981 book co-authored with Bill Root) but even to this day, many players still use the inane moniker.

In Detail

After our opening bid of 1 of a suit, these structures apply if an opponent makes an overcall that shows two suits, at least one of which is known. Michaels and unusual 2 NT are the most common, but many others exist.

1 C2 C1?

1. both majors

Dbl
2 D
2 H
2 S
2 NT
3 C
3 D 4 C
3 H 3 S
3 NT


 •
 •




10+ HCP, creates force
7-10, 6+ diamonds (rare 5), NF
11+, club raise
11+, 5+ diamonds
9-11, based on fit, I
7-10, 4+ clubs, NF
weak, natural, NF
13+, splinter raise
12-14, based on fit, NF


1 D2 D1?

1. both majors

2 H
2 S
3 C
3 D
Other
 •
 •


11+, diamond raise
11+, 5+ clubs
7-10, 6+ clubs, NF
7-10, 4+ diamonds, NF
same as above


1 H2 H1?

1. spades + minor

Dbl
2 S
2 NT
3 C 3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D 4 H

 •





10+ HCP, creates force
11+, heart raise
9-11, based on fit, I
7-10, 6+ cards, NF
7-10, 3+ hearts
13+, splinter raise
12-14, based on fit, NF
weak, natural, NF


1 S2 S1?

1. hearts + minor

3 H
3 S
4 H
4 C 4 D 4 S
Other




11+, spade raise
7-10, 3+ spades
13+, splinter raise
weak, natural, NF
same as above


1 H2 NT1?

1. both minors

Dbl
3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
3 NT
4 C 4 D
4 H 4 S

 •
 •




10+ HCP, creates force
11+, heart raise
11+, 5+ spades
7-10, 3+ hearts, NF
7-10, 6+ spades (rare 5), NF
10-14, based on fit, NF
13+, splinter raise
weak, natural, NF


1 S2 NT1?

1. both minors

3 C
3 D
3 H
3 S
Other
 •
 •


11+, spade raise
11+, 5+ hearts
7-10, 6+ hearts (rare 5), NF
7-10, 3+ spades, NF
same as above

Note that cheaper cue is always a raise of opener, and higher cue (if both suits known) shows the fourth suit.


Subsequent bidding

After the higher cue, if opener rebids in notrump or his original suit, this confirms a minimum and is NF. A “raise” of responder’s indicated suit is forcing below game.

After doubling, if responder next bids a new suit or a suit shown by the enemy, it is natural and forcing below game.

If responder passes the two-suited overcall and later bids a suit shown by the enemy, it is natural and NF.


Structure 7G77   MainTop   Invisible Cue-Bids

© 2019 Richard Pavlicek