The origin of these cuebids are unknown. They are employed after a suit opening of any opponent and not after any No Trump opening by the opponents. The direct cuebid of the suit of the opponent may be employed in direct seat or in the balancing seat. The concept behind this method is to show that the two suits of the cuebidder are known to be the highest unbid suit and lowest unbid suit of the suit of the opener.

The two-suiter of the overcaller should contain either a 5-4 distribution by favorable vulnerability, otherwise a distribution of at least 5-5 should be the norm by either equal or non-favorable vulnerability. The following chart indicates the possible suits following a suit opening by the opponents.

Opener Overcaller Meaning
1 2 Shows both the Spade suit and the Diamond suit.
1 2 Shows both the Spade suit and the Club suit.
1 2 Shows both the Spade suit and the Club suit.
1 2 Shows both the Heart suit and the Club suit.

As the bridge student will notice by closer inspection, the main disadvantage of this concept is that the overcaller is unable to show a two-suited holding with both Major suits after a Minor suit opening by the opener.

In order to overcome this disadvantage, many partnerships have come to the understanding that the Michaels Cuebid should be used to show both Major suits if the opening has been in a Minor suit and restrict the Top and Bottom Cuebids to an opening by the opponent in either Major suit. Again, this understanding includes the disadvantage that the Diamond suit could not be shown by either cuebid, neither Michaels Cuebid nor Top and Bottom Cuebids.

     
     

Marcia West

Marcia West of Mercer Island, Washington, United States, and co-founder of Fifth Chair Foundation in the year 1996, an international non-profit organization dedicated to fostering bridge education on the Internet, authored an article devoted to the definition of the parameters of Michaels Cuebids, Top and Bottom Cuebids, and also Bottom and Bottom Cuebids, aka Bottoms and Bottoms.

This article has been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference. The link will be automatically opened by your browser in a new window.

Max Hardy

Mr. Max Hardy of Australia, who strongly promoted and advocated the Two-Over-One Approach, preferred the definition of a cuebid to show a two-suited holding as being of a 5-4 pattern. The conclusion is that a distribution of 5-5-x-x occurs in about 3% of the holdings, whereas a distribution of 5-4-x-x occurs in about 25% of the holdings. Based on this frequency rate the Top and Bottom Cuebids were promoted strongly

The following defines this approach of the variation of the Top and Bottom Cuebids.

Opener Overcaller Meaning
1 2 Shows both a 4-card Spade suit and a 5-card plus Diamond suit.
1 2 Shows both a 4-card Spade suit and a 5-card plus Club suit.
1 2 Shows both a 4-card Spade suit and a 5-card plus Club suit.
1 2 Shows both a 4-card Heart suit and a 5-card plus Club suit.

The continuation of this approach, as suggested by Mr. Max Hardy carries the designation Bottom and Bottom Cuebid, or more commonly termed Bottoms and Bottoms.

Opener Overcaller Meaning
1 2 Shows both a 4-card Heart suit and a 5-card plus Diamond suit.
1 3 Shows both a 4-card Heart suit and a 5-card plus Club suit.

By employing both of these conventional defense methods the bridge player can continue to employ the Unusual 2 No Trump convention to show a 5-5 distribution in the lowest two unbid suits.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
Email Conventions Bridge Sites
     
Home Page I Glossary Home Page II
     
   
  Defense Methods