TOP AND BOTTOM CUEBIDS
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 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 1 Shows both the Spades 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 can be noticed 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. This particular flaw contained in this concept has led to a certain unpopularity of this conventional method. However, the partnership can come to an understanding by certain continuance rebids to show the Diamond suit as the second suit, but this is left up to the partnership to decide.
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.
Claus and Raymond
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