Mr. Paul Allinger, Mr. Roger Stern, and Mr. Larry Rossler devised the Astro Convention which shows a two-suited holding by bidding a Minor suit after an opponent has opened the auction with 1 No Trump. The Astro Cuebid is also an invention of these bridge players to indicate a two-suited holding after an opponent opens the auction on the one level with a suit bid.

If the player with the two-suited hand overcalls immediately with a cuebid of the suit bid by the opener, he is showing a long Minor suit with at least a 5-card suit and a shorter Major suit, burt also generally a 5-card suit.

Note: In the following first example the cuebid of 1 Diamond shows Clubs and Hearts as the two-suited holding unless one of these suits has been previously bid, in which case the next-higher suit must be assumed.

Example 1

In the first example a cuebid of 1 Diamond shows Hearts and Clubs.

North East Meaning
1 2 East holds a distributional pattern of at least 4-5 in Hearts and Clubs.
 
53
AKJ6
7
AQ10873

Note: It is important for the partnership to remember that the initiated cuebid must be assumed, in this example by West, to mean that East has a two-suited holding of Spades and Hearts, because the Club suit has already been bid. This feature has an additional advantage since it also informs the opponents which side holds the Major suits. The possible disadvantage is that the partner of the cuebidder does not necessarily know which suit is longer. In the case that the distribution is 6-4 the preferable option is to first bid the suit. However, if the distribution is 5-4, then the preferable option is to cuebid.

West   North East Meaning
1   1 1 East holds a distributional pattern of at least 6-4 in Hearts and Clubs. The preference is to respond first with 1 Heart, and not to cuebid Diamonds.
     
53
AQ10873
7
AKJ6

Example 2

In the second example a cuebid of 1 Spade shows Hearts and Clubs.

North East Meaning
1 2 East holds a distributional pattern of at least 4-5 in Hearts and Clubs.
 
53
AKJ6
7
AQ10873

Example 3

When the opening is 1, the Astro Cuebid of 2 shows / promises both Red Suits, Diamonds and Hearts, as in the following illustration.

North East Meaning
1 2 East holds a distributional pattern of at least 4-5 in Hearts and Diamonds.
 
4
K10753
Q109854
7

Example 4

And if the opening bid is 1, then the Astro Cuebid of 2 shows / promises both Black Suits, Clubs and Spades.

North East Meaning
1 2 East holds a distributional pattern of at least 4-5 in Spades and Clubs.
 
K10753
4
7
Q109854

Schematic of Cuebids

Therefore, the schematic of the concept is as follows, providing the intended suit has not been bid:

Opening Cuebid Meaning
1 2 Promises a two-suited holding in Hearts and Diamonds.
1 2 Promises a two-suited holding in Hearts and Clubs.
1 2 Promises a two-suited holding in Spades and Clubs.
1 2 Promises a two-suited holding in Hearts and Clubs.

The values required for this cuebid depend entirely on vulnerability, distribution, and the location of the values. By favorable vulnerability, the general consensus is that the holding should contain at least 7-10 points with values located in the two intended suits. By non-favorable vulnerability, the general consensus is that the holding should contain at least 12 points with values located in the two intended 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.

 


     
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