- 10 -
THE “MICHAEL’S CUE-BID” CONVENTION
A. BACKGROUND: Two‑suited hands are generally difficult to describe after the bidding has
been opened by the opponents, especially if the hand is very weak. Often, the opponents bid
too much too soon for both of the suits to be safely shown, or the bidding dies too soon for
both suits to be introduced. The Michael's Cue-Bid describes such a two‑suited hand by
means of a simple artificial cue‑bid overcall. It is both a defensive obstructive call, either in
an attempt to pre-empt the opponent's bidding space, or to lead to a profitable sacrifice against
their eventual contract, or else an offensive weapon used to seek the best suit for a sought-after
makeable contract by the invoking partnership. The Michael’s Cue-bid Convention serves as
a valuable weapon in one's competitive bidding arsenal.
B. DEFINITION: The Michael's Cue‑bid uses a direct cue‑bid of the opponent's suit as a two-
suited take-out bid. It promises at least a 5‑5 or better distribution in each of two suits (With
a 6‑4 distribution, one is best advised against invoking Michael’s).
1. 1C “2C” = BOTH MAJORS (At least 5-H and 5-S, or better)
2. 1D “2D” = BOTH MAJORS (At least 5-H and 5-S, or better)
3. 1H “2H” = THE OTHER MAJOR + AN UNSPECIFIED MINOR (Either 5-S
and 5-C, or 5-S and 5-D, or better)
4. 1S “2S” = THE OTHER MAJOR + AN UNSPECIFIED MINOR (Either 5-H
and 5-C, or 5-H and 5-D, or better)
5. 1H “2NT” = BOTH MINORS (At least 5C‑5D, or better) (The “Unusual NT"
Convention; i.e., the two lower un-bid suits)
6. 1S “2NT” = BOTH MINORS (At least 5C‑5D, or better) (The “Unusual NT"
Convention, i.e., the two lower un-bid suits)
7. 1C “2NT” = THE TWO LOWER UN-BID SUITS, in this case Diamonds and
Hearts, 5-5 or better)
8. 1D “2NT” = THE TWO LOWER UN-BID SUITS, in this case Clubs and
Hearts, 5-5 or better)
C: REQUIREMENTS: - 11 -
1. Distribution: ‑ At least a 5‑card or better holding in each of two unbid suits.
2. Strength ‑ The strength of the hand when Michael’s cue-bid is used falls into one of
two types. Either one that is very weak, 0-10 HCP’s; else one that is very
strong, 16 HCP’s or more. When the hand is of moderate value, 11-15
HCP’s, one should bid the higher-ranking suit first, followed by a rebid of
the lower-ranking suit on the next bidding turn. In this way, responder
can differentiate the point count of the invoking Michael’s cue-bid user.
( See (E.) Below )
Examples: The opponents have opened 1C and you hold the following:
QJ109X KXXXX XX X (bid “2C”and then pass partner’s 2H or
AK109X AKJXX KX X (bid “2C”and then “3C” over partner’s 2H
or 2S response)
AQ109X KJXXX AX X (bid 1S and then rebid 2H at your next
3. Vulnerability and Level ‑ The more adverse these conditions, the more desirable are either a
greater strength and/or a longer distributional holding.
D. RESPONSES TO MICHAEL’S CUE‑BID: The partner of the Michael's Cue‑bid should, if
at all possible, when the bidding permits, take a preference for one of the suits shown by the
cue‑bidder. Since partner will have as few as five in each of his/her suits, a 3‑card support is
more than adequate. A preference on a doubleton, however, will sometimes be necessary,
unless responding partner has a 6-card or better fourth suit.
(a) 1C “2C” P 2H (A preference for Hearts)
(b) 1D “2D” P 2S (A preference for Spades)
(c) 1H “2H” P 2S (A preference for Spades)
(d) 1S “2S” P 3H (A preference for Hearts)
(e) 1H “2H” P “2NT” (A preference for the
as‑yet-unspecified Minor as opposed
to the alternate Major)
P 3C/3D (The unspecified Minor is revealed)
(f) 1S “2NT” P 3C/3D (A Minor suit preference is chosen)
(g) 1S “2NT” P 3H (Responder denies request to choose Clubs or Diamonds and, instead chooses his/her 6-card Heart suit.
E. REBIDS BY CUE-BIDDER:
(a) (With 0-10 HCP’s) – Pass Chosen Suit by Responder
(b) (With 16+ HCP’s) - Cue-Bid Opponent’s Suit Once Again!