Michaels Cue Bid

Author: Larry Cohen
Date of publish: 09/10/2017
Level: Advanced

Dear Readers,

In this column, we are showing some of the more intriguing email questions Larry has answered. Larry gets too many emails to answer them all, but even with his busy schedule, he tries the best he can. Note: Most questions can be answered with a simple search. Go to this site (LARRYCO.COM) and type in your question/topic in the SEARCH box. You are likely to get an article that answers your question.

Below is a recent question and answer that you might find helpful yourself. Please know that the letters may have been edited for clarification and/or to save space. 


Dear Larry,

I just attended your lecture at Cheryl & Jessie's club in Livingston, NJ and I have a Michaels question.

Would you bid Michaels over a 1♠ opener if you were in 2nd seat, white against red, with the following hand or is it too strong?

My partner held:


♠ KQxxxx  
♥ QJxxxx  
♣ x

And she overcalled 1♠, thinking this is one of those "middle" hands and we missed a 5♠ contract. I had a singleton spade and 4 hearts to the AK but by the time we found the hearts the opps found 6♠, which I doubled and they made! It was a disaster that could have been avoided had my partner bid 2♠ instead of 1♠. His rationale was that he would have opened the hand with the rule of 20 so that was the type of middle hand to avoid Michaels. What do you think? He's only got 8HCP. Thanks. Marilyn



That's a good tough question.  While I agree that the hand is "medium," I would start with 2♠.  Just too tempting to get both suits into the mix when 6-6.  I would plan to bid again, by raising partner.  True, partner could be 1-1 in the majors and it is also true that partner would expect a bigger hand if I use Michaels and bid again.

However, here is an "expert" tip -- that I thought too confusing to give at the seminar. If you start with Michaels and bid again by just raising partner, it doesn't necessarily promise a big HCP hand. It could mean you are very shapely - -like this 6-6 hand.  If you really have "the big one" something like:  AKJxx  AKQxx  Ax  x -- then you can cuebid on your next turn.  So, with the very shapely 6-6 you gave, I would start with 2♠ and then raise.  Hopefully, partner won't play me for too many HCP.