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The colorful cue-bid is a defensive convention used to show hands containing 5-5 shape in the black or red suits. The following conventional cue-bids apply after the opponents have opened 1-of-a-suit:

Cuebid Meaning
2    5-5 or better in the opposite colored-suits (diamonds and hearts)
2 5-5 or better in clubs and spades
2 5-5 or better in clubs and spades
2 5-5 or better in diamonds and hearts

Partner can now bid one of the two suits shown at any level, depending on how good his support for the suit is. Partner can also bid 2NT (artificial) or raise the cue-bid suit as a game or slam try, forcing for one round. For example:

(1) 2 Pass 3

3 shows game interest in diamonds or hearts. The colorful cue-bidder is expected to bid his cheapest suit at the cheapest level (in this case, 3) with a weak hand of around 0-10 points. All other bids show 10+ points and are game forcing.

When the opponents have bid two suits, a cue bid of opener's suit promises the other two suits, while a cue bid of responder's suit is natural, showing an extremely good suit and a decent hand.

Over an opening weak two bid, a cue bid promises two unspecified suits and a good hand, with at least five cards in each suit.

Although the colorful cue-bid is limited in that it cannot show two-suiters of different colors the way the Michaels cue-bid can, its virtue lies in its simplicity and ease of memorization.

Partner's responses after

1NT 2NT! Pass

Response Meaning
3    A weak hand with tolerance for clubs.
3 A weak hand with tolerance for diamonds. Tends to deny club support.
3 At least seven hearts, no support for either minor, nonforcing.
3 At least seven spades, no support for either minor, nonforcing.
3NT Natural, signoff.
4 At least three clubs, invitational.
4 At least four diamonds, invitational.
4 Natural, signoff.
4 Natural, signoff.


The colorful cuebid was invented by American expert Dorothy Hayden Truscott.

See also

  • Copenhagen
    A set of specialized jump overcalls that show two-suited hands.

  • Ghestem
    An overcall structure for showing any type of two-suited hand.

  • Leaping Michaels
    An extension of the Michaels convention for use after an opposing weak two.

  • Michaels Cue Bid
    A cuebid of an opposing suit to show a two-suited hand.

  • Roman Jump Overcalls
    A set of 2-level jump overcalls that show two-suited hands.

  • Unusual 2NT
    A conventional 2NT overcall to show the two lowest unbid suits.