There is a conventional defense against the Michaels Cuebid. After an enemy cuebid that shows a two-suited hand, responder's conventional bids are:

Responder's bid Meaning

Double   Natural with interest in penalizing the opponents in either of their suits.
Raising partner's suit   A raise to the 3-level is a constructive raise (7-10 points) . Shows 3-card support for a major, or 4-card support for a minor. Non-forcing.

A jump raise to the 4-level is weak and preemptive, showing 4+ card support. Non-forcing.

Cuebidding the opponents' "known" suit   If the opponents only promise one suit, e.g. a 2 cuebid to show spades and a minor, then cuebidding their specific suit (spades) is a limit raise or better. Forcing.
Cuebidding the opponents' "higher" suit   If the opponents show both suits, e.g. a 2 cuebid to show hearts and spades, then cuebidding the higher-ranking suit (spades) is a limit raise or better. Forcing.
Cuebidding the opponents' "lower" suit   If the opponents show both suits, e.g. a 2 cuebid to show hearts and spades, then a cuebid of the lower-ranking suit (hearts) shows 10+ points and 5+ cards in the "fourth" suit. Forcing.
Bidding the "fourth" suit   If the opponents show both suits, e.g. a 2 cuebid to show hearts and spades, then bidding the "fourth" suit is natural, 7-10 points, with at least a 5-card suit. Non-forcing.


Responder's priority is to show major-suit support, either via a direct raise or cuebid. Below are all the responses in greater detail.


The Double

Natural with interest in penalizing the opponents in either of their suits. Shows about 7+ points, and typically a balanced hand. Denies 3-card support if partner opened 1/. Note that this gives up the ability to play negative doubles in this situation.

OpenerResponder
84SAJT2
HAKJ96T8
DA752J43
CT8KJT9

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
Double (2)

  1. Michaels, showing spades and an unspecified minor.
  2. Double shows an interest in penalizing the opponents in spades or one of the minors.

Raising Partner's Suit

A 3-level raise is natural, showing 7-10 points. A 4-level raise is preemptive. Both bids are non-forcing.

OpenerResponder
K84SJ6
HAQT92K87
DA72J3
CT8K97652

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
3(2)

  1. Michaels, showing spades and an unspecified minor.
  2. 3+ hearts, 7-10 points. Non-forcing.

OpenerResponder
K842S5
H5K872
DAK72Q9854
CAJT2865

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
4(2)

  1. Michaels, showing spades and an unspecified minor.
  2. 4+ diamonds (frequently 5+), preemptive. Non-forcing.

Cuebidding the opponents' "known" suit

OpenerResponder
AQT92SKJ64
H432J6
DA7K984
CK87A96

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
3 (2)

  1. Michaels, showing hearts and an unspecified minor
  2. A limit raise or better in spades. Responder's strength is unlimited. Forcing.

Cuebidding the opponents' "higher" suit

OpenerResponder
QJTS65
H432AQ
DA7KQJT
CAQT92KJ876

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
2 (2)

  1. Michaels, showing hearts and spades.
  2. A limit raise or better in clubs. Responder's strength is unlimited. Forcing.

Cuebidding the opponents' "lower" suit

OpenerResponder
QJTS53
H432A9
DA7KQJT62
CAQT92K64

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
2 (2)

  1. Michaels, showing hearts and spades.
  2. 10+ points (game-invitational values) with 5+ cards in the "fourth" suit, i.e. diamonds. Forcing.

OpenerResponder
QJTS53
H432K9
DAQT92843
CA6KQT987

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
3 (2)

  1. Michaels, showing hearts and spades.
  2. Natural, 5+ cards, 7-10 points. Non-forcing.


OpenerResponder
AQT92S53
H432K9
DQJT843
CA6KQT987

Opponent 1    
Pass

Opener    
1

Opponent 2    
2 (1)

Responder    
3 (2)

  1. Michaels, showing hearts and an unknown minor.
  2. Natural, 5+ cards, 7-10 points, non-forcing. When the enemy's minor suit is unknown, then 3 and 3 are both natural, not cuebids.


Opener's Rebids

Opener's rebids are generally natural. However, a cuebid of either enemy suit typically asks for a stopper in that suit. Partner is asked to bid 3NT with a stopper.

See also

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

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

Sponsors