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A splinter bid is a type of strong major-suit raise. A double-jump in a new suit shows:

  • at least 4-card trump support, and
  • 13-16 points with slam interest, and
  • a singleton or void in the new suit.



4 2
Pass 4

4 1
4 3

  1. Splinter, showing club shortness and slam interest in spades.
  2. Opener sees that his club losers "go away" opposite the splinter, so he cuebids the A in case this is useful information for partner.
  3. Responder signs off. Failure to cuebid 4 denies the A.
  4. Opener passes with a minimum.


4 1

4 2

  1. Splinter, showing club shortness and slam interest in spades.
  2. Responder signs off with a minimum.


4 2
4NT 4
6 6

3 1
4 3
5NT 5

  1. Splinter, showing spade shortness and slam interest in hearts.
  2. Opener cuebids the A.
  3. Responder cuebids the A.
  4. Opener bids 4NT Blackwood, asking for aces. Note this is only recommended if the partnership has an agreement about how to show a void in response to Blackwood.
  5. 5NT shows 2 aces and a void, which must be in spades.
  6. Opener settles for 6. A grand slam might also be possible, but would require responder to hold a running minor suit, or both minor-suit kings. (In the actual hands, it would hinge on a club finesse.)

Other Considerations

  • It is a matter of partnership agreement whether to splinter with a singleton king or ace.

  • Rebidding a splinter suit confirms a void in that suit.

  • Splinter responses to 1/ also require partnership discussion. Not all pairs play this. However, it would typically promise 5+ trump support (since partner may only have a 3-card minor), and deny a 4-card major.

  • Splinter bids in competition also require partnership discussion. For example, splinters may be on after an opposing takeout double, but limited to jump-cuebids if the opponents overcall in a suit.

  • Void suit responses to Blackwood also require partnership agreement. A common treatment is to play a 5NT response as showing 2 aces plus a void (as in the example auction above), and a 6-level jump response to show 1 ace plus a void in the jump suit. In the exampe auction above, however, responder would jump to 6 if holding 1 ace and a spade void, since bidding 6 would bypass 6.

  • With an unbalanced hand too good for a splinter (i.e. 17+ points), responder can use Jacoby 2NT over a 1/ opening, or even use Blackwood with a singleton and slam interest.

  • Some partnerships also play certain single jump-shifts as splinters. For example, 1 - 2 followed by a 4 rebid by opener. Needless to say, this is also a matter of partnership agreement.

See also

  • Bergen Raises
    A method of raising 1/ opening bids that includes weak jump raises.

  • Limit Raises
    A major suit jump raise that shows game-invitational values and 4-card support.

  • Jacoby 2NT
    A 2NT response to 1/ showing game-forcing support.

  • Mathe Asking Bids
    A convention for investigating slam after a major suit limit raise.

  • Reversed Splinters
    A variation of splinters in which the bid suit shows shortness in another suit.

  • Swiss Raises
    Artificial 4-of-a-minor raises in response to a 1/ opening bid.