Introduction. It is often possible to make slam with relatively few HCP. For example, consider the following two hands:
Despite the paltry 26 HCP, the two hands are cold for 6. The secret, of course,
is the heart suit: declarer's Axx is perfect opposite
Splinters are an essential tool for finding such distributional slams.
Basic Splinter Bids. Here's the convention:
Using this agreement, there are six different splinter bids:
|1 3||1 4|
|1 4||1 4|
|1 4||1 4|
EXAMPLE: If your partner opens 1, you could bid 4 with:
|T752 2 KJ74 AK43|
Evaluating Slam Potential. After your partner makes a splinter, your potential for slam depends strongly on your holding in the suit:
|Good Holdings||Poor Holdings|
With a good holding, you probably only need about 30 total points for slam. With a poor holding, you will need the traditional 32 or 33 points.
EXAMPLE: You open 1 and your partner responds 4. If you hold:
|AKQ43 A85 Q32 76|
you could bid Blackwood (4NT) to explore slam. However, with:
|AKQ43 KJ5 Q32 76|
you should probably just signoff in 4.