Colin Lee — The Lee Club

Italian Jump Cue Bids

We’ve temporarily changed over to a Standard American system using weak no trumps instead of a forcing club. There are some good features to it; but I think it’s definitely inferior to a good forcing club system. One of the key weaknesses of the system is the pseudo artificial forcing bids that you have to make all the time. Here’s a sequence:

1♦ – 1♠

2♦ – 2♥

How does the opening bidder set hearts as trump and force to game? 3♥ is invitational, 4♥ is too much; 4♣ is presumably a splinter so when you have short clubs it’s an easy bid (though doesn’t work well if you have short spades).

Another situation:

1♥ – 2♣

2♥ –

How does responder set hearts as trump and force to game? This isn’t a problem our 2/1 bidders face (though they have other problems too :) ). You have to bid something like 2♠ or 3♦ and come back to hearts later. It’s not pretty – and what happens when you really have those suits? Now partner doesn’t know how if your bid is artificial or not.

So what’s the solution? IJCB! Or Italian Jump Cue Bids – my recollection is that these were first played by the famous Italian Blue team as part of their club system (hence the name) – why play jump bids exclusively as splinters? Play them as cue bids:

1♥ – 2♣

2♥ – 3♠ / 4♣ / 4♦ are cue bids in support of hearts

1♦ – 1♠

2♦ – 2♥

4♦ / 4♣ are cue bids in support of hearts

This type of bid solves a major problem in standard bidding. There are a lot of situations where it is applicable – if you can use it for a splinter, you can make it an Italian jump cue bid instead. Now I’m not recommending that every splinter should be turned into this; but it can be very useful. Even 1/1 sequences in 2/1 can use it:

1♥ – 1♠

2♥ – 4♦ – Cue bid – not a splinter?

Something to think about anyway.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Mind Games.


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[...] an invitational hand at a minimum and you can play IJCB (see last entry) over 2♥ to help with slam exploration; though perhaps natural is better.  I don’t bother [...]

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