in the game of bridge the designation of a cuebid is rather defined not in terms of what it is, but rather by what the cuebid is not. Hence, the consensus for the definition by governing organizations for bridge tournaments in many countries is that a cuebid is a forcing bid in a suit, in which the bidder cannot wish to play.

In the publication by Mr. Charles Henry Goren The Fundamentals of Contract Bridge, First Edition, ASIN: B000IRUUXM, LC: 50010606, published by Permabooks in Garden City, New York, United States, in the year 1950, the author (excerpted) claims the following: When either partner makes a bid in the opponent's suit, it indicates the ability to win the first trick of that suit, either with the ace or by trumping.

The exacting and limiting parameter of the action of cuebidding hindered its employment in many other competitive bidding sequences, for which there was no established, appropriate, or suitable conventional bid, either natural or artificial.

The action of cuebidding may take on various forms such as an immediate cuebid, or a jump cuebid, and even a cuebid without competition. Various methods of cuebidding have been devised and have received official recognition such as all purpose cuebids, tops and bottoms cuebids, colorful cuebids, and also unassuming cuebids.

All cuebids serve a specific function when employed per partnership agreement, and they also communicate specific information to the partner. They should not be employed in an undisciplined manner, but rather they should fall within the defined parameters of the partnership agreement.

Definition of a Cuebid

The preferable definition of a cuebid is a bid by a player in a competitive auction of a suit already bid by the opposing side. The cuebid is neither employed nor understood to establish such a cuebid as a possible contract, but rather it is employed and understood for exploratory or control-showing purposes and reasons.

Note: Unless the opposing side in a competitive auction precludes or prevents any continuance by the partner of the cuebidder, then the cuebid is understood as forcing for one round.

Who May Cuebid

In the study of employing cuebids in competitive auctions the theorists, the more experienced players, and chiefly the players of the general bridge community have categorized the different cuebids into classifications such as 1. cuebid by the opener, 2. cuebid by the responder, 3. cuebid by the defender, 4. cuebids by fourth hand, and 5. natural cuebids.

The attempt is made to present these various cuebids in such a manner as to illustrate their employment in any competitive auction. Such bidding sequences will also be accompanied by an example, whereby the player has limited choices of action, whereby the player can communicate game values, whereby the player can show a suit, in which the partnership would have no losing trick.


The exact origin of the employment of a cuebid is lost to history. The designation cannot be traced back to its source. However, it seems that the act of cuebidding is only relevant in the game of bridge. The word appears in published words spelled as cuebid, cue bid, and cue-bid. As far as can be determined the word itself is employed in almost every language, in which countries the game of bridge is played to designate such an action, meaning that there is no applicable translation.

Advance Cuebid
The advance cuebid is, simply stated, a cuebid of a first round control. However, the difference in the bidding sequence is the fact, that only one partner knows the suit agreed upon. Since this is the case, the partner left in the dark does not know exactly what his partner is up to, and this can lead to a certain ambiguity.

Astro Cuebid
T he Astro Convention, which shows a two-suited holding by bidding a Minor suit after an opponent has opened the auction with 1 No Trump, was devised by Mr. Paul Allinger, Mr. Roger Stern, and Mr. Larry Rossler. The Astro Cuebid is also an invention of these bridge players to indicate a two-suited holding after an opponent opens the auction on the one level with a suit bid.

Cappelletti's Cuebids
This concept originated with Mr. Michael Cappelletti, born in the year 1942 of Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The concept is based on the idea that an auction can become competitive following two suit bids by the opposing side. By cuebidding either the lower-ranking bid suit or the higher-ranking bid suit of the opposing side certain information can be exchanged about suit length in the two unbid suits, i.e. distribution.

Denial Cuebids
Denial Cuebids form a method of showing the location of honors. The origin of the concept is somewhat clouded in that there is no substantial claim by the first developer of the concept. Mr. James (Jim) Loy states unequivocally on his website that the concept was invented by Mr. David Leigh Cliff.

Desperation Lead or Play
In the evolution of the game of bridge, from whist bridge to auction bridge, there have been a multitude of devised guidelines to communicate information to partner either by the first led card and also during the play itself. The desperation lead or play is one of those guidelines employed in certain circumstances.

General Purpose Cuebid
The origin of this designation is unknown, but is believed to have been introduced into the bridge community following the popularization of the Blackwood conventional defense method. This is a designation for a bid of 4 No Trump by a partnership for a general purpose slam-try whenever a direct cuebid is neither unambiguously possible, nor unequivocally available, nor readily convenient. The idea, the concept, the construct was, however, more or less rejected by the members of the bridge community owing to the lack of possible employment, the frequent interchangeability with and to the Blackwood conventional defense bid of 4 No Trump, and its potential for being misunderstood as to its significance with other similar bids. No examples or illustrations are presented since this conceptualized cuebid never truly found a place in practical bidding agreements.

Note: The Michaels Cuebid and variations are listed separately.

Michaels Cuebid
This convention allows one partner to inform his partner about a 2-suited hand. Devised by Mr. Michael Michaels of Miami Beach, Florida, United States. Distributional hands are very powerful, and this convention instructs the user how to use this tool.

Variations: Since the inception and development of the basic parameters of this particular concept to communicate a two-suited holding with one bid, the concept itself has been expanded, revised, and modified to form new versions based on the original concept. Following are various versions developed by bridge players, especially within the global bridge community, listed in alphabetical order.

Extended Michaels Cuebids Over Minor Suit Openings
Also known as Spear Cuebids, the designation given to the concept by the developer Mr. Jack Spear. This information has been contributed by and courtesy of Mr. Jack Spear to this site in the year 2008 and is presented in its original version in a .pdf file format and will be automatically opened by your browser.

Note: The concept of Extended Michaels is also presented in the publication The Intermediate American Bidding System, American Bridge Series, Volume II, 1998, authored by Mr. Chris Hasney and Mr. Jerry Pottier, Publisher: Trafford Publishing, ISBN -10: 1-55212-210-7.

French Michaels Cubid
The French version of the Michaels Cuebid conventional method deals only with the opening bid of 1 Club by the opposing side.

Italian Michaels Cuebid
The Italian version of the Michaels Cuebid which shows an exact distribution of both Major suits.

Leaping Michaels
A version of Michaels Cuebids and which is employed only following a Weak Two bid in a Major suit opening by an opponent. Developed by Mr. Mark David Feldman of New York City, New York, United States.This is a method whereby the player makes a jump to four of a Minor suit over an opposing Major suit Weak Two bid, and sometimes preempts on the three level, to show a two-suiter.

Developed and devised by Mr. Gordon Bower in the year 1999 and presented on his website. Addressing a certain weakness of the Michaels Cuebid method, this approach combines the features of Michaels Cuebids and the features of the Roman Jump Overcalls.

Michelangelo: A Better Alternative
This write-up on an alternative option to the Michaels Cuebid is presented on his website. The date of the revised version is dated December 2010. The web page will be opened by your browser in a new window. This information has also been only archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Modified Michaels Cuebid
This variation is played mostly in Canada, especially around the area of Quebec and has been contributed to this website by Mr. Lyse Mercille, Mr. Pierre Gauthier and Mr. Kamel Fergami, to whom we owe our thanks for contributing this variation of the Modified Michaels Cuebid convention for presentation on this site.

Specified Michaels
The origin of this conventional defense method is unknown. This conventional method is employed after the opponents have opened the auction with one of a Major suit. The rank of the Major suit is not relevant with the application of Specified Michaels.

Super Michaels
This method or modification of the Michaels Cuebid conventional defence method is based on the same principle of the Michaels Cuebid except that a jump cuebid of a Minor suit opening bid by the opposing side shows both Major suits and a jump cuebid of a Major suit promises the other Major suit and an unspecified Minor suit.

Top and Another Cuebids - T and A Cuebids
This conventional defense method was developed by Mr. Gene Hendricks. The defense method consists of a cuebid, generally an immediate cuebid of the opening suit bid by the opposing side, which can be employed both according to the principles of both the Michaels Cuebid and the Unusual No Trump overcall, both of which are defense methods.

Upper Suits Cuebid
The origin of this conventional method is unknown. The concept is based on other cuebid defense methods, whereby a two-suited holding can be communicated to partner. The upper suits cuebid, however, must be employed in the immediate seat following an opening suit bid by the opposing side.

An Oddity or Vagary - BOOT Cuebid
In the Bridge Bulletin of June 2016 an article concerning a certain questioned action at a bridge table at the beginning of the auction, as authored by Mr. Simon Cocheme, addressed a singularity and unconventionality of a bidding phase. The short description and answer to the inquiry is presented below. The italics serve only as clarification and the dots represent non-relevant information.

Question: A bridge player, name is anonymous, reports that she was the dealer, and her right-hand opponent opened 1 Heart out of turn. The bidding reverted to the dealer (as ruled by the director), who passed, as did her left-hand opponent. Her partner then opened (the auction) by bidding 1 Heart. The inquiring bridge player wished to know what this means.

Answer: I have traveled the Internet and checked with the ACBL's top coaches. There are no registered conventions in this area. ( .... ). Maybe 1 Heart could be a two-way bid either 'I don't have an opening bid' or 'I have a good hand with short Hearts', like a takeout double. (Paraphrasing: This particular sequence could indeed be called BOOT (Bid Out Or Turn) Cuebid.)



If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.