Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Higher than Splinter, but Below Game

There are occasionally calls that are one level higher than necessary for a splinter and yet below game.

One example is the double jump reverse.  For example:

1C-P-1S-P-
4H

1C-P-1S-P-
4D

1D-P-1S-P-
4H

1C-P-1H-P-
4D

In all four sequences, two of Opener's second suit would be forcing.  Three of Opener's suit can operate as a splinter option.  Thus, four of the suit is one higher than the minimum call needed for a splinter but still below game.

A second example would be a double jump cuebid below game.

I mention this merely because I saw a lot of posts recently where people bid four of a suit as a splinter, perhaps thinking that four of the suit sounds like a splinter, whereas in the sequence three of the suit would also sound like a splinter.  When I mentioned this, some noted that three of the suit works and then opined as to what four of the suit should mean (void splinter? other?). 

Personally, I think that if three of the suit is a splinter, then four of the suit should be a Picture Splinter of some variety (very well defined), because the call usually consumes a lot of space that would otherwise be available to unwind a lot of information.  "Void Splinter" seems bad, if only because a void makes (1) slam more likely but (2) fine-tuning more important.  Consider that with a void you might have much less other stuff to merit the splinter, but then you might also have a lot more stuff than the minimum void splinter requires.  Accordingly, you have more need to unwind (it seems) with the void hands. 

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