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Teaching or Disclosure? The General Grammar of Cue-Bidding

It happened again on Sunday afternoon: "What does her cue bid show?"

Of course, I can always fall back on, "I don't have to tell you what it shows, only what we agree that it shows/means." However . . . 

This is always an awkward question for me because the best I can do is say, "It really does not show any specific hand, hand type, support or not support or holding in the suit bid. She knows I am not going to PASS it. With a minimum I am to rebid my suit (or perhaps introduce a lower ranking second suit). With a stopper, I am to rebid NT. Subsequent bidding may reveal her hand to be anything from INV (or even less, if she is a creative type) to slam forcing. If rules conflict (a minimum with a stopper, or a minimum with a suit that makes rebidding not appealing) I must improvise and use my own judgment." I guess it is fair to say that the cue bidder is asking for information more than giving it and taking over the auction; that is, assuming captaincy.

I feel like saying, "I cannot teach you the full general grammar of cue bidding in the context of disclosure and I feel like describing the full extent and subtleties of the topic, even if I could, might possibly give partner information that she does not currently possess, or at least confirm what may be just suspicions for her right now."

Also, OPPs inevitably ask about the cue bid, especially when they hold something interesting in the cue bid suit. Rarely do they ask about the equally important inferences available when partner does not cue bid but simply introduces a new suit.

Where does disclosure end and teaching begin?

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