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Michaels 2/1 ACBL

#1 User is offline   dickiegera 

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Posted 2019-July-03, 16:47

Playing michaels cue bids I know that with 16+ you can Michaels and bid.

Also with 12 - 15 you bid your suits.


What is the desired minimum? Is 6 pts enough if pts in your suits?
Should you have tricks on defense? 1 or 2?


Thank you
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#2 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 01:55

I like 8 points the majors and prefer to play 1-2 showing about 10+ in my suits. Over 1 2 even better. But that changes depending on the event and whether partner is a passed hand or not.

But sometimes lite makes sense especially at matchpoints. Need to consider the partnership preferences and temperaments.
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#3 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 05:42

I readily admit I'm not an expert, only advanced, but I always used Michael's as a constructive bid, not as a pre-emptive tool. I agree with the previous comment from dsLawsd that you have to have some substance to use Michael's. Bidding on QJxxx QJxxx xx x even at favourable vulnerability wouldn't interest me. However give me KQJxx x xx QTxxx and I would happily bid 2 over 1.

So my minimum criteria is 8 points for 1 - 2 Michael's; 10 points for 1 - 2 Michael's as responder has to bid at the three level. And only guaranteeing one defensive trick at the most.
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#4 User is offline   ge0ff 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 06:09

I play both weak (6 - 10) and strong (16+) two suited overcalls (Michaels and Unusual NT). Partner responds as if it is a weak overcall and subsequent bidding by overcaller shows the stronger hand. This is a simple approach which deals with a wide range of values.

(With 11-15 I overcall in one suit and bid the other if the auction allows.)
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#5 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 06:13

View Postge0ff, on 2019-July-04, 06:09, said:

I play both weak (6 - 10) and strong (16+) two suited overcalls (Michaels and Unusual NT). Partner responds as if it is a weak overcall and subsequent bidding by overcaller shows the stronger hand. This is a simple approach which deals with a wide range of values.

(With 11-15 I overcall in one suit and bid the other if the auction allows.)


This approach is a bit old-fashioned. These days it is more popular to bid Michaels and U2NT with any strength.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#6 User is offline   ge0ff 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 06:20

View PostVampyr, on 2019-July-04, 06:13, said:

This approach is a big old-fashioned. These days it is more popular to bid Michaels and U2NT with any strength.

You got me - I'm 74 years old!
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#7 User is offline   heart76 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 07:27

View PostVampyr, on 2019-July-04, 06:13, said:

This approach is a bit old-fashioned. These days it is more popular to bid Michaels and U2NT with any strength.


Yes, I have seen this, but could you please explain where the gain is?
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#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 11:34

View Postheart76, on 2019-July-04, 07:27, said:

Yes, I have seen this, but could you please explain where the gain is?


The gain is in the preemptive value, especially if partner can bump it.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#9 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-July-04, 15:39

A modification of Michaels ...
  • Not weak or strong -- just a desire for our side to play the hand with a fit -- at the prevailing scoring, and vulnerability.
  • Over a major, the cue shows the other major and either minor (as usual)
  • Over a minor, the cue shows s and another unbid suit (not necessarily s). This means that, in combination with unusual 2N, you can show any 2-suiter in the unbid suits.
  • Over this Michaels variant, 2N is a relay with a simple response structure (that you can also use consistently over Multi-openers and the Multi-Landy defence to 1N).

After (1) 2 (Pass) ??
  • 2/3/4 = NAT PRE.
  • 2N = REL.
  • 3/3 = P/C.
  • 3 = CUE Setting s as trumps.

Similarly, after (1) 2 (Pass) ??
  • 2/3 = P/C.
  • 2/3/4 = NAT PRE.
  • 2N = REL.
  • 3 = CUE Setting s as trumps.

In response to the 2N relay, 3m is weak and 3M is strong. For instance, after (1) 2 (Pass) 2N (Pass) ??
  • 3 = MIN s and s.
  • 3 = MIN s and s.
  • 3 = MAX s and s.
  • 3 = MAX s and s.

With extra values, the Michaels bidder can bid again. For example, If the Michaels bidder has ...
  • Extra shape, then he can bid a suit.
  • Extra strength, then he can double.
  • Both extra shape and extra strength, then he can cue again or bid notrumps.

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#10 User is offline   whidbey 

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Posted 2019-July-05, 07:25

I believe in the approach where Michaels, and unusual 2NT, are either weak or strong. When you have a 'strong' Michaels you will feel comfortable in bidding again. The easy metric I use is LTC. 5 is strong, 7 is weak. With 6 LTC just overcall and hope you get a chance to mention your lower ranking suit later in the auction. Don't use HCP!

AQxxx KQxxx xx x is a 5 LTC and strong hand. QJxxx Kxxxx xx x is weak and a candidate for a Michaels 2m bid if partner isn't a passed hand - non-vul.
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#11 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-July-06, 14:42

View Postnige1, on 2019-July-04, 15:39, said:

A modification of Michaels ...
  • Not weak or strong -- just a desire for our side to play the hand with a fit -- at the prevailing scoring, and vulnerability.
  • Over a major, the cue shows the other major and either minor (as usual)
  • Over a minor, the cue shows s and another unbid suit (not necessarily s). This means that, in combination with unusual 2N, you can show any 2-suiter in the unbid suits.
  • Over this Michaels variant, 2N is a relay with a simple response structure (that you can also use consistently over Multi-openers and the Multi-Landy defence to 1N).

After (1) 2 (Pass) ??
  • 2/3/4 = NAT PRE.
  • 2N = REL.
  • 3/3 = P/C.
  • 3 = CUE Setting s as trumps.

Similarly, after (1) 2 (Pass) ??
  • 2/3 = P/C.
  • 2/3/4 = NAT PRE.
  • 2N = REL.
  • 3 = CUE Setting s as trumps.

In response to the 2N relay, 3m is weak and 3M is strong. For instance, after (1) 2 (Pass) 2N (Pass) ??
  • 3 = MIN s and s.
  • 3 = MIN s and s.
  • 3 = MAX s and s.
  • 3 = MAX s and s.

With extra values, the Michaels bidder can bid again. For example, If the Michaels bidder has ...
  • Extra shape, then he can bid a suit.
  • Extra strength, then he can double.
  • Both extra shape and extra strength, then he can cue again or bid notrumps.



I like it...
when you say (1♦) 2♦ (Pass) 3♣ = P/C does this mean pass with clubs or correct to spades, forget hearts?
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#12 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2019-July-06, 15:14

View Postpescetom, on 2019-July-06, 14:42, said:

I like it... when you say (1♦) 2♦ (Pass) 3♣ = P/C does this mean pass with clubs or correct to spades, forget hearts?

In this style of Michaels, the cue-bid of a minor shows s and either unbid suit (here s and s or s).

The orthodox pass/convert responses are similar to the replies to partner's multi 2 ...
  • The cheaper suit (here (1) 2 (Pass) 2) with no preference between s and s or with preference.
  • The more expensive suit (here (1) 2 (Pass) 3) is to play if that is partner's other suit, but suggests game if partner's suit is s,

Some modern players protest that this approach gives away too much information. They almost always bid the cheaper suit. If they bid the more expensive suit. then it is natural and shows length therein.


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#13 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2019-July-06, 15:42

View Postnige1, on 2019-July-06, 15:14, said:

In this style of Michaels, the cue-bid of a minor shows s and either unbid suit (here s and s or s).

The orthodox pass/convert responses are similar to the replies to partner's multi 2 ...
  • The cheaper suit (here (1) 2 (Pass) 2) with no preference between s and s or with preference.
  • The more expensive suit (here (1) 2 (Pass) 3) is to play if that is partner's other suit, but suggests game if partner's suit is s,
Some modern players protest that this approach gives to much information away. They almost always bid the cheaper suit. If they bid the more expensive suit it is natural and shows length therein.




Thanks, makes sense. I guess the choice is also linked to how aggressively one bids Michaels, I would be more comfortable with the "modern" approach.
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#14 User is offline   KingCovert 

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Posted 2019-July-08, 14:22

View PostFelicityR, on 2019-July-04, 05:42, said:

I readily admit I'm not an expert, only advanced, but I always used Michael's as a constructive bid, not as a pre-emptive tool. I agree with the previous comment from dsLawsd that you have to have some substance to use Michael's. Bidding on QJxxx QJxxx xx x even at favourable vulnerability wouldn't interest me. However give me KQJxx x xx QTxxx and I would happily bid 2 over 1.

So my minimum criteria is 8 points for 1 - 2 Michael's; 10 points for 1 - 2 Michael's as responder has to bid at the three level. And only guaranteeing one defensive trick at the most.


If that's your partnership agreement, and you're on the same page, then I suppose that's reasonable. But, are you really scared to force partner to bid over 2 clubs when you're holding the 7 loser hand that you are holding in your first example? I mean, vulnerability does matter, but surely you're establishing the ability sacrifice? There are ~21 unaccounted points still left in the deck, I think passing the first hand is far too pessimistic, any reasonable minus you ever take is surely a good board?

Whereas, funnily enough, I'd much rather just overcall a spade on the second hand. You have a clear lead directing bid. I don't think you want to play 3 clubs opposite three small clubs. And you certainly don't want a club lead on defense, and if you don't declare spades over their hearts, it's probably right not to.

Definitely not saying this is perfect logic, but, I think generally it's desireable to show distribution when the distribution is the feature. On the first hand, it's the feature. On the second hand, the spade suit is the feature, I don't think you ever want to play 5C over 4H. You have too much defense when you don't possess a spade fit.
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#15 User is offline   wank 

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Posted 2019-July-15, 14:36

this idea that is micheals is weak or strong went out in the 80s.

it should be strongish to strong. i never do it on a hand i wouldn't open, with the exception of both majors hands.

it gives a lot of information away. it makes it very easy for the opps to play the contract. this information leakage is too great unless you've got a good enough hand to win the bidding.
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#16 User is online   cherdano 

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Posted 2019-July-25, 17:20

View Postwank, on 2019-July-15, 14:36, said:

this idea that is micheals is weak or strong went out in the 80s.

it should be strongish to strong. i never do it on a hand i wouldn't open, with the exception of both majors hands.

it gives a lot of information away. it makes it very easy for the opps to play the contract. this information leakage is too great unless you've got a good enough hand to win the bidding.

I kept thinking about this post - it doesn't quite ring true to me. Would you really open KJT9x x QJxxxx x? Would you really not bid Michaels over a 1 opening?
Michaels hands should have playing strength, yes, but opening strength is a different kind of beast for two-suited hands in my view.
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#17 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2019-August-05, 18:37

When you really start to analyze Michaels, you find that the 1C-2C, and 1D-2D are the hands you most want to be able to bid. 1H-2H becomes problematic for a hand that does not support spades.

Because of that, I personally think it is a poor choice to not use Michaels with both majors and a weakish hand; at the same time, I agree that any other time, Michaels should not be used with a weakish hand.
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