The Rule of 26 in conjunction with Splinters

 By Harold Schogger

 If your partner makes a splinter bid, if you can add up all your points outside the splinter suit plus partner's known points total and it comes to 26 or more you should consider bidding a slam

 e.g.

 

 

 

 

 A K 8 7 3

Q J 6 5

 5 2

A K 6 4 3

 A Q 6

K 8 3

4 3 2

7

If the auction proceeds   1                   4

 Then West should immediately add his points outside the splinter suit to a known guarantee of     13-15 points. Since his points total is 14 and his partner is usually  promising 13-15 then he knows the total is 26 and he should immediately be interested in a slam and  6 is an easy make here. West should therefore make suitable overtures either by cue bidding or Ace asking


 However if the hands are now as follows :- 

A K 8 7 3

Q J 6 5

5 2

A K 6 4 3

Q 2

K 8 3

K Q 6 2

7

 If the auction proceeds   1                   4

 Now you add your points outside the splinter suit (ie only 9) to the guaranteed 13 and now the total only amounts to 22 And although you now have 27 points between the 2 hands the slam is now impossible with all the wasted values in Clubs.


 The rule can also be applied in other splinter bid situations

e. g. 

K Q 7 2

A J 8 6 3

A K 7 5 4

Q 8 6

A 8 2

K 4

4

7 6 2

 If the auction proceeds   1                 1

                                              4

now East adds his 10 points (all outside the splinter suit) to the known total of at least 18 by opener totalling 28 points and should certainly make a move forward as 6 which again is an easy make.


but with 

K Q 7 2

A J 8 6 3

A K 7 5 4

8 6 2

A 8 2

9 3

4

K Q 2

 If the auction proceeds   1                  1

                                              4

Now East's  5 points  outside the splinter suit added to the known 18 will only make 23 points and now no interest in the slam should be shown!!


 The reason this rule works is that once the partnership can ignore one whole suit then the partnership can expect to make Grand Slams on 30 points so taking an Ace away leaves you with 26  and 12 tricks should still materialize

Also it is a good idea to have a partnership agreement that you will not splinter in suits where you have a singleton King or Ace (as part of the points promised).