A directional asking bid is a specialized application of a low-level cuebid in the suit of the opponents, which invites the partner to bid No Trump. The partner must bid No Trump if he holds Qx, Jxx, or better in the suit of the opponents. The application has two objectives.
The DAB, directional asking bidder, wishes to ascertain whether his team has a combined stopper in the suit of the opponents when he himself holds Qx, Jxx, or a singleton King. The second objective may be to exclude himself from becoming the declarer, and becoming the dummy.
This objective becomes clear when the DAB holds Axx or Kxx in the opponent's suit, since it is better for this holding to be to the right of the opponent who has entered the auction, and who has been cuebid. The lead should be to the Qx, Jxx, or better of the partner.
The application of the Directional Asking Bid is generally used on the West Coast and in parts of England, and has been also known as the Western Cuebid. In general, the Western Cuebid, or Directional Asking Bid, ASKS for a stopper, if the opponents have bid only one suit, but SHOWS a stopper if the opponents have bid more than one suit.
It is dependent on the partnership agreement whether the low-level cuebid SHOWS a stopper, which is generally the East Coast style, no stopper, which is generally the West Coast style, or half a stopper, which is the directional asking bid.
It seems that the majority of bridge players have taken a preference to the Western Style of bidding, which does not exclude the use of the Directional Asking Bid, as shown in the following example.
North East South West Pass 1 Pass 1 1 2 Pass 3 Pass 2 All pass
East A5 J74 8 AKQ9763
When East cuebids 2 Hearts, this is the Western Cuebid asking for a stopper. At the next turn, a rebid by East of 3 Hearts is a Directional Asking Bid, asking for half a guard or stopper. In the above example, a final contract of 3 No Trump can be reached if West has as little as a singleton King or Queen of Hearts.
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.
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