This is a fake cuebid and has only one purpose. The concept of this principle has been employed by many bridge players in the past, but the concept has never been a favorite of the bridge community until bridge expert Mr. Zia Mahmood began employing it during his bridge career. The underlying concept is that the cuebid itself is a ploy.

Mr. Zia Mahmood, who was born January 7, 1946, in Karachi, Pakistan, is a professional bridge player. He is a World Bridge Federation and American Contract Bridge League Grand Life Master. He is regarded as one of the greatest players of the game. He achieved international bridge fame, some maintain, overnight when he led the country of Pakistan to second place in the 1981 Bermuda Bowl tournament. The tournament was conducted in New York City, New York, United States, in the year 1981.

The country of Pakistan represented Asia and the Middle East, which had not to date presented a participating team. His team mates were: Nishat Abedi, Nisar Ahmed, Munir Attaullah, Jan-e-Alam Fazli, and Masood Saleem.

He has also won the Bermuda Bowl in the year 2009, which was conducted in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His team mates were: Bob Hamman, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Nick Nickell, and Ralph Katz, who was the replacement for Richard Freeman, who died after USA 2 qualified for participation in the Bermuda Bowl.


Ploy - Manoever - Tactic

A ploy is defined as an action calculated to frustrate an opponent or gain an advantage indirectly or deviously. And this is exactly the designed and designated purpose of these particular cuebids. The following example should clarify this concept:

Opener   Responder
1   2
3   4

The Zia Cuebid consists of bidding the suit, which the defender should not lead, and then bid the slam. By bidding the weak suit, the idea is that the defender will be persuaded to lead a Club or a trump, but hesitate in leading a Heart since the Heart suit was bid during the auction.

The bid is a pure gamble whether or not the leading defender will fall for this bluff. If the defender held Ace-King, then the defender would most likely lead the Ace followed by the King. However, as is often the case, if the defender holds the King and partner holds the Ace, then the defender would most likely not lead a Heart.

Another example of the Zia Cuebid in competition:



West North East
1 Pass 2 3

The bid of 3 is a Zia Cuebid. Since the final contract will be 4, the hope is that the first lead is not a Heart. By bidding the Hearts, the desired effect is that the right hand opponent will hesitate to lead the weak suit Hearts.

However, this bid must be Alerted and something like the following explanation must be disclosed to the opponents upon request: our agreement is that this bid is a Zia Cuebid, which means that the bid of 3 Hearts signifies either a normal bid or a bluff.



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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