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EXCLUSION KEYCARD BLACKWOOD AFTER MAJOR SUIT AGREEMENT

 

(There may be a few minor suit auctions where you may want to add it but you should only do that with a very regular partner after you have played it for awhile.)

Slam hands with void suits are often hard to handle. Using Blackwood is wrong in most cases. If you use RKB holding two aces plus a void suit, and partner shows one ace, you may have to guess which it is.

There are several ways to go with void suits. The most common is cue bidding which may lead to a Blackwood sequence. However, it is dangerous to cue bid a void early, because partner may think that the king or king-queen of your void suit is golden and go ballistic.

A better way to resolve this dilemma is to use EXCLUSION KEYCARD BLACKWOOD (EKB) whereby you ask partner for keycards OUTSIDE of the void suit. EKB is a jump over game in an un-bid suit or in a suit bid by the opponents, usually after agreement. Partner does NOT count the ace of the jump suit in the response. Most people play normal RKC responses:

1st step= 0 or 3
2nd step=1
3rd step=2 without
4th step=2 with

An example before we get to some sticky stuff:
Opener Responder
S. AKQxxx S. xxxx
H. -- H. Kxxx
D. Kx D. Axxx
C. AKQxx C. x


Opener Responder
2C 2D(1)
2S 4C(2)
5H(3) 5NT(4)
7S(5) Pass

 

(1) Waiting
(2) Splinter
(3) Exclusion
(4) 1 Keycard outside of hearts (must be the Diamond Ace)
(5) Bingo!

Exclusion responses are rarely lower than five of the agreed suit. They will usually be higher, though the five level of the agreed suit may be the response.


Note: In an uncontested auction, a leap over game after partner's response is EKB agreeing partner's suit.

Opener Responder
S. AKxxxx S. --
H. AJxx H. Qxxxx
D. -- D. AKQxx
C. KQx C. Jxx

Opener Responder
1S 2H
5D (1) 5H (2)
Pass (3)

(1) EKB
(2) 0 (Diamond Ace doesn't count)
(3) 2 Keycards missing

WHEN AN EXCLUSION ASK IS DOUBLED.
Opener Responder
S. AKxxxx S. QJxx
H. KQx H. Ax
D. -- D. Qxxxx
C. KQJx C. xx


Opener Opp. Responder
1S 3S (1)
5D (2) Dbl. ?

(1) Limit
(2) EKB

When an EKB ask is doubled, you now have TWO extra bids available, pass and redouble. It works like this: Pass = 0 Redbl.= 1 1st step = 2. In the example sequence redouble to show "1" and opener bids 6S. If had you 0, you would have passed and opener would sign off at 5S.
However, I just ignore the double and use my normal RKC responses to keep it simple.

 

S A

H Kxxxxxx

D KQJxx

C --

 

1D pass 1H pass

2D pass ?

 

You bid 5C, showing a void in clubs and asking for aces. Partner will not count the ace of clubs in his reply. He will bid 5D with no aces, 5H with one working ace (heart ace or diamond ace), 5S with two working aces without the Queen.

 

Try this hand:

 

S AKx

H Axxxx

D KQxxx

C --

 

1D pass 1H pass

2D pass 5C pass

?

 

5D = no working keycards (your side is missing the ace of diamonds and the king of hearts). Return to 5H or pass 5D.

5H = one working keycard (king of hearts or ace of diamonds). Bid 6D.

5S = two working keycards without the queen of hearts. Bid 6D.

5NT = two working keycards with the queen of hearts. Bid 7D.

 

Question: Can you use EKB with a simple jump?

Answer:

Yes, if the jump is to the five level.

1H 1S

2D 3H

5C

 

Opener has:

Kx

KQxxxx

KQJxx

--

 

 

TEXAS and EXCLUSION.

Another application is when you make a Texas Transfer over a no-trump opening. Many partnerships use a new suit after Texas as Exclusion Blackwood.

 

1NT 4 (transfer to hearts)

4 4 EKB

 

Which bids are EKB?

Each partnership must decide for itself which bids are EKB. The simplest rule is to play certain jumps to 4 spades and all jumps to the five level if you have agreed upon a major. This is how I play which is simple.

Examples:

1. 1H 3C = Bergen raise

5D EKB

 

2. 1NT 2D = Transfer

2H 4S = EKB

 

For many players if a player splinters and receives no encouragement, they may continue with 4NT as exclusion Blackwood, indicating the splinter was based on a void and that is the excluded suit. I like this and it has won several hands for me. For example after 1S -4D -4S, 4NT shows a heart void and asking for EKB responses.

KQxx

KQx

--

AKQJxx

 

Opener Responder

1S 4D

4S 4NT= EKB

 

You could bid a direct 5D for EKB but this saves steps.

 

 

Super Gerber

The only place to use Super Gerber for me is when 3NT was the last bid in a sequence. Some people use them in some minor sequences but for our discussions the last bid must be 3NT followed by a jump to 5C (a few people play bidding the cheapest un-bid suit at the four level is Super Gerber).

 

When 4C would be something other than Gerber, 4NT needs to be quantative and then use 5C for Super Gerber unless you need it as a natural bid.

 

The partnership may need to discuss when a jump may need to be natural because of the principle of fast arrival.

Example:

1. Opener Responder

    2C 3D

     3NT

 

4C = natural

4NT = quantitative

5C = Super Gerber for diamonds

 

3N/P/4C? Is this Gerber or Stayman? If you play a Gambling3NT, it is surely Gerber, but if 3NT is a big balanced hand, it makes more sense for 4C to be Stayman. In that situation, many pairs play that 5C is Gerber (Super Gerber) and 4NT is invitational.

 

2C/2D/3NT?

4C = Stayman

4NT = quantative

5C = Super Gerber.

 

2. S W N E

1S 3D 3H P

3NT P ?

4C = natural

4NT = can be used as a quantitative bid or Blackwood. If it is quantitative then use Super Gerber. You must assume 4NT is Ace asking unless you agree otherwise.

 

3. 1S/3NT

4C = you want this to be natural

You can use 4NT as Ace asking but some find it better to have it quantitative and use Super Gerber. Dont use unless you have discussed this particular auction with your partner.

 
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