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Tag: Blackwood

Kickback

Kickback is a keycard asking bid which tries to keep the bidding lower, especially useful when the trump suit is a minor suit.

In short instead of using 4NT as the RKB asking bid you use the suit above the agreed suit.

TrumpsKeycard AskStep1 (1/4)Step2 (0/3)Step3 (2)Step4 (2+Q)
4NT5♣555♠
4♠4NT5♣55
44♠4NT5♣5
444♠4NT5♣

Playing kickback you can play 3041 if you prefer which will swap steps 1 and 2 around.

What is the king ask

Assuming you are responding with specific kings…that is you respond 6♣ to show the king of clubs or it shows 2 non touching kings…

The basic rules are:-

  • The king asking suit is a cue-bid of 5 of the next higher strain after the trump suit…so 5NT would still be a king ask when spades are trumps.
  • The negative response would be to bid 6 of the trump suit
  • The three kings response would be to bid 6 of the asking suit
  • The cheapest specific king – simply cue bid the king you have or paradox kings and bypassing a bid then denies that king
  • 5NT response now shows the king of the asking suit

Asking for a 2nd King

  • The secondary ask – A secondary ask you bid the next strain up
  • The negative response showing no additional kings is simply to bid 6 of the trump suit
  • The positive response is to bid 6 of the asking suit to show that king or 6NT if the response pushes to the 7 level
  • The 3rd round control ask positive would then be to bid 7NT

Queen Ask

The queen ask is only employed after a 1st or 2nd step response to the ask.

  • To deny the trump queen simply bid 5 of the trump suit.
  • To show the trump queen bid 6 of the agreed trump suit with no kings
  • Bid 6 of the asking suit to show all three kings and the trump queen
  • Cue bid a king to show that king and the trump queen…again paradox kings apply

Splinter Bids

So this is a recorded live stream of splinter bids opposite major bids.

In this long video we cover the rule of 26 and we also use RKCB to bid slams more confidently.

Dopi-Ropi

DoPi-RoPi is a bridge Acronym standing for:

  • Double = 0 (nought,zero,nada) or 4 aces
  • Pass = 1 (1 ace)
  • Re-Double = 0 (nought,zero,nada) or 4 aces
  • Pass = 1 (1ace)

It is used in Blackwood or RKCB after you’ve asked your partner for aces and you get an intervening bid.

So if you get a bid over 4NT you use one of the bids above or if you have more aces you make bids higher up to show two or three aces.

If you are playing RKCB you add in the King of trumps and queen of trumps into the mix as well….so:

Playing Blackwood DOPI

So when a 4NT blackwood is overcalled:

  • Double = 0 or 4 aces
  • Pass = 1 ace
  • +1 Bid = 2 aces
  • +2 Bids = 3 aces

Playing RKCB (1430) DOPI

So when a 4NT(1430) RKCB is overcalled:

  • Double = 1 ace or 4 aces
  • Pass = 1 ace
  • +1 Bid = 2 aces
  • +2 Bids = 2 aces + Queen of trumps
  • +3 Bids = 3 aces

Playing RKCB (0314) DOPI

So when a 4NT(0314) RKCB is overcalled:

  • Double = 0 aces or 3 aces
  • Pass = 1 ace
  • +1 Bid = 2 aces
  • +2 Bids = 2 aces + Queen of trumps
  • +3 Bids = 3 aces

Playing RKCB (1430) ROPI

So when a 4NT(1430) RKCB is overcalled:

  • Double = 1 ace or 4 aces
  • Pass = 0 aces
  • +1 Bid = 2 aces
  • +2 Bids = 2 aces + Queen of trumps
  • +3 Bids = 3 aces

Playing RKCB (0314) ROPI

So when a 4NT(0314) RKCB is overcalled:

  • Double = 0 ace or 3 aces
  • Pass = 1 ace or 4 aces
  • +1 Bid = 2 aces
  • +2 Bids = 2 aces + Queen of trumps
  • +3 Bids = 3 aces

This is a hand where I’ve just lost 13 IMPS because my partner forgot how to play the system…

NorthSouth
♠ K863♠ AQ10742
AJ 964
AK9864QJ5
♣ 6♣ J
The Hands

So with this hand the bidding went:

NorthEastSouthWest
12♣2♠3♣
4♣Pass4NT5♣
5Pass5♠Pass
PassPass
The Bidding

So using DOPI-ROPI the 5 bid shows 2 aces….Now if you were playing normal blackwood that would be true…but we play RKCB so that bid now show only 2 of the 5 aces without the queen of trumps….so we missed the easy 6♠ because my partner should have bid 5♠ to show 3 aces (the king of trumps is counted as an ace in RKCB) and unfortunately the other team bid it. Oh well he won’t get it wrong the next time it occurs!

DEPO

This stands for:

  • Double = Even number of aces
  • Pass = Odd number of aces

I would suggest this just includes all the keycards AAAAKQ when playing whatever flavour of RKCB you choose to use.

RKCB – Roman Key Card Blackwood

So blackwood is a method of finding how many aces the partnership has….but using RKCB you can find out the aces, the king of trumps and the queen of trumps…all useful cards for a slam. You can also go on to find out about other kings.

  • 3 – singleton clubs

RKCB

So this assumes you’ve agreed a suit fit…let’s say the bidding has gone…

NorthSouth
2*2*
2♠*3♠*
4NT*

In this example 2 diamonds was a game force (some people play this as a weak 2 in diamonds). Here 4NT would be RKCB agreeing spades.

The first bid looks at the four aces, the king of trumps and the queen of trumps. So it counts the King of trumps as the 5th Ace…clearly it’s an important card when looking for a slam.

The responses to 4NT are:-

  • 5♣ = 1 or 4 This shows one or four aces
  • 5 = 0 or 3 This shows none or three aces
  • 5 = 2 or 5 This shows two or 5 aces
  • 5♠ = 2+Q This shows two aces plus the queen of trumps

This style of RKCB is known as 1430 and is commonly accepted to be the best way of playing it….

PLEASE NOTE YOU CAN PLAY IT:

  • 5♣ = 0 / 3 This shows none or three aces
  • 5 = 1 / 4 This shows one or four aces

This style of RKCB is known as 3014 and is now frowned upon by some Expert players!

SO LET’S NOT PLAY IT THIS WAY!

How do you ask for the trump queen?

Whatever the response is…such as 5 clubs or 5 diamonds, then the next SUIT bid up asks for the trump Queen. Note if you had agreed hearts and the response was 5 diamonds…you would need to bid the next bid up from the trump suit…i.e. 5 spades. Or if you know that 5 diamonds equals 3 controls then you can use 5 hearts as a queen ask….partner shouldn’t pass if he gives a positive response!

To deny the trump queen you can bid the trump suit at the lowest level. If you have the trump queen you can:

  • Jump to slam with no other useful cards in your hand.
  • Bid a suit with a king in or cue bid to show the two other kings (see later)
  • Bid 5NT to show zero kings but a useful queen or queens.
NorthSouth
2*2*
2♠3♠
4NT*5♣*
5*5♠*

So in this case 5 clubs shows 1 or 4 keycards. 5 diamonds* asks for the Queen of spades. 5 spades would deny the trump queen.

If instead of 5 spades being bid and 5 hearts was bid instead this would show the King of hearts and the Queen of trumps.

NorthSouth
22*
2♠3♠
4NT*5♣*
56♣*

Here the 6 clubs* would show the trump queen plus the King of clubs.

So what about asking for kings?

NorthSouth
2*2*
2♠3♠
4NT*5♣*
5NT*6*
7♠

Here the 5NT asks for kings….you can play this several ways…straightforward asking for the number of kings or cue bidding the kings….

Asking for kings the replies would mean:

  • 6♣ = 0 kings
  • 6 = 1 King
  • 6 = 2 Kings
  • 6♠ = 3 Kings

Another popular method….one which I prefer and recommend is to cue bid the kings:

  • 6♣ = The king of clubs, or the two none touching kings, or two other kings.
  • 6 = The king of diamonds, or the two none touching kings, or two other kings.
  • 6 = The king of hearts, or the two none touching kings, or two other kings.
  • 6♠ = The king of spades, or the two none touching kings, or two other kings.

Again this is down to partnership agreement whether you can bid the two kings you don’t have! Also make sure if it shows 2 none touching kings or the other 2 missing kings.

This is also known as paradox kings when you make a bid in a suit where you don’t actually have the king in that suit…but it shows the other two kings….the paradox.

What Do I Do With A Void?

A common response to 4NT is:

  • 5NT = 0 / 2 / 4 with a useful void
  • 6♣// = 1 /3 with a useful void in that suit.
  • 6 trump suit = 1 / 3 with a void in a suit above the trump suit

A useful void would be a suit that partner hasn’t bid….very often it will be the splinter bid.

What happens when the opposition interfere over 4NT?

There is a full explanation on what happens if the opposition double or bid against you here. It’s generally called DOPI-ROPI !

Let’s look at a sequence

♠ AJ109863♠ KQ4
AK32 AK32
A5A5
♣ AK7♣ 983

So with this hand the bidding would go:

NorthSouth
2♣2
2♠3♠
44♠
4NT5♠
5NT6♣
7NT

Bidding explanations….

  • 2♣ – Big hand
  • 2 – Relay
  • 2♠ – 8 Playing Tricks with spades as trumps
  • 3 – Slam try in spades
  • 4♣ – Cue Bid
  • 4 – Cue Bid denies the ace of diamonds
  • 4NT – RKCB 4130 responses
  • 5♠ – 2 out of the 5 aces + Queen of spades
  • 5NT – Asks to cue bid kings
  • 6♣ – Shows the king of clubs or the other two kings….therefore must be two red kings
  • 7NT – I can count to 13!

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