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Tag: ask


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)

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

Some Examples

♠ A76
♣ KQ753
♠ AK4
♣ K7
♠ KQ
♣ 7652
♠ K2
♣ AJ986
♠ 73
♣ AJ108
♠ A987
♣ 3

The Bidding

a) 2NT (20-22) – 3 – 3 – 4♣ – 4 – 4 – 5 – 5♠ – 7♣

4♣ shows the second suit and 4 is kickback for clubs and 4 is one. 5 is the king ask and 5♠ shows that king.

b) 2NT (20-22) – 3 – 3 – 4♣ – 4♠ – 5 – 5♠ – 6 – 7

4♣ shows the second suit and 4 is kickback for hearts, 5 is two. 5♠ is the king ask and 6 is the king of diamonds.

c) 1NT (12-14) – 2 – 2 – 4♣ – 4♠ – 5♣ – 5 – 6

2♣ is Stayman and 4♣ is a splinter, 4♠ is now kickback and 5♣ shows 3 keycards, 5 asks for the trump queen and 6 is saying I have the queen.

Specific Ace Ask

Very simply you can open 4NT which asks partner if they hold an ace.

5♣No aces
5The ace of Diamonds
5The ace of Hearts
5♠The ace of spades
5NT2 aces
6♣The ace of clubs
6Three aces!?

Alternatively you can play a step response:-

5♣No aces
5The ace of Clubs
5The ace of Diamonds
5♠The ace of Hearts
5NTThe ace of spades
6♣Two aces
6Three Aces!?

Again the most important thing is make sure you agree what you are playing with partner…as the specific ace convention doesn’t arise very often I would suggest you play the first alternative described here.

Please make sure you can handle any response…if you hold:-

Now the opposition are bound to lead a red suit and take you one off in 6♠.

Whereas if you have this you can cater for any response:-

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