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
♣ K76
♠ K2
♣ AJ986
♠ 73
♣ AJ1085

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 – 4 – 4♠ – 5♣ – 5 – 5 – 6

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

The reason for asking about clubs rather than hearts is because you need to do something with the third club in your hand. Therefore you need to find out about the Queen of clubs…whereas you have the Queen of clubs. Making a dangerous assumption that partner probably hold the King of hearts for their bidding.

Alternatively you can find out about both queens if you play six ace kickback!