East west vulnerable

East west vulnerable

Roman keycard Blackwood explained

Play Bridge: Tips and tricks for bridge players, new to experienced.

Roman keycard Blackwood is similar to regular Blackwood except in addition to the four aces, the keycards include the king of trump.

As seen in an earlier column, Roman keycard Blackwood or 0314 has the following responses: Five clubs shows zero or three keycards, five diamonds shows one or four keycards, five hearts shows two keycards without the queen of trump, five spades shows two keycards with the queen of trump and five notrump shows two keycards with a useful void.

The bidding: South, with 15 points and five spades opens one spade. North has three card support, ten plus points and a beautiful club suit. He bids two clubs and then bids four spades. South has a strong hand and asks for keycards. North has one or four keycards. Declarer will always be able to figure out which one from the number of his keycards or from the points.

Declarer then bids the next suit up from five diamonds asking if North has the queen of trump. The next suit up by North says “no,” and any other response shows the lowest ranking king and an answer of “yes.”

North has the queen of trump and the king of clubs. Seven is certain as the losers will go on the clubs which can be ruffed good if necessary. In order to ask for the queen of trump, South must know that he and North have all the keycards. He did not ask for kings because of the queen-asking response, but all the keycards are necessary to ask for the number of kings.

The contract: Seven spades by South

The opening lead: The Queen of diamonds.

This is a natural lead with three touching honours. The queen is top of a sequence.

The play: South draws trump, sluffs (discards) his four heart and diamond losers on clubs and claims.

The result: Seven spades by South making seven for +1510.