Both vulnerable

Both vulnerable

Play Bridge: Using the exclusion bid

"It is an important bid to use when one has a void, and one wishes to know how many keycards partner has outside of that void."

Bridge certainly does not exclude a soul. It is a challenge for anybody, and I welcome everybody to the game. Exclusion, here, refers to Exclusion Blackwood, a bid that has been covered in past columns. It is an important bid to use when one has a void, and one wishes to know how many keycards partner has outside of that void.

The bidding: South opens One Spade and North bids a game-forcing Two No Trump. Strictly speaking, it is not a balanced Jacoby Two No Trump which denies a hand that would splinter showing a singleton or void. For my purposes, it is Jacoby Two No Trump which shows four-card support of partner’s major and opening hand or better.

A splinter is a double jump shift into a singleton or void with four-card support of partner’s major. This is done with just enough for game and not an Ace more.

North does not do a splinter to Four Clubs because he is too strong to take away all that bidding room which may be needed for slam exploration. After Souths show his singleton or void in Hearts by bidding it at the three-level, North jumps to Five Clubs asking for keycards excluding the Ace in his void, the Ace of Clubs.

In response to Five Clubs, South uses the Standard Roman keycard responses. Five Spades is the third step showing two keycards without the Queen of trump.

Exclusion officially has a different set of responses but it is simpler to keep the responses the same as keycard Blackwood.

North bids Seven Spades.

The Lead: The King of Clubs is not a good lead because it is North’s void. A trump lead may cut down the ruffing power, and even if it does not, it is a safe lead. For his bid, North will likely have the Queen or six Spades for his bid of seven.

The play: Declarer must ruff two Clubs for his 12th and 13th tricks. He can do that later in the hand in case transportation is needed. He will draw trump and then play Diamonds. When he gets the bad news in Diamonds, he goes back to his hand to take a finesse.

Result: Seven Spades making for +2210.