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Conventions: Exclusion Key Card Blackwood

Confusion Key Card Blackwood
(Oops, I Mean Exclusion KCB)

by Marilyn Hemenway  for  September 2006

One of the problems associated with any kind of Ace-asking bid is what to do when you have a void. Rather than using normal Blackwood or Roman KeyCard Blackwood (RKC) one probably tries splinters, cuebids, and/or bidding around the void hoping that partner will get the proper message. Rather than go to those lengths some bridge players just go ahead and use Blackwood or RKC with a void but then they are never sure what to do when they are missing a KeyCard or an Ace. To tell the truth it rather irritates me when they get lucky and it works out for them. Of course I’m really just jealous because I KNOW it wouldn’t work if I tried it.

Exclusion Roman KeyCard Blackwood (EKB) is an extension of the Roman KeyCard Blackwood convention and is a solution to this problem. The idea is to show a void while exploring for the possibility of a slam. Some bridge players still refer to this convention as Voidwood.

Instead of the normal 4NT-asking bid, KeyCard-asking is initiated by a jump to the five level in your void suit. (It’s usually best that a fit has been established before trying this out!) This five-level bid becomes the KeyCard-asking bid and the responses start with the next suit up the line and include both notrump and the trump suit as possible responses. You can use either the 1430 or the 0314 version of RKC. In effect you are asking your partner to answer KeyCards but to exclude in the answer the Ace of the suit you just bid. The following example shows how it works: Click Here to continue reading


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