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Minor Suit Blackwood


Roman Key Card Blackwood is a powerful tool, if used properly, but its value diminishes sharply when you have agreed a minor suit and are obliged to use 4NT as your RKCB asking bid.  The problem, of course, is that the response to the RKCB may get us too high.  With a minor suit agreed, when we ask with 4NT, there’s simply not enough room to work with.

 Obviously, the solution is to make our RKCB with a lower bid, and there are two methods in common use … Minorwood and Redwood.


 The Minorwood method uses 4 of the agreed minor for the RKCB ask.  But, it’s necessary to have rigorous rules defining when 4 of a minor bid is RKCB, and when it is natural.  Auctions have a habit of spiraling out of control when one player is trying to get out in 4 of a minor, while the other one thinks he is in a slam auction!  So, after many years of playing part-score hands in slam, and vice versa, we came up with two simple cases.

 The first case is Third-Time Minorwood, and these are the conditions:

            If we are already in a game-forcing auction,

            And, we have not agreed another suit,

            And, the minor has already been bid naturally twice,

            Then, the third bid of the minor (at the 4-level) is Minorwood.

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