The origin of these Trump Asking Bids is unknown, but the designation rather definitely establishes the country of origin. They were devised solely for the purpose of reaching and bidding a safe slam contract. These bids are employed when the partnership is attempting slam, but these bids are also useful when bidding a questionable game contract, as opposed to other conventional methods, which deal only with bidding slam contracts.

This is possible since the Trump Asking Bids begin at a low level of bidding and allows the partnership to cease bidding if it is determined that only a game contract is possible and a slam contract is impossible.

The only requirement is that a Major suit, either Hearts or Spades, is established very early as the trump suit. As soon as the trump suit has been established, any No Trump bid by any partner on the lowest level becomes the Australian Trump Asking Bid.

Note: Although this version of Trump Asking bids is designed only for both Major suits, this fact does not deter other partnerships from employing the same Trump Asking bids also for both Minor suits. Whether or not to include both Minor suits is a matter of partnership agreement. The Minor suits are not included in this presentation.

The bid of No Trump at the lowest level asks the partner to only show possession of the King of trump and the Queen of trump, either the King and Queen of Hearts or the King and Queen of Spades, whichever is the established trump suit.

The crux, basic, central, and critical feature of this conventional method is that the partner will respond to the Trump Asking bid by using the following Step Scale, and which excludes the Step corresponding to the trump suit.

First Step: This promises the Queen of trump.
Second Step: This promises the King of trump.
Third Step: This promises the King of trump and additional length.
Fourth Step: This promises both King and Queen of trump.
Fifth Step: This promises both King and Queen of trump and additional length.
     
     

Example 1

Several examples presented below should clarify the reason why one partner should initiate the Australian Trump Asking bids and what the responses should be. It is also of special interest to note that the partner answering to the Australian Trump Asking bid is designated, or commonly referred to as the teller.

North   South Meaning
AJ9874
AQ3
Q9
A10
 
1065
K975
K107
982
1   2 Limit Raise by South showing 5-9 points. With 6 points, and also 10 Losing Tricks, South should compete.
2 NT     Australian Trump Asking bid. The opener wishes to discover whether game is possible by asking about the quality of the trump suit held by partner. An opening bid of 1 No Trump may be considered as an alternative option, but most players will decide to open the rebiddable Spade suit. With 17 high card points, North should at least attempt game.
    3 Since South has neither King nor Queen of the trump suit, South signs off at the lowest level in the trump suit. The opener should pass.

Example 2

North   South Meaning
AJ9874
AQ3
Q9
A10
 
K65
K975
K87
982
1   2 Limit Raise by South showing 5-9 points. With 9 points, and 9 Losing Tricks, South should compete.
2 NT     Australian Trump Asking bid. The opener wishes to discover whether game is possible by asking about the quality of the trump suit held by partner. With 17 high card points, North should at least attempt game.
    3 South has the King of trump and therefore bids two Steps to show possession of only the King of trump.

Example 3

North South Meaning
AJ9874
AQ3
Q9
A10
KQ652
K976
K87
9
1 3 Limit Raise by South showing 9-12 points.
3 NT North knows that game is guaranteed. With this rebid North is initiating the Australian Trump Asking bid in a slam attempt.
5 South has the King and Queen of trump and additional length in the trump suit. Therefore South bids five Steps to show possession and extra length. The trump suit, Spades, is by-passed when counting the Steps. Clubs(1)-Diamonds(2),-Hearts(3)-No Trump(4)-Clubs(5).
6 North bids the small slam. South has limited his holding with the first response. North is captain and sets the contract.

Since the individual Steps can sometimes consume much of the useful bidding space, most partnerships employ and adopt other, alternative conventional methods to ask for Aces, Kings, and/or Keycards other than a Blackwood treatment.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.

 


     
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