Exclusion Keycard Blackwood is a continuation and extenuation of the Roman Key Card Blackwood convention. The concept behind this convention is to show a void while exploring for the possibility of a slam. The bidding process is quite easy to learn and will assist in reaching, through the exchange of information, the correct contract.

Many contributions to bridge theory were made by Mr. Robert Eugene Goldman, aka Bobby born November 10, 1938 and died May 15, 1999, and the idea behind Exclusion Keycard Blackwood is attributed to him. The Bridge World, issue May 1981 Volume 52, Number 8, has an article about the Exclusion Keycard Blackwood convention, written by Mr. Ron Gerard.

     

Note: The convention of Exclusion Keycard Blackwood is also referred to as Voidwood.

Note: The photograph of Mr. Robert (Bobby) Goldman is from the year 1982.

Basic Concept

In Exclusion Keycard Blackwood there are only four Keycards. The Ace of the void suit is not counted. Therefore, only the other 3 Aces and the King of the trump suit count as the four Keycards. This conventional method is initiated:

1. After establishing the trump suit.
2. By a jump bid higher than game level in an unbid suit or
3. In a suit bid by the opponents.

The suit of the jump bid is then excluded by partner from any response bids. The responses to the Keycard Asking bid is accomplished in the following manner:

1st Step: Shows 0 Keycards.
2nd Step: Shows 1 Keycard.
3rd Step: Shows 2 Keycards.
4th Step: Shows 3 Keycards.

The bidding process:

Opener   Responder
1   3

It is agreed that Spades is the trump suit. Normally, the opener, who is looking for a possible slam contract, will generally employ the Roman Key Card Blackwood convention to discover the number of Key Cards held by the responder. However, the opener has a void, which makes the hand much more valuable. Exclusion Keycard Blackwood is a conventional method, which will assist the opener in showing his partner that he holds a void and in which suit the void is.

Opener   Responder  Meaning
1   3  
5   Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - void in Clubs.
5   Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - void in Diamonds.
5   Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - void in Hearts.

By jumping to the five level, the opener is communicating to his partner that he has interest in a slam contract and that he has a void in the bid suit. The responder, realizing the location of the void, responds to the Exclusion Keycard Blackwood convention by counting his Key Cards except the Key Card in the suit, in which the opener is void.

The bid on the five level by the opener is treated the same as had the opener bid 4 No Trump, employing normal Roman Key Card Blackwood. Therefore, the responder would bid according to the following, showing his Key Cards.

Void in Clubs

Opener   Responder  Meaning
1   3  
5     Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - shows a void in Clubs.
  5 Responder has 0 Key Cards - 1st Step.
  5 Responder has 1 Key Card - 2nd Step.
  5 Responder has 2 Key Cards - 3rd Step.
  5 NT Responder has 3 Key Cards - 4th Step.

Void in Diamonds

Opener   Responder  Meaning
1   3  
5     Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - shows a void in Diamonds
  5 Responder has 0 Key Cards - 1st Step.
  5 Responder has 1 Key Card - 2nd Step.
    5 NT Responder has 2 Key Cards - 3rd Step.
    6 Responder has 3 Key Cards - 4th Step.

Void in Hearts

Opener   Responder  Meaning
1   3  
5     Exclusion Keycard Blackwood - shows a void in Hearts
  5 Responder has 0 Key Cards - 1st Step.
  5 NT Responder has 1 Key Card - 2nd Step.
    6 Responder has 2 Key Cards - 3rd Step.
    6 Responder has 3 Key Card - 4th Step.

In all bidding auctions, it is important to remember that the promised void suit Key Card is not counted as a Key Card when responding.

In all responses presented above it is necessary for the bridge student to notice that the Queen of the trump suit is not included in any of the responses. In order to discover whether or not the Queen of trump is held, any relay bid following the response bid, excluding the trump suit, is asking for the Queen of the trump suit.

Note: However, if one partner has to make a higher bid than the agreed trump suit on the five level, a repeat of the void suit becomes then the Queen-Asking bid.

Note: A 5 No Trump bid is never employed as a Queen-Asking Bid.

Competition

If the opponents, for any reason, decide to enter the auction once the Exclusion Keycard Blackwood conventional method has been initiated, then the partnership has two additional bids / calls at its disposal to exchange information. They are as follows:

Pass: Shows 0 Keycards.
Double: Shows 1 Keycard.
1st Step: Shows 2 Keycards.
2nd Step: If this response does not bypass the established trump suit, then this response shows 2 Keycards and the Queen of the trump suit.

One example of how this conventional method can be employed follows with the corresponding explanations:

West
KQ87
5
Q965
AJ86
 
East
AJ10652
AKQ74
K4
West East Meaning
1 A natural opening bid.
1 As always, a new suit is one-round forcing.
2 Shows limited support. Trump suit is established.
5 Exclusion Keycard Blackwood showing a void in Diamonds and asking for Keycards.
5NT 3rd Step showing two Keycards. The Diamond suit is not counted, so therefore the two Keycards, by inference, must be the King of Spades and the Ace of Clubs.
6 Remember, if one partner has to make a higher bid than the agreed trump suit on the five level, a repeat of the void suit becomes then the Queen-Asking bid.
6 Shows / promises the Queen of Spades.
7 Since there are no losers in trump, no losers in Hearts, no losers in the Diamond suit owing to the void, and partner has the Ace of Clubs, East bids the grand slam in Spades.

 

 

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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