The origin of this conventional method and conventional responses are unknown. To some degree the method is based on the original Gerber convention devised and developed by Mr. John Gerber. The variation of the concept lies in the fact that the method first shows the location of the lowest-ranking Ace below the established or implied trump suit.

Principle of the Concept

The Gerber Convention has been modified to meet the requirements of the many different partnership agreements, and the desired needs of the bridge players. The Fane Four Club conventional method meets these requirements by determining the number of Aces held by the partner, and the location of the particular Aces.

Pinpointing the Location of an Ace

Opener   Responder Meaning
1   3 Limit Raise or Forcing Raise is a matter of partnership agreement.
4 Fane Four Club Convention.
  4 Shows the Ace of Diamonds.
  4 Shows the Ace of Hearts.
  4 Shows the Ace of Spades, and no other side Ace.
  4 NT Shows the Ace of Clubs.
  5 Shows zero or 4 Aces.

After the responder has shown the particular Ace and the location of the Ace he holds, the opener can attempt to extract further information from the responder.

Asking For the Number of Aces

Whatever the responder has rebid, except the response of 5 Clubs, the opener can find out whether the responder holds more than only one Ace by bidding 5 Clubs. The following chart shows the different responses.

Opener   Responder Meaning
1   3 Limit Raise or Forcing Raise is a matter of partnership agreement.
4 Fane Four Club Convention.
  4 Shows the Ace of Diamonds.
5 Opener is asking how many Aces responder holds.
  5 Shows only 1 Ace.
  5 Shows 2 Aces.
  5 Shows 3 Aces.

Asking For the Number of Kings

After it has been established how many Aces the responder actually holds, the opener then can proceed to ask how many Kings the responder holds in the following manner. This bidding sequence is possible only when one player has first bid 4, and then 5, and then 5 No Trump. The responses are also given to signify the number of Kings.

Opener   Responder Meaning
1   3 Limit Raise or Forcing Raise is a matter of partnership agreement.
4 Fane Four Club Convention.
  4 Shows the Ace of Diamonds.
5 Opener is asking how many Aces responder holds.
  5 Shows only 1 Ace.
  5 Shows 2 Aces.
  5 Shows 3 Aces.
5 NT Opener is asking how many Kings responder holds.
  6 Shows no Kings.
  6 Shows 1 King.
  6 Shows 2 Kings.
  6 Shows 3 Kings.
  6 NT Shows 4 Kings.

Continuance Following 4 Spades

In the case that the responder has responded with a rebid of 4 Spades, showing only one Ace and no other side Ace, the opener can ask the responder to bid his lowest-ranking side King.

Opener   Responder Meaning
1   3 Limit Raise or Forcing Raise is a matter of partnership agreement.
4 Fane Four Club Convention.
  4 Shows the Ace of Spades, and no other side Ace.
5 Opener is asking responder to bid lowest-ranking King.
  5 Shows lowest-ranking King of Diamonds.
  5 Shows lowest-ranking King of Hearts.
  5 Shows lowest-ranking King of Spades.

Showing a Void

Using the Fane Four Club convention, it is also possible to show a useful void in the following manner.

Opener   Responder Meaning
1   3 Limit Raise or Forcing Raise is a matter of partnership agreement.
4 Fane Four Club Convention.
  5 Shows a void and 1 Ace.
  5 Shows a void and 2 Aces.
  5 Shows a void and 3 Aces.

The trick used here is a jump of one level to show the void and the number of Aces. The rank of the jump does not signify the void suit.

Additional Explanations

As with all other conventions asking for Aces and Kings, it is important that both partners realize when it is time to stop the slam bidding and end the contract in a feasible contract. In the bidding sequence, when one partner realizes that slam is not a possibility, then that partner will bid the agreed trump suit, or simply bid 4 No Trump, a bid which does not enter into the bidding sequence demanded by the Fane Four Club convention, and is therefore the sign-off bid. The partner is required to pass either of these two sign-off bids.

If the bidding sequence has reached the five level, and the partnership realizes that slam is not a possibility, then one partner, usually the 4 Club bidder, will bid an unbid suit as a sign-off bid. The partner is then required to bid 5 No Trump as the final contract.

As with all conventions and treatments, the Fane Four Club convention has its flaws and imperfections. However, it can prove to be a useful tool, and if the partnership agrees to use it, then it would be prudent to study the effectiveness of this convention, and then add it to your list and partnership agreement.

 

 

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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