A conventional method devised by Mr. John Gerber, born 1906 and died January 28, 1981, in the year 1938 to ask for Aces and Kings one level lower than the Blackwood conventional method. Mr. John Gerber also included suit contracts in his convention, and the application thereof can be quite effective. Beware, however, that certain ambiguities can arise by using this convention. Included are also explanations for Rolling Gerber or Sliding Gerber, as it is sometimes known.
Note: The day following his death Mr. Alan Truscott published an obituary as his bridge column for The New York Times. This article has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Note: The day following his death Mr. Alan Truscott devoted his bridge column for The New York Times in the name of Mr. John Gerber. He notes that the world of contract bridge lost one of its most celebrated personalities. This article has only been preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.
Below is one of the rare photographs of Mr. John Gerber. If any visitor has any photographs of this bridge personality and would like to contribute, then this contribution would be greatly appreciated.
Following are several variations and modifications on the concept of the Gerber convention, which many partnerships have included in their partnership agreements.
Ace Identification Convention
A variation of the Gerber convention to locate the position of the Ace or Aces held by the responder.
Black and Red Gerber
A convention to assist the partnership when the trump suit is Clubs.
Colorful Gerber - Colourful Gerber
This variation allows the partnership to convey information about the number of held Aces and also the color of the held Aces.
A method of pinpointing certain Aces, Kings, and Queens in slam attempts.
Fane Four Clubs Convention - Fane 4 Clubs Convention
A modification of the Gerber convention to show Aces, Kings, and a void.
Key Card Gerber
A modified version of the original Gerber convention to show show all four Aces and the King of the established and/or implied trump suit. This conventional method does not include the possiblity of asking for Queens.
Lillois Gerber / Lillois Blackwood / Lillois Ace-Asking Convention
This variation was devised by Mr. Pierre Ghestem of France, a leading bridge personality and published author. This particular designation is possibly a French derivation of the town in France called Lille, where Mr. Pierre Ghestem was born. Although the Ask-Asking bid is the same as the Ask-Asking bid in the Gerber convention, the conventional method is also referred to sometimes as Blackwood and/or Ace-Asking. This variation of the original concept of the Gerber convention provides the partner with the information about the rank and the color of the Aces.
Roman Gerber Convention
Since the year 1938, bridge players around the world have altered, modified, and expanded the concept of Mr. John Gerber. This is a modification of the Gerber convention, which uses Roman-style responses.
Roman Key Card Gerber 0314 and 1430
This variation of the Gerber convention is devised similarly to the variation of Roman Keycard Blackwood, and has also a variation designated as Roman Keycard Gerber 1430. The principles are the same, but they are not to be confused with Key Card Gerber or Roman Gerber.
The Romex system of Mr. George Rosenkranz of Mexico City, Mexico, has created a modification of the Gerber convention, which allows the partnership to identify the location of certain Aces.
This Ace-asking conventional method, modeled after and based upon the Gerber convention, was devised by Mr. Robert Goldman (Bobby), born November 10, 1938 and died May 15, 1998, and lived in Highland Village, Texas, United States.
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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