The origin of this conventional method, which is an extension of the Roman Keycard Blackwood conventional method, is unknown. The concept is based on the fact that the responder, who has not yet bid or even passed, holds values for a likely slam contract. Any additional information as to the origin of this approach would be greatly appreciated. Source is OEofBp361, Sixth Edition.

Principle of the Concept

The concept was devised whenever partner opened the auction with either a preemptive two-level opening bid in either Diamonds, Hearts, or Spades, or a three-level preemptive opening bid in any of the four suits. With possible slam values the partnership requires a method to determine whether or not a slam is feasible. The method also had to be constructed in a manner, which would also allow the bidding to cease any continuations on the five level if necessary.

     
     

Fundamentals of the Concept

Once the partner has opened the bidding, then the partnership must have a response method which allows the partnership to attempt a slam contract. This fundamental principle is also applicable after the opposing side has opened the auction and the preemptive overcall of partner is either on the two level or even three level. As long as the response method can be employed, then the partnership plays system on.

The concept of Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood is always initiated with the response of 4 Clubs. However, there is one auction, or bidding sequence, in which this first response can cause some ambiguity and is therefore only applicable by partnership agreement. This exception occurs in the bidding sequence 3 Clubs - Pass - 4 Clubs. In this particular bidding sequence it is preferable that the 4 Clubs remains a natural response.

Step Three: The next cheapest bid after the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood inquiry shows one Keycard and the trump Queen.

Note:

Initiating the Concept and Response Method

As soon as the responder bids 4 Clubs to a preemptive two-level opening bid and also a preemptive three-level opening bid, then the responder can initiate the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood conventional method to inquire as to the held controls.

Example 1 - Two-Level Preemptive Opening
753
98
AQ9763
K5
 
AK42
AQJ
K105
AQ8
   
North   South   Meaning
2       Preemptive opening bid on the two level. The level of the preempt is determined by the agreed parameters of the partnership agreement regarding point count and perhaps vulnerability.
    4   Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood is initiated by the responder and the Diamond suit is established as the trump suit.
The preempting partner responds to the keycard inquiry according to steps in the following manner.
4       Step One: The cheapest bid after the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood inquiry shows zero Keycards.
4       Step Two: promises one Keycard.
4       Step Three: promises one Keycard and the trump Queen.
        Note: A response of 4 Spades is the correct response to the above inquiry. North holds one Keycard and the Queen of Diamonds.
4 NT       Step Four: promises two Keycards.
5       Step Five: promises two Keycards and the trump Queen.
Example 2 - Three-Level Preemptive Opening
AQJ9763
98
73
K5
 
K104
AQJ
KQ5
AQ98
   
North   South   Meaning
3       Preemptive opening bid on the three level. The level of the preempt is determined by the agreed parameters of the partnership agreement regarding point count and perhaps vulnerability.
    4   Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood is initiated by the responder and the Diamond suit is established as the trump suit. The 4 Clubs bid does not need to be a jump bid in order to initiate Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood.
The preempting partner responds to the keycard inquiry according to steps in the following manner. The bridge student will notice that the response method remains the same as the step responses following a preemptive opening bid on the two level.
4       Step One: The cheapest bid after the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood inquiry shows zero Keycards.
4       Step Two: promises one Keycard.
4       Step Three: promises one Keycard and the trump Queen.
        Note: A response of 4 Spades is the correct response to the above inquiry. North holds one Keycard and the Queen of Diamonds.
4 NT       Step Four: promises two Keycards.
5       Step Five: promises two Keycards and the trump Queen.

Exception: Following a preemptive 3 Clubs opening by partner the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood bid becomes 4 Diamonds as 4 Clubs would only strongly invite to a game contract in Clubs.

Note: a void cannot be shown by employing the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood concept.

Variation on the Concept

As with many concepts, which can assist immensely the bridge player, the concept of the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood has also been varied and modified. One variation can be found on the website of the Cornhusker Bridge website. The file is a .pdf file, which will automatically be opened by your browser in a new window. This information has also been only preserved and archived on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

This variation covers only a response method for preemptive opening bids by partner on the three level. This response method also includes the preemptive opening of Clubs on the three level, after which the Preemptive Roman Keycard Blackwood inquiry begins with the response of 4 Diamonds. The responses of the partner are then raised by one step.

 

 

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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