Roman Asking Bids are an integral feature of the Roman System, and have, in part, been incorporated in the 1969 version of the Kaplan-Sheinwold System. It must be noted that both bidding systems limit the use of the asking bids to jump bids, which would otherwise be meaningless or impart no logical information.
Concept The Roman Asking Bids are employed as soon as the partnership, or one partner, realizes that a slam, small or grand, is a distinct possibility. The bidding sequences must be understood only under the parameters of this premise. Once this sequence has been initiated, then any competition by the opponents is dealt with by prior partnership agreement in the form of a double, or pass, or other bids conveying information via predetermined defense methods. This is evident in the following auction:
The responses are step responses as in the following diagram:
Opener Opponent Responder Opponent 1 Pass 3 Pass 4 = Cuebid 5 = Asking Bid
First Step: No control Second Step: Singleton Third Step: King Fourth Step: Ace Fifth Step: Void Sixth Step: A-K or A-Q
In an older and perhaps better known version of the Roman Asking Bids, the responses are restricted to four step bids.
This part of the older version of the Roman Asking Bids were incorporated in the Kaplan-Sheinwold System, and were called ALPHA Asking Bids. After a 1 Club opening bid, Roman Asking Bids are used in certain specialized sequences. This is evident is the following bidding auction when the opener jumps in a new suit.
First Step: No control Second Step: King or Singleton Third Step: Ace or Void Fourth Step: A-K or A-Q or singleton Ace
The responder then bids according to his holding the suit of the opener as in the following chart:
Opener Opponent Responder Opponent 1 Pass 1 Pass 2
First Step: 2 or 3 low cards Second Step: Singleton or Void Third Step: Ace, King, or Queen singleton or doubleton Fourth Step: Ace, King, or Queen third Fifth Step: 4 low cards Sixth Step: Ace, King, or Queen fourth Seventh Step: 2 of the top 3 honors Eighth Step: 2 of the top 3 honors fourth Ninth Step: 3 of the top honors
These responses are called BETA Asking Bids. These are also asking bids in the Super Precision System concerned with the quality of a side suit after the responder has made a positive response in No Trump. This difference in the schedule of responses has led these bids to be designated Delta Asking Bids in the version used by Mr. Giorgio Belladonna and Mr. Benito Garozzo.
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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