The origin of this variation of the conventional method is unknown. Once a convention has been adopted by the majority of players in the bridge community, there are inevitably variations and modifications. The concept of asking for Aces and Kings is one of those conventions where many modifications abound. From the Blackwood Convention, there is the variation of Roman Key Card Blackwood, which is an Keycard-asking bid and where the King of Trump is counted as the fifth Ace or Keycard.
This has also been applied to the Gerber Convention, which asks for the number of Aces with a bid of 4 Clubs. The variation, known as Roman Key Card Gerber, uses the same principle as the Roman Key Card Blackwood to ask for five Key Cards, the four Aces and the King of Trump. This conventional variation also has the advantage over Key Card Gerber of being able to show also the Queen of trump when holding two Keycards. The principles are the same, but the responses are not to be confused with Key Card Gerber or Roman Gerber.
Note: The writing of Key Card Gerber can also be written as Keycard Gerber, as one word. However, it must be noted that the provided definition by the American Heritage Dictionary of the word keycard is: a usually plastic card with a magnetically coded strip that is scanned in order to operate a mechanism such as a door or an automated teller machine. When emphasis is placed only on the word key, then the word is defined as: a vital, crucial element, among the multiple definitions of the word.
Based on the following example, and other similar examples, where the trump suit has been predetermined, the different responses listed below show the number of Key Cards held.
Opener Responder Meaning 1 3 Limit Raise by responder. 4 Roman Key Card Gerber.
The response method to Roman Key Card Gerber is shown below:
4 : Shows 0 or 3 Key Cards. 4 : Shows 1 or 4 Key Cards. 4 : Shows 2 Key Cards without the Queen of trump. 4 NT: Shows 2 Key Cards with the Queen of trump.
This variation is designated more precisely Roman Keycard Gerber 0314.
As with the variation Roman Keycard Blackwood, there is also the variation of Roman Keycard Gerber 1430. Only the first two responses are reversed, but still communicate information as to the number of Keycards, as shown below:
4 : Shows 1 or 4 Key Cards. 4 : Shows 0 or 3 Key Cards. 4 : Shows 2 Key Cards without the Queen of trump. 4 NT: Shows 2 Key Cards with the Queen of trump.
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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