Our favourite weapon is Roman Keycard Blackwood, only RKC from further on. This is a sort of ace ask that needs the trump suit agreed first, because it tries to clarify the king and queen of trumps too. After the ace ask you may learn each honour of in partner's hand (if there is anough space) with a method called spiral scan. Because of this you may ask an unlimited hand too (if you are unlimited). Cue bids are used only to show a slam try or a good hand, they usually can be second round controls. The adpromisestage of this is when we DON'T cuebid a suit then we neither have first, nor second round stopper in it, thus we can sign-off cheaply when we have an uncovered suit. We have special tools to bid slams after a relay-sequence. Our other tools:
RKC, ORKC, (O)RKC
CYS, OCYS, (O)CYS
exclusion RKC, optional Exclusion
When they double...
When we have a step below 4M, then (regarding the wasted strength opposite the singleton):
The problem with relay-sequences that asked hand usually does not know neither the trump suit nor the target level. In order to ask his keycards we should let him know the trumps, and of course we would like to stop in game too. Solution: when full shape is known (or we can't ask further), then the master hand's bids are:
There is 5 keycards in this structure: the 4 ace and the trump king, and we try to discover the queen of trumps too. Thus we always must know the trump suit. Usually we learn the number of keycards (or at least if we don't have enough) below the 5 level of our trump suit. After the ace ask partner's further honours can be explored, sometimes all the interesting ones. Thus I prefer RKC to cue-bidding.
Responses to keycard ask:
Voids are not obligatory to bid and must not be bid if the asker could have asked it before.
We clarified the aces and the king of trumps so far (and the queen of trumps in case of 2/5 response). Rest of the honours are classified into 4 levels:
When RKC-response has not said anything about the trump queen (S12), then S1 asks this one, when confirmed or denied (S34), then the kings. If 4N would ask for the trump queen, then it is never a sign-off, but asks the queen of trumps. When 4N would ask the kings, then it is an ask if IMP-scoring is applied (where it's not a problem to play 5 minor), but otherwise it is sign-off (where it could be a bad score to play 5 minors).
From level 2 the order of honours is the following:
The response: the asked hand counts his honours before any gap in the above queue and adds 1 step. That is:
Now asker's S1 bid asks for further hobours on the same level, but S2 jumps to the next level.
Example: KQxx, Kxxx, KJx, Kx (in NV)
|1♦||-||1♠||(2+ // GFR)|
|1N||-||2♣||(13-15 BAL // R)|
|2♠||-||2N||(4-card spade // R)|
|3♣||-||3♦||(dobleton ♣ // ORKC♠)|
|5♣||-||5♥||5th step, that is has 4 honours (♠Q +
♥K + ♦K +
K) from the queue, but the 5th one (the ♥Q
) is missing
asks the jacks (omitted a step which would ask for the queens).
It is useful when asker has a void and only interested in the rest of the suits. Its basic forms of occurabce are:
The responses are the same as on RKC, but ace (and other honours) in asker's void do not counted.
This one sets the trump suit and asks the other player whether he would accept a slam try (regarding his previous bidding). It can occur not higher than 4M-1 or 4m (normal RKC appliied above this level).
If the asker promised a void, then its ace is not counted (as in Exclusion RKC).
First step refuses the slam try, the rest accepts and shows keycards as in RKC.
On refusal, asker's S1 is RKC, S234 are exclusion (but trump suit and 4N at a minor trump are naturally omitted)
You may read (O)RKC in the system. This means RKC or ORKC depending on the level. If it is at most 4M-1 or 4m then ORKC, but plain RKC when higher.
Asks how short is a known shortness. Responses:
As a consequence if the master hand youcd have asked your void with CYS then you must not show it on RKC, because partner is not interested.
... is used when a shortness is known (which can be singleton or void), but strength is not. It is a combined ask of void and strength.
You may find (O)CYS in the system. This means CYS or OCYS depending on the level. If we have x as trumps, then 4x-2 is OCYS, but above that level plain CYS is played (to allow only the strong hand with a void go above game level, and to be able to ask the keycards of the weak hand on a convenient level)
Strong 1♣ opener can bid it after a 1-level positive
response (handy with an extreme hand only).
We can stop in NT or the named suit or above the slam level of it. (perhaps in 4M-ban, if it is a jump).
After the support ask the master hand asks controls or after at most 1 control ask can revert to RKC at the appropriate level (4m, 4M+1). There is no RKC after 2 control-ask, in this case NT asks in the last named suit.
AsksAsks for controlsEgy adott suit stopperát kérdezi. Válaszok:
You can ask for controls in more suits on after another. Repeated ask of a suit asks for the queen (S1 denie, S2 promises)
An asking bid ( = bid your keycards according to RKC, if you have control in the
suit), asked by the partner of a preemptor,
accepting opener's suit as trumps.
Opener revert to his suit without control and bids his number of keycards with a control (beware, trump suit is not a step), a void in the sked suit is counted as an ace.
This is for slam bidding of two balanced hand. With borderline hands the success of a slam often depends on having 10 controlsl and an 8-card fit. First we discover the controls with step responses. If we don't have enough of them then we stop in the lowest (3 or 4) NT, mostly this one will be an excellent contract, because we have many HCP, but few controls. When we have enough controls, then we bid our 4+ (Hxxx or jobb) suits up the line. We raise with 4-card support. 5-card can be repeated, and it also promises 5-card suit to bid one that partner has stepped over. Thus we will find our fit when we have one.
The first control responses are here:
This is a form of cue-bidding. It can be used when we agreed a major suit wich was raised up to 3M level and we don't want to use 3N as to play or any better purpose. Its adpromisestage that it cIts principle is similar to Scan: 1st step denies control in the chepest suit. Senond step promises this control, but denies in the next suit, etc. With more touching controls we bid the highest one, whicj promises all the other une under it. After checking controls it's useful to ask for keycards becuase cue bids have not clarified neither them nor the quality of the trump suit.
Tip for remembering:
That is, if our asking bid is doubled (keycard ask, ORKC, etc.)