Key Card Gerber

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 Ace-asking bid and where the King of Trump is counted as the fifth Ace or Key Card.

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 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.

Note: The Queen of trump is not included in this conventional method.

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.



  Key Card Gerber.

The possible responses to Key Card Gerber follow below:

4 : Shows 0 or 4 Key Cards.
4 : Shows 1 or 5 Key Cards.
4 : Shows 2 Key Cards.
4 NT: Shows 3 Key Cards.


An example should clarify this conventional method:

Dearler: East
Vulnerability: None



South West North Meaning
1 1 Pass 3 North splinters in Diamonds in support.
Pass       East surrenders and decides to defend.
  3 NT     South shows a stopper in both Hearts.
    Pass 4 Key Card Gerber is initiated.
Pass 4 South shows possession of 2 Key Cards. This is not a sign-off.
Pass 6 North bids the small slam knowing that one Key Card is missing.



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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